Saturday, November 12, 2016

Apple People are Certifiably Cool


One of the side effects of job-hunting is that when you do get an interview, it makes you cra.

Take the interview I had a few weeks ago at Apple. Getting a job at Apple, I've heard, is harder than getting into Stanford. Righto. Sure.

Apple is a rare bird. It makes $6,000 per square foot in its retail stores. The stores are well lighted, and they shine in the dark like the sole moviehouse in a small town.  They don't have a lot of square footage, which is largely why, when you go inside, they're so crowded. Crowded, well-designed, noisy, and staffed with salespeople who are overwhelmingly twenty-something, confident, soft-spoken, low-key, unflappable, articulate, and cool.

Cool above all. The first ten times I went to an Apple store I felt like a fugitive.

Which is why it tickled me absolutely silly to be invited to one of their group interviews. There, in a group of nine (smaller than the previous day's group of 15 or 20), I sat next to eight people who were pitch-perfect to the i-note. In one of the exercises, where we chatted with and then introduced a fellow applicant, I found out that I'd bought my first Apple the year he was born.

The twenty-something generation is very different from mine. They aren't run by the clock. Off work hours, they start something and finish it before they do the next thing, and if the first thing they start isn't done on time, then everything else runs late. My generation--well, okay, I--time things pretty precisely and have options for pausing and/or bailing a project if I start to run late. For twenty-somethings who aren't actually working, late is one hour. For me, late is 15 minutes. This isn't a complaint, it's a sociological observation.

I didn't get a job at Apple, but now I feel like a fugitive all over again.
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This post was drafted in 2012.


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