Monday, 7 March 2011

Net Promoaner Part 16

Whoa, someone who wishes to remain anonymous shares a story with us, regarding the midnight Genius repair shifts.

"It started last June 2010 when all of the Genii where pulled into the managers office one by one. Everyone else was outraged and stated that they would quit before working until midnight. It was kind of ironic though, I had the least reaction compared to the other Genii. I don't have a problem with change and said that I would give it a try. This change was supposed to give us more time during the day to help customers at the bar. Possibly even extending our time per appointments beyond the 15 minute mark. It was promised that we would even have the opportunity to do "while you wait" repairs for the easier fixes. This midnight shift was also focused on giving the Genius team an uninterrupted 4 hours each night to do repairs. It was mandatory that each one of us worked at least 3 midnight shifts per each work week. 

I was lucky compared to most of the others. I didn't have any of the "cl-open" shifts (close one night, open the next day). These "cl-open" shifts resulted in about 8 hours between shifts. I couldn't believe that this was possible let alone legal. They weren't even flexible if we had kids to drop off at school early the next morning, and had complete disregard to our personal life.

I remember that I started to condition myself a week prior to my first midnight shift. I had to force myself to stay up late which was very difficult. My whole family was involved in attempting to keep me up until the stroke of midnight. After about 3 months of these midnight shifts I started to realize that I couldn't fall asleep when I returned home after my shift. I would find myself falling asleep later and later each following week, sometimes as late as 5 AM. I had gone to the manager with my concerns and they said that if it was a problem to go find a different job. Seriously, they told me to quit and get a different job, with no compassion whatsoever. 

This sleep deprivation really started becoming a health concern as I was urged by my wife to see the doctor to discuss my poor sleep habits. The Dr. was outraged that a big company like Apple, is mandating that I change my lifestyle, creating such an unhealthy work environment. As all American Drs do, she prescribed medication to correct it. The only other option I had, was to quit and I couldn't afford that option. The new medication was supposed to help me fall asleep better. The new med worked, but with some side effects. I feel like I'm only awake to work and I can't even enjoy my time off with my wife and family.

In October I had contacted Matrix to see what they could do. After about 2 months I was turned over to HR and there has been no change. According to HR part of the Genius requirements are to work 3 midnight shifts a week. They asked if I could at least do 2 as an exception, but they are completely missing the point.

Currently I wake up, eat, work, sleep repeat. I have no energy to do anything before or after my shift. The quality of life has diminished. I spend my days off napping and lazy. My wife cries on a monthly basis as she is frustrated that I am unable spend any time with her. I've asked to be on all late shifts or all early shifts just have some consistent sleep patterns. They said it's not an option.

The worst part of the whole deal is that I don't see any improvement with our abilities to help people at the bar or repairs. Their studies showed that we are better off doing repairs later in our shifts rather than first thing in the morning. I can't see how that is possible when I and the rest of the team are completely exhausted. They said that we would be able to do "while you wait" repairs. That can't happen due to the lack of personnel working during the daytime to accommodate the night shifts. They said that the late shifts would result in uninterrupted repair time. We are still being interrupted between the 8 to 9 o'clock hour. The studies also showed that there was no need for the Genius Bar to be open between eight and nine o'clock. That doesn't make any sense either.

I hope that this doesn't get me fired. I'm a little worried about retaliation from Apple so please make this post anonymous. I'm just curious to know if this is normal amongst all stores and if there are others that feel as I do.

Thanks for hearing me out."

Boom. We all felt, and in many cases/stores still feel exactly the same. It's unhealthy, fucking boring, no better for the customers, moral is much lower, tiring... I could go on. Why don't Apple actually ask the Genius Teams for their input? Surely being on the bar all day everyday they have a good idea of when the bar works best? Apple would rather leave the decisions to some corporate idiot who has never worked a day on the shop floor in their entire life, let alone the bar, who sits their looking at figures, stats, and probably the value or their shares. They'd rather make the change, then ask for 'feedback' only to ignore any negative comments. It's like talking to a fucking brick wall.

Apple, are you reading this?? I think that you are, so take it on board and actually go and 'enrich the lives' of the people who are, remember, 'the most important resource, the soul' of the company, as these are the people that worked their asses off so you could drive home tonight in that fancy car.