Former Apple employees have apparently told a podcast host that Cupertino is a brutal work camp run by monomaniac workaholics who would rather be in the office than out enjoying life.
Don Melton and Nitin Ganatra were both senior staff in Apple's Cupertino headquarters but said they've since escaped to a happier existence.
Melton, former internet technologies director, said staff were expected to be on call 24 hours a day, with just one hour of respite to "go to the bathroom or have a conversation with your family" when the unnamed boss sat down on a Sunday to watch The Sopranos.
Staff often worked through the nights and weekend to satisfy the firm's demands for ever increased productivity, he claimed.
The atmosphere was "like working in a nuclear power plant, but you don't get one of those protective suits," said Melton.
"When you hear the so-called apocryphal stories about Tim Cook coming to work in the wee hours and staying late, it's not just some PR person telling you stories to make you think that Apple executives work really hard like that. They really do that. I mean, these people are nuts. They're just, they are there all the time," he added.
Ganatra, who worked as director of iOS apps, agreed that bosses were "intense".
"They're looking for the answers, you have the answer, and you cannot get the answer to them soon enough," he continued.
On the workplace review site Glassdoor, Apple is portrayed as a cool, glamorous place to work, although some staffers write that they are offered little chance to climb the greased pole and pay is often a bit rubbish.
One worker slammed the "long hours, rigid hierarchy and no exit opportunities" at Apple.
Others criticised "Apple politics".
Many writers also raged about the micromanaging, which could stem from the days when Steve Jobs stuck his fingers in every pie in the whole of Cupertino.
"Apple needs to seriously consider how it grows, develops and retains it's staff," one unhappy iParatchik wrote. "Too many good people have been leaving recently and the arrogance of 'they were lucky to have worked for Apple' won't last very long. The people that are staying in the company are just waiting for their stock to vest and those people aren't the great employees you want to hold on to."
Out of a possible 5 stars, Apple scored 3.9. What did El Reg manage?
Why a full five, naturally. ®