Much of the Apple campus is as you might expect, with floors populated by rows of desks, a manufacturing facility that looks very much like any other and an array of common areas where workers can eat, chat, and go about a day’s work.
Also on site, however, is a darkened room tucked away behind an inconspicuous door, among Apple’s Online Store workers.
Through the door is a changing room complete with an ironing board and a mirror — not something you see every day in the middle of an otherwise impressive but regular office space.
This is where online store specialists come to get ready before beaming themselves into a customer’s home somewhere across the world, having set up an appointment.
An Apple online store specialist working at the Apple European Headquarters in Hollyhill, Cork.
Limerick native Orla is one of the specialists working in the online store in Hollyhill and offers a glimpse into what goes on behind the screen.
One story involves Britain’s BBC Radio 4, which is right up there with Wimbledon, tea, and the royal family but not often associated with the world’s largest technology firms.
Their paths crossed by way of an elderly Apple customer in the wilds of the Scottish Highlands.
On her wishlist for her new Apple device were learning how to search the web; setting up FaceTime to talk to relatives; and listening to a little radio.
No big issue there for some but, for an atypical Apple user of an older generation, a little help was needed and providing that help was former CIT student Orla.
Once presentable, it’s on into a darkened chamber with individual pods each lit by a low white light, in front of which support sessions are conducted in a hushed babble of familiar and unfamiliar languages.
Each pod has a station with a specialist sitting in front of a Mac and at least one other Apple product in front of them, depending on the customer’s needs.
FaceTime connects Orla and colleagues in Hollyhill with customers hundreds or thousands of kilometres away — and Apple products and customers are as one.
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