John Gruber wrote an ugly screed in reply to a letter that got leaked to The Verge’s Zoe Schiffer from Apple workers asking for more flexible time at home options. The office workers were told to return to the office three days a week later this year, and they would naturally prefer more flexible schedules. Gruber’s response is really ridiculous, this statement really sums up his attitude:
Companies are not democracies, but the employees writing these letters sure seem to think Apple is one.
I used to read Daring Fireball but stopped in 2019 after the last time I could put up with this bizarre backwards attitudes published there. At that time Gruber conflated a country and everyone in it with their government. Gruber wrote this in 2019:
“The Chinese are petty and petulant.”
After reading that I sent a polite e-mail asking that this be corrected at least to “The Chinese government is…” which isn’t even something I’d agree with, but at least separates the government from the people. I doubt Gruber would want to be associated with the United States government from 2016-2020 and said as much.
With that incident in the past I am almost completely unsurprised when I see antiquated anti-worker takes on Daring Fireball. A site where the author writes from home every day at his leisure, with no boss or coworkers. Apple’s leadership has been incredibly flawed since the start, but still produced incredible hardware and software products. These days it should be impossible to overlook the wide injustices inherent to the profit motive that corrupts every business and its leaders, but Gruber has been behind the times for years now and needlessly defends Apple leadership.
Let’s be clear: the workers design and make the products and are the people with the skill to distribute and sell them. The executives steal the profits because the workers aren’t organized. That’s the relationship with every business that isn’t worker-owned or at least unionized.
This is reminiscent of the bag check situation where Apple leadership was dead wrong in not paying their workers fairly for time spent waiting while they were treated like thieves, but even Gruber understood part of the situation then and that was just a year ago.