Remember the days before people walked down the streets, eyes glued to their iPhones? Yeah, neither do we. It seems like an entirely different era, one in which people's hands were used for waving, shaking hands, and the like, not holding a technological device which has essentially become an extension of our limbs.
Regardless, smartphones have swept in and taken the world by storm, largely due to the tech giant, Apple. As one of the world's largest and most well-known companies, Apple has more than its fair share of employees as well. As you can imagine, not everything is cookie-cutter when you're donning an Apple shirt. The employees actually have to follow some rather odd practices, which we're about to swan dive straight into.
20 They have to refer to the headquarters as "The Mothership"
While this rule might not be written in stone like many of the others on this list, it's still a rather commonly accepted practice as an Apple employee. The head office over in Cupertino, California is where employees are flown for training, and luckily for them, all expenses for the trip(s) are paid.
19 They aren't allowed to fix vintage devices
According to apple, anything that was discontinued more than seven years ago is considered to be officially obsolete, meaning that the in-store staff can't make a request to order parts for the original iPhone, for example. However, they're still usually happy to give it a quick look and offer their two cents of advice.
18 They have to deter thieves with kindness
Yep, you read that correctly. The products at the Apple store aren't locked down and down come with any attached form of security tag, so the employees are the frontline when it comes to preventing would-be thieves. How exactly? Well, they're trained to put on a smile, to always be facing the front and to greet every person that walks in the door. That way, nobody can sneak in unnoticed.
17 They can't correct customers
If a confused customer comes into the store with her "iWatch" that suddenly stopped working after she sat on it, the Apple employee - as much as they want to - is not allowed to correct the visitor and tell her that it's actually called an "Apple Watch", not an "iWatch". You can imagine how often things like this happen.
16 They have to clap
When a new face comes to work at the Apple store, all the other employees are required to slap their hands together and applaud. It's known as being “clapped in” and a way of initiating the new staff. Similarly, when someone works their final shift, the other employees are required to "clap them out".
15 They can't wear the uniform outside of office hours...
As much as Apple has become an icon of swanky technology that's as impressive performance-wise as it is easy to use, that doesn't mean that the employees can rock the company logo whenever they feel like it. The shirts that the staff in the Apple stores wear are simply not to be worn outside of the office.
14 ...Not even to lunch
Not only are they not allowed to wear their shirts outside of store hours, they're actually not allowed to physically wear it outside the store at all. Why? Because as soon as someone sees you on your lunch break in the food court wearing an Apple shirt, they'll start asking you why their iPad keeps smelling like cat pee.
13 They have to go through a lengthy training
As one of the world's most recognisable companies, it should come as no shock that Apple really wants to maintain its brand image. For that exact reason, they force all of their employees, no matter if they're 16 or 60, to go through a training program of three weeks before they're allowed to take the floor.
12 What happens at Apple stays at Apple
As much as you'd love to head out to dinner with your friends after a shift and brag about how cool it is to be strutting around at the Apple office, simply put, employees are not allowed to talk about their jobs. It makes a lot of sense though, because they do deal with plenty of private information.
11 They can't complain about customers
Since the Apple employees are bound by secrecy (most of the time), that means that, sadly, telling stories about the crazy customers (of which there are endless) is out of bounds. If you come across some questionable photos on a customer's laptop or phone, you have to keep that to yourself.
10 The 5-year reward
This one might not be a strict rule, per se, however, it is something that generally happens to everyone who dons an Apple t-shirt. After half a decade working for the tech giant, employees are gifted a plaque which is hand-signed by Tim Cook, the current CEO of the company. One, signed by Steve Jobs, was going for $2,000 online a few years ago. And on their 10-year anniversary, employees reportedly receive a glass block etched with the Apple logo.
9 The 10-year reward
Following on from our previous point, if you've been able to stick it out for five years, and then keep chugging along for another half-decade thereafter, then you're given another shiny new toy. This time, it comes in the form of a glass block etched with the Apple logo - sounds like the perfect paperweight, and that's about it.
8 They have to give 'Fearless Feedback'
At least once a day, Apple employees are required to critique their co-workers, as well as their boss. It's a way to make sure that everyone in the workplace is constantly trying to better themselves and their abilities. One a day is required, however, it's encouraged to do so as much as possible.
7 They can't identify on social media
Apple is pretty strict when it comes to maintaining their image. They're a proud company and they don't want anything to risk their brand. That's why the top dogs have decided that employees aren't allowed to identify themselves as Apple Store employees anywhere on social media. It seems odd, but that's the rule.
6 They can't take selfies in uniform
In line with the last point about Apple wanting to keep their brand succinct and clean, they created a rule that forbids any Apple store employees from snapping selfies and uploading this to their various social media accounts. Even if you're having the best hair day ever, you can't show it off while in uniform.
5 They can't get mad if you forget your password
Apparently, some people think that Apple employees should be able to just 'figure it out' for them. Even though it happens with 5 out of every 10 people that come into the Apple store with a Mac that's making funny noises or an iPhone that they dropped in the toilet, and even though it frustrates employees like there's no tomorrow, they still have to keep their cool.
4 Or if you use the store computers for your own business
To add on to our previous point, just because something seems absolutely ridiculous, and just because it riles up the store employees like no tomorrow, they're still forced to keep their cool, don a smile, and showcase a positive attitude. Seriously though, why would you use a public computer for your private affairs?
3 They have to deal with questionable photos
As you can imagine, when people come into the Apple store with a computer that they've dropped onto their cat which has started making funky noises (the computer, not the cat), you never know what'll pop up when the screen turns on. If the content is NSFW, staff simply just have to ignore it.
2 They have to refer people
It's not written in black and white, however, it's essentially the only viable way to actually ever get hired at an Apple store. It's a win-win situation, because Apple trusts its employees to deliver high-quality referrals, while the staff member who sets it up often gets rewarded with $1000 or so in referral bonuses.
1 They go through multiple interviews
Even though there is plenty of jobs of offer, retail, tech, and behind the scenes, getting a job at one of the world's largest and most well-known companies is nowhere near as easy as it seems. Applicants have to go through a grueling process of multiple interviews across multiple stages, and even then, it's tough to secure the gig.