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Apple’s Genius training manual shows how company herds and grooms its ‘iSheep’

Forget computer science — to be an Apple (AAPL) Genius you apparently need a degree in cognitive psychology. Gizmodo on Tuesday got hold of the training manual that Apple gives to its retail employees and it’s rife with psychobabble designed to get potential customers comfortable with forking over lots of cash for Apple’s finely crafted products.

One of the most interesting aspects of the manual is that at points it reads like a marriage counseling pamphlet — Apple Geniuses are encouraged to empathize with customers and constantly remark on how they understand their feelings. So, when a prospective customer frets that a new Macbook Pro might be out of his or her price range, Geniuses are encouraged to respond thusly: “I can see how you’d feel this way. I felt the price was a little high, but I found it’s a real value because of all the built-in software and capabilities.”

Geniuses are also trained to read customer body language and to give one another “fearless feedback” in which they politely explain to one another why they’re crappy at their jobs.

Yes, this entire procedure sounds more like something out of the Church of Scientology than the world’s most profitable company, but as Gizmodo points out, it’s been highly successful and has led to plenty of copycat operations.

At any rate, the next time you’re lonely and are too cheap to pay for therapy, you might want to head down to the Apple Store. After all, they’re trained to feel your pain.


Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.