Originally published September 5 2012
Secret Apple employee training manual reveals company to be a kooky techno cult
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Is Apple Inc., maker of the wildly popular iPod, iPad, iPhone and Macbook Pro really just one big cult? If not, the company seems to be training its employees as if they belonged to some cult-like movement, rather than one of the world's premier electronics manufacturers.
According to tech-savvy website Gizmodo.com, which claimed to have obtained a copy of Apple's employee manual, you can tell right away that something is way out of the ordinary. Titled, "Genius Training," the "student workbook" wastes no time in telling "its new recruits exactly what to think and say," the website said.
"It's a penetrating look inside Apple: psychological mastery, banned words, roleplaying - you've never seen anything like it," says the site.
Inside the workbook is a wide-ranging scope of activities Apple does, and does not, want employees to engage in, right up to and including what the company wants employees to say and think. No doubt Apple wants its employees to embrace a particular message and corporate culture, but the "training" includes far-reaching bans on certain words, as well as techniques on how to identify certain human emotions and use them to their advantage.
"The manual could easily serve as the Humanity 101 textbook for a robot university, but at Apple, it's an exhaustive manual [into] understanding customers and making them happy," says Gizmodo.com.
Happy customers are spending customers
Apparently Apple execs believe they've cornered the market on many of their products because sales training seems to take a backseat to humanities. Nearly the entire workbook deals with empathizing, consoling, cheering folks up. It looks as if the assumption the tech giant makes is that making a customer happy will lead to more sales - a happy customer is a spending customer. Apple looks to be training employees who use the psychology of getting inside your head to the company's overall advantage.
"Before you can don the blue shirt and go to work with the job title of "Genius" every business day of your life, you have to complete a rigorously regimented, intricately scheduled training program," says Gizmodo.com. For two weeks, new hires are exposed to such diverse - and seemingly unrelated - courses such as "Using Diagnostic Services," "Component Isolation," and "The Power of Empathy."
The goal of this two-week "boot camp" is to flood your mind with Genius Actions and Characterizations, which are listed on a "What" and "How" list on page seven of the manual. It reads like word association: What does a Genius do? Educates. How? "Gracefully." The Genius also "Takes Ownership" "Emphatically," and "Recommends" "Persuasively."
"The basic idea here, despite all the verbiage, is simple: Become strong while appearing compassionate; persuade while seeming passive, and empathize your way to a sale," Gizmodo.com said.
Getting in your head about buying iPods, iPads and Macs
No question about it: This is psychological training, but then again, it is training that produces the best tech help you will find when you hit the retail world. Compared to other big box retail outlets, employees of Apple stores are "bar none the most helpful and knowledgeable of any large retail operation," says the tech-savvy site.
More than just about anything else, Apple employees are there to make sure you're a happy customer, but always with a goal of selling you something, for the manual also intones, "Everyone in the Apple Store is in the business of selling."
Here are some other instructions droned into potential employees from the manual, as posted on the Gizmodo.com site:
"Deal with emotional behavior"
"We guide every interaction"
"We deepen and restore relationships"
"We help (customers) discover"
"We enrich (customers') lives"
The term "empathy" is, in fact, repeated more than just regularly throughout the manual. And when employees might encounter reluctance or ignorance, they are taught to employ the "Three Fs: Feel, Felt, and Found. This works especially well when the customer is mistaken or has bad information."
Here's an example:
Customer: This mac is just too expensive.
Genius: I can see how you'd feel this way. I felt the price was a little high, but I found it's a real value because of all the built-in software and capabilities.
Brilliant, if not a bit drone-like.
It all seems to be working. Apple posted its first year of $100 billion worth of sales in 2011.
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