Apple Store Employees Aren't Allowed to Say 'Unfortunately'
By Adrian Chen
Ah, Apple stores, gleaming temples of consumption. So bright and airy, filled with friendly, clean-cut geeks. A little too friendly, if you ask us. What's the secret? A ban on negativity.
The Wall Street Journalspoke to a bunch of former employees and Apple Geniuses for an opus on Apple Stores. And they painted a picture that is about as cult-y as you would expect:
Former Geniuses say they were told to say "as it turns out" rather than "unfortunately" to sound less negative when they are unable to solve a tech problem.
Bet that really soothes the guy whose iPhone has exploded next to his ear. "As it turns out, you have a shard of glass embedded in your ear drum."
Apple store employees also have the acronym APPLE seared into their brains during their week-long training: "Approach customers with a personalized warm welcome," "Probe politely to understand all the customer's needs," "Present a solution for the customer to take home today," "Listen for and resolve any issues or concerns," and "End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return."
However, it seems that the Wall Street Journal glosses over the more colorful aspects of Apple Stores offered up by other employees. For example, they are apparently swarming with drug dealers. And when Apple's highly-tuned salesbots malfunction, they really go haywire: Take that alleged racist freakout at the Manhattan Apple store.
The only dirt the Journal could dig out of former employees was that they are forced to be artificially nice to customers? If Apple stores really were pure retail heaven, some Apple store employees wouldn't be trying to form a union, would they? If any former or current Geniuses have anything to add to this rosy picture, email me.