AppleToo
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AppleToo

#AppleToo: Digest #51

One of the goals of #AppleToo is to ensure that all those who have not had a voice, all those who sought help and found none, get a voice. Each of the stories included in this digest was submitted by a current or former Apple employee. These stories represent a systemic issue and the need to do better.

We further emphasise that attempting to silence one voice does not silence the voices of all those who suffered, nor does it erase or delegitimise the stories we are sharing. We will continue to share these stories in the hopes that Apple will create a better environment for all its employees, and will be sharing them until we receive resolution.

It is our hope that in sharing these stories, we can bring some resolution. We are honoured to share these stories, and by the trust that each story represents. Even one story is too many. Each story is a person who suffered, and in many cases, continued to suffer in a hostile environment.

We are publishing these stories in batches of five because the emotional weight of them is substantial. They represent five parts of the larger story of systemic issues that must be addressed.

Classism

My manager once told me I “look like shit” because I was wearing work boots and jeans. My location had a very cliquey bunch for a leadership team. If you didn’t fit that mold good luck getting anywhere.

No opportunities for career development

As a retail employee, I’ve watched countless instances where a “favorite” advances to a higher roll that never existed to apply for. I’ve had to compete for a single roll against multiple staff members, climbing to the top of all numbers only to be told “sorry, not this time, keep doing what you’re doing” while being handed reviews that state “achieved expectations” despite better numbers than the other stores near by. I’ve asked for opportunities to advance past my role, done everything managers and leaders said to do, only to personally watch other employees magically advance to the role I’ve worked for, when the application never existed. No one on the staff knew we would be opening a role up except the store manager and whatever connection leader did it. I’ve asked for raises while I’ve had children, I’ve stated my position and needs, only to be told I’m making the ”right” about corporate says. Employees in my same role make more. Employees down a level (or two) make more. I have been told multiple times for the last 4 years that I can not make any case for a raise, and the management is powerless to help me secure a pay raise. Still again, I’ve watched this exact situation play out for the favored employees. I’ve been taken aside and silenced for asking too many questions, for daring to try to make things right. I’m tired of the “you can take one more before your break/end of shift”, which always takes more time away. I’ve been reminded so many times to do what my family needs, then take a sick day or use sick time to care for a situation only to have a conversation the next day about how much I’ve hurt the team. I have watched my job change it’s expectations from management without any new contract. Our work has easily tripled in again and off again without any additional compensation. Our systems are designed to make us do more for getting things done on time, and managers employ guilt to advance their goals.

I hope so much that apple can change. I want to feel like apple cares about me; us. I wish I were in a position to jump ship; instead I’m left with sadness and a trapped feeling watching my debt rise while working full time, with health benefits that seem to come and go and no clear picture that tomorrow will ever be brighter. For the record, I make 2/3 of the minimum living wage for my area; and make less than I did 5 years ago when factoring inflation.

Racism

Before the transition to Slack, AppleCare was using AppleChat. Our group had specific rules on not using Copyrighted Gifs or pictures in emails or chats. It felt like it came up in every team meeting for a period of time.

To get around this to have “fun” some advisors crudely drew their own memes or gifs. This came to a head one day when one was posted that involved a “meme” that was a noose around a customer’s neck with the customer saying a common phrase because of a specific issue that happened on Monday’s. I guess to some of our peers, customers deserve to be lynched because our UI/products aren’t super clear and well thought out. Not to mention that so many of the users of said product happen to be lower income, different racial backgrounds, etc.

That not only went out to Black @ Apple, there was a specific group of Black advisors to our own group. I wasn’t apart of that specifically, but I did see the screenshots and the aftermath. Formal complaints were filed. However, the Team Manager was the only one to address the team chat it was posted in. Our Organization as a whole was never addressed. The two people responsible for these hand drawn memes were never appropriately disciplined. One is still a Senior Specialist, and the other went on to take several rotations as a Senior Specialist but no longer works at the company.

I left that group a few months later. I personally regret not doing more at the time, and I vowed after that time to do more should I see that level of racism and disrespect happen.

Lack of pay equity

Pay discrepancy has been a big topic in our market. From everyone I have connected with, each of us had experienced our manager telling us not to talk about our pay when we first signed our employment papers upon being hired (or else we would face termination). After working for Apple for a couple of years, I was with some coworkers, and our wages came up, finding out that I was getting paid significantly less than my male peers. I became upset because I either helped train these workers, spoke an additional language than them, had a college degree while they were still in school, were in the same role, and was hired relatively close to when I was or hired after me. I eventually wrote an exchange journal about my frustration, and a manager reached out to me. My subsequent merit increase was significantly higher than usual (an increase of 6.38% when I was told it was capped at 6%). The conversation ended there. I also discovered more similar stories about pay discrepancies between females and males and decided to go to the EEOC. I wrote my experience and named a couple of my male peers to see why they were getting paid higher than I was, and the response from Apple was shocking. It was as if the respondent had no clue whom I was referring to and all of their points about this person (who is my friend, so I had a deep understanding of their background and experience) were false. For example, they claimed that he had worked at Apple continuously within the company for x amount of years which meant that they worked at Apple for a more extended amount of time than I did (when in reality, he left Apple for a year and was rehired, which meant that we technically had been with Apple the same amount of years), was getting paid more than I was since he spoke a “more dominant” language in our area (when in reality, the second language I spoke, according to the state tourism spending statistics, my language/country was more dominant in our state, and even if that was the case, I directly asked my manager if people got paid higher for speaking more than one language and they answered no.), claimed that he had managerial and additional retail background than I did (when really, this was his FIRST job). — it goes on. On top of that, the ironic thing was that the Apple respondent pointed out examples of all of my negative points from previous quarter reviews and, in comparison, highlighted only the male’s positive points when in reality, all of our reviews require BOTH positive and negative feedback — which I pointed out directly feeds into the sex discrimination I am facing within the company. — it goes on.

Harassment, abuse, and bullying

(CW: This story contains disclosure of sexual harassment and sexual assault.)

I was made aware of AppleToo only half an hour ago. I’ve read so many of the Medium digests & it is all too similar to my 3 years at Apple. I just put in my two weeks yesterday because the way that I, & many at Apple have been treated, is incredibly painful.

In my first year, I was the only one being verbally harassed by a manager. Many saw it, but never experienced it personally. I once went to him because a customer had twirled his fingers in my hair & wouldn’t stop trying to hold my hands. The manager said that I “attract that behavior”.

In my second year, I had gone out to dinner with some of my coworker friends, I was the only women, 3 other men. One of them drugged me & raped me that night. He told the entire store. Coworkers were asking me if I was okay for days, I had no idea what they were walking about. Managers were calling me into the office, asking if I was okay, but no one was saying anything specific. There was a download telling everyone not to hang out with their coworkers outside of work because “your coworkers are not your friends”. The coworker who drugged & raped me, was constantly yelling at me at work, & when he did, I would go home early. But once, he fully screamed at me in front of my customer. So I told the managers I was going home again. The coworker called me, screaming that I almost got him fired. We quickly went into COVID lockdown, so I didn’t have to see him for a year. The best day of my apple life, was the day they he quit.

In my third year, the new senior manager, his father works in corporate, constantly tried to upset me. In my first week of meeting him, he was listening to my transaction, a lovely transaction I was having, about inclusivity, non-binary pronouns, etc, it was beautiful. The senior manager, asked why anyone would do such a thing. He called they/them pronouns “the stupidest fucking thing” he’d ever heard. In front of my customer. He lied & told everyone he was vaccinated, so that he didn’t have to wear a mask, & gave 8 people covid. He always wanted to talk politics with me & I never would, because he voted for trump & made it very clear how he felt about women & POC. & when I would refuse to speak to him about these topics, he would complain to the store manager that I was too emotional to be an apple employee. When I was trying to move from sales specialist to operations specialist, he said that my “feminine energy didn’t belong in backstage” & that I was “too feminine to do anything other than sales”. I told both that store & the store that I transferred to, that if he delivered my performance review, that I wouldn’t participate. My review happened 4 months after everyone’s & with a manager that I trusted. I wouldn’t even let the store manager deliver it because when I asked her 5 times to remove me from his connection team, she never did & I felt like she was allowing that behavior to continue.

I transferred to a new store 3 months ago, where all the same issues still exist. A new coworker rubbing my shoulders & then being rude to me & not speaking to me. The new manager threatening to fire me if I didn’t open my availability.

The district manager was shocked that I was quitting, he called me because he needed to understand. He said I was always so bubbly & helpful & a delight, he couldn’t believe these things had happened to me.

I really appreciate this thread from other apple employees because I have felt so alone in my experience.

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Janneke

Janneke

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