Genius Bar doesn't hire retired Apple engineer, fires up age discrimination debate

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  • Reply 41 of 112
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,261member
    sflocal said:
    As a software engineers for almost 30 years, I see age discrimination in my field constantly.  It's the norm and many times the shops are quite open about it.  Of course, they would never admit to it in any official capacity.  I have many friends in my field, most very well qualified in their field of technical expertise that simply could not find a job anywhere in the San Francisco bay area because they were 45+ years old.  They all eventually gave up, moved out of the area and took careers complete out of their trade.  

    It's really easy for the government to say age-discrimination is illegal but it's so wired in today's younger generation that the government could never really prove it.  Sure, a company may say they don't do it, but what's to stop that company's 20-something hiring manager to covertly pass-over the 50-year old engineer applicant and hire the 24-year old?

    I'm not even looking for a job now, or in the near future but even my friends at shops like Facebook and Google, amazed at my coding abilities and software-design intelligence have (privately) said my age - and only my age (I'm 48) - would most likely deny me a job there. It's true and it makes even my friends that work there really mad.

    There's the mentality that younger folks make better workers but I strongly disagree.  I think younger workers can devote most of their time to working at the company, whereas more older people want better balance between work/life/family that believe also contributes to a better, more rounded workforce.

    While I don't necessarily believe the companies themselves promote age discrimination, I certainly believe (and seen) them done on an individual-level.  It can never be proven per se unless someone files a lawsuit with a very slim chance of winning.  After which, of course, that person's name would forever live in the search-results and no company will ever hire said person for fear of being another recipient of a lawsuit.

    Age discrimination is here to stay, only to be whispered in private and in hipster bars.
    You would think anybody even in their 30's (and anybody with a sense of self preservation in their twenties) would worry about their future given this reality. If IT workers have about as long an earning time limit as a football player they should be aiming to earn much more than they do now. 

    That said a search for COBOL engineers in my city returns 10+ jobs. My guess is the average age there is 60. C++ devs are older too. Can't judge it st by Facebook and Google. Apple trends older than those two as well (they are young companies remember). 
    edited September 2016
  • Reply 42 of 112
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,782member
    asdasd said:
    The problem is actually with the term Apple Genius. Bit of hyperbole. It's tier 1 support. Engineers like Scheinberg are tier 4 support (effectively, in reality the technician tiers end at tier 3)  and each tier is better paid. 
    If I were the manager of an Apple store and Scheinberg walked in to apply for a job, assuming I knew who he was, I would have hired him on the spot. Then I would turned around and trumpeted to the world that my store a real Apple Genius available to help with customer problems. The PR value of having an important retired Apple engineer who just wanted to help Apple customers again would be priceless. I read an article about a young physicist who had just obtained his Ph.D from MIT. He signed a contract to teach physics for four years at his home town’s junior college to give back to the community. The community was ecstatic about their children having the opportunity to study physics with an MIT Ph.D as their teacher. 
    asdasdjeffharrisbaconstangjasenj1
  • Reply 43 of 112
    bwikbwik Posts: 562member
    The one way we can get age violations and H1-B fraud violations out in the open is by openly complaining to EEOC and the Dept of Labor about those crimes.  It brands you for life, so you had better be ready to retire.  

    I've seen H1B fraud in front of my face dozens of times.  Sometimes against me.  I wrote something on glass door about it but the company jumped down my throat.  I lost a few friendships among the people who got hired.  Ultimately I decided not to go to the Dept of Labor.  Yes, it's almost impossible to convict someone of H1B fraud.  But it happens all the time.  So does ageism.

    I am already over halfway thru my career in my 40s.  Perhaps well over halfway.  Whatever.  Eventually you learn the field and the business cycles.  And the BS.  You appear to be disengaged because you've seen it all before!  Things my boss's boss is agonizing over now, I've probably done 10 years ago.  Learning + growing is well and good.  Some of us are all grown up.  But the market for super-senior executives who make 1-10 million per year is very slim.  Most of us don't make it and aren't going to be seen as big leaders.  That means we are kicking around with the young uns for our whole career.

    The simple fact though is, Dept of Labor does not let you "prefer" a 25 year old to a 55 year old.  Inconvenient truth.  
  • Reply 44 of 112
    jakebjakeb Posts: 557member
    people over 45 basically die in terms of new ideas

    For any single person, it's impossible to say that with certainty. But statistically, it's more right than not.

    That said, while new ideas are an important part of making a successful product, they're only a part. Most "creativity" is actually knowing how to apply existing ideas to new situations. Something that becomes easier through experience (and age). 

    baconstang
  • Reply 45 of 112
    1st1st Posts: 310member
    As others have said, OSX migration and genius bar are fairly different jobs with different skills sets.  I'm 69 years old, managed IT, and have had engineers with deep technical skills that you would never want to meet a customer.
    agree totally.  some of the top engineer would love to point out the deficiency that required next gen improvement.  it is their duty to seek out fault but they might not the best customer support (some are super smart, lack of the basic language to explain things at beginner's level).  ("Let me tell you want  is wrong with this".... remind me one of the engineer I met at high tech show for the new demo...cute, face him speechless.  even though i am  an engineer myself).  
  • Reply 46 of 112
    Okay, so he was turned down because he is too old. And? Why this totalitarian anti-age discrimination law exist to begin with is nonsensical. The  stores give off a certain youthful ambiance. Obviously hiring a 60+ year old would be contradictory to that. I don't want to walk into the stores and be greeted by grandparents. The youth are forward looking (generally), while older individuals tend to be stuck in their ways. If  wants to be seen as innovative, then their store employees should reflect that.
    edited September 2016 tallest skil
  • Reply 47 of 112
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,782member
    Okay, so he was turned down because he is too old. And? Why this totalitarian anti-age discrimination law exist to begin with is nonsensical. The  stores give off a certain youthful ambiance. Obviously hiring a 60+ year old would be contradictory to that. I don't want to walk into the stores and be greeted by grandparents. The youth are forward looking (generally), while older individuals tend to be stuck in their ways. If  wants to be seen as innovative, then their store employees should reflect that.
    I’d say F**K YOU but that might get me banned.
    ronnjeffharrisdanhbaconstangasdasdtomkarl
  • Reply 48 of 112
    lkrupp said:
    Okay, so he was turned down because he is too old. And? Why this totalitarian anti-age discrimination law exist to begin with is nonsensical. The  stores give off a certain youthful ambiance. Obviously hiring a 60+ year old would be contradictory to that. I don't want to walk into the stores and be greeted by grandparents. The youth are forward looking (generally), while older individuals tend to be stuck in their ways. If  wants to be seen as innovative, then their store employees should reflect that.
    I’d say F**K YOU but that might get me banned.
    Tell me, what specifically in my post do you have a problem with? I'm sure you can articulate a proper counter argument.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 49 of 112

    This is the tail wagging the dog. 

    The reason why Apple's retail staff are generally young is because their roles are relatively junior positions. Asking for graduates also falls in line with the junior nature of the roles. This does not and has not stopped older individuals from acquiring jobs at Apple retail stores when they have been suitable.

    As for Scheinberg, I can't imagine a former senior Apple engineer having bona fide intentions in taking an Apple retail role. “Overqualified” is an understatement. Indeed trivial background checks by recruiters or Apple would reveal that.

    All in all, it's a bad example to use as it doesn't actually address the issues surrounding age discrimination, which is a problem more complex than the beauty contest it is purported to be.


    Long explanation: Many older individuals are over qualified, this means that the individual can not be paid to their skill level as the role does not offer that level of pay. Pay alone is not the only factor, over qualified workers are bored, have morale issues and little in terms of career development pathways. As a guide: for every dollar spent on pay, another dollar is spent on secondary costs to keep the staff member, such as training, insurance, work place provisions, etc. These costs can play out unfavourably for certain older individuals (such as insurance) - making the older individual *less competitive* for the role. These decisions are policy based and can influence the role selection well before any applications are taken. It's an unfortunate scenario, but not all jobs are suitable for all people. To use some crude examples: you'll be hard pressed to find a male shop assistant in a lingerie store and you're not going to see many women digging plumbing trenches – the point of diversity is not about cramming all genders and races into all roles, it's about not excluding people from roles they are suited to, while simultaneously taking advantage of our inherent differences to pair us with the most suitable roles.

    edited September 2016 SpamSandwichbrertech
  • Reply 50 of 112
    TurboPGT said:


    Private companies need to be left the hell alone to do as they please. Why anyone would want to start a business in the US anymore is beyond me. Just not worth it. 
    You really need to learn some US history.
    welshdogronnbaconstang
  • Reply 51 of 112
    To clarify, the employer can't discriminate against applicants using criteria that target protected classes. Other than that, absolutely the employer can hire as they please.
  • Reply 52 of 112
    I'm an ageist... so.
    edited September 2016 SpamSandwich
  • Reply 53 of 112
    It may be illegal, but I see it happen everyday in my store. New hires over the last couple of years have all been hipsters who are using it as a stepping stone to something else or as a paycheck for now and for the most part are already gone.. 
  • Reply 54 of 112
    I don't see anyone getting right to the real point here, which is: is a deep-level OS engineer actually automatically qualified to be a *Genius Bar* employee? Not a general Apple Store employee; that's not the case in question here. Genius Bar folks need to be able to troubleshoot and then fix lots of different software and hardware issues. There's no guarantee at all that I can see that this guy would have that skillset. He might have it, and he might not. He also might have the people skills needed, and he might not.
    baconstangSpamSandwichbrertech
  • Reply 55 of 112
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,016member
    I know it's wrong to make light of these things.....
    but my first though given the amazing work and teams this guy was on in OS developments was maybe he's Crusty form the WWDC talks.

    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 56 of 112
    And that’s still irrelevant to the statement made and thus utter fucking bullshit.

    If old people cannot, by definition, do a job offered, then they cannot be hired for it. Period. Every job has requirements. If you can’t meet the requirements, you can’t be hired. I don’t give a flying fuck what that implies for your bullshit diversity quotas, because they don’t matter. The productivity and capability of the employee matters.

    You desire–let’s just make this clear, now–you desire that every single job be open to every single person. No, that’s not reducto ad absurdum. That’s the inevitable end game of this motherfucking insanity you want to foist on everyone. That’s the definition of what is applied right now.

    bwik
    said:
    Multicolored, yet lonely looking models people between the ages of 22 and 26
    Sounds about right; those are the loneliest ones these days.
    i think Apple has work to do. Unattractive, unpretentious people and low income people do use Apple products.
    Quite honestly, if you’re going to try to reduce it to that, I’d prefer they have an ad featuring Harrison Bergeron.
    edited September 2016 bestkeptsecretSpamSandwich
  • Reply 57 of 112
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,016member
    sflocal said:
    "Hi, I used to be a highly paid engineer at Apple and now I want to work at your store as a Genius making close to minimum wage."

    Anyone see something wrong with that picture?
    He's retired, worked for Apple for ages, he probably doesn't need the money but wants to contribute, or maybe just to keep him busy and feel useful.  What's wrong with that?

    Maybe they think he'll be to useful and fix things instead of talking them in to buying stuff.
    edited September 2016
  • Reply 58 of 112
    ktappektappe Posts: 759member
    I too interviewed for a Genius Bar position some years ago. At the time I had 15 years of Mac experience both in educational and corporate environments. I answered all the tech questions they threw at me. But I too never heard back. I was 35. I figured I was both too old and too experienced for them. Apple Stores impress me as wanting youngsters who they can pay less and also mold to their culture.
    ronnewtheckmanbaconstangSpamSandwich
  • Reply 59 of 112
    ktappektappe Posts: 759member
    rcpone said:
     it's a problem that's not exclusive to Silicon Valley. 
     
    Absolutely. I work in banking and my employer, the largest bank in the US, blatantly does what Apple does; recruits only recent grads. They think they've structured the company in such a way that, due to "siloing", every employee is just a Lego brick that's easily replaceable. And yet they simultaneously claim that we are "innovative". The cognitive dissonance is staggering.
    jeffharrisronnewtheckmanbaconstang
  • Reply 60 of 112
    It's depressing to see how many commenters just assume that J.K. Scheinberg must have been less qualified or technically adept than younger hires, or that he was over-qualified, or that he must have given a "worse interview, or that he "just didn't 'fit'." One commenter, perhaps emboldened by anonymity, even had the audacity to libel Mr. Scheinberg, suggesting that he was not "looking to WORK" and was, instead, just "looking for a paycheck to coast on til retirement." Did any of you who posted those comments meet Mr. Scheinberg? Did you sit in on his interview? Did you check out his references? Did you read his resume and those of the younger people who were hired? Did you talk to the people who made the hiring decisions for the store? I bet that most of you didn't even click the link to the NY Times article, much less read it before posting your comments. What motivates some people to claim that every allegation of employment discrimination, whether based on gender, race, religion, or sexuality, simply *must* be without merit -- despite all of the statistical evidence and peer reviewed research that proves such discrimination exists and harms so many people?
    Booyah!  The truth!  
    ronnbaconstangtomkarl
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