Bullying at the workplace — Apple

Apple almostDon3
Apr 23 38 Comments

I want to start this threat and gauge how many face the same problem. I joined Apple not too long ago (less than a year ago) as an ICT3 SWE. To be honest, I am at shock with the culture here. People raising their voices at each other (calling it passion, or strong feedback, when they were almost yelling). More senior engineers and managers bullying less senior people. Very unorganized meetings, people cutting each other off and never letting each other get to the point. What i faced is the following:
- a colleague who always cuts me off, never lets me finish, always puts himself in the spot to answer any questions towards me in meetings. He would also tell me “your thinking is wrong”. He would disagree with everything I say, right when I start talking, he would jump and say “no, no”. When I ask him any work related questions, he would send me a github repo and tell me “here, dig in the code”. When ever there is a live site issue, he tries to pin it on my work and was proofed wrong multiple times. He makes it very clear when go to his office for questions that he does not want me standing there by his language, voice tone and posture. He is a bully.
- a manager, who has given me 2 full projects to own, one is a large scale distributed project at the heart of apple’s data. For an ICT3, it is already more than enough. When i talked to him about my colleague, all in a sudden, I am underperforming.
- I discovered that my manager and my bully colleague are buddies, they worked together a couple of companies before Apple, and when my manager joined Apple, he recruited my bully colleague.
- it is causing me so much stress and anxiety

What’s funny, is, when I talked to business conduct about possible harassment, they literally did nothing, they talked about it to my manager’s manager, and somehow the news go to my manager. What a joke

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TOP 38 Comments
  • Uber lol Blind
    I see this all the time from junior engineers who went through college never being told how dumb they really are. They think honest feedback is bullying, racism, sexism, anything but them being not as smart as they were always told.

    Maybe assume if many people at Apple, one of the best engineering shops in the world, agree, that the problem is probably you, and take it as an opportunity to improve yourself.
    Apr 235
    • Travelport buttnpushr
      Lol imagine thinking FAANG is immune from harassment. There are ways to deal with enthusiastic youth besides treating them like morons
      Apr 23
    • eBay J Snow
      Haha. It is so easy to understand that you are just jealous of junior engineers because maybe you were just shit at that age. Guess what you still are.
      Apr 23
    • Travelport buttnpushr
      @jsnow he probably got to a management position thru the age old "promote till harmless" principle
      Apr 23
    • eBay J Snow
      Haha. In that case I expected him to be at least decent at soft skills.
      Apr 23
    • Google relprime
      Wow. I recently moved to the Bay area and I'm very far out of college. I've been really shocked too at the behavior here -- there are plenty of other workplaces that manage to deliver constructive criticism and be more inclusive. I'm guessing you came here straight out of college?
      May 1
  • Kohl’s jJrR
    Is your boss Chinese/ Indian ? Are you from a different ethnicity than your boss and bully ?
    Apr 232
    • Apple almostDon3
      OP
      Yes, my boss is from the aforementioned countries. And yes, I am from a different ethnicity
      Apr 23
    • Capital One Nova Kane
      Being one of those ethnicities but having grown up in the US, I can say I know what it feels like even so. Tribal mentality.
      Apr 23
  • Epsilon @boa
    OP, you are stressing yourself becuase you are allowing it. So what if your manager comes and tell you that you are not performing? I have been working in the one of the body sops for 7 years and i had never received a single appreciation, the managers would take the credit and i was left in my own pile of work. It felt bad, but i carried on thinking my day would come. Stay hungry, stay foolish, give a sh*t to credits. YOE:11, TC: 476K
    Apr 234
    • Lyft TEHm35
      How do you have such a high tc after working at body shops?
      Apr 23
    • Epsilon @boa
      Resorted to LC and after got into FAANG
      Apr 23
    • Lyft TEHm35
      You in Apple? Even for ICT5 they don’t give that much...
      Apr 23
    • Lyft TEHm35
      Were you the guy asking about idms at Apple? Yeah no way they give 476k tc..
      Apr 23
  • Travelport buttnpushr
    Ever considered an internal transfer? Teams might end up having dramatically different cultures depending on who is leading
    Apr 233
    • Apple almostDon3
      OP
      I heard that the current manager can block it, is that correct?
      Apr 23
    • ARM qSwc20
      Sounds like they don’t like you so why would they block you?
      Apr 23
    • Apple almostDon3
      OP
      They are making it hell on earth to push me out :) playing political with me
      Apr 23
  • Apple Aa1
    TC?
    Apr 238
    • Apple almostDon3
      OP
      260k
      Apr 23
    • Apple Aa1
      Well, you are getting paid as ICT4, they probably judge your performance according to a 4. Promoting you in the short run would mean, you’d be paid as mid-upper 4 since your initial stocks are still in the pipe. So they keep expectations really high. Doesn’t mean they think you’re incapable. Otherwise, your manager wouldn’t have entrusted you with so much responsibility. Just, you have a lot to prove to get promoted quickly. Or you’d have to wait for a few years like everyone else.
      Apr 23
    • Apple almostDon3
      OP
      Well, my manager keeps telling me I am underperforming, so, I think he is prepping to put me on a pip and push me out soon. He is being very political and so freaking mean. Even if he does not, I do not want to stay in his team, he is a failure of a manager.
      Apr 23
    • Apple Aa1
      Sorry to hear that. Hope things work out. It may be good to try talking to your manager about your concern. If it doesn’t help and your judgement of your work for ICT3 is “meets expectations or above” you may try one layer up and/or HR. Also how about other team members? Do you feel there is a general consensus on your manager being a bully?
      Apr 23
    • Apple almostDon3
      OP
      My manager told me, if other team members didn’t like it, they would’ve left (they have been with the company for about 5 years, since the team was founded, my only problem is with the bully colleague and now my manager joining his side)
      Apr 23
    • Apple Aa1
      Are there experienced team members who would be willing to support you during those moments of bullying by being on your side?
      Apr 23
    • Apple Aa1
      For example, people who owned or worked on those two projects previously?
      Apr 23
    • Apple almostDon3
      OP
      I honestly don’t know. The manager of the Sr. architect who build the initial version of one of the two projects acknowledged that this project is very complex. People tend to not clash with managers due to fear of retaliation
      Apr 23
  • Perhaps because I’m getting old, the term “bully” is a trigger for me. I never heard it used in the context of work until a few years ago. In my mind, a bully is the 10 year old who teases,pushes, and knocks books out of the hands of an the 8 year old on the playground. Adults raising voices, interrupting others, and even calling someone else’s work bad, isn’t bullying. It might be impolite, rude, and not good for morale. But it’s not bullying. Saying an employee is underperforming is called management. Maybe not good management- but that’s not bullying either.
    That said, this behavior is not uncommon in a lot of workplaces. I’ve been told my work sucks, I’ve been yelled at, loudly, and I’ve had some really bad managers who couldn’t explain anything but had very high expectations. Welcome to work.You can regain respect of your bosses when you stop focusing on their behavior, and get the project done. If that is not possible, go to another group where everyone is all nicey nice.
    May 61
    • Travelport buttnpushr
      The difference between when it is just bad behavior and 'bullying' is how it comes out. If I am yelling at a subordinate because I am frustrated about something about their work, that's just rude and losing control. But if I am yelling at them as part of a regular thing where I am targeting them and intentionally trying to demoralize them, that's bullying.
      May 6
  • eBay J Snow
    Name and shame
    Apr 230
  • Lyft TEHm35
    Which org is this ?
    Apr 230
  • VMware Lnnh18
    HR should have whistle blowing capabilities, don't know much about Apple though. You're obviously doing something good since they keep you and that dude seems to be afraid of your capability, hence the power play. HTH
    Apr 232
    • Apple almostDon3
      OP
      He keeps telling I am underperforming, which is not true for an ICT3, owning two large distributed systems, one of which serves more than 100 million requests a day!
      Apr 23
    • Uber lol Blind
      Still possible you are an under-performer. Did you design those systems from the ground up? Maybe Apple just isn’t looking for your skill set.
      Apr 23
  • New AsYK38
    Carry yourself with confidence and push back in a firm but respectful manner.
    Apr 231
    • Apple almostDon3
      OP
      It’s hard to, i tried. Not working
      Apr 23
  • Apple aplanonymo
    I experienced the same problem and my friend at another Apple team too.

    My advices:
    1. do NOT raise your concerns to HR, or they will notify your manager, and you will lose your job.
    2. You may raise your concerns to your senior manager if trustworthy, and ask for a transfer.
    3. Go to cooljobs, contact hiring managers for coffee and get interviewed discreetly.
    4. Stay polite and immaculate. Later, give the bully the performance review he deserves.

    Your goal is to move to another team at Apple. Not all teams are bad, each team is different.

    If you work with a bully, it is less likely that he will get fired. HR is not designed to protect employees from other employees, remember that!

    Resolution to my case: I was transferred to another team after I raised concerns to my senior manager.

    Resolution to my friend’s case: he collected feedback about the bully from everyone in the team. Everybody agreed he was a bully. When all performance reviews turned to be pointing at the same bullying issue, senior manager had to transfer the bully to another team with less impact on the company.

    HR has no role to play, unfortunately.
    May 80
  • Bloomberg agileeeeee
    time to LC and gtfo lol, there are some nice questions out lately. Enjoy.
    Apr 230

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