Apologies to Brandi for taking to long to put up this pic of her planking in an Apple Store. We were taking that time trying to figure out why what appears to be a non-Hagrid looking female acknowledged our existence.
Story takes place in the summer of 20XX. Cupertino, CA at the infamous 1IL. It was a week or so into our 3 week training(vacation) and we decided this was one of the days where all of us would make the trek from Bubb4(the genius training building) to 1IL for a Cafe Maccs trip.
Our Lunchtime apparently coincided with the entire corporate staff’s lunchtime, so getting a seat was like getting you hands on a Tickle Me Elmo on Black Friday, but there were less women in curlers and degenerates.
The group of about 5 of us(some came from another group) had been split up, but a majority of us found one of the longer tables after a large group happened to get up from their lunch. We swooped in and staked our claim.
It happened that there were two seats among us, adjacent to one another that we were holding for a couple stragglers waiting for their pasta dishes.
As we are all eating hurriedly(traffic to 1IL cut lunch in half) yet quietly(customary when the food is amazing, which Cafe Macc’s menu is), I make out of my peripheral vision someone standing with a tray.
I hear someone whisper/gasp ‘omigod’ and immediately after, its followed by ‘excuse me, may I sit here?’…I look up, and as if from a movie entrance in slow motion, there is Steve Jobs himself. Behind him are 4-5 people, looking utterly distraught that they are not getting to sit next to him(they appeared to be assistants), look around confused.
Someone, I don’t know who, was able to wheeze out the words ‘of….of course’. Steve had waited for an answer and acknowledgement from us ALL to take the seat. Once he sat down, he began shuffling his tray but then he did something that stunned me. He turned around in somewhat annoyance to the 4-5 gophers behind him and made the ‘go on, shoo!’ motion. They scattered. Steve turns back around with a little chuckle and begins his meal.
Steve would NOT speak whilst there was food in his mouth. Not a word. He would finish a mouthful, take a small drink of water and he made a couple remarks here and there.
‘Come into this cafeteria at the wrong time and you’ll never get to sit down and enjoy your meal. Thank you for the seat.’ among other small statements. All of which had us hyperventilating.
Steve had a VERY small meal, which he ate not with haste, but somewhat robotically and efficiently. His time at the table was less than 10 minutes. After he finished, he wiped his face with his napkin, wiped the table around him and stood up.
‘Everyone enjoy your food, don’t rush. It’s unhealthy. Have a nice day.’
There was a 30 second silence after he walked away, which was the dozen or so of us trying to collect what had just happened.
This was him. This was the leader. A mythical, often referred to as tyrannical(by some corporate employees) leader that RAN. THE. COMPANY. had just sat and conversed with us.
If you have never worked for Apple, I don’t expect you to understand what this means. This is an Apple nerd’s equivalent of going to rock camp and meeting Eric Clapton or Angus Young. This was El Hefe and he talked TO us.
This was the leader of Apple. The visionary. The person who’s ideas created the products that we fell in love with, which spawned our desire to work for Apple. In a sense, he was why we were there. It was dream-like, to say the least.
The man had a kind and gentle demeanor, but most of all, polite and grounded. Far-gone from the horror stories that seem all-too-frequented on tech blogs. I saw it with my own eyes. It changed me.
No Steve Jobs at Apple means that some of the magic will go with it. He was our Walt Disney. He was our Patton. He was our William Wallace(ok that’s a stretch but you get the point).
One thing is for sure, the keynotes will never be the same and watching Phil Schiller on stage in head to toe denim is definitely going to take the wind out of some people’s sails.
Apologies for any hastily typed sentences or grammatical errors. This was typed on my iPhone.
I’d like to post this from my personal blog, but that time has not come yet. Soon.
Here’s to the crazy ones.
Oh, you weren’t aware there was an Apple Store on the International Space Station? psshh. Read a book.
Apple has implemented iMats. Living, breathing doormats and a new position at the Apple store that all new-hires must go through before being promoted to a ‘specialist’…It’s a new way for us to keep stores clean ad sanitary, but in the end it’s just another reason for customers to walk all over us.
It has come. A day of reckoning for Apple Retail employees worldwide.
The days of robot hands, Bill Clinton thumbs, awful cue card reading disguised as true passion and the rollout of mind-numbing initiatives all in the spirit of ‘Whats good for the customer will suck employees dry, but our stock keeps going up’ are hopefully over.
Cash out your ESPP accounts now, because I don’t think RJ’s replacement, or anyone for that matter will be willing to work and drain employees the way he did, so it might be a rough go for NPS and stock prices, but god damnit it will hopefully help employees.
Raise your glasses. Toss another back. And another. And another. And if you’re still conscious, yet another.
It is a day of celebration. Time to get seriously fucked up and call out tomorrow because you ‘may have a bug that’s been going around the store’.
If you’re an employee of Apple, do not send us planking pictures unless you’re willing to get into trouble/separated from employment if found out. Getting a little tired of being made to feel like an asshole even after having warnings up and emailing back everytime an employee submits a photo with ‘are you sure you want this posted’?’ and getting back initial responses like-
‘OMG ABSOLUTELY, IT’LL BE FUNNY!!’……
*fast forward to two days later*…
“Hi, can you take that pic down, I just got in trouble at work!”.
Stop doing that. Seriously……….stop it.
You wanna be a badass employee? Get the ‘Camera +’ app that has a timer. Take the picture by yourself, with your face, super unique killer sneakers and tattoos not visible, after hours when NO ONE else will see you, so you can’t get dimed out.
Or don’t send the pictures. Simple as that.
I still think that it’s preposterous that employees with pictures taken Front Of House are being reprimanded for them…except for ‘lying down on the job’, which would be way too literal of a translation and any self-respecting, non-koolaid drunk leadership team member shouldn’t take it too seriously. But then again, most Apple employees are well-aware of the fact that you can have as much fun as you want at the work place as long as it doesn’t equate to what 98% of common society has deemed ‘funny’.
Customers,fans, AASP’s…not much to say besides send us pictures, the customer/AASP submissions that I have seen so far are some of the most hilarious to date, so keep it up. Worst case scenario you get chewed out by Paul Blart on his segway. Most AASPs actually hate Apple anyway, so who gives a shit…
When this blog began, it was the small little spark that ignited a worldwide flame, nearly overnight. A hilarious picture was Tweeted to us through our @GeniusBarTales Twitter account which caused me to spit my evening Vodka mixer drink all over my keyboard.
This caused two immediate ideas to pop into my head-
1. I think this is something that those with a sense of humor would get a kick out of.
2. I also think this is something that Apple would NOT be happy about whatsoever.
The next immediate reaction was to email the person that sent the picture and discuss with them the possibility of setting up a Facebook Fan page. After some talking and feedback from the Genius Bar Tales Twitter account, we decided to make a blog, since not everyone had Facebook. I asked customer and employees(if they thought it was truly worth it) to send in their planking pictures. All at their own risk, whether BOH of FOH, in uniform or out.
So in true fashion, some people jumped at the chance. Every submission that was ever received, the person was sent back a correspondance before the picture was posted with a verbiage similar to ‘Are you ABSOLUTELY sure you want this posted’. Most responded with ’ Sure, what could the possibly do’.
I was also sent emails from people the following day or two days after, asking to remove said pictures, which I would do immediately. I wanted no employees to come to any sort of danger with their employment or documentation from submitting a picture of themselves lying down.
The inevitable has happened. You’ll see the story on my previous post. The young man in question was one of the earlier submissions to our blog and even blew me away with ‘The fabled triple meta-plank’ picture which to this day still stands as my favorite.
I have already been asked multiple times if I feel guilty that this young man had lost his job, which is a ridiculous question. Of course I do. Do I feel completely responsible, from the talks I have had with him, no not at all. It just seemed as if that picture was the final nail in the coffin and it seems as if he is even happier now.
The truth of the matter is, working for Apple in a ‘high skilled’ position, aka a Genius or Creative is legitimately like working for a secret government agency where you fear for your well-being if you compromise anything. There IS no outlet or venting that’s acceptable in these positions. If you vent your frustrations, you’re met with disappointment from your kool-aid chugging co-workers and superiors, usually the ones that are NOT a Genius or Creative and have NO idea what it’s like. Mostly by managers that come in as a result of being poached by Apple from Banana Republic, Pac Sun or Nike Stores(which is hilarious because Apple has a strict ‘No poaching’ policy) and have no experience in THIS type of technical-based customer service.
It’s truly a shame that this company, while so ‘fun-loving’ and ‘open’ on the outside allows such dark, malicious and gestapo-like strangulation of free will and thought behind it’s safe-like silver doors leading to BOH areas.
My disappointment and disdain for Apple has grown to an unfathomable degree.
I’m pretty sure that I am done hiding behind this blog and the Twitter account. I feel like in honor of Paul H. Phillips being unceremoniously cut down, he deserves someone to stand next to him. I feel like that person should be me.
Goodnight, Sweet Prince.
-You’ll recognize this photo if you were an early fan of our blog. We removed it because he asked us to, but it was too late.
So the unprofessional circumstances I spoke of earlier culminated in my losing my job this afternoon. Which means I no longer have to protect this blog. It was a fun year at Apple, but to be fair, I feel like a 100 pound weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. That job truly sucked. Apple expects its employees to do the work of 2-3 people at a time while paying the Genius team under $30k a year (and we’re some of the most highly paid in the store). They’re a corporation run by blowhards parading around as hippies. I will still love them for their products, but their HR and employment tactics really leave something to be desired. And, for old times sake, here’s the final nail in my coffin: Suck it, Monkeys”
So the unprofessional circumstances I spoke of earlier culminated in my losing my job this afternoon. Which means I no longer have to protect this blog. It was a fun year at Apple, but to be fair, I feel like a 100 pound weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. That job truly sucked. Apple expects its employees to do the work of 2-3 people at a time while paying the Genius team under $30k a year (and we’re some of the most highly paid in the store). They’re a corporation run by blowhards parading around as hippies. I will still love them for their products, but their HR and employment tactics really leave something to be desired.
And, for old times sake, here’s the final nail in my coffin:
Suck it, Monkeys”