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Employees offer mixed reactions to Apple corporate life

post #1 of 23
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Employees from Apple Computer, Inc. offered mixed reactions to their experiences working for the company, a recent survey by New York-based research firm Vault revealed.

The survey, which polled employees on corporate culture, compensation, the recruiting/hiring process, and business outlook, aims to give investors and jobseekers insight into the company's business operations.

For the most part, employees were upbeat on Apple's workplace experience, citing corporate diversity and shared passion for the company's products as some of the pluses.

"It was like working for something very special - the spirit was in everyone of us - the jobs differed from one day to the next and this made and makes it still exciting," said one employee who works for the company in Munich, Germany. Another employee, based in Sacremento, said, "A totally awesome team of people working in the Sacramento complex. Everyone is respectful, intelligent, and good at executing. Diversity and dress code are the best parts of the company culture, as well as the emotional energy around the product that drives everyone."

And while most employees enjoyed the leisurely dress code and excitement associated with the company, they cited a lack of compensation and difficulties climbing the corporate ladder.

"I never dressed nicer than sweat pants. I often came in whatever I slept in the night before and walked around the office barefoot. Nobody cared." said a customer solutions specialist who works for Apple in Austin, TX. But the opportunities for advancement were not that great, the employee said. "There were a lot of communications problems. Micro management to the extreme. I had six different supervisors that did not communicate together and gave me six different answers."

Another employee remarked on the lack of consumer focus in the workplace.

"There is a definite lack of emphasis on customers," said the employee, who holds a senior management position. The employee wrote that there is "a significant fear factor perpetuated of the CEO" by "empire building dinosaurs who operate in antiquated modes and only promote their favorites." The same employee said it's a company policy "not to take notes in meetings," which can make it "quite daunting" to try to operate under such "impossible circumstances."

Meanwhile, a product manager stationed at Apple's home-base in Cupertino sums up Apple as the average conservative company, which works its employees "to the bone" without enough compensation. "When I started it felt like Apple knew my name and what I did," the employee wrote, "but now am nothing more than employee XXX."

These sentiments were echoed by several employees responding to questions on salary and incentives. While those employees higher up in Apple's corporate hierarchy seemed pleased or content with their pay, a significant number of other employees complained about a lack of bonuses, raises, and stock options. Said one Apple product manager, "$59k a year with a 60 hour work week minimum. No bonuses. No stock options. No cell phone expense. Not what I would consider industry standard."

Almost all the employees who responded to questions about Apple's hiring process said their interviews were relaxed and short, ranging from 20 minutes to two hours. "The interview questions were basic, as my working knowledge of contract terms and clauses. I was surprised more technical, software related questions were not posed," said one employee now working in Cupertino.

Overall, most employees are bullish on Apple's corporate outlook and feel the company will survive if it continues to innovate in industrial design and develop unique products like the AirPort and iPod.

Said one employee, "Apple has its challenges for market share, and will never compete directly with Dell or HP. Instead, the focus is on creativity and the Digital Hub. Products such as the iPod are keeping us profitable during the economic downturn. If Apple continues to develop innovative and quality products like the iPod, then the long term picture should be secure."

A complete collection of the survey results from Apple employees is available at Vault's Web site.
post #2 of 23
Get ready boys, another lawsuit is coming.

'Offering dress code secrets to the public, thus endangering our Mr. X status'.
'L'enfer, c'est les autres' - JPS
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'L'enfer, c'est les autres' - JPS
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post #3 of 23
Quote:
"I never dressed nicer than sweat pants. I often came in whatever I slept in the night before and walked around the office barefoot.

and this guy expects advancement?
meh
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meh
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post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by MrShow
and this guy expects advancement?

My thoughts exactly. Look like a slob, most likely you will be treated like a slob.
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by schmidm77
My thoughts exactly. Look like a slob, most likely you will be treated like a slob.

I think we're all with the same thought here.

Quote:
"I never dressed nicer than sweat pants. I often came in whatever I slept in the night before and walked around the office barefoot. Nobody cared." said a customer solutions specialist who works for Apple in Austin, TX. But the opportunities for advancement were not that great, the employee said.

Freakin' idiot. Put the pot down and let your brain breathe!
post #6 of 23
so much for meritocracy. Honestly guys, if the whole attitude at Apple is supposed to be "cool" then thats the way it should be: from the janitor the CEO. If its not, then stop being hypocrite and say so in the guidelines.

Reading this article I suddenly feel Apple is just a larger version of the company from "Office Space". That type of working environment freaks me out.
I'm having deja-vu and amnesia at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before.
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I'm having deja-vu and amnesia at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before.
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post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by MrShow
and this guy expects advancement?

The point is that he is contrasting Apple as it used to be with what it has become.

You think that one should be a suit to gain advancement - fine. All he is saying is that Apple didn't used to think like that.

Now they do.

Things have changed. That's bad luck for him, bad luck for those of us who can remember the early days and ultimately, bad for the marketplace.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #8 of 23
Quote:
"There were a lot of communications problems. Micro management to the extreme. I had six different supervisors that did not communicate together and gave me six different answers."

Another employee remarked on the lack of consumer focus in the workplace.

"There is a definite lack of emphasis on customers," said the employee, who holds a senior management position. The employee wrote that there is "a significant fear factor perpetuated of the CEO" by "empire building dinosaurs who operate in antiquated modes and only promote their favorites." The same employee said it's a company policy "not to take notes in meetings," which can make it "quite daunting" to try to operate under such "impossible circumstances."

Three bad aspects (micro-management; lack of consumer focus; and out-of date practices) that certainly won't help morale or productivity.

How many times have we all noticed in particular the lack of consumer focus from Apple? - naughty boys!
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Almost all the employees who responded to questions about Apple's hiring process said their interviews were relaxed and short, ranging from 20 minutes to two hours. "The interview questions were basic, as my working knowledge of contract terms and clauses. I was surprised more technical, software related questions were not posed," said one employee now working in Cupertino.

I think that this is a real positive factor for apple. Too many interviews now are exhaustively technical. Google, Cisco and the like have day-long interviews where they ask you physics and O-O ideology questions - I don't think that they are selecting for the right characteristics if they want a good workforce.
45 2a3 300b 211 845 833
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45 2a3 300b 211 845 833
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post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
I think that this is a real positive factor for apple. Too many interviews now are exhaustively technical. Google, Cisco and the like have day-long interviews where they ask you physics and O-O ideology questions - I don't think that they are selecting for the right characteristics if they want a good workforce.

As someone looking for employment in financial IT but is currently employed, I can sympathize. Worse than a technically-intense interview is one conducted over the phone. Worse than that is a phone interview where the interviewee is on a mobile phone.

Several companies pride themselves on their technical and/or psychological screening processes be it through Kiara, BrainBench or whatever. In both cases, some screening processes have been scrutinized, including Kiara. Aside from that, what is to say someone who aces the BrainBench will end up being a reliable employee or a good communicator? I've worked with people who are geniouses with code, but they no appreciation for design or maintenance and are difficult to communicat with. When they leave, they leave behind code that, while written quickly and efficiently, needs to be fixed or changed to actually meet the original requirements.

One employer here in Chicago loves to use BrainBench, but I think it's the only way they feel they can add some level of "quality" to the quantity of people they interview. This company literally runs a full court press on the IT job market. Every other recruiter wants to fill a position at this firm.

When I flub on the technical portion of my interview, I always fall back to my personal "mission statement" that I try to seel to companies. In the end, employers want to see some level of passion and broad intellect rather than someone with strong textbook knowledge of code -- which only a fresh graduate will have.

(Oh, I'm off on a tangent...)

It sucks that Apple has fallen into the same pit as many other companies in this country, but a lack of consumer focus doesn't matter any more. Our consumerist society allows the producer to dictate the needs of the consumer.
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by Squirrel_Monkey
It sucks that Apple has fallen into the same pit as many other companies in this country, but a lack of consumer focus doesn't matter any more. Our consumerist society allows the producer to dictate the needs of the consumer.

Or at least until the next Logic Board fiasco rears its ugly head over the pervasive, methododical manner in which the company denies its existence, which is flat immoral.

As for corporate cultures, the only way to be truly happy in a large company is starting your own and eventually making enough $ to leave the Mother Ship, OR, being a Director or higher so that the pay is finally worthwhile.
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by segovius
The point is that he is contrasting Apple as it used to be with what it has become.

You think that one should be a suit to gain advancement - fine. All he is saying is that Apple didn't used to think like that.

Now they do.

Things have changed. That's bad luck for him, bad luck for those of us who can remember the early days and ultimately, bad for the marketplace.

Because Apple isn't rewarding slobs means they've changed?

There is a huge divide between wearing dirty sweat pants to wearing a suit.

But maybe you think taking a bath and wearing clean clothes is asking too much.
meh
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meh
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post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider


And while most employees enjoyed the leisurely dress code and excitement associated with the company, they cited a lack of compensation and difficulties climbing the corporate ladder.

"I never dressed nicer than sweat pants. I often came in whatever I slept in the night before and walked around the office barefoot. Nobody cared." said a customer solutions specialist who works for Apple in Austin, TX. But the opportunities for advancement were not that great, the employee said. "There were a lot of communications problems. Micro management to the extreme. I had six different supervisors that did not communicate together and gave me six different answers."

Everyone knows how critical i can be of Apple (see my other posts) but this guy has to be an idiot. When apple said (or any company for that matter) the dress code is casual, they don't mean come in your pajamas (or whatever u used for pj's the night before). I wonder, did he even take a bath? Walked around the office barefoot.. hope his feet didn't smell. This guy is funny to the bone!!!.. i can't believe he expected advancement.
post #14 of 23
Remember Apple Easter Eggs? Those reflected a high employee moralle, and a creative company.
Maybe Steve Jobs is just getting old, or maybe they somehow think this will be better for the company, but I believe employees do better when the product is treated as theirs, rather than the company's.
I say: more easter eggs in Tiger. There's still time! Give each developer 2k of space to do with as they like. Groups can pool their bits and put some creative surprises in there...
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by MrShow
Because Apple isn't rewarding slobs means they've changed?

There is a huge divide between wearing dirty sweat pants to wearing a suit.

yes, FTLOG, no matter how casual the work envionment is, if you work in an office, dress nice and stand out over your peers, dont let your 3-day-old sweats do the standing out for you.

This takes me back to my high school days - 12 months ago - lots of students (guys and girls) were wearing pajamas to school, I nearly got slapped when I asked if they had to choose between getting dressed and eating breakfast...

one thing that I have learned, if you look nice and well kempt, and carry yourself well, you will have no trouble advanceing (assuming that you know and like what you do).
You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
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You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
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post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by ZO
so much for meritocracy. Honestly guys, if the whole attitude at Apple is supposed to be "cool" then thats the way it should be: from the janitor the CEO. If its not, then stop being hypocrite and say so in the guidelines.

Reading this article I suddenly feel Apple is just a larger version of the company from "Office Space". That type of working environment freaks me out.

"Did you get the memo about the TPS reports? mmkay, Grreeat." I love that movie.
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by MrShow
Because Apple isn't rewarding slobs means they've changed?

There is a huge divide between wearing dirty sweat pants to wearing a suit.

But maybe you think taking a bath and wearing clean clothes is asking too much.

Might I just say, welcome to AI, MrShow. Cock-rings! Cock-rings! Cock-rings!
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by a_greer
yes, FTLOG, no matter how casual the work envionment is, if you work in an office, dress nice and stand out over your peers, dont let your 3-day-old sweats do the standing out for you.


one thing that I have learned, if you look nice and well kempt, and carry yourself well, you will have no trouble advanceing (assuming that you know and like what you do).

I agree its the simple things that make the difference, and no matter how casual what that guy did means how much effort he puts into his work. I agree its not tough to advance if you carry yourself well and produce.

ALthough 59K for 60hours as a project manager living in california where homes cost 600K+ is stupid, why would you stay working for peanuts unless you suck and cannot cut it elsewhere.
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by ZO
so much for meritocracy. Honestly guys, if the whole attitude at Apple is supposed to be "cool" then thats the way it should be: from the janitor the CEO. If its not, then stop being hypocrite and say so in the guidelines.

Ideally maybe, but no matter how good this guy is at doing his job, walking around barefoot in the sweatpants he slept in runs the risk of communicating a disrgard for the work / co-workers. Besides, being dirty and barefoot is only cool if you're a hippie or a crusty (neither of which is cool).

Even if you love your job, there will always be days where having to get up and go to work sucks. If you're going to bother dragging your ass out of the house and showing up on those days you may as well go the extra mile and create the appearance of giving a shit the rest of the time (whether you do or not). You get used to it after a while and you're still allowed to be yourself in the evenings and weekends.

Whether we like it or not, the perception others have of us counts for a lot. Knowing this but not caring says one thing about us, not knowing this says another.
post #20 of 23
The two years after we transferred from NeXT to Apple saw me experience zero peer reviews, zero cost of living adjustments, and all avenues to advance be put on a freeze mode.

These were the main reasons, along-side a micromanaging ass who was brought in after the merger to my leaving the Apple.

Now the latest 10-Q filing requests us stock holders to approve an additional 49 million common shares of stock to be available for stock purchasing plans and an additional 2 million shares to be transferred to employees.

Let me make it clear. Six Million shares were authorized for a similar situation in 1998. Those six million shares with very few exceptions went to high ranking engineers solely.

Reality is they already held hundreds of thousands of shares each and the folks at the bottom or middle were once again screwed.

Apple has the unfortunate disadvantage of being in Silicon Valley where the cost of living exceeds their average pay rate for most positions. Apple has also the fortunate advantage of being in Silicon Valley where they don't have to pay to relocate talent.
post #21 of 23
The sweat pants were not described as being dirty. Going barefoot may be stepping over the line, but dressing comfortably does not necessarily mean that you do not take your job seriously.

The black turtle neck and blue jeans work fine for Steve.

It's interesting to see how even the employees realize that customer service is bad.
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by hugodrax


ALthough 59K for 60hours as a project manager living in california where homes cost 600K+ is stupid, why would you stay working for peanuts unless you suck and cannot cut it elsewhere.

true, 59k seems like a damn fine wage to a college student in back-asswards Indiana, but in N. Cali, that is probably nothing, which is amazing, seeing how many
IT guys live (rather well by my standards - some with families) around here for <$40000
You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
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You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
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post #23 of 23
sweat pants for a sweat shop sounds more like it.
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