Apple's training guide for Genius Bars reveals banned words and huge irritation

29 August 2012

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You may have seen the awful, nauseating phrases given to Jamie Oliver's staff to use, for some slamming, proper rustic dipshittery, but what about those folks at Apple's Genius Bars?

The grinning evangelical technologists who work for Apple are given a Genius Training Manual which has been a secret... 'til now. And it is exactly as galling as you suspect it to be.

In it, you'll find psychological profiling, banned words and lessons on how to capitalise on human emotion, with sales being maximised via crowbarred ambience and cod-empathy.

Once you've passed your training in things like "Using Diagnostic Services" and "The Power of Empathy," you'll end up flogging stuff to customers through (A)pproach, (P)robe, (P)resent, (L)isten, (E)nd, which - they hope - will see a customer leaving with a gadget and feeling 'empowered,' which is creepy as shit. And Apple seriously believe that they "strive to inspire" as well as flatly stating: "We enrich their lives,"

Staff are also told to never apologise. "Do not apologize for the business [or] the technology," instead, express regret that the person is expressing emotions with a "sorry you're feeling frustrated," or "too bad about your soda-spill accident."

Then, we wander into the mind of Apple and the way they look at human beings. Staff are taught to understand "Emotion Portrayed through Nonverbal Gestures." So, Apple tell trainees that smiling denotes openness, while a "cluck sound" shows confidence. While burrowing into a customers subconscious, Apple's Geniuses aren't allowed to ever disagree. In fact, it is prohibited. And they are absolutely not allowed to say the word "crash" or "bug" (with "issue," "condition," or "situation" preferred).

One interesting segment is "Fearless Feedback", which is Apple's own-brand passive-aggressive horsepiss. You don't tell colleagues they're wrong, rather, "open dialogue" with "positive intent." So, one example given in the training manual is this conversation between two Apple employees:

"Hi, fellow Genius. I overheard your conversation with your customer during the last interaction and I have some feedback if you have a moment. Is this a good time?"
"Yes, this is a good time."
"You did a great job resolving the customer's iPhone issue. I was concerned with how quickly you spoke to the customer. It seemed like you were rushing through the interaction, and the customer had additional questions.
"

Then add:

"Thanks for listening to the feedback. In the future, please make sure to signal me if you need help rather than work too quickly with a customer.
"Thanks for giving it!
"

Jesus. How stilted and robotic is that? Doesn't matter though because Apple reckon that this lifeless nattering is "essential to maintain Apple Retail culture, as well as your personal development." There's always been something unsettling and cultish about Apple and this manual certainly isn't doing them any favours, not that Apple fanboys will give two hoots.

Gizmodo have a more thorough run-down and screengrabs from the training manual if you'd like to vomit all over yourself for 20 minutes. Click here to see.

TOPICS:   Technology

17 comments

  • Marky M.
    "Mellow greetings, John Spartan! What seems to be your boggle?"
  • Eh?
    Demolition Man, classic!
  • Chewbacca
    THIS is why working in retail sucks. Well, that, and the shit wages, having to deal with retarded fucktards etc etc
  • Sicknote
    Went to Apple store in Southampton last weekend for a new charging cable and walked out with two IPAD 3 - it wasn't until I got to the car that I realised I already had an IPAD....Damn you to hell Apple.
  • Alexis
    What's wrong with telling your staff not to tell the customer their computer is fucked?
  • PT
    "Greeting nauseating empowered customer, how may i break you down and shaft your wallet today!"
  • Matt
    I worked at Apple Retail. Man, you get so tired of the psycho-babble. Sometimes I just wanted to rage at the customers, the managers, the other staff... but you know what? Don't bite the hand that feeds you. I was on £10 an hour, which is a kings ransom in retail-land. Retail is bullshit- but it's better than benefits. When I go into an Apple store now I see the same resigned 'You-and-I-know-this-is-crap' look behind the dead, smiling eyes... but it pays the rent. Decided to leave when I got a job offer where I didn't have to work with the general public.
  • Chewbacca
    £10/hour? Fuck. That.
  • Tom
    Chewbacca You'd fuck for £10 an hour? Cheap whore.
  • Chewbacca
    @Tom Hi Tom, we speaka da Englis on dis site. I understand your confusion, as you're obviously an immigrant. I'll explain. The pejorative term "fuck that" means, in general, "no, I won't be doing that". In conjunction with the aforementioned £10/hr rate, this means that I wouldn't work for Apple retail for ten English pounds per hour. Simple, eh? Welcome to England, and please do enjoy all the benefits this great country has to offer! Oh, and your daughter is an even cheaper whore than your dad.... salty!
  • Dick
    Knowing information like that can be useful for people with time on their hands. If you are waiting for a plane, knowing how much time staff are meant to spend with customers means you can play games. I've wound up apple staff before, considering everything, then buying nothing.
  • Felacio N.
    @Chewbacca. The Daily Mail rang. They said they were so hard for you.
  • Chewbacca
    @Blowjob shortarse The point is over there ------> You fucking missed it, cretin.
  • Felacio N.
    @ Chewbacca Your comments have a point?
  • Idi A.
    @ Felacio Nelson Not usually. He's Scottish and never lets anybody forget it. You may ignore them. I mean him.
  • Chewbacca
    ^get a room ladies When did I say I was Scottish, exactly?
  • Spencer
    "ahm a fukken Jock y'English bastards" your words mate... you say it all the time...

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