“A Mercedes per square foot. Probably the highest grossing retail store in history.” - Bloomberg, 2010
The unbelievably profitable Apple store is the closest any of you have come to getting inside the MCP from Tron. Or at least, what the MCP would look like if it was three stores down from Wetzels Pretzels and Mrs. Fields.
It's like Willy Wonka made a factory for grownups: Everything is shiny and sleek, helpful people magically appear out of thin air, and "Geniuses" solve even the most complicated glitches. Perhaps most amazingly, in a store in which computers and tablets run twice as much as those of the competitors, everything still feels like a bargain. Steve Jobs's vision is fully realized, a place of wonder in which customer worship at the temple of consumer capitalism.
But what happens behind-the-scenes at the Apple store? Does it pose the usual chaos of working in retail? Or is it the equivalent of retail utopia? What does an apple genius do? These tales from apple store employees - culled from Reddit - give a backstage look at Jobs's Store of Dreams.
Slight spoiler alert: Even when Apple employees share stories anonymously on Reddit, they still have overwhelmingly positive things to say about the house of Mac. (Writer's Note: A special thanks to non Reddit humans "Lanny P" and "Drake" for their own tales from the front lines).
Customers Expect Miracles
Some customers assume every problem created by man can be solved by man. From draggingalake:
"I've seen an iPhone that was pretty much pure dust in a ziplock bag. I forgot what happened to it. I've seen an iPhone melted to a log... like from a campfire... they dropped it in the fire and it melted to the log and they brought in the entire log."
Wonder if that phone belonged to the Twin Peaks Log Lady?
Customers Are Almost Too Honest
From Bhaijjan. "I had a customer come in and openly told me that he took a shit on his phone."
Employees Deserve Hazard Pay And Antibiotics
"We had a couple insect infected machines. I'm not a bug person and bug infestation can be declined... so once I saw bugs inside (the) computer, I closed it up and declined repair. Time to buy a new machine buddy.
I've had smoke/tar damage so bad that I've declined repairs. You can usually tell that might be the case before you check in the machine.
White MacBooks + college guys + a dirty keyboard. You can only imagine what's inside. I wish I was making this up."
Customers Can Become DMV Level Nasty
At times, customer behavior enters the pitch-black darkness usually reserved for the DMV and Verizon stores. From AppleThrowaway030917:
"Working retail is like being on another world sometimes!
Once a customer loudly berated a disabled staff member. As the staff member was walking off to get something for the customer, the customer loudly says 'are they ignoring me or just retarded?' I overheard this and quickly corrected the customer, to which the customer decided they were not happy having a 'retard' serve them. We refused them service and promptly showed them the exit."
Lesson learned: Be Nice!