Steve Jobs stood in Apple’s lunch line like a regular Joe

“Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was known to be incredibly demanding,” David Pierini writes for Cult of Mac. “But one retired Apple executive said when it came to standing in line in the company cafeteria, Jobs waited his turn like everyone else.”

“Brett Bilbrey, who joined Apple in 2002 and retired in 2014 as its head of technology, tells such a story on the website Quora, where people can ask random questions in hopes of getting a response,” Pierini writes. “He responded to the question, ‘What are some lesser-known facts about Steve Jobs?'”

Read more in the full article here.

Steve would wait in line in the Apple cafeteria like everyone else.

He could have easily gone to the front of any line, or have someone get food for him. But he didn’t.

On a number of occasions, he ended up in line behind me. And often he would ask me to ‘hold his place’ while he went to check other food stations.

Once when this happened, another employee got in line behind me, and I turned around and told him, “Just so you know, I’m saving that spot for Steve.” He laughed and thought I was kidding. “Yeah, right. Like Steve is going to show up and cut in line.” While he was saying that, Steve had returned and was behind him, and heard his comment. Steve said, “I’m not going to cut in, he was holding my spot for me.” The guy turned around and saw Steve, and the employee’s face actually turned white, and he started shaking. Instead of just making room for Steve, he kind of just slinked away. Steve nodded to me and said “Thanks,” then he pulled out his phone and started checking email while we waited. — Brett Bilbrey, Apple (2002-2014) via Quora

MacDailyNews Take: Ha!

19 Comments

    1. Or…the employee was just naturally nervous about meeting the CEO in the lunch line after being overhead by him. The logical conclusion is that this was a relatively new employee, since he did not know that Steve frequented the cafeteria and stood in line like everyone else.

      As usual, Yojimbo, your takes are logically and factually deficient and your conclusions are driven by your biases.

      1. “As usual, Yojimbo, your takes are logically and factually deficient and your conclusions are driven by your biases.”

        Jimbo’s recent take on the iPad Pro as I posted “should be required reading at Apple” was absolutely superlative and insightful on all points! You just don’t see it.

        You want to talk factually deficient and conclusions based on biases, OK. Look in the mirror Melvin, you described yourself perfectly. We all know you can’t handle the slightest criticism of Apple and anyone that supports the president and his party. So don’t falsely lecture us according to your personal beliefs…

        1. What would you know about “slightes”t criticism? The daily barrage of your incessant whining and complaining shows utter bias. I still don’t understand why you are here.

  1. shows Jobs character, he wanted to show the troops ‘I’m with you guys’ yet he wanted to max efficiency by getting someone to hold the line for him while he did other stuff like ‘check out the other food stations’.

    as for the staffer who slunk, probably that was unnecessary, just saying “hey that’s ok” or something would have been fine. Jobs actually liked people who could hold their ground to him.

    One staffer told of a Jobs interview when Jobs looked at his portfolio. “This is sht, so is this, sht, sht… this is good, good.. ” and so on. The staffer said he was right about the work. At the end Jobs offered him a job. The staffer said Jobs was completely calm, he simply did not want to waste time and got to the core of the issue without mincing words. The staffer didn’t melt having his stuff called ‘sht’ so it might have been a ‘personality test’ as well.

    ( my thoughts: a guy who had totally bad stuff wouldn’t have got the position and would probably think Jobs was an ‘asshole’ which would have reinforced a certain reputation of him)

    As a fan “I miss ya Steve”.

    1. Heartening as it is, “waiting in line” and “checking out the other food stations” strikes me as a monumental waste of Steve’s very valuable time. Especially when he presumably wore the same clothes all the time to save time and mental energy.

    1. Ran into him in a narrow corridor. He didn’t want to yield to a red-headed woman. I stared at his bare feet and he relented, and let me pass.

      In a way, it was a form of combat between competing corporate social orders circa 1975.

  2. Wonderful story! Reminds me of TCM reporting Academy Award winner Henry Fonda throughout his acting career was the same kinda regular guy. Stood in line and sat down to eat with cast and crew…

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