Apple Sounds Like a Terrible Place to Work

There are few jobs as paper-prestigious as working where the iPod was invented. Even though Apple lost its startup zeal many years ago, it's still the Harvard of tech firms, surrounded by smooth lines and military-grade secrecy. On the other hand, we have this guy, who hated Apple so much he walked out.

Jordan Price is an app designer. To be an app designer at Apple, you would think, is akin to sketching shoes at Louboutin. When Price nailed an interview at Apple a month ago, he expected it to be his dream job—but according to this rare critical piece about the company's culture, it was anything but:

I hardly (hardly meaning never) saw my daughter during the week because the hours were so inflexible. I had also taken a substantial pay cut, but I figured I was making a long-term career investment by working for such a prestigious company. On boarding was super bumpy, and they had so many passwords, accounts, and logins that it took nearly a month just for me to get on the server. There were meetings all the time which were disruptive to everyone's productivity

Even worse, the lumbering asshole ghost of Steve Jobs still roams the halls (and haunts the managers), making belittling behavior OK:

My immediate boss, who had a habit of making personal insults shrouded as jokes to anyone below him, started making direct and indirect insults to me. He started reminding me that my contract wouldn't be renewed if I did or didn't do certain things...He was democratic about his patronizing and rude comments, but it didn't make me feel any better when he directed them towards my team members. I felt more like I was a teenager working at a crappy retail job than a professional working at one of the greatest tech companies in the world.

After one final putdown from his boss, Price drew a line on the touchscreen and quit:

Then at lunch time I wiped the iPad data clean, put the files I had been working on neatly on the server, left all their belongings on my desk, and I got in my car and drove home. I left a message for my boss and told him he's the worst boss I had ever encountered in my entire professional career and that I could no longer work under him no matter how good Apple might look on my resume.

The annals of Apple are full of storm-outs and firings, but a firsthand account is rare—people are either too scared or worshipful of the pearly mothership to criticize it at all. And after all, if you read the corporate mythology, being horrible to your inferiors is part of what Apple made such a perfection mill. Maybe things are finally getting so tyrannical inside, it's worth speaking out.