A Transformational Experience


This was written 1/27/10

Today marks my last day as an Apple employee. For nearly five years, I’ve been a part-time Specialist at the Apple store at the Mall at Rockingham Park. I have been immensely proud of working at Apple.

I accepted a full-time position at AT&T a few months ago and have been having trouble meeting the minimum time commitment to continue at the store. Nonetheless, I was trying to find a way to make it work – at least until the end of May when I would celebrate my 5th anniversary. Unfortunately, Apple views my work at AT&T to be a conflict of interest and asked me to choose either Apple or AT&T.

I had to choose the full-time job, despite how much I have loved working at Apple.

In my last hours, I am trying to avoid putting these two corporate giants on a collision course that would leave a smoldering crater on the NYSE.

At the Apple store, we stress the importance of “the customer experience” – greeting  people, talking about their wants and needs, suggesting the right mix of hardware, software and services to “provide the complete solution.”

Recently, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the employee experience – my experience.

For me, Apple has been the constant while so much of the rest of my life has changed. My kids have done a lot of growing up in the past five years, I’ve gone through several full-time jobs, and I started a business.

Of course the perks of working at Apple have been great – discounts, free iPods & iPhone, free or discounted software, the MobileMe account, and all the OS and iLife updates.

The training has been very helpful – both formal and in the casual conversations we have on the floor. I learned something new every day.

And, I never would have started Safe and Sound Video had I not worked at Apple.

But there’s more…

There are the people.

I have probably worked with a couple hundred people over the years and what a wonderful collection of people they are.

I’ve been asked “Are you intimidated, working with so many young people?” “How do you keep up?” “Do you feel out of place?” “Does working with so many kids make you feel old?”

Seriously, I’m only 50 – it’s not like I’m ready for a walker and truss.

But, I was, admittedly, pretty dismissive of “the kids” when I started. I didn’t pay a lot of attention to them as individuals, didn’t really take them seriously. They were just kids after all.

I learned, over time, what an amazing group of people I have had the pleasure to work with. Yes, they are generally a lot younger than me, but they are bright, funny, interesting and engaging. It has been a joy to be with them as they work their way through college, graduate, get married, have their own kids (and not always in that order), and move on to jobs in the real world.

I’ve spent a lot of time with this wildly diverse group of people and have really come to appreciate each and every one of them as individuals.

That has been my transformational experience.

2 Responses to “A Transformational Experience”

  1. Without a doubt a loss for the store, but a gain in my life knowing and working with you. Of course, none of this matter to the moonbats, as we still will keep them in line even though we are not directly next to each other. Again, best wishes, and we will be in touch. I’ll make sure Apple Care does not turn into AppleDayCare while on watch…

  2. 2 Joe

    Being one of the kids in the store I have always enjoyed working with old-timers like you. I will miss you at the store. Maybe we can get together to go drinking, get matching tattoos, and pick up some girls. Enjoy your time with AT&T, and keep in touch.

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