Why Did Apple Inc. Employees Avoid Lunch With Steve Job?

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Why Did Apple Inc. Employees Avoid Lunch With Steve Job?
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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) late CEO Steve Jobs had a reputation of setting very high standards for product design and development.  According to a former employee David Black, compliance with the high standards demanded motivating employees to work hard and be on the brink at all the times. Black said that Jobs was very particular about the values at workplace.

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Jobs wanted to examine employees

Black worked with Apple for over a decade handling separate positions like senior consulting engineer in Java and WebOptics, a solution architect for the company’s Strategic Education Solutions department in China and managing Apple Inc.’s Asia Education Marketing vertical out of Beijing. However, he relinquished Apple to start his own firm and now works at design tech consulting firm DB3 Innovation. Though Black confessed that he didn’t have a chance to interact with Jobs too much, the effect of his presence was obvious on the employees.

He recalled the time, when Jobs would come to patio for lunch and all the employees would finish their lunches within 15-20 minutes of Jobs coming for in the area.”No one would fill the seats near him,” Black said to Business Insider.

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Performance on the spot

Black, also, narrated some stories that he got to know from HR department while working with Apple. Black narrated an incident that reflects the uncalled small challenges that popped up suddenly. He said that once Jobs asked a sales representative about what he was doing today while he was in the elevator. The sales representative answered that he was busy selling the software all day.”It was just that little moment of being challenged,” Black said.

Another incident occurred, where Jobs asked an intern about his work while both were in the elevator. The intern said that he was doing quality assurance for a product. Jobs said to the kid that he should rather go upstairs and continue his work. Hearing this, the kid got nervous according to Black. It was only then when Steve said that he was just frolicking. Black said that the moment can be classified as one when Jobs wanted to examine how people responded.

Black said, “It’s a little bit of a power thing I think.”  He narrates another incident borrowed from the HR depart of Apple, where Jobs asked an intern about her work and to show the work done by her right in the elevator. This is the reason no one would want to be in the private space next to Steve according to Black.

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at amanjain@valuewalk.com
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3 COMMENTS

  1. “Jobs said to the kid that he should rather go upstairs and continue his work.”

    And that’s how Apple’s culture violates labor laws for their hourly employees.

    The Apple lawsuit was filed last year. Apple requested the lawsuit be thrown out, but last week US District Judge William Alsup said a trial would be helpful to learn more about the nature of the employee searches, according to gigaom com. The former Apple employees allege they waited for up to 30 minutes a day without pay to have managers search their bags for stolen merchandise – whenever they clocked out for lunch and at the end of their shift. Apple managers called the searches “Daily Downloads,” which also included “personal technology checks,” whereby managers compare employees’ Apple device serial numbers to a recorded list. Apple said the search is optional for its 26,000 retail staff, meaning they don’t need to bring a bag to work. Judge Alsup didn’t see it that way, pointing out that “Apple employees may need to bring a bag to work for reasons they cannot control, such as the need for medication, feminine hygiene products, or disability accommodations,” as detailed by gigaom com.

    http://www.lawyersandsettlements com/articles/california_labor_law/california-labor-law-lawsuit-87-19857.html#.U7GhcI1dVnI

  2. “Jobs said to the kid that he should rather go upstairs and continue his work.”

    And that’s how Apple’s culture violates labor laws for their hourly employees.

    The Apple lawsuit was filed last year. Apple requested the lawsuit be thrown out, but last week US District Judge William Alsup said a trial would be helpful to learn more about the nature of the employee searches, according to gigaom com. The former Apple employees allege they waited for up to 30 minutes a day without pay to have managers search their bags for stolen merchandise – whenever they clocked out for lunch and at the end of their shift. Apple managers called the searches “Daily Downloads,” which also included “personal technology checks,” whereby managers compare employees’ Apple device serial numbers to a recorded list. Apple said the search is optional for its 26,000 retail staff, meaning they don’t need to bring a bag to work. Judge Alsup didn’t see it that way, pointing out that “Apple employees may need to bring a bag to work for reasons they cannot control, such as the need for medication, feminine hygiene products, or disability accommodations,” as detailed by gigaom com.

    http://www.lawyersandsettlements com/articles/california_labor_law/california-labor-law-lawsuit-87-19857.html#.U7GhcI1dVnI

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