16 Apple retail workers claim they’re ‘struggling to survive’ amid ‘untenable conditions’

Zoe Schiffer, The Verge‘s Norma Rae, this week reports on sixteen (16) Apple retail workers who claim they’re “struggling to survive” amid “untenable conditions.”

16 Apple retail workers claim they're ‘struggling to survive’ amid ‘untenable conditions’

Zoe Schiffer for The Verge:

The Verge spoke with 16 current and former employees on Apple’s retail, support, and sales teams who say their complaints about working conditions and pay have largely been ignored. Some say they are governed more by algorithms and systems than actual managers, making it difficult to get holistic help. All of them note that while they came into the job believing in Apple’s mission, they see a profound breakdown in how the company’s corporate values translate to the frontlines.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple has 154,000 employees worldwide, the vast majority of whom work for Apple Retail Stores. This article is about the opinions of sixteen (16) Apple retail workers.

Apple’s retail employees make on average between $19 and $25 an hour in the United States, according to Glassdoor. That’s good for the retail industry, but can be grating for employees who want to build a career at the tech giant. Some say that after staying at the company for six years, they’re making less than $21 an hour.

MacDailyNews Take: You work in retail. You don’t become chief of software, or even their assistant’s assistant’s assistant for running a handheld cash register in a retail store, not matter how nice it is.

No, instead, you go to school, for years, learn all you can, work hard to demonstrate exceptional competency and then, if you’re lucky, you earn yourself a non-retail job at Apple.

Apple Store employees make above-average pay for retail employees and are offered benefits including 401(k) plans, product discounts, and reduced price on stock. The retention rate for the technicians who staff the Genius Bar is more than 90%.

Employees spent eight hours a day fielding inquiries from angry customers. They were evaluated based on call time and customer satisfaction. As with many hourly roles at Apple, people with high scores knew they’d eventually get better schedules, promotions, and opportunities. People with low scores could be placed on action plans to try to improve.

MacDailyNews Take: Were all of the customers really “angry?” 100% of them? Were some not just amenable while looking for a solution to their questions? Of course, they were.

And, yes, amazingly, Apple has a methodology in place to identify good employees and reward them while also working to improve employees who routinely fail to perform their jobs adequately. Instead of firing bad employees, Apple actually works with them in an effort to improve their performance. The horror!

Employees also saw a disparity in Apple’s financial success — reflected in the wealth of its executives — and their own financial pricarity. In 2015, Tim Cook announced that he planned to give away his $800 million fortune before he died. “When I saw Tim Cook was saying he’s worth nearly a billion dollars and he plans to give all of that away before he dies, I thought, ‘Well shit, he could start with us in AppleCare,’” a current employee says.

MacDailyNews Take: This is what happens when you give every kid a trophy for participating. They feel entitled to things they did not earn.

You know who’s really “struggling to survive” amid “untenable conditions?” Uyghurs in China, for one of myriad unfortunate examples, not Apple Retail Store staffers.

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29 Comments

    1. The left has created generations of dumbed down, diminished capacity, fortitude diluted, children of weak character and unleashed them upon the country. At the same time they maintain on going efforts to corrupt and disrupt every institution in the nation, including the nuclear family, our Judeo-Christian morals, ethics, and values, the education system, the idea of masculinity, the armed services, our global standing, our economic status, our ability to take on massive problems, the mainstream media, racial tolerance, SCIENCE, the definition of citizenship, freedom, natural rights and the constitution itself. They are gutting America and calling it progressive. Our country is hanging upside down from a hook bleeding out, and we are just allowing it to happen.

      1. Could you imagine trying to build the national Interstate or railway in the current environment? They would NEVER get off the ground. Is American exceptionalism dead?

      2. This has absolutely nothing to do with the “left” or the “right”.

        It has everything to do with parents, starting in the 50s but really taking off in the 80s and 90s and getting worse in the 2000s, thinking their children are special and deserving of special recognition whether warranted or not. Those same parentshave haraseds everyone from little league coaches to teachers to politicians about how special their children are and how they must be handled as such Those parents push and push that their children must get special accommodations OR ELSE..

        Further, those parents have instilled in those same children how special they are and how they constantly deserve not only special recognition but also special allowances all the time. Thus you get a 16 year old part time work living at homeer demanding $19 an hour with absolutely zero training prior to starting. Then the untrained dummy complains when people are frustrated and angry when they know nothing.

        “Left” Parents are just as guilty as “Right” Parents (and vice versa).

        1. All generalizations you made, and point to as being of higher influence for the degeneration of society as a whole: You have one concurrence from a random 60 year old. Societal responsibility leads good societies. It starts with me. All can join the discipline train too. I

        2. There has been a multi-generational effort to achieve this. People on the left and right have been victims of this demonic conspiracy. Demonic influence is everywhere, but easiest to see in African American communities in the US. Millions murdered. If they survive the womb, they get shot on the street. Concentration camps were closed in Europe after World War II and have been reestablished in urban America. MLK Jr tried to free them from slavery once again, but the demonic leadership took him out.

        3. “This has absolutely nothing to do with the “left” or the “right”.

          Absolutely NOT. So, did you read carefully with an open mind or reflexively glaze over and immediately dismiss theloniousmac detailed account because of your political beliefs?

          I read it twice with critical thinking full on and could not find anything substantial to disagree with. Present day tactics from the Left are clearly spelled out and the negative results they continue to wrought and escalate. No acknowledgement of Leftist tactics, noted.

          The fact you blame Left/Right parents equally at the beginning and ending of your post tells me two things.

          One: typical Leftist brainwashing, but we all know opinion, not backed by facts because none exist to refute Theo’s points.

          Two: the gold standard Leftist tactic of distributing misery equally. Example: “Left” Parents are just as guilty as “Right” Parents (and vice versa).”

          All you have is a Parenting DEFLECTION story, certainly not 50/50 equal Left and Right, has absolutely nothing to do with refuting reality in the post. While parents are to blame for spoiling their kids since the 50s and centuries before, is irrelevant to present day Leftist tactics.

          Missing the entirety of the post and making excuses shifting blame does not address the reality or the problems. Time would be better spent addressing the Leftist Marxist media/social media onslaught against the U.S. and Constitution forcing their divisive politics on every citizen tearing our country apart…

        4. I worked real at Apple 14 years as a senior citizen. Basically all good. Some managers. youngest ones, bad. Older ones great. So many young people do not understand the concept of “work”. Its a job!. When do you shop-weekends right? Then they take a job where they like to shop but dont want to work weekends????. Apples benefits were the best out there and stock plan became my retirement. Young employees would rather complain and spend $8 a day on starbucks instead to $20.month on discounted stock.
          Maybe choosing something other than a philosophy degree would have helped. You are your choices.

          1. GoeB: Likewise, a perceptive and analytical post.
            People on the right tend to teach their kids decent morals plus the reasons why they are vital to a good life. The left: — not so much.

            Lefties mock and taunt others who hold religious beliefs that tend to keep their families on a path of goodies. The resulting progeny are obvious proof as to which is best for society as well as the children themselves.

            A majority of today’s unionized public school teachers lean leftward and promulgate Marxism as their religion, for which they are snarky and mean evangelists.

            Again, results are a miserable failure. I do know that there are some wonderful teachers, but they are but a small minority these days.

    2. As a former retail employee of 13 years, I feel for the people in the complaint. I was pay rate locked at increases below the rate of inflation and merit pay discussions were about the amazing work I was doing and setting the bar for the whole store but my tenure blocked any increase in pay over 2%. That’s straight garbage. New kids with a year of experience were catching me in pay. There’s literally no vertical opportunity in retail unless you move to the mothership and make more but can’t afford the Silicon Valley lifestyle. I’ve had 4 coworkers move to Cupertino and come back because the cost of living was stupid. I turned down several opportunities due to a basic cost analysis. Note: if you want to make a living wage at Apple retail, go work the Genius Bar. They can make more than managers. There’s no career there, but you can at least pay the bills

      1. If I was in that situ, I would conclude…this job ain’t for me. Trying to a force a job to be what you need is marrying someone with the expectation it’s their responsibility to make you happy.

        Btw, make a living wage by finding a job where the pay level fits your definition of “living wage.” Believing it’s going to fit the definition after you obtain the job, assuming you knew going in what it paid, is just naive.

  1. They make between $19 and $25 an hour, plus benefits and discounts. The Genius Bar personnel have a 90% retention, and 16 people are disgruntled?

    Retail work isn’t for everyone, do you deal with unreasonable customers, yes, it’s part of the job, get over it. They think they should be promoted to higher positions or paid more because the guy that runs everything and has to bear the risk for over 100,000 workers makes more money? Wow, entitled children really don’t understand how and why the world works. Our schools have failed to educate on reality.

    1. Never seen that 90% retention rate. Good stores looked more like 75% as good Genius Bar people get head hunted for huge pay hikes. I got about 1-2 offers a month.

  2. “This is what happens when you give every kid a trophy for participating. They feel entitled to things they did not earn.”

    The trouble with America today in a nutshell.

    1. The USA is suffering greatly from the “oppressed” and “oppressor” syndrome that’s inextricably linked to the growing favor of socialism (Marxism really).

      It’s been brewing for awhile, but it’s being confirmed at the highest levels in govt. When one of our great leaders promotes “equity” over equality, one can convincingly confirm, we are wading in this degenerate pool of, “woe is me” that breeds, “all for one-one for all.”

  3. While I don’t like the whining, the advice: “No, instead, you go to school, for years, learn all you can, work hard to demonstrate exceptional competency and then, if you’re lucky, you earn yourself a non-retail job at Apple.” Is kind of BS. Most degrees are a massive waste of time and money for most people, working hard and competency isn’t nearly as important in tech as networking, friendships and other connections outside of programmers perhaps, even then you’re much more likely to be hired as an Indian by another Indian than if you are someone else. Work hard to build your own business independent of soulless, bureaucratic, managerial corporations and institutions, is much better advice. Trades like plumbing, electrical, carpentry, construction, refrigeration and other types of maintenance, even landscaping and gardening, are in high demand and far more lucrative and satisfying than some gay retail job at Apple.

  4. “My job is untenable. It’s time for me to look for another job that I deem tenable.” Quite simple.

    It’s not the responsibility of the company to curate/cater the position to fit the worker’s happiness and satisfaction. (This assumes no law is being broken…which is where this kind of complaint could end up…making a job fufil the employee’s wishes.)

  5. Crybabies… Quit the job and get a better one. Problem solved. I have quit jobs in the past, all to get a better one. That is how I moved from living in my high school bedroom at my parents home to owning my own home and acreage.

  6. beosjim…you are talking like an independent, self-resourceful and responsible human. Don’t you think that’s a little dated? Please consider coming up to speed with the contemporary view of; expecting others, the govt and one’s employers to provide for your needs and happiness.

    Axe grinding is very fulfilling…a life of purpose.

  7. I live across the street from an Apple store. I was one of the first customers in on opening day in 2004. Still have the t-Shirt. : ) I used to go in weekly, I upgrade phones, laptops and desktops for my business annually.

    I haven’t been in an Apple Store since the replacement battery discount for the iPhone 6 , it became a gift to my grandson. It’s an unpleasant experience now.

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