One of the problems with Apple becoming the single biggest company, by value, in the entire freaking world is that inevitably, they will want to stay the biggest company in the entire freaking world. This involves doing things that make precious Apple fans freak out, like making their beloved iPhone available on prepaid networks.
And now the Apple die-hards are wringing their hands over how this British guy – new Apple senior VP of retail John Browett — is going to, like, make Apple Geniuses work less inside their magic workshops with marshmallows and fairies in favor of selling more accessories. As much as it pains me to admit this, though, the people crying about this occasionally stumble onto a point.
Like, for example, this:
Sources speaking to ifoAppleStore claimed that some of the staffing issues that came to light earlier this month have indeed been reversed. Employees that had been laid off (despite [Apple VP of Retail John] Browett’s claim to the contrary) have been rehired. However, overtime hours are still limited, and part-time employees are still only getting the minimum number of hours—as low as 10 per week. Employees that were demoted as part of the “new staffing formula” Browett tried to implement are also not getting their former job titles back.
Which is pretty crappy. I don’t like seeing retail employees being treated like dirt, and Apple certainly has the cash to treat them better than that. But then they follow it up with complaints like this:
What’s worse, though, is that workshops and training sessions for customers appear to be cut down or eliminated entirely. Spaces devoted to demonstration and training areas are reportedly being filled with shelves for additional accessories, and sales specialists are being directed to increase sales of these miscellaneous items.
So, wait: People having their hours cut and their titles yanked is not as bad as the fact that they will no longer be forced to show grandmothers how to use an iPad? And that instead the Apple Stores will… try to sell you things?
Look, I’m not saying John Browett is any good at his job. This is the retail mastermind who fired a whole bunch of people right before the holidays last year. If he’s not out the door by the end of 2013, I’ll be surprised.
On the other hand, it’s not called the Apple Hangout Space. It’s called the Apple Store. I’m not happy about Apple mistreating its retail employees, but wringing your hands over their being expected to sell things and be a little pushy about it is kind of ridiculous. That’s their job. Is Apple expecting its employees to make it money really that much of a terrible thing?