Inside ‘Apple Anonymous’: The secret society of Apple’s retail army

“At the store, Apple’s retail workers are loyal, helpful, and demonstrative of excitement (even if it is not genuine) for Apple’s products and customers. After work, though, some are, ironically as correctly described in Steve Jobs’ The Crazy Ones Think Different campaign, misfits, rebels, and troublemakers,” Mark Gurman reports for 9to5Mac. “While these unsatisfied workers have formerly expressed their feelings to the press and via informal (and now defunct) unions like ‘Apple Workers Union,’ a growing group of Apple employees has now taken a more modern approach to expression: social media.”

“Even with strict, Apple Corporate-implemented policies on social media usage of its employees, a portion of Apple retail employees have formed an under-the-radar, ‘Apple Anonymous’ community over social media sites like Twitter and Google+,” Gurman reports. “The majority of these employees work on these social media networks under ‘anonymous’ personalities. This is in order to keep Apple from discovering the true identities of the rebel employees. Discussing the work place (especially with negativity) and discussing internal policies online is strictly forbidden by Apple and a cause for termination. No questions asked.”

Gurman reports, “Hundreds of employees strong, many of these accounts have amassed hundreds of Twitter followers; these followers range from Apple fans, bloggers, and, of course, fellow “anonymous” retail employees. Some of these accounts even have several thousand followers. We have interviewed several of these “anonymous” retail employees for this profile to hear and share their unique perspectives on Apple and the secret society that they and hundreds of others [to which they] contribute.”

Tons more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

11 Comments

  1. If you don’t like working there that much, get a different job. These misfits are not in the right line of work or place. Easy solution for their 1st world problems.

  2. Agree totally. I’d also add that some of these accounts are probably fakes…made by Apple-bashers who aren’t employees but just don’t like the company for some bizarre reason.

    1. Or, they are (even more likely) paid to masquerade as Apple employees and post negative comments.

      There are several companies (samsung and google as examples) with money to burn who have virtually no ethics whatsoever and wouldn’t hesitate (and have actually be caught doing this kind of thing previously).

  3. There should be an Employee Association to handle grievances and other employee related issues. Unions do work well in those cases of legitimate complaints. Without such a voice on behalf of the worker, there is a strong likelyhood of abuse.

  4. I work at an Apple retail store for years, and as a former employee I must say it was a great experience but it was the hardest retail job you could do. The demands by customers and employer were high and every day you leave emotionally and physically drained. So I understand why many employees vent their frustration all over the Internet. It’s an unspoken fact that most employees are underpaid for what they do, but I have a feeling everyone says that about their job. Just imagine working at a store where every day is Black Friday.

      1. No, most Apple employees don’t mind hard work. What really drains them is how a few bad egg customers treat them after they don’t get something for free or when you have to explain to someone that they lost every picture they have and they will never get them back. Also when they are asked questions that are way out of the scope of their job/skill set. The emotional part of the job is draining and is not appreciated.

        1. John, let it go. No point trying to explain the work environment to complete consumer greedy morons or people that have never worked there. They won’t get it. agree with you. As a former creative who worked for Apple for 5 years, many of nights I went home so exhausted that I literally sat in my living room drinking for 2 hours in complete silence. I understand what it’s like so I agree and thought your point was well stated. If you’ve never been in the frying pan before, don’t comment on how hot the grease is from just looking at the pan.

        2. I think you’re expressing the consequence of employees who really care, regardless of whether or not you are talking about Apple. I was there over twenty years and know exactly what you felt with those customer experiences. But it only eats at you because you care. And there’s a righteous sense that because you care the company ought to care more about you. It’s not a rotten egg persona problem, it’s a “I wish it weren’t like this” feeling. There’s always a feeling that Apple should be better at treating and understanding it’s sales people than it actually is. The hard part is that Steve, probably one of the best salespeople ever, hated sales people. There’s a lot more that a 20+ year veteran could share that might make you feel better, but how about instead I just express appreciation for the efforts you and your colleagues made every day?

  5. You should always strive to do the best job you can at whatever you do. There are just way too many slackers out there in the world. I have always taken pride in doing my best. And then trying to do even better. And I believe it shows. I have never ever been disappointed with the people I have dealt with either in the Apple Store or with phone support. They are the best. And having worked in retail when I was young I understand that it can be stressful. Compared to other retail jobs I would guess that Apple store employees are a bit underpaid. Hey Tim, you’ve got a big pile of cash sitting over there in the corner, give them all just a little bit of a raise to make them feel good. They deserve it.

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