Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

Are Apple Stores a Terrible Place to Work?

apple-store-walkoutApple fanboys jumped all over this morning’s reports of a planned Apple Store employee walkout in Lynnwood, Washington. We tracked down a former employee of the Lynnwood store, Glen Bowers, who confirms that the management staff was less than friendly during his tenure there. "We were convinced we were making a difference and helping Apple, and the [management] took advantage of that," he says. "We were constantly threatened with being fired, and we were warned that once fired from Apple, we can never work for Apple again. New people who were hired knew nothing about Macs or any Apple products and were paid more than us. It killed us, but there was nothing we could do."

Store employees put in complaints to Apple HR for more than a year before any action was taken, according to Bowers. "I certainly applaud their willingness to stand up," he says. "I only wish I had thought of a walkout when I was there."

According to ifoAppleStore’s original post, disgruntled specialists, technicians, and geniuses, unhappy with management’s "abusive" behavior, are planning a walkout for 1pm next Saturday, Oct. 3. "Insiders" tell ifoAppleStore that complaints to Apple’s HR team have been under investigation, and that even after a talk with senior vice president of retail Ron Johnson, nothing has been accomplished.

Is this standard-issue griping from former employees, or is there trouble lurking beneath the bright and beautiful sheen of the Apple Store? Apple’s media relations didn't return our calls and emails. When we tried the store itself, the employee who answered said: "This is the first time I’ve heard of this."

The comment sections of today's blog posts lit up with tales of managerial bullying and holier-than-thou attitudes from people claiming to be former Apple Store employees and rejected applicants. Some commenters cheered on the employees’ efforts while others blamed Microsoft’s PR team for a conspiracy (especially considering recent reports of Microsoft allegedly poaching Apple Store employees for their own locations).

So what’s it like to work at an Apple store? Any Seattle-based readers or Apple Store employees in the know can email us at

[via ifoAppleStore]