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Apple Employees Pretty Happy Despite Pay Uproar

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Thanks to an article in Saturday’s New York Times, there’s a mild controversy brewing when it comes to employee pay at the Apple Store (AAPL). In spite of the fact that store employees, including technicians and other non-sales staff, earn Cupertino an average of $473,000 a year, compensation sits at about $25,000 for many employees.

In general, the richest company in the world gets away with these wages by hiring the young and Apple-devoted. They also offer good benefits, and big discounts on their products.

Still, many employees might be better off at Verizon (VZ) or AT&T (T), where they would at least get commission.

Except, well, they don’t seem to care. recently polled several current and former store employees, and while they found some that agreed with the Times, many were defensive of Apple.

Take this response to the question “How has working at Apple retail improved your life?”

“I’ve met some interesting people, made good friends, and saved literally $100s if not $1,000s from buying Apple products with discounts. You want to meet the most influential people? Go to an Apple Store. Tons of my co-workers are very bright. Our customers? Extremely friendly people who are mostly nice and kind to us.”

That’s certainly positive. Another employee offers a slightly less enthusiastic response, mentioning the “tremendous workload and under appreciation” that go along with the job.

One former employee gives an interesting take on the subject of commissions. Basically, he says that he rarely had to convince anyone to purchase a product once they’d come to the store. The cult of Apple did a lot of the sales work for him.

Maybe so. In general, workers seem to have drunk the Kool-Aid. In one rambling, free-form response, a salesman (specialist, in Apple parlance) says:

“Sure, we do more work than we’re given credit for. But I don’t work here to get credit. I’m here to do my job well, and to represent the brand as best I can.”

What more could Apple ask for?

But let’s hope that an errant Facebook (FB) post or Google (GOOG) search result doesn’t get any of them fired.

You know, any more than it has.

(See also: Getting Fired Because of Facebook Has Never Been Likelier and Apple Store Employees Still Have Mixed Feelings About the Company)
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.