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