Five Terrible Things About Apple Inc. as a Workplace According To a Former Employee

With $18.04 Billion USD profit in fiscal Q1 of 2015, Apple Inc. is currently the most valuable company in the world. And with sterling products including the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, Macbook Air, and Macbook Pro with Retina Display among others that continue to capture the fancy of gadget fans across the globe, Apple's immense success is expected to continue for the next few years.

It's but natural then for many geeks (and even non-techies who just want to have a successful career) to have a burning desire to call Apple his or her workplace. After all, everyone wants to be on the side of the winner and being able to work there can certainly boost one's credentials.

Apple Inc, Apple Headquarters, One Infinite Loop
The Apple Headquarters - called 'Apple Campus' - is located at One Infinite Loop in Cupertino, California USA.

I'm sure Apple Inc. has many amazing qualities as a workplace that are the reason for its market dominance and leadership when it comes to coming up with trailblazing hardware and software innovations; Qualities that would make it an ideal place for personal growth as an employee. But as they say, nothing in this world is perfect and I know that there must be a few horrible things about the Cupertino Company as an employer that they'd prefer to just keep under wraps.

Well, speaking of which and for those who are wondering: Last April 6, 2015, former Apple employee Ben Farrell - via his blog - dished out a handful of bad qualities of Apple as a workplace that make him feel grateful that he's no longer connected to the company. If you're dreaming of working at Apple, you might want to check out this list, which I made getting chunks from his meaty entry.

1. It’s an organised boys club where perception is valued over substance and tenure over talent. "I spent two years in the Apple camp managing customer service improvement for their technical support contact centres and out of the fifteen plus years working in this industry I’ve never witnessed so many bizarre and unprofessional things, only some of which I have time to touch on here."

2. Sickness, family emergencies, and even weddings are given no respect at Apple. "When I started my role I missed one business trip as my wife was pregnant, fell down the stairs and had to be hospitalized – this was listed as a ‘performance issue’ on my record and brought up during a one on one with management as a major ‘miss’ on my behalf. Meetings at midnight were also common place where I was always asked to present something menial (again to be seen), however even then I wasn’t allowed to simply speak to my topic but instead I was fed scripts by management through instant message with countdowns included about how long I had left to speak."

Apple Inc, Apple Headquarters, One Infinite Look, Apple Campus
Current Apple Campus

3. Drinks with colleagues revolved around the same stories told again and again as drunken management spoke of times when Apple executives made ‘strategic’ decisions to cut jobs and shut down Apple sites so swiftly and carelessly. "Like boy-scouts around a campfire, employees eyes would glow and twinkle at this notion of power and embrace these stories with awe but with utter disrespect for the actions Apple has on the broader community of contractors, vendors, partners, resellers and business partners they have bent over a barrel of non-profitability. Remarks such as “… to make a decision that affects so many lives and so many jobs so quickly like that shows the sheer level on which they (Apple executive management) operate… Amazing” were common dialogue around Friday beers. In my opinion a monkey can cut jobs, but at Apple the strangest things are revered."

4. I found Apple to be a sheltered workshop. "The common language spoken being passive aggression, sarcasm and Kool-Aid fuelled stories of ‘success’ designed to manipulate and intimidate naive workers who have never experienced corporate life outside the Apple walls. Like the Chinese emperors believed the forbidden city in Beijing was the centre of the universe and constructed their empire around it, I’m sure that some people at Apple feel the same… Is it a coincidence that the new Apple Campus looks like a giant spaceship? Maybe the plan is for everyone to drink poisoned ‘kool-Aid’ before ascending to the mothership… Sounds like I got out just in time."

Apple Inc, Apple Headquarters, Future Apple Headquarters
Future Apple Campus (All photos in this post are courtesy of Wikipedia.Org)

5. "Sixteen hour days are filled with meetings after meetings followed by more meetings. Whilst this is somewhat standard in most organisations, meetings at Apple wreaked of toxic agendas designed to deliberately trip people up, make fools of the less respected and call people out. Team spirit is non existent as ‘internal customers’ attack individuals and push agendas that satisfy their morning egos. Hours upon hours were wasted in meetings to prepare for meetings in preparation for other meetings to the point where little work actually got done."

Just from reading Ben's post it seems like Apple Inc. is filled with delusional employees who are doing their best to thrive in a dog-eat-dog environment. Also, I'd imagine that the company has become so excessively profit-driven that it no longer cares about the well-being of the people who form it. Then again, even if we were to believe what Ben disclosed 100%, Apple wouldn't be the only corporation in the world that's guilty of having such terrible workplace practices. Heck, these things happen everywhere. But I guess we just really expect so much more from Apple -- because of all those cool Steve Jobs quotes and all the good things about the company that are shown on their promo videos for iDevices.