Gadgets

Ex-Apple employee reveals what it’s like to work in an Apple store

We're glad we don't work in an Apple Store.

Sure, their glass staircases are fancy and all - but anyone who's attempted to help their nan sync their calendar with their email account ("But I'm sure I don't have a password?") will understand the blood-boiling frustration of helping the tech-illiterate with their iDevice problems.

A glimpse of this hellish world has been revealed on Reddit, after an ex-Apple Store employee took part in an 'Ask Me Anything' session.

With four years of experience to dip into, here are the highlights from the anonymous worker/victim.

  • Ex-Apple employee reveals what it's like to work in an Apple store

    People constantly try to steal stuff

    All. The. Time.

    I couldn't even get mad at this guy; he was just downright intelligent. See, the old iPhone 4 and 4s had a glass backplate that only had two screws holding it in place. Once unscrewed, you just pushed up on it and the back came off, leaving the internal components exposed. A customer who noticed that the security cable was only attached to the backplate brought in an iPhone screwdriver, and while we were too busy to notice, unscrewed the backplate and walked off with a $650 phone (at the time). Amazing.

  • Ex-Apple employee reveals what it's like to work in an Apple store 1

    The disturbing amount of porn you encounter

    Oh... the porn. So. Much. Porn.

    As with many IT jobs, porn is everywhere, and it doesn't matter who you're talking to (Grandma's, Grandpa's, Soccer moms, etc) someone always has a nice surprise for you.

    "My first experience with a customer was a guy who came in specifically for issues with Safari crashing on his iPhone. I asked him if I could see the issue, and he handed me his phone. So being that his issue was with Safari, I opened Safari, and what did I find - 30+ tabs of pornographic videos all playing at the same time.

    He practically jumped when he realized what he had left open, and I tried to stifle a laugh as I quickly tried to close the tabs and turn down the volume. Part way through, the app crashed, so I had to load it up again and continue with closing the tabs.

    "When I finally finished, I explained the importance of closing tabs, especially if they were running high-usage content like videos. I looked in his crash logs and saw safari was the only app struggling but noticed that it was now working great after closing all the tabs. I explained that I thought it was just that simple, and he thanked me quickly and left.

  • Ex-Apple employee reveals what it's like to work in an Apple store 2

    People do weird stuff to their gadgets

    Bullet Phone - The phone had a perfect bullet hole and customer refused to tell us how

    V-shaped iPad - A motor cycle ran it over Pancake phone - A plane ran it over; customer worked on the tarmac

    Thermal event caused by a punctured battery during a repair - That stuff is terrifying. You cover it in sand and run out of the room.

    Tanning Oil phone - It smelled awesome Maple Syrup phone - The dad sighed and looked at his smiling 4-year-old son when I told him the news

    Beer phone/computers - They always smelled interesting

    Phones in multiple pieces - usually caused by cars running them over

    Phone that was in the Boston Bombings - this one was just beat to crap and shattered. She showed us footage of it happening (she was filming herself running with it happen). We gave her a free device. No one can plan for a terrorist attack.

  • Ex-Apple employee reveals what it's like to work in an Apple store 3

    Really, really weird stuff...

    Maggot computer - enough said

    Cat hair computer - literally FULL of it; it's why the fan was broken

    Fingernails/toenails computer - gag

    A computer that should've been white but was yellow - the smell of cigarette smoke was so strong that some of my coworkers who smoked were getting sick

    Nasty toilet phones - use your imagination, you're not wrong

    Barf phones - usually frat boys brought these in bags

    Bed Bugs filled phone - she brought it in a ziplock bag. Needless to say we kept the bag sealed.

    Bad marijuana phones - these usually smelled like a skunk pissed on them from the amount of weed people smoked on them. I even found a small piece of weed in a headphone jack once.

  • Ex-Apple employee reveals what it's like to work in an Apple store 4

    Things you should never say to an Apple Store worker

    Well, I'm just gonna go buy an Android. You know what, good for you. Do it. I couldn't care less.  

    Do you get good discounts? We did, but only a few a year. And I always thought it was kind of rude to ask someone that while they were working.

    Can I use your discount? No.

    I'm just so dumb with all this stuff. No. You're really not. You just don't know the answer. The only reason I knew the answer half the time was because I worked there.

    (While not at work) I see you work for Apple. I have this issue with my phone... Come on people. You'd hate it just as much if someone did that to you. 

    Well, my phone (not iPhone) does this and yours doesn't... That's cool. Really. 

    Well on the internet it said... Oh, good Lord, don't even get me started. It's the internet people. Please quit quoting it like scripture.

  • Ex-Apple employee reveals what it's like to work in an Apple store 5

    But Apple looks after you

    When I first started I was paid about $12/hr (£8.35), but not even one month in, Apple had a HUGE pay scale improvement and my pay shot up to $15.50/hr (£10.79)... 

    Geniuses are paid the big bucks, typically starting around $30/hr (£20.89) in my state and $40/hr (£27.87) in other states. By the time I left, I was making pretty decent money for a retail store.

    Apple's hiring process is RIDICULOUS, so by the time you actually get hired, you're typically a really cool, hardworking person (typically). I always felt accepted and loved, and I never felt looked down on by my superiors.