How Not to Get a Job at Apple
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You know you've thought about it. You go out of your way to drive past the building on your way to work every day. For thirty minutes each morning, you feel like you work there as you wait in traffic with actual Apple employees before you head to your un-magical office park.
Most people take the conventional route of applying for an open position. This, however, does not work. Apple knows there are millions of crazed zealots around the world who dream of life in a Windows-free office (aside from their cubicles). So the company makes things more challenging. Apple only hires people who know Apple employees. So how do you meet an Apple employee? That's the tricky part.
At first I tried hanging out at the Donut Wheel across the street.
"Nice TiBook" an attractive brunette said as she sat down next to me and pulled out her own Titanium bundle of joy.
"Thanks. You're pretty hot, too. I mean, yours, I mean," I choked. But she seemed to take it in stride, like a lioness moving in for the kill.
"So," she purred, flipping her hair, "do you work for Apple?"
"Actually," I began, noting that her eyes lit up at that word, "I'm looking to meet an Apple employee so I can get a job there." She abruptly stood up and moved to another table. The donut clerk just looked at me, shook his head solemnly and continued wiping the counter.
A few minutes later, a well-dressed man with an iBook walked in, but the brunette beat me to him. In my four hours at the Donut Wheel, I met six other people who were trying to get into Apple. The Lioness met nine. Neither of us met any Apple employees.
I resolved to resort to more extreme measures, if only to gain the ability to walk into Donut Wheel and get the Lioness's number. After some digging, I learned that the company wants its employees to stay healthy so they can work late. However, it doesn't want them to waste time visiting sporting goods stores and life insurance brokers, so it invites the vendors to participate in an annual "Health Fair" on campus.
I arrived at the Health Fair well-dressed and armed with a stack of resumes in my laptop bag. I spotted a swarm of vendors unloading SUVs, and asked if I could help carry something in. I got through one set of glass doors with a big box before a security guard stopped me.
"You need a badge to get in," she said sternly, handing me a nametag sticker.
"Thanks," I replied, running to catch up with the owner of my box who was making his way to a table in the enclosed quad. I gazed up in awe at the buildings. It was just like the picture in that famous easter egg. You know, the one with the flag that blows in the wind. I had arrived at Santa's workshop, Cupertino branch, and I needed to meet some elves -- but I had more pressing business to tend to first.
I unzipped my bag, opened the TiBook so it could take in the California sunshine and set it on the grass.
"You're home now," I said, choking up. "Go on. You're free. Go!" I motioned for it to frolic, but it just sat there looking up at me in that cute way Apple laptops do. I dried my eyes and embraced my companion. "You're right. We'll be back," I told the TiBook before packing it away and canvassing the area.
After hanging around one table for several minutes, I discovered that the vendor was using one of the same six or seven sentences each time he spoke to a customer. An Apple employee noticed I wasn't doing anything useful and confronted me.
"How much are the Sharks T-shirts?"
"Two for five dollars, or one for ten dollars," I replied automatically. The employee laughed, handed me a five and walked off with two shirts. Stunned, I walked over to the vendor and told him someone bought two shirts and left the money on the counter. He thanked me, so I hung around a little longer.
"How do you get these scooters started?" a man with decidedly retro taste in clothing asked.
"Just push off with your foot and pull the lever with your right finger," I answered.
"How long does the charge last?"
"For me? About seven miles, but twelve for you," I said, again parroting the vendor before I realized the vendor probably weighed twice what I did. Still, the Apple employee laughed, so I sprung the question. "So, what do you do here?"
"I'm a janitor."
"Oh really," I said. "That's great. Do you know anyone in Web development?" He didn't, but I now had a format for popping the question. Ultimately, I persuaded about ten people to take my resume. One said he was a product manager while the others cleverly claimed to do nothing (probably executives -- I had struck gold).
In the days that followed, I received emails from three of them -- two of whom seemed very interested in my resume. As we traded email after email, they talked more about mission statements and project plans, and I came to realize something.
Apple's just like any other company. Everyone there uses Microsoft Outlook Express. Crestfallen, I decided Apple is not for me.
Adam Guttentag does not speak German.