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

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Comments

  • Reply 81 of 112
    It is sad that managers now view anyone 45 and older is over the hill in terms of hiring and is promotable.  Even in the advertising field, most creative talent that interact with clients is 40 and under! especially females.  Ads TV and print media never show people over 45 years old unless it for supported roles to the prime character who is in the 30s.  If you are 50 and over, nobody in the marketplace cares!  
  • Reply 82 of 112
    Soli said:
    gremlin said:
    Let's be honest: some older people are dicks!  

    Add into that an air entitlement going into the interview with an 'I'm so qualified that you're lucky I even applied' attitude, I could see why he may not have been offered the role.
    I don't understand the point of your comment. One can just as easily say:
    Let's be honest: some [younger] people are dicks!  

    Add into that an air entitlement going into the interview with an 'I'm so qualified that you're lucky I even applied' attitude, I could see why he may not have been offered the role.
    EVERY FUCKING GENERATION HAS PEOPLE THAT FEEL THEY ARE ENTITLED. We see this every day on this very forum from all across the world, with different ages, income brackets, and every other demographic when it comes to what they feel Apple (or another company) owes them for being a long-time and loyal customer.
    Ok dear, calm down!  The story was about an older person not getting the job, so I framed my comments around that!
  • Reply 83 of 112
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,261member
    Soli said:
    asdasd said:
    Soli said:
    asdasd said:
    clexman said:
    I should start applying for jobs as a race car driver and sue if anyone hires a younger candidate. I've been driving really fast for over 20 years, so if I'm not hired it must be because of my age and nothing to do with my ability to perform a specific job related to something I have great amounts of experience in.
    This guy is vastly more qualified to do the job than any other "genius" and he has hardly fallen off in his ability.
    I see no evidence that he's either more qualified or even idealized qualified for this position. He certainly has a level of expertise that far exceeds what is needed for the technical aspects for being an Apple Genius, but his work with rewriting the macOS core to run on Intel does not automatically qualify him to work with customers in a reality environment.
    I dispute that working with customers is all that difficult.
    I find the comment extremely comical on multiple levels.
    Feel free to elaborate your concerns. Otherwise you come across as a bit of a dick. 

    if working with customers were difficult it would be higher paid. I agree that some sales jobs needs a level of patter foreign to most (but not all) engineers but this isn't a sales job and I'm sure it could be handled by Scheinberg. 
    edited September 2016
  • Reply 84 of 112
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,419member
    TurboPGT said:
    The logical fallacy is that "years" = "qualification" in a lot of these age discrimination cases. When they claim they were passed over for someone less qualified, they often cite "year of experience" and assume that must somehow make them more qualified.

    Maybe they gave a worse interview than the younger alternative?

    Or maybe the company just wants to hire people who are looking to WORK and not someone looking for a paycheck to coast on til retirement.

    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. 
    While I agree that years doesn't equal qualification, the fact is that they have no idea whether someone older is looking for a paycheck to coast on until retirement.  Even if that were the case,  that can apply to a younger person as well who just wants a job to get by until they can find a better one or to give them enough money so they can party on weekends. 

    Young or old, there are people who work really hard, smart and well and there are people who don't.  

    In this particular case, based on his past history, I doubt this guy needs money.  I think he just wants something to do and I suspect he both likes Apple and likes helping people.   I've been in Apple stores where I knew far more than the employees who worked there.   

    Anecdotal, but in my particular case, a company that I used to be an executive at still hires me as a consultant a few days a month.  In those few days, I write almost all the specs and a lot of the documentation the company needs because all the young B.A.'s they have simply can't get it done either correctly or efficiently.   And I always put in a longer day than they do - I come in earlier and stay later.   

    And there have been studies that show that older workers are more reliable and spend less time socializing and more time working.   And they also tend to write better.   On the other hand, in some companies there are "lifers" - older workers who have never worked anywhere else and are never going to and who don't do a great job.   

    So what it really comes down to is that you can't stereotype anyone and that each potential employee should be evaluated on an individual basis.   A lot of this is discrimination that's just as pernicious as race or gender discrimination and comes down to the desire of executives or a hiring manager to work with people "just like them" so they could have fun at work.   
    asdasdSpamSandwichbaconstang
  • Reply 85 of 112
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,419member
    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?
    Absolutely.   When I was in my mid 50's (although I looked younger), I was looking for a job or consulting gigs and I was interviewed by a lot of startups.  I have a clear track record of success in both executive and consulting positions but as soon as I walked into each interview, I could see the look of disappointment on the interviewers faces and as I looked around their offices, I would see that everyone was in the 20's, except for the most senior people who were in their 30's.   I didn't get any of those gigs.   Was it age discrimination?   As with all kinds of discrimination, it's impossible to tell for sure, but it sure felt like it was.   Shortly after, I became a senior executive with a tech company in which the owner happened to be about my age.   

    But those experiences certainly gave me just a taste of what it must be like to be a minority or a woman facing discrimination, even if it was in the guise of "oh, I'm not sure he's the best fit", which is usually cover for "we want someone just like us."
    baconstangdasanman69Mogar
  • Reply 86 of 112
    asdasd said:
    TurboPGT said:
    The logical fallacy is that "years" = "qualification" in a lot of these age discrimination cases. When they claim they were passed over for someone less qualified, they often cite "year of experience" and assume that must somehow make them more qualified.

    Maybe they gave a worse interview than the younger alternative?

    Or maybe the company just wants to hire people who are looking to WORK and not someone looking for a paycheck to coast on til retirement.

    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. 
    Your second to last paragraph reveals your own ageism.  In this case the guy would know vastly more about the insides of the OS than anybody else at his interview. 

    Over qualification (or thinking this guy might leave) would be a more likely reason for over looking him. 
    You're damn right it does. And there is nothing wrong with that. Why should a company hire somebody that is just looking for a paycheck to hold them over for 4-5 years until social secuirty kicks in, as opposed to a younger person that actually has a future with the company?

    "ageism" sounds like smart business.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 87 of 112
    sflocal said:

    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.

    I'm a 47 year old iOS Software Engineer and know exactly what you are talking about. People are amazed that I can write iPhone apps so well (like I should be getting ready for the "old programmer's home"). We're the generation that made computers / smartphones / tablets what they are today. 
  • Reply 88 of 112
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,782member
    In this case, age may actually be a qualification for the job. Working for the  store may be more than simply having the best technical expertise. Regardless, If you believe it isn't, then you should be free to select based on your own criteria. If  wanted younger store employees, then they should be free to choose them over older ones. It is completely nonsensical for your government to enact a law forcing employers to hire grandparents when they wouldn't want to otherwise.
    Oh boy did you just step in it. So you actually believe your tripe? By using age as an example you must also agree that it’s okay to reject anyone that doesn’t fit your business image... like blacks, whites, Christians, Muslims, homosexuals, women, disabled, etc. The reason we have what you call “totalitarian” government laws is to protect ourselves from monsters like you.
    singularitytomkarlAppleZulubaconstangMogar
  • Reply 89 of 112
    "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?
    Why not. An ex colleague at my work place decided after a nervous breakdown to work at a community centre. He went from (in usd) 400k to 20k per annum. Sometimes people want out of the rat race but still want to be active in something they love.
    At any rate, my unpopular position is that any business should be free to apply any hiring qualifications they want to get their ideal candidate. No one is guaranteed a job, nor should they assume they are the ideal candidate. They are merely an applicant.
    Damn right. The very idea that companies need to follow laws on who they hire is just a joke. Just socialism wrapped in the blanket of "fairness".

    Do you know one of the things Obama wanted to do, and failed, was Wage Insurance? This crackhead actually wanted the government to subsidize a wage level for a person, if they lose a higher paying job, and need to accept a lowering paying job.

    SpamSandwichtallest skil
  • Reply 90 of 112
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,141member
    macxpress said:
    Just because you were an Intel engineer that assisted with switching Apple over, doesn't make you fit to be a Genius Bar employee. You have to know more than just how to troubleshoot and fix Apple products. I don't think this has anything to do with age, but rather he just didn't "fit" what Apple looks for when hiring Apple Store employees. Apple hires people of all ages, genders, races, sexualities, etc. I call major BS! Anything to create a story. 
    I agree.  I am 64 and was the owner of several large Apple Dealerships and repair centers in the past. After that I was President of a Mac software company and I'm still very involved in the Developer program.  I've lost count of the times I have explained to my wife I'd never get hired at our local Apple Store where she keeps telling me I should go and kill some time and have fun as a 'Genius'. I know I'd be seen as over qualified and I also know I'd have a hard time being told what to do by a youngster.  Plus even if I was I'd be taking a job I don't need from some one who needs it.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 91 of 112
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,261member
    smaffei said:
    sflocal said:

    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.

    I'm a 47 year old iOS Software Engineer and know exactly what you are talking about. People are amazed that I can write iPhone apps so well (like I should be getting ready for the "old programmer's home"). We're the generation that made computers / smartphones / tablets what they are today. 
    That's only because it's relatively new. You wouldn't raise eyebrows as a C++ contractor. 
  • Reply 92 of 112
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,261member
    TurboPGT 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?
    Why not. An ex colleague at my work place decided after a nervous breakdown to work at a community centre. He went from (in usd) 400k to 20k per annum. Sometimes people want out of the rat race but still want to be active in something they love.
    At any rate, my unpopular position is that any business should be free to apply any hiring qualifications they want to get their ideal candidate. No one is guaranteed a job, nor should they assume they are the ideal candidate. They are merely an applicant.
    Damn right. The very idea that companies need to follow laws on who they hire is just a joke. Just socialism wrapped in the blanket of "fairness".

    Do you know one of the things Obama wanted to do, and failed, was Wage Insurance? This crackhead actually wanted the government to subsidize a wage level for a person, if they lose a higher paying job, and need to accept a lowering paying job.

    If capitalism continues to fail the middle classes, real socialism might happen. 
    baconstang
  • Reply 93 of 112
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,261member
    TurboPGT said:
    asdasd said:
    TurboPGT said:
    The logical fallacy is that "years" = "qualification" in a lot of these age discrimination cases. When they claim they were passed over for someone less qualified, they often cite "year of experience" and assume that must somehow make them more qualified.

    Maybe they gave a worse interview than the younger alternative?

    Or maybe the company just wants to hire people who are looking to WORK and not someone looking for a paycheck to coast on til retirement.

    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. 
    Your second to last paragraph reveals your own ageism.  In this case the guy would know vastly more about the insides of the OS than anybody else at his interview. 

    Over qualification (or thinking this guy might leave) would be a more likely reason for over looking him. 
    You're damn right it does. And there is nothing wrong with that. Why should a company hire somebody that is just looking for a paycheck to hold them over for 4-5 years until social secuirty kicks in, as opposed to a younger person that actually has a future with the company?

    "ageism" sounds like smart business.
    I doubt he needs to wait for social security to kick in. He already retired but was bored (since then he has worked as a CTO)

    You also don't really think, do you, that Apple Store employees are long term? If that were the case they'd be 30 ish now. It's generally a job people take temporarily during college. Scheinberg might have turned out more reliable and long term, in fact, and there's no evidence he would coast. 
    baconstangdasanman69
  • Reply 94 of 112
    asdasd said:
    TurboPGT 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?
    Why not. An ex colleague at my work place decided after a nervous breakdown to work at a community centre. He went from (in usd) 400k to 20k per annum. Sometimes people want out of the rat race but still want to be active in something they love.
    At any rate, my unpopular position is that any business should be free to apply any hiring qualifications they want to get their ideal candidate. No one is guaranteed a job, nor should they assume they are the ideal candidate. They are merely an applicant.
    Damn right. The very idea that companies need to follow laws on who they hire is just a joke. Just socialism wrapped in the blanket of "fairness".

    Do you know one of the things Obama wanted to do, and failed, was Wage Insurance? This crackhead actually wanted the government to subsidize a wage level for a person, if they lose a higher paying job, and need to accept a lowering paying job.

    If capitalism continues to fail the middle classes, real socialism might happen. 
    We don't currently have free market capitalism, we have corporatism and "crony capitalism". Full-on socialism would be the final nail in the coffin for the US.
    tallest skil
  • Reply 95 of 112
    TurboPGT said:
    asdasd said:
    TurboPGT said:
    The logical fallacy is that "years" = "qualification" in a lot of these age discrimination cases. When they claim they were passed over for someone less qualified, they often cite "year of experience" and assume that must somehow make them more qualified.

    Maybe they gave a worse interview than the younger alternative?

    Or maybe the company just wants to hire people who are looking to WORK and not someone looking for a paycheck to coast on til retirement.

    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. 
    Your second to last paragraph reveals your own ageism.  In this case the guy would know vastly more about the insides of the OS than anybody else at his interview. 

    Over qualification (or thinking this guy might leave) would be a more likely reason for over looking him. 
    You're damn right it does. And there is nothing wrong with that. Why should a company hire somebody that is just looking for a paycheck to hold them over for 4-5 years until social secuirty kicks in, as opposed to a younger person that actually has a future with the company?

    "ageism" sounds like smart business.
    Wow. As with any sort of prejudicial discrimination, it's not smart business at all.

    It'd be funny if it wasn't so depressing to look at tech-related boards when the general subject of 'diversity' comes up. People will aggressively and seemingly unwittingly demonstrate their own narrow-minded prejudices as they go on about how it's all a meritocracy, and if minorities, women or older people seem under-represented, it has to simply be because they just can't meet the qualifications. They claim it's a meritocracy, but how they define "merit" puts the lie to their claim.

    The present case strips the meritocracy arguments bare. If this was about meritocracy, someone like Scheinberg would get the job offer before he could leave the room. Who cares if he might only be there for a couple of years? He'd need almost no training. He could literally start work right away. He would bring vastly more value than cost to the transaction.

    But with remarks that make bold negative assumptions about an older person's motivations in seeking a job, it's clear that we're not really talking about a meritocracy at all. We're talking about a certain vein of pseudo-libertarian mythology that the greatest good is achieved by holding no one accountable for anything in the business world, and we're using that mythology as a BS proxy to screen the real goal, which is to hire people who most closely resemble the people doing the hiring. Ageism is not smart business. It's dumb business. It allows people to make completely unfounded assumptions about prospective hires based on nothing other than their year of birth. The free market will ultimately cause a company that makes stupid hiring decisions like that spend more and get less, but not on such a timeline that anyone will put two-and-two together and realize their own illogic. Meanwhile, the people on the receiving end of discriminatory hiring practices pay the immediate price, because the supposed meritocracy has arbitrarily excluded them by re-defining "merit" to mean "culturally similar," rather than "most able to do the job."

    Prejudice is never smart. It literally means pre-judging someone without taking in currently available individual information. When is making decisions based on willful ignorance ever "smart?"
    edited September 2016 baconstangdasanman69
  • Reply 96 of 112
    Like retired COBOL programmers who were trotted out to help fix the Y2K bug in
    all sorts of card deck "apps", I'm waiting to unretire by 03:14:07 UTC on January 19, 2038
    to work on the Unix Millennium Bug for all the C code still out there.   That is,
    if I can get the job before all the subcontinental Indians out of Bengaluru I've mentored.

    Seriously, the young ones here should reference a very high-profile case of age
    discrimination rife at Google -- the case of Brian Reid:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Reid_(computer_scientist)

    The way to often prove ageism is to collect statistics on disparate impact,
    which is what he did, and more.  I wish Professor Reid well in all his endeavors,
    and hope that at least Google learned something from their schooling.


    baconstang
  • Reply 97 of 112
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,034member
    Who knows what the reason was of why he didn't get hired. Assuming it's age is just wrong. It might of been and it might of been any number of other things. Is this guy broke? I would think working so long at Apple with the job he had, he was making pretty good money and has a nice retirement plan in place. Is he bored sitting around at home? It just seems like going from such a good job, to a low man Apple Store employee seems strange to me. It's almost like being a CEO at a company, retiring and taking a job as a employee at McDonald's. If I was him, there would be a thousand things I could think of doing. How about writing his own app? He has some skill in that area. Of not that, traveling the country? To me it seems strange. Why retire in the first place to then work at a Apple Store? Having old people working at a Apple store is a good thing. It brings in other old people to buy Apple hardware. If he can use it, I can use it type of thing. Just assuming it's AGE for not getting hired is just silly without real proof.
    tallest skilbrertech
  • Reply 98 of 112
    adm1 said:
    Positive discrimination.
    This does not exist. It’s just discrimination.
    asdasd said:
    If capitalism continues to fail the middle classes, real socialism might happen. 
    Guess what’s not failing them. Guess what can never happen by definition.
    edited September 2016
  • Reply 99 of 112
    evilution said:
    I think that companies should favour employing younger people. They are trying to get somewhere in life whereas a retired person has a moral obligation to have sorted their life and finances out by the time they retire. Also, the younger generation are easier to teach new things.
    Out of any shop I have visited, Apple seem to have the widest variety of people and there are some Apple employees who I think would have problems finding customer facing jobs elsewhere due to excessive piercings or tattoos.
    So, what about the retired person who fulfilled their "moral obligation to have sorted their life and finances out by the time they retire," only to have the banking and real-estate fraud that crashed in 2008 decimate their 401(k)? Should they just crawl in a hole and die? Most financial instruments for retirement savings now exist at the whims of Wall Street. It's insanely easy to spend a lifetime doing everything 'right,' only to have it vaporized by hucksters who have fits of laughter when anyone talks about "moral obligations." Go watch "The Big Short" and then come back and talk about the moral obligations of retired people. 

    P.S. You may be the kind of younger person you think should be favored now, but that won't always be the case. Be careful what you wish for, because you might just get it.
    singularitybaconstang
  • Reply 100 of 112

    I think we can all agree that discrimination based solely on age is very problematic, although we don't know if that's the case here. One thing that I haven't seen mentioned is the fact that older workers tend to have higher salary expectations, not unreasonably based on the fact that they know more because they've experienced more, and knowledge has value. It's just a question of whether that advantage is recognized by the person doing the hiring. 

    I'm on the more seasoned side of the age equation, but run my own company. We have no difficulty hiring experienced employees because there's less bullshit involved...no calling in sick on Monday or Friday after a tough night out, no "but in Europe everyone gets eight weeks of paid vacation to start", no expectation that five hours a day is a rugged work schedule.

    But we try to have a good blend of people, and youth does have some advantages, such as freshness and innovation that hasn't been beaten out of them by a short-sighted system, and more rapid trainability in new things (typically just faster, not better).

    My bias would be to find a place for the guy based on merit. It may or may not work out, but the chance has been earned. He can teach what he knows. And he probably has some really good stories to tell at the Friday afternoon pizza party.





    baconstang
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