If you talk to the press or speculate to a customer about the next iPad, that's the end of you, said an Apple retail store employee, in an interview with Popular Mechanics.
Apple Retail Store's caption says Come to shop. Return to learn. But the learning is limited to existing products as too much quizzing about future product enhancements and launches result in silence. The employee who finally dared to talk to the press said, We are completely in the dark until they do a keynote speech. We have no idea what is coming and are not allowed to openly speculate. You can get into serious trouble if you speculate-especially to a customer. I am asked five times per day about the next iPad or iPhone, and I quite simply don't know.
While the genius of Apple CEO Steve Jobs remains unrivalled, it seems the aspiration to emulate the leader runs deep in the company's staff. The employee in the interview says: Normally I'm pretty low-key, but when I'm at the store, it's all sell, sell, sell! I wanna work my way up, get promoted and eventually get to the Genius Bar-which is where you want to be. Who doesn't want to be a genius?
The standard answer given when asked for unlocked iPhones is -- We usually have to tell them that if they unlock their iPhone, it won't work. That it's going to be like a $700 paperweight, and that the antenna will fry itself on T-Mobile. Of course, that's not true, but that's what we tell them.
The worst part of the job the employee says is when we have to work the Phone Room, which is where calls to the store are answered. The other day, I felt like I was working a suicide hot line. People sometimes call us up and treat us like we're their therapists.
The interview also revealed how Apple is trying to push its MobileMe, its cloud storage service to customers which the employee said, we're also supposed to push MobileMe, and that's really hard to sell. Nobody ever sells it.
Some pitfalls of working for a walled-garden company: Sometimes the company can feel like a cult. Like, they give us all this little paper pamphlet, and it says things like-and I'm paraphrasing here: 'Apple is our soul, our people are our soul.' Or 'We aim to provide technological greatness'.
Apple currently has more than 300 stores worldwide. Its stores are known for their minimalistic design with white walls and wooden flooring. The stores have Genius Bars where Apple devices are fixed and technical issues are tackled by well-informed staff and constantly free workshops are held at larger stores.