New Scheduling Rules To Squeeze Employees

April 2, 2012

Just months after appointing a new retail chief, and in the midst of continuing workplace complaints by retail store employees, Apple is revising its scheduling practices that will pressure employees who are already suffering from larger crowds of visitors. Apple’s stores have become more crowded, noisy, and stressful as their products have risen in popularity and more products have come to market. In fact, some stores have seen their visitor traffic double annually over the past four years, sources say. The increased traffic means staffers must sell, train and repair while elbow-to-elbow with colleagues, or even customers, and amidst more distractions and noise. Now, the company is changing weekend work requirements, and increasing the mandatory minimum hours for part-timers. The changes seem to have substantial benefits for Apple, but few for its employees, and could result in many resignations from employees who are unable to comply with the new requirements.

First, even loyal and veteran full-time employees will face increased stress with a revision of the existing weekend work requirements. Right now, full-timers are required to work at least one weekend day each week, either Saturday or Sunday. The requirement gives the employees at least one weekend day off. Soon, Apple will add Friday to its official list of “weekend days,” and full-timers must work two of those three days, or possibly a shift that includes both Saturday and Sunday. The changes will affect Family Room and Red Zone Specialists, Creatives and Geniuses, and seems to stem from a recognition of increased store traffic on Fridays.

Full-time employees must already accommodate Apple by being available to work every hour their store is open, up to 40 hours per week. Part-timers must also offer wide availability, but only for a certain 40-hour window determined by management.

The new rules will also squeeze part-time workers, raising their minimum weekly commitment from 16 hours to 24 hours. While the increased hours and pay might be welcome for some employees, the new rules could also serve to limit second job possibilities. The rules could also create conflicts for part-time workers with education, family or other on-going commitments.

The company is apparently aware that many employees may be unable to meet the new scheduling requirements because of existing commitments, and may resign. Apple has told employees they will try to accommodate time-off requests (made three weeks in advance), apparently to mitigate the no-weekends-off shifts for full-time employees. However, there could be a substantial number of part-time workers who cannot commit to working more hours, and will have to quit their employment with Apple.

The new work rules will reportedly become effective on April 15th.

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{ 81 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul Rees April 2, 2012 at 0356

I have just finished reading The Apple Experience: Secrets to Building Insanely Great Customer Loyalty (McGraw-Hill) by Carmine Gallo, recently featured in this blog.

The book basically says that Apple Stores are retail heaven. I strongly disagree with that. My local Apple Store (Chadstone, Australia) is so crowded one can barely move or get the attention of an employee. I am at the point now where I won’t shop there any more. Now if I have reached that point after occassional short visits, imagine what it must be like to work there hours on end. My guess; retail hell.

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Actual Employee April 2, 2012 at 0821

Imagine working in that, especially during the holidays or a launch. In a store that is so small you don’t have a break room and you are sharing 4 to a locker to have a place to put your lunch.

AND then to hear about yet another store opening up wherever, while noticing no less than 5 empty storefronts in your mall (any one of which they could move your neighbor into and let you expand and bring them even more money).

Frustrating as hell.

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instig8r April 2, 2012 at 1251

“Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.” —Yogi Berra

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MacFan457 April 2, 2012 at 1757

On top of all these conditions, I would be curious to check the radiation levels in the store considering how many wireless devices are constantly emitting a signal. Apple stores are like a Wi-Fi soup (among other wireless signals), and I have to believe it can’t be good for you to work in a concentrated wireless-emitting area for so long.

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Fact Auditor April 2, 2012 at 2032

“I have to believe it can’t be good for you to work in a concentrated wireless-emitting area for so long”

Please describe your qualifications and share your data for making this statement.

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MacFan457 April 3, 2012 at 1141

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45469130/ns/health-mens_health/#.T3tAK-3iMqY

I have read numerous articles such as the one above, implying that Wi-Fi may have an effect on health. I have also read articles on cell phone signals causing concern, but none have been conclusive.

There was also a news report I came across recently from a country in Europe stating that they are removing Wi-Fi from their schools just as an extra safety measure, considering the possible, but mostly inconclusive effects on health. This report mentioned that some people may be more sensitive than others to these wireless (Wi-Fi) signals.

None of this has really been 100% conclusive, but it does imply a possible effect.

The comment in my prior post was based only on opinion, logic, and curiosity, as well as the numerous articles of information I have come across over the years.

Considering the increased stress that seems to be hitting Apple store employees (judging based on this article, prior articles on this website, and employee comments), concern regarding wireless signals came to mind.

With that said, I think it would be interesting, simply from a curiosity perspective, to use one of those radiation testers (like the ones many people used after the Fukushima disaster) and see what the levels are inside a very concentrated wireless area like an Apple store.

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Actual Employee April 2, 2012 at 0819

Check your sources, part timers have had to have 3 days of fully open availability for the past 3 years.

And it is days, not hours that are required. Full Timers 6 days, one must be a weekend day. Part timers 3 days (and in major markets they too have to have one weekend day fully open).

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Cory Moll April 2, 2012 at 0849

These changes are going to come at the cost of some really great and talented people. This is going to force them to have to make a very tough choice between their education/family/children and Apple. Absolutely no consideration for “our most important resource.”

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Bob April 3, 2012 at 1822

So why doesn’t your made up union do something? Oh that’s right you can’t.

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max September 20, 2012 at 0948

There never was any choice between Apple and Family/life. If you work there you cant have one. (Thats why so many people attracted to the same sex work there. Chances are they will never have a family to distract them.

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Gee April 2, 2012 at 0908

Apple’s work schedule is a nightmare for everyone including manages. If you work at Apple retail you have zero quality of life outside the store even for part timers.

Also since there is a 7 day work week at Apple retail and no weekend days they could and will do this all the time work a part time person 8 hours on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday begins the new week, then 8 hours on Saturday ,Sunday, Monday.

So that’s 6 days in a row at a minimum of 8 hours (you will work longer than that) for a total of 48 hours non of which are overtime because your working this in two separate weeks. Friday is one week and Sat and Sun are another week. You also might work from 12-9 one day, then 8-5 the next and you play this game over and over. Sounds fun for a part time job which most part timers make about 10 to 12 a hour and that’s in NYC and LA folks which is a poverty wage. Most part timers don’t make more than that unless they been with Apple for a long time. IF you break down cost of living I bet Foxcon workers make more per hour due to low cost of living in China that a US worker or at least the US worker is not up by much…

I find it interesting that there is all this talk about Foxconn workers but no talk about how Apple treat its own employees. Apple’s treatment of the retail staff is very poor at best so its not a big leap to how the Foxcon situation is playing out. Not a good place to work folks. You should avoid working there at all cost unless you need a crappy job with low pay and around the clock bad attitudes of stupid customers asking stupid questions. You have been warned!

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Actual Employee April 2, 2012 at 1010

6 days in a row is not illegal. Neither is an 11 hour turn around. Although both are very rare because the only folks that come in at 8am are inventory and trainers (along with the opening manager). And the part timers only have to have 3 days of fully open avail and rarely do they have more than that. So it is uncommon to have someone that can work any time across 6 days.

And not only is it not policy to schedule anyone more than 8 hours, allowing them to stay over 8 is strongly discouraged. Every minute that someone stays late is a minute that someone else will lose because the staffing budget is not infinite. The only times a manager will actually approve someone staying is if there is a call out and they will try to get a part timer that was scheduled less than 8 hours to stay for a full shift before they let an 8 hour person stay over. And according to policy the manager needs to try to find someone that won’t go over 29 hours total that week cause that’s putting them into full time hours. do that too many times and legally they have to promote the person which no retail company wants to be forced into

Also $10-12 an hour is NOT poverty wages even in LA and NYC. Unless you want to have a fancy place by yourself, a flashy car etc. I lived comfortably off $8 an hour in LA working 40 hours a week at two part time jobs for years. And this was before Apple so I had no health insurance etc from either. But I had a warm reasonably sized apartment, could put gas in my car, buy food, go out every other weekend or so etc.

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RaycerX April 2, 2012 at 1223

Sorry, but there’s no way to live “comfortably” on $8/hr in LA, New York or anywhere else for that matter. In Chicago (where I’m from) which is much cheaper, $15/hr at full time will allow you to live in a marginally safe neighborhood…with two roommates. Less than that and you better be wearing the right colors…

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Gee April 2, 2012 at 1331

No one said it was illegal, I was pointing out the manuplation of the situation. Plain and simple and that’s that. Working someone 6 days in a row is not illegal but its not right thing to do. You should be compensated for it period!

You are either a suck up or a manager. Yes people are not schedule for more than 8 hours but that’s not the reality and you know it. As far as money goes 8 an hr is only 16000 a year. There is no way you can live off that in New York or LA. You must live in a hovel. Your broke and when you get older and more mature your realize you are being taken advantage of.

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Actual Employee April 3, 2012 at 2331

Well I don’t know what YOUR reality is. But I do know mine. I know that my managers don’t schedule over 8 hours a day and enforce you leaving when your time is up. As they should. Sorry that you have such shitty managers at your store that force you to stick around. Report them to HR or even straight to Tim if you like. That is if you even work for Apple, something tells me that you don’t and you are just parroting folks like Cory “we should have a union” Moll.

My place is not a hovel at all. It’s small but it’s clean and comfortable and it’s in a very good neighbor. I was smart and got myself a rent controlled apartment and I don’t go out and party every weekend or insist on buying tons of stuff to make myself feel special. I don’t need $80 jeans with their holes pre ripped etc. I don’t need to buy my food at Trader Joes like a hipster. I don’t need a 100 inch TV and a stereo that can rival the Hollywood Bowl. I don’t replace my iPhone with every model. And so on. But you go on and tell me what my reality is. Cause you are such an expert.

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Gee April 6, 2012 at 0744

First of all I am an expert as I am sitting on close to 250k of stock so I been with the company a long time (not bad for working in the mall).

Second that this is what your not getting Apple retail is a big lie. They are taking advantage of you, all your hard work and effort if filling the pockets of others while you bust your ass and have to live in a rent controlled apartment. Come on man you work one of the richest companies on earth? You should expect more and deserve more that all I am saying.

Another Actual Employee April 3, 2012 at 0659

Its as if people think we are working for slave drivers. I swapped one of my shifts and OK’d it with my manager and she said, but you will finish at 9 then you’ll have to be back here at 7.30 plus your doing 6 days in a row. I said I’m ok with that because its so my friend can work the 4s launch.

From what I’ve read here people are getting the impression that our managers are going to work us to the bone (even thou working for apple is far from work) and most of all that they don’t care. She actually said she prefers to try and get people 2 days off together. We are people that work for people and we all look after each other.

Who wants to go into town on a busy saturday to try and get shopping done anyway? Wednesday is sooo much easier.

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Former Employee April 2, 2012 at 0909

I left Apple a few months ago when I received a better job offer. I miss my coworkers but I certainly don’t miss these types of policies. It’s a shame, because I had always considered going back part-time if I ever needed some extra cash. I can’t justify working an additional 24 hours a week. 16-20 would have been doable.

Apple’s retail stores were very different when I started several years ago. It’s disappointing to see that they’re continuing on the trend to resemble the big-box companies they strived so hard to differentiate from.

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Mike Everatt April 2, 2012 at 0930

I’m sure Apple is not much different from many retailers out there, with the exception of that vastly increased traffic. I’ve been in retail over 30 years, mostly good, but were I starting out today I would look to another career. The retail environment has changed dramatically. Longer hours, open Sundays and holidays — this is not a good choice for those with families. When I was a kid, Sunday was a family day. Today it is a shopping day. I don’t see that this has improved anyones life.

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Guy April 2, 2012 at 1029

Wwwhaaaaa!!! Go get a new job, or go back to being unemployed! I wish I had a job!

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RaycerX April 2, 2012 at 1324

It’s pretty sad that employees seem to have only two options: Bend over and take it – or quit. I guess Americans have been brainwashed into thinking workers shouldn’t have any rights and just be thankful to have a job. Sad. Really.

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Fritzi April 2, 2012 at 2044

“Bend over and take it – or quit.” What do you think the options are for any job working for someone else?

What, exactly, are these abysmal conditions all of you ‘former’ Apple employees are griping about?

Please list in descending order of importance. Points will be deducted for grammatical, spelling and logic errors. Ha!

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RaycerX April 2, 2012 at 2114

Working for someone else does not mean you have to “Bend over and take it.” What a jaded world view you have. I’m guessing too, the welfare of your employees wouldn’t mean shit to you if you were in charge – simply because of the fact that they are workers and not owners.

As for myself, I work for a large multi-national corporation which treats their employees very well. We start with 4 weeks vacation, 11 holidays and have very competitive salaries and benefits. On top of that, my job is fun and interesting (as a video editor). It’s a European-owned company too, which probably explains why they care about the welfare of their employees.

Their are plenty of American companies too that care about their employees. I have no idea if Apple Retail is one of them, but it’s not a pipe dream to expect an employer to think of the welfare of its employees. It actualy hapens in some places.

Too bad so many posters here see the world (and employment) as nothing more than a dog-eat dog, every man for themselves kind of place. It’s much better than that if we choose to make it that way.

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OKNY April 2, 2012 at 1040

Bitch, bitch, bitch. Try working in an advertising agency. The hours for full time employees are from 9am (some places are earlier) to whenever (that’s always beyond 5pm). These employees are paid for a 40 hr week but put in an average of 50-60 hours every week. Oh, and overtime, what’s that?!

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Ad and Apple April 2, 2012 at 1131

Try working both like I do. 70+ hours per week and no overtime.

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Aaron April 2, 2012 at 1043

This is sad. Sounds like Apple is falling into the same arena as the other “Big Box” slave drivers. It’s like that where I’m at as well an it pisses me off because when I first started 20 years ago it was all about family first and quality of life. They still claim that but it’s all a cover up and bullsh*t!! Once a company starts trending this way, employees start resenting the employer and the quailty that is delivered is gets worse and worse. It’s not the fault of the employee. Like myself and the basta*d giant that I work for just want more and more with less and less staff. Hang in there Apple employees, I feel your pain and hope that it doesn’t get as bad as where I’m at…. Can you hear me now!?!?!

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Retail Is A Transition, Not A Career... April 2, 2012 at 1048

Dudes & Dudettes,
The Retail World is not designed to be a long-term career move. When I was younger I worked in several retail environments. I loved the fast pace, the crazy and wonderful customers. I also was well aware I was never going to spend the rest of my days working any day of the week at almost any hour. I had my fun and then I found my true passion and pursued it.

If you work in retail, you WORK in retail. It has its good points and it has its bad points. The number one good point for those not prone to complaining and moaning like little children is you have the opportunity to hone your interpersonal skills. If you use the variety of customers to strengthen you ability to interact with the full spectrum of humanity that skill alone will make you a valuable asset in any other organization you choose.

Apple, nor any other retailer, is not there to make sure you get the life you desire. Apple, along with every other retailer, is attempting to sell as many products as fast as they can to as many interested customers as possible.

When you sign-on with any job you accept the rules and structure presented. I have traveled around the world and, believe me you, you crazy Americans have the best workplace rules of any country. Even in retail you do not work that hard. I see what goes on in most retail environments. The employees, realizing they have not crafted the life they wanted, are in a constant struggle with the owners to do as little as possible.

The level of customer service in Western countries has plummeted in the past 30 years. In most stores, the staff can hardly stand up when a customer enters the store. Forget about even asking them a question about a product. That stale, glazed-over stare appears and they grin like stupid cattle on the way to the slaughter.

If you are not happy in retail, YOU are not happy in retail. Any employer you work for will disappoint you. They will disappoint you not because they have bad rules. They will disappoint you because you are disappointed. Stop bringing your disappointment to my shopping experience. If you do not like working in retail go and do something else.

I used to sling Slurpees and I LOVED it. I then went on to own my own company which takes full advantage of the amazing technologies and I employ exactly zero employees. Why would I want you working for my company? The complaints would never end. It is really is time to buck-up America and realize your life is your life and I do not owe you a job. Add some value and I will open my wallet. Don’t and you will never see me in your establishment again.

I will not be back. Do not bother with your childish rants. Reflect on the wisdom being offered here. If you cannot benefit from my candor, there is a reason you are where you are in life.

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Former Employee April 2, 2012 at 1215

Obviously, you have never shopped in an Apple Retail Store. If you had, you would know that every employee in that store is working 150% to make your experience the best it can be. The store environment and requirements have changed drastically over the last 5 years. Many of the people did not actually sign on for the new requirements and the stress.

Even more importantly, Apple Stores tend to have a lot of creative and technical professionals working full time in the Family Room. Many of the part time employees are professionals who work there because they love the products and the company. They often have full time jobs in the industries Apple serves. Their expertise adds incredible value to the shopping experience there.

These stores have the most passionate employees you will ever encounter. After the stores close and before they open, there are technicians working to repair customer computers and teach customers how to use Apple products. Many employees don’t stop working when they go home. They go home and work on their Apple products and read Apple blogs and try to constantly keep learning.

So please, take your self righteous indignation elsewhere. It is not applicable here.

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RaycerX April 2, 2012 at 1341

I guess the solution is for everyone to start their own business. So, we’ll have 100 million businesses and….zero employees. Somehow, I don’t think that will work too well. That statement shows how out of touch a lot of people are.

Employees have every right to bitch, moan, complain and fight for better wages and a better life/work balance. They do not have to just sit there and take it. It’s amazing to me how many people think that if you don’t like the policies of a company you should just quit – as if that’s realistic – because there’s such an abundance of jobs out there.

Also, retail is not simply a “transitional job.” It’s a career for millions of people. Millions who spent years and years to learn what it is they’re selling to the public. Not every job is about “slinging Slurpees” and most of these positions can’t simply be filled by a high school or college kid. If that was the case then they’d have to work during school hours – or businesses couldn’t open until 3pm. Not gonna happen, of course.

So, keep fighting for your rights, Apple Employees (and anyone else in retail). If enough speak up, change can happen. Retail is never going to be as “free” as many other jobs, but it doesn’t mean you’re there to just take whatever is dished out to you. They have a word for that. It’s called “slavery.”

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Apple Store Shopper April 2, 2012 at 1959

Dear ‘Former Employee’ (quite obvious why the ‘Former’ title)
Apple Store Employees are working 150%? Hmm… I travel the United States and have visited at least 2 dozen Apple Stores. The employees are busy, yes, but what are they doing? They are presenting some of the finest products in the technological revolution of our time to folks who are the easiest sell in the world. Folks come to the Apple Store desiring to open their wallets and purchase product. In case you hadn’t noticed Apple has implemented the ability to purchase products without speaking to a salesperson.

Years ago, I was an Apple computer consultant. My expertise has since been made unnecessary as Apple as consistently improved their products. This is a good thing.

Apple also runs a wildly successful online store. The future is in online shopping. As the current senior generation moves on, the next generation has no fear of shopping online. The arrogance of the retail employees complaining on this site is appalling. You are responsible for your lives, not Apple or any other retailer. If they change the game in mid-stream and you cannot find another job it is because you have no skill other than standing there judging and critiquing the customers.

I run a retail operation. I do not care if my employees are working there because they love the products and/or the company. I care that they deliver a wonderful shopping experience for the guest and they put products in the hands of these guests. Take your trite and unrealistic sentimentalism elsewhere. You are not qualified to judge Apple or any other retail operation. You are not a team-member and this is why your employment was terminated. Rather sad, really.

Listen carefully: all of you in retail who are bitching and moaning that you are working so very, very hard are completely delusional and, essentially, lazy. When I visit an Apple Store I can always spot the disgruntled employee and I make a wide circle around him. It is always the most vocal that steal the thunder but the complaining employee is in the vast minority within Apple. Apple employees by some 97 percent positive vote acknowledged their support for Mr. Cook.

You may spend your life complaining or you might just parlay your retail experience into something that is meaningful for you.

The person who wrote ‘Retail Is A Transition, Not A Career’ is correct. This world does not owe you a job that you enjoy. You are responsible and accountable for the development and expansion of your life, no one else. When you are on your deathbed ask yourself if you made any, any contribution at all to bettering this world. Stop waiting for a handout. Slackers. It is a sorry state when you cannot recognize wisdom and you pervert it into ‘self-righteous indignation’.

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Gee April 3, 2012 at 0818

Your a loser and a hack. You don’t get it and you have no right to criticize anyone here. You sound like an ass and I would not work for your sorry ass. How about getting a job at Apple and then you can be educated in your response, that is if they will even hire you.

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GENIUS April 3, 2012 at 1206

THESE ARE THE SORT OF MANAGERS WORKING FOR APPLE RETAIL.

Ex Employee April 3, 2012 at 1528

97% of Apple employees might think Tim Cook is doing a swell job as CEO but the average job satisfaction rate is more around 40% positive. Some stores are in the low teens into the single digits.

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GENIUS April 5, 2012 at 1518

or even goes into the negative NPP Score

TechMasta April 2, 2012 at 1343

I think the problem is not that the workers are complaining, the issue is that management keeps changing the rules in the middle of the game. Everyone is excited to work for Apple and their training program is tops. People sign up and listen to the HR people who don’t really work for Apple Retail in the same exact circumstances. Working in the retail store is way different than working for corporate.

There is a disconnection between Management, back of house employees and expectations. Unless you have worked for a Apple Retail your comments should fall on deaf ears. Complaining is so part of the American fabric… its what makes our democracy great. If Apple employees don’t stop leaving you will see a customer service problem in the stores.

No other store in America receives as much foot traffic per square inch. No other store has as many foreign shoppers visiting either. Someone always needs assistance and it hot and fast paced game in retail. Your standing for many hours on hard material. I want you to stand at your desk for 8 hours and see what we are talking about.

I would get in for the 6 am shift and my lunch was a 10 am and leave at 3 pm one day, the next would be 9. The schedule was a step down so your days were staggered and it made you constantly tired. You only get one weekend off a month, try having a vacation behind that one. Most Apple employees work through a tremendous amount of pain that affects different areas of your body… this eventually affects your mind. You can’t even call out without finding someone to replace you. Its what breaks most Apple Retail Employees.

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alansky April 2, 2012 at 1228

I know it’s tough when employers make life hard for their employees. But the fact is that only spoiled brats believe that Apple (or any other company) owes it to them to make the job agreeable to their work preferences. If you don’t like the job, quit.

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Former Employee April 2, 2012 at 1301

While I believe that American society would be much better off if we all cared a little more about our work/life balance. I am not saying that I or any current Apple employees expect that (other than the fact that the retail management likes to say that their most important resource is “their people”). I was very offended by the previous commenter’s tone about retail. It is not just a transitional thing for many of those employees. Many of them do it because they care about the company and products. This is part of what has made Apple retail successful. Those who do it because they love the products will quit. It’s the only things keeping many of them there now. They could get better paying, less stressful jobs elsewhere. When the people who truly care quit, the quality of the service will suffer even more than it already has.

To throw in his bit about having his own company, and not wanting any of these people to work for him sent me over the edge. The entire post was incredibly self-righteous.

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Apple Store Shopper April 2, 2012 at 2008

Dear Former Employee (part II)
Your job is, er, was to sell Apple products. The person who wrote that he has his own company was trying to make the point – which you seem unable to integrate – that retail is a transitional world if you want to have a real, comfortable and stable life. You want to work nights and weekends, knock yourself out. I do not and will not work the insane hours of retail. He was also trying to kick you in the seat of your sorry-self pants to wake-up and understand that no one likes a whiner and a complainer.

What is the point of any of your comments? That you disagree with the way that Apple is running their stores? Hmm… Apple runs the most successful retail operation in the history of the world. And this is because they beat their employees like galley ship slaves? I do not think so. You are in the minority.

Even this article is designed to inflame and agitate. The writer of the article did little, if any, research to understand the changes announced. One example “While the increased hours and pay might be welcome for some employees, the new rules could also serve to limit second job possibilities.” Speculation designed to inflame.

What have you accomplished with your life? What qualifies you to complain about your former employer? Are you an unhappy person looking to vent your frustrations? If so, please acknowledge these facts instead of simply lambasting anyone who disagrees with you.

Apple is not the maniacal mean dominant Father who will not let you lead the life you want. You are the insecure, sniveling, cry-baby who needs to learn, grow and mature as a person. Your emotionality reveals your immaturity.

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Carol Wynanz April 2, 2012 at 2024

Yes!!! I love it when someone with some intelligence and real-world wisdom bothers to rebut the children. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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Fred April 2, 2012 at 2041

Let me get this straight ‘Former Employee':

You state: “To throw in his bit about having his own company, and not wanting any of these people to work for him sent me over the edge.”

You were sent over the edge because someone you do not know wrote that they do not want complainers and whiners to be part of their team? I do not want complainers and whiners to be part of my life – forget about my team!

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Former Creative April 2, 2012 at 1337

That’s the problem, we are quitting. In droves. After I quit a few months ago, three more Creatives (and countless others) have followed at my store, and a bunch more in my region with a lot more to follow. We were the ones who have been with Apple Retail for a long time and had the most experience. We taught and supported all the pro apps.

We saw the retail side of the company change from enriching lives to herding as many customers through the processes as possible. It’s working out well for a lot of us, as we set out on our own to do the things we love, with the expertise and knowledge we gained working at an amazing company for a long time.

I commend Apple on it’s growth, and love my increasing AAPL stock, but they way things are going Apple Retail is draining through it’s most knowledgeable people like water through a colander.

It’s absolutely fair to say , and I support the comments, that if you don’t like the job then quit. I, and a many more have.

Many more will be leaving soon. How that will continue to affect your experiences as customers, we’ll have to see. But with the increasing amount of long time customers becoming more dissatisfied, the experience has already changed. (I have seen the NPS scores to back that up.) Luckily for my AAPL stock the growing amounts of new customers don’t have the same expectations, or know how it was when the Apple store was a legendary gathering place.

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Apple Store Shopper April 2, 2012 at 2019

Oh, please. Apple has hundreds of applicants for each store. Quit. We simply interview and hire another. “Apple store was a legendary gathering place.” I don’t want to go to a legendary gathering place. If I want that I get a group of my friends together and we spend a night on the town. I want to go to a store where I can quickly and easily purchase the products I desire and get the heck out of there.

This comment reminds me of the days when computer geeks gathered to bicker over motherboards and computer chips and drink too much cheap coffee and believe they were making some sort of difference in the world.

Apple’s choices are the reasons you are seeing the meteoric rise in your stock price. You cannot have it both ways. If your concerns about Apple Retail are valid (which they are not) you are obviously a hypocrite. You are getting stinkin’ rich on your Apple stock on the backs of your ‘former’ employees which you appear to espouse so much empathy for.

Retail is constantly evolving. As more and more people get technologically proficient there is less and less reason to visit a physical store. Apple has a great online store. Amazon sells every piece-of-crap under the sun. Because the retail employees believes the world owes them a living I avoid most retail environments. I’m with the commenter named ‘instig8r’ (below). I have crafted my life so I have the most valuable asset of all: time. Time to do what I want when and where I want to do it.

Let’s hear it for The Man! The Man rules. The Man Rules so completely it can tolerate the leeches and parasites that feed on its side for some meager droppings!

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instig8r April 2, 2012 at 2038

That said, I do know former Apple employees who tell the same story. Good people who loved what they did and truly loved making customer happy, but were asked to do more and more and more in service to the bottom line; more than they could physically do. On a quasi-related retail note: Did you know that Sears employees are not graded on how well they serve the customers or how much merchandise they sell? They are told that they have to sign up a certain percentage of their customers for CREDIT CARDS (!) or they will be fired. Nothing else counts toward their performance score. That’s retail. If you think that you are going to leave brick-and-morter behind and the answer is Amazon and its ilk, please don’t read the Mother Jones article I linked to below either, or you will never be able to shop anywhere again. You’ve been warned.

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Former Creative April 2, 2012 at 2135

Simply interviewing and hiring is a policy that is quickly draining the pool of talented Apple enthusiasts in exchange for standard retail employees looking for a job. It also costs millions in training and turn-over. Believe me, I’m not getting rich on AAPL stock. It is a good hold over, funding my new business. Apple has never billed itself as a traditional retail company. It has, until recently, promised to be a career for a lot of people. That’s the reason it’s succeeded. Look at other traditional retail companies like Circuit City who folded after firing their knowledgeable staff for low priced retail bodies or BestBuy now closing stores. Or you when Apple balances over seas sales and new stores, (as they have recently done in China) and you can’t make a profit traveling here and buying products to re-sell them in your grey-market store.

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Actual Employee April 3, 2012 at 2337

In my store the Creatives are the biggest whiners. They don’t want to do workshops, the red zone is supposed to do them. they don’t want to do mobile, the FRS do that. they don’t want to bother to read the comments when someone books a training appointment to learn how to use their PC to call them and say that’s not what the program is for.

They refuse to face that things change and they need to change with it. THey want the Red Zone, the FRS team etc to help them have lots of appointments so they look good and get hours but they don’t want to return the favor. Frankly everyone in my store wishes every last one of them would leave and we might have Creatives that understand about being team players.

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Actual Employee April 3, 2012 at 2340

Oh and for the record, I’m still waiting to the email or see the Retail Me alert about this change in policy. Hasn’t happened yet and one would think it would have since the info is out there in the wild.

Nor has any manager mentioned it to me or apparently anyone else since not a person has been gripping about it during breaks. And no one has demanded that I change my availability to fit the new rules.

So aside from the stuff that is old news, frankly I think the rest is a pile of Balmer Poop

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Interviewing for part-time in the burbs April 10, 2012 at 1309

Hello Actual Employee
I just finished my second interview for a part-time specialist and have a couple of questions about scheduling. I’m being told I will “average” about 20 hour/week. I’m a parent and want to work this job around my kids. 20 hours is my max/week . Getting scheduled for 24 or more will be impossible.
Can you “cap” your hours when submitting your schedule of availability? If I indicate I am available for a window of 35 hours during the week- does that mean I could be scheduled for up to that? In other words- the more you are available, the more you will get scheduled?

Are some shifts more popular than others? Are some least popular. In other words, which days/times if I ask for am I likely to get? Is there a priority in who gets scheduled first?

How late do you need to work after the store officially closes for the night. If it closes at 9, are you usually out of there by 10?

thank you.

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instig8r April 2, 2012 at 1324

My daughter works for Sears as a part-timer (and my sister-in-law is a full-time manager in an unrelated department there, too) and the treatment of all their employees sounds very much the same. Add to that this article from the current issue of Mother Jones (http://motherjones.com/politics/2012/02/mac-mcclelland-free-online-shipping-warehouses-labor [how can you not love a writer whose name is “Mac!”]) and if I was looking for a job it would almost make me want to move to China and go to work for FoxConn!

I can understand Mr.-Everyone-Should-Own-Their-Own-Business above, because I do that, too. While acknowledging that working for yourself is not for everyone, I can attest to value of the freedom to work and play when and where I want to. Nothing beats going on field trips with your children when you want to! I can recommend it to everyone, while understanding that it is not everyone’s cup of tea.

And my favorite part: I can afford to buy my own Apple stuff, and don’t have to go work with other peoples’ all day to get my fix.

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Could Not Say It Better April 2, 2012 at 2029

rp July 19, 2011 at 0000
Dress it up any way you want. Apple RETAIL is a RETAIL job. Apple does a fine job trying to convince their employees otherwise and make them feel like they are changing the world by sitting at stools with old people in a suburban mall. Get real.

And just like every other retail job, they will treat you like shit and pay you like shit.

I loved my time at Apple doing what I did and I was always favorably reviewed but I always had the understanding that what I was doing what not that special. Just a cog in the wheel. Apple didn’t give a shit either way about how I felt about anything or about my “career aspirations”. Please. Get that hokey you-betcha bullshit out of here. It’s not that I got upset that they didn’t care but it’s that they pretended to care and pretended to be the most important place to work. They pretended to be the best option for your career. There was a lot of carrot dangling and a lot of manipulation. That was over 3 stores over 5 years. It’s a company culture that harbors some of the most insane nonsense this side of scientology.

Thanks but no thanks. I assumed I was hired and promoted because they respected what I could bring to the table. Then I found out when you finally get to the table, the food sucks and no one cares what you brought. Well, happily, I brought myself elsewhere and started at a wage literally double what Apple paid me to be a brainless worker bee and got promoted faster in six months than Apple ever did over five years.

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RaycerX April 2, 2012 at 2035

I’m still pretty amazed at how out of touch some of the people posting comments are. Suggesting that people working for themselves is “not for everyone is assuming” that this is a choice for most.

For a vast majority of people this is not an option due to financial and family obligations, as well as other obstacles that manage to get in people’s ways. Lovely, that some of you have “crafted” a life that allows you to run a business and yet have all the free time you desire. Sounds like an interesting planet you come from. Most people who run businesses work harder and longer hours than the employees themselves. They reap the monetary benefits, but often the work/life balance ain’t all that great.

Also, I’m hoping that most employers don’t think of their employees as leeches, like it’s been suggested above. These “leeches” are what allow a business owner to make money and continue running their business. These “leeches” also have every right to complain if they feel something is not right. It’s amazing to me how many people seem to think that an employee (of any company) should just shut up and take it. If this were 100 years ago some of you cold-hearted people would surely be the robber baron wannabies of your time.

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Shmaltzy April 2, 2012 at 2047

Of course, all of you understand that this site must keep generating hits or it goes out of business. I wonder what the working conditions are at this rag? Are all of its employees just tickled pink to do the mundane and repetitive tasks of running a website? Are they all being treated with love and kindness and an abundance of benefits and wealth? I don’t think so.

These articles are simply desperate attempts to get more hits. Accuracy, fairness and rational reporting are not necessary.

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Izlib April 3, 2012 at 0754

Are you even talking about the same thing everyone else is talking about? Do you even know what you’re talking about?

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Gen X. April 3, 2012 at 0038

When will the millennial generation stop their incessant whining? Will they ever realize that the rest of the world has to actually work to make a living, and that they don’t get to be a CEO at 25 years old just because they’ve taken some classes and read a few books? Here’s a crazy thought: if you work for Apple in the stores, and you’re not happy, go do something else. Also, Cory Moll is a complete and utter opportunist.

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Unnamed Employee in Germany April 3, 2012 at 1104

Es ist in München eher so, dass bisher Teilzeitkräfte und Vollzeitkräfte fast immer am Samstag arbeiten mussten. Teilweise 10 Wochen am Stück. Seit der Betriebsrats Gründung kann jeder Mitarbeiter einen Antrag einreichen, dass er mindestens an einem Samstag im Montag frei hat. Die Arbeitslast rührt auch zum großen Teil daher, dass im Münchner Store eine sehr extreme Fluktuation herrscht von ca 1,4 Jahren. Viele neue Mitarbeiter ohne Erfahrung mit den System verursachen einen langsamen Service. Diese Fluktuation rührt von der stressigen, unterbezahlten Arbeit und von den Planungsproblemen der Einsatzzeiten her. 30 h Teilzeitler sollen nach deren Willen 5-6 Tage arbeiten, nur zu den Spitzenzeiten.

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M.Z. April 3, 2012 at 1430

Hallo!

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Gary April 3, 2012 at 2109

I understand…essentially the problem exists in Germany, too.

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GENIUS April 3, 2012 at 1218

To all people who are saying, let be or live with it, go back to ur past and and be slaves again.
When everyone who tried to change the future for others to be better had given up,
then most of u guys in the states would be slaves and nothing more.

We are complaining about high pressure and low wages with our beloved company and that these should be changed to the better, especially for a company which is the most admired Company of the world.

We are not talking about getting the job or that u are unemployeed(there is a reason for that, too) or running ur own company. We are talking about changing the work condition to the better for people who work extremely hard for their money and it isn’t a lot, what they earn from the Job.

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Gen X. April 3, 2012 at 2007

Slaves. Really? Yeah, that’s a totally reasonable comparison.

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Another Fmr Genius April 3, 2012 at 1820

Apple has built themselves up enough that there are plenty of workers waiting to replace the “old timers.” I can see Retail’s management screwing themselves over, though. If they don’t have enough trainers/mentors to get all the new hires up to speed (that inevitably will be needed to fill those vacancies) the level of customer service will decline and Retail’s reputation will suffer.

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GENIUS April 9, 2012 at 1037

It doesn’t matters to them. Advancing or doing the job better isn’t the goal for Apple Retail. It’s pure pea-counting with the managers on Store-Level.

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Employee Infinity April 3, 2012 at 2122

I’ve worked for Apple for 6 years now and can definetly agree things have changed. But the real problem here is not Apple. It’s the employees that are resistant to change, new policies and new practices. I guarantee you Old Navy will pay you less to fold clothes for 9 hours a day. Ho enjoy that. Sounds thrilling. If you aren’t working at Apple for the interactions, to make the customer experience flawless and to be the puppet you signed up to be, get out. As for me, I’ll keep drinking the Apple juice, milking the benefits, enjoy working for the most profitable company in the world, reap in free money from AAPL growth, await better discounts and freebies, take advantage of awesome free training, have Apple pay for my school classes, have my AT&T bill be only $20/month for unlimited everything, have Apple pay for my monthly commuter transportation and oh ya, make some awesome freaking friends.

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Gen X. April 3, 2012 at 2336

Amen.

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papasmurf April 25, 2012 at 1358

Totally agree.

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Employee Infinity April 3, 2012 at 2122

I’ve worked for Apple for 6 years now and can definetly agree things have changed. But the real problem here is not Apple. It’s the employees that are resistant to change, new policies and new practices. I guarantee you Old Navy will pay you less to fold clothes for 9 hours a day. Ho enjoy that. Sounds thrilling. If you aren’t working at Apple for the interactions, to make the customer experience flawless and to be the puppet you signed up to be, get out. As for me, I’ll keep drinking the Apple juice, milking the benefits, enjoy working for the most profitable company in the world, reap in free money from AAPL growth, await better discounts and freebies, take advantage of awesome free training, have Apple pay for my school classes, have my AT&T bill be only $20/month for unlimited everything, have Apple pay for my monthly commuter transportation and oh ya, make some awesome freaking friends.

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Anon April 4, 2012 at 1508

The new scheduling system is totally automated by need. So if you are scheduled for a 10-7 shift, your break could easily come at 10:15 or 12:40. It’s completely dependent on needs. Sounds good right? If you don’t take your break at the scheduled time because you are caught up with someone who made one appointment for ten issues, you lose it. There is no way to get it back because the system is 110% dependent on coverage so if you aren’t at your post, the entire queue gets behind. Apple should starting charging for the Genius Bar appointments. Maybe that way customers would value the information given and the importance of basic adult responsibilities like being on-time to an appointment and booking accordingly.

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Actual Employee April 4, 2012 at 1959

“If you don’t take your break at the scheduled time because you are caught up with someone who made one appointment for ten issues, you lose it.”

The appointments are 10 minutes for mobile and 15 for computers. If someone comes in with a handful of devices or a ton of questions it is your job to reset their expectations about how much time they get. If you don’t do that, as part of your job, and you miss your break it is your fault. So yeah, perhaps you should lose it. After all, you are the one that made the decision to go past the allotted time and work through your break.

And charging for appointments is a horrible idea because then folks will whine that they paid so they should get what they want.

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instig8r April 4, 2012 at 2009

“And charging for appointments is a horrible idea because then folks will whine that they paid so they should get what they want.”

I you charge them even a dollar, they OWN you (or at least treat you like they do). So, then you have to charge them enough to make it worth it. On the bright side: that would be a really fast way to cut down on all the riff-raff filling up Apple stores getting in the way of all us True Believers!

::-)

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Anon April 5, 2012 at 1205

Time to unionize

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Former Apple Employee April 6, 2012 at 0620

If you never worked at Apple don’t comment on thing like this.

The problem which only one person hit on the head already is that my store used to be stocked with professionals who worked in audio, video, and graphic design who loved the products and teaching them to newcomers. Apple’s policies make it impossible for people like this to continue working there as second jobs. They also in the past have sold themselves not as a retail store but a career path to corporate if you quit your job and give them 100% of yourself. After they have you that career path vanishes. This is why you have alot of talented people angry about the retail conditions you expect them to accept.

Your going to have a store soon staffed with the bottom of the barrel and everyone here saying stop crying just quit are going to be crying the loudest when there is a problem with your iPhone and the “genius” helping you is a community college dropout.

Another scenario I have see is a person working 2 part time jobs to get by. They would gladly work full time for Apple, but Apple would rather hire 3 more part timers… Apple’s new policy isn’t just that part timers must have 3 open days, it’s that they must have 3 open WEEKEND days. Well that makes it impossible to satisfy your second employer who is willing to compromise but needs you to work some weekend shifts too. Even volunteering to work closing shifts EVERY weekend day after your other job isn’t good enough for Apple because they demand full 8 hour availability. Apple’s stance is quit your other job to satisfy us part time or quit Apple. But you can’t pay your rent on just a part time Apple job unless your a 20 year old community college dropout living with mom.

Yes all the complainers from generation entitlement can walk, but the other option is corporations with more money than they can spend like Apple could have a touch of consideration for family values and quality of life like our whole country did with past generations.

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Anon Creative April 6, 2012 at 1643

‘Former Apple Employee’ has it entirely right. Bean-counters, who only see that they need more staffing on weekends, ignore the media professionals currently working full or part time as trainers. By demanding 85 hours per week availability (do the math) – literally half your life – they prevent employees from being able to commit to doing anything else, including evenings or weekends with the family, shooting weddings, playing music, etc. THIS WILL BACKFIRE and the only people left to do the training are ones without any special skills. The managers blithely stating how good this will be already have given up their lives to Apple, so they don’t see it as a big deal – except they’re being paid a professional, living wage!

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Casper April 7, 2012 at 2146

I checked with some of my friends who work at the local Apple store — no such change has been given to them. They said they have part timers who work as little as 15 hr/week and some them are over 30 hours/week. Also they said part timers have to have a minimum of 15 hrs availability and at least 2 days/nights during the week and one weekend day.

Also asked about their breaks — if they missed their scheduled break their managers make sure they get their 15 or their lunch break if they missed the start time of one.

So maybe it more of a thing with managers of stores — my friends seem to like theirs and feel respected by them.

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Anon Creative April 9, 2012 at 0948

If you read the article, it said clearly that the changes (which may be regional or only in ‘right to work’ states) don’t go into effect until April 15.

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casper April 10, 2012 at 2021

Sorry I should have been clearer — my friends are scheduled almost until May and no changes have been asked of them to add more hours.

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Another Former Apple Employee April 11, 2012 at 0915

I am also an ex-Apple retail employee.
Here is my breakdown:
I got hired 3 years ago by Apple to work as a Family Room Specialist after graduating college. My initial offer was $10.50 an hour, I almost started laughing when I received my offer, I eventually negotiated that up to $12.80 an hour and accepted a full-time position. To put that in perspective, while in college, I worked at Best Buy (in the same city) and after 3 years with Best Buy I was making $18.74 and hour. Why didn’t I stay at Best Buy? I wanted advancement opportunities that wouldn’t lead to Minnesota (fun to visit, but I am a warm weather person) and I could see the Best Buy “empire” starting to crumble.
I knew Apple was a quickly growing company and decided to start at retail and see if I could work my way into corporate. Remember at this point in time, thousands of people were getting laid-off and our economy wasn’t as good as it is today.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Apple, the hiring process was fun, and I met some great people along the way. There are few experiences like an Apple store during a new product launch, it really makes Apple, well Apple.

After 1 year I got a raise, initially I was offered a 2% raise, I objected and used their own metrics, customer comments and feedback from managers and my lead and negotiated that up to 3.8% raise ($13.29/hour).
Where I live, $13.29 and hour at 40 hours a week is enough to pay for a decent apartment, bills and allows one to maintain a small social life. My problem was that I have student loans to pay, and $370 a week (after taxes and benefit deductions) is not enough to cover everything. I cannot imagine what some of the other employees who are specialist and were only making $10 an hour were getting by. I went to our store and regional management and even pulled Ron Johnson aside and chatted with him one day when he made a surprise visit to my store. I stressed how demoralizing it is to employees when Apple is releasing record breaking profits and holding billions of dollars and we are sitting here making less than the Barista next door at Starbucks (no offense to Starbucks), we have to sit next to a dumpster for breaks because there are no break areas and we don’t have a large enough refrigerator to hold the lunches people bring. Management including Ron listened and never tried to dismiss the argument, but simply said they were working on it and to keep up the good work.

We did see some change, a store around the corner from the Apple store went under and Apple converted part of it into a nice sized break room, and we got a second refrigerator.

Our managers did a very good job at making sure we got our breaks and we left on time. I almost always had an hour of two of overtime (by my choice). I made some great friends there, and I learned a lot about corporate politics, structure and navigation. For me it came down to paying the bills, right before my 2 year mark with Apple, I had several other companies approach me with job offers at almost double what Apple was paying. I loved Apple, and I would have rather stayed with them at a lower wage than I was offered elsewhere, but at the end of the day, it takes money to pay the bills. I attempted to negotiate with Apple seeing if they would offer more to keep me on board. My reason behind this was (at this point I was a Genius and making $14 an hour) other employees (Geniuses) who had transferred from different markets were making almost $20 an hour. I made it a point that I knew they have been with the company longer but I was not asking for $20 an hour, I was asking for a bump to $17 an hour.

It was with regret that I chose to leave Apple, ironically, my last day with Apple was also Steve Job’s last day with Apple. Working for Apple, even in the limited capacity I did, opened many doors for me when I left. Something I hope others at Apple who are wondering how long they can hold on, will realize.

Many are quick to jump on the ‘Apple is evil bandwagon’, but from a former insider, they really do care about their employees. I just wish they would compensate them accordingly. Retail employees are the face of the largest company in the nation, a primer of the American Dream, a dream that of late has been tarnished and bankrupt. If Apple could give each of it’s retail employees a $2 an hour raise, it would be only roughly less than 1 percent a year of what remains of what is left over after dividends are paid out the $100 billion in the bank. A less than 1 percent that would make worlds of difference of those who are representing their brand.

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Apple World April 11, 2012 at 1440

Well written and as a creative I was making a bit over 18 an hour but felt that at times I should of been making more since I had almost 9 years with retail and at time I feel they well how to be PC about this screw me out of a few bucks an hour. It really would of made a difference. A few of the new creatives were making 12.50 and hour??? Gee that’s not good at all for a grad…

One thing I will say I have a ton of stock so that helps. About 250K , but I did 10% plus 6% in 401k so not much left over after taxes. Not many of the people I worked with bought stock and back then it was under 25 a share at least…

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RetailLove April 13, 2012 at 2033

….go work for BBY for a month. You’ll realize how good you have it.

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Kaylene September 18, 2012 at 2118

Thanks for finally talking about >New Scheduling Rules To Squeeze Employees <Liked it!

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Ex-Creative October 16, 2012 at 1605

It truly is a torturous environment to endure. If one must insist on purchasing an Apple product, why in the world would you not do so from the comfort of your residence? Furthermore, attempting to educate inept baby boomers within the confines of a metal box is near impossible. Distractions galore. One of the only enjoyable aspects of the job was seeing people walk face first into the glass store front, which happened quite often. Pathetic. Lastly, there is a reason the Apple I retailed at $666.

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Elizabeth March 27, 2013 at 2133

I am a part-time BestBuy employee, the new requirements are very stressful to me as an employee and a full time student. In addition, I get no consideration for being one of the top performers in my district. If I can’t meet the requirements I will get fired. I think this is bogus. If BestBuy wants to help it’s employees and therefor customers the better solution would be to hire more employees as it is we are already stretched to the max.

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Apple Employee April 19, 2013 at 1402

This has already been the case. Started in 2011.

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AppleEmployee February 13, 2014 at 1907

I’m an apple retail employee. I know this article was written in 2012, but I think it’s important to revisit it. I’ve been with the company 5 years now. I’m a working student putting myself through school and now graduate school. When I was originally hired, things were quite flexible and management was very understanding. Yes we get busier every year, and I can definitely testify to this fact. I’ve seen the weekend availability change to include Friday and now Monday as well. This is ridiculous. Monday as part of the weekend? How is this fair? They claim that it creates a fair scheduling environment, but it sounds like they’re simply trying push out students, people who are trying to support themselves and make something of themselves. When you approach managers about the changes, they claim that it has always been like this, which is a complete lie. This manager came from Abercrombie btw who hasn’t even been with the company more than 3 years. So the requirements now involve being fully available 3 of those weekend days (so any combination of Friday to Monday) and must also be available an additional day during the week, which can be restricted or not fully open. To top that off, you need to meet a minimum of 29 hours of availability for open business hours. So if you’re available from 5pm to 11pm, for example, that only counts as 4 hours of availability during open business hours (assuming the store closes at 9pm). As much as they tell me that they aren’t trying to push students out of Apple, it sure looks like it. How is a working student supposed to support themselves and attend school? With these requirements, students will have to take the 5-7 year track to finish. Is Apple going to pay for that extra time spent in school because they want me to only take one 3 unit class a semester because they want me to work more or be available more? It doesn’t make sense. They seem to do what they can to make the customer experience a grand one, however it seems as if that they are not applying that to their team members. “At Apple, our most important resource, our soul, is our people” is the first sentence of the credo that all new hires are introduced to during our “indoctrination.” They obviously don’t adhere to this or couldn’t care less about it at least. Anyways, I’ve said enough. Many of us are frustrated. It’s not just me. Quitting is not an option for obvious reasons.

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