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The Apprentice 2, MVPs and LVPs: Episode 13 Corner Office and Mailroom Assignmentsby Mel Ellis -- 12/09/2004
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Oy vey! Ivana, Ivana, Ivana - what were you THINKING? Interesting episode, though not for its lessons on business and selling. What to do with the residents of the mailroom and the corner office?
The mission was the same as in other challenges--street selling. Unless The Donald is hiring the next apprentice street vendor, let's see more challenges that actually show real business acumen. I mean, I sold lemonade when I was six and did pretty well, but "that don't make me Carolyn Kepcher. Never will." (My aplogies to Joan Cusak for that awful rip-off from Working Girl.) Selling candy bars on the street? They already sold ice cream on the street. They already hawked dog-washing services on the streets. What about some conference room action? Make them negotiate the best contract for vendor services, or something like that. Make them work for a contractor, get to know the real estate business from the ground up. Selling bridal dresses? Give me a break! Since The Donald has been married 25 times, this might seem like a fruitful challenge, but to the rest of us, it appeared a bald-faced move to keep Sandy in the game.
Okay, rant over. Let's see how the teams did.
Team A-Peeks: The odd coupling of Kelly, Kevin, and Ivana was put to the test this week, as Ivana was elected team leader. Despite their protestations of support for Ivana, I have to think that Kelly and Kevin strategized this selection. They chose randomly up 'til now, so why was this one different? They knew that the project manager on this one would most probably go home. Keep your head low until the final four, eh, boys? They know Ivana failed before and they know about her problems in managing her time and her thoughts. I thought it was sheer brilliance to put Ivana out there on the front line, all alone. And Ivana never realized that the men were setting her up, at least as I saw it.
The first task was to make the candy bars. (Why? Are they interning for Willy Wonka after this? I don't get it.) BTW: I've tasted the M-azing candy bar and all I can say is… eh. So what? In any event, the teams had to make perfect bars. Team Apex threw themselves into the task with gusto and with pretty good assembly line action. Kelly was adequate, but Kevin seemed to be the Oompa Loompa with the mostest. As for his selling skills on the street? Not so much. The team seemed to have no plan as for price point, and when Kevin gave up early on, Ivana did nothing to rein him in. Is this the same Kevin who masterminded the ice cream sales for charity? What about that ploy this time? I bought $5 candy bars as fundraisers before. Maybe he was overtired, but it never crossed his, or his teammates' minds that they needed a hook. Not hooker, Mosaic - hook. (We'll get to them later.)
In any event, Kelly was solid, but nothing spectacular. No corner office for mediocrity. We're far too snarky to permit that to happen. Just 'cause you didn't suck as much as your colleagues does not permit you to lounge on the Italian leather couch and drink our cappuccino. No, sir. And Kevin, you gave up much too soon. Where's the energy? The passion? I realize it's just candy bars, but you gotta step up your efforts or you are toast, despite the RNO Writers' wholehearted support for you, as seen in our roundtable. However, we have 1,599 employees (we had 1,600 until Nerlman got his tie caught in the copier), and lethargy has been known to seep in from time to time. Though your price cutting was a bad move, it's not worth a trip to the mailroom.
And then there was Ivana. Ivana, who seems to hate pretty women, especially Jen. Ivana, who cannot step in and lead when leading is required. Ivana, who lets the zeal of competition override any morality or sensibility she possesses. Ivana, who addresses people as "Look." Ivana, you dropped trou purportedly to sell chocolate but, as Carolyn rightly pointed out, by that time, you weren't selling candy anymore, were you? The Donald said you stripped (boy shorts or no) and he didn't hire strippers. Well, Bobbie in Accounting fell on hard times trying to work her way through business school, and we hired her despite "The Spearmint Club" experience on her resume. You can stay, but you have to go straight to the mailroom. Do not pass Go. And for Pete's sake, keep your clothes on. It gets cold down there.
To paraphrase Big Fat Obnoxious Boss, "frankly, if the three of you can't beat a couple of broads in a part of short-shorts in a sale, then maybe we shouldn't be doing business together."
Team Ho-saic: Ladies, ladies - does that term even apply anymore? You were told to make the bars and sell the bars. It took you hours to make 3 bars and Carolyn watched as tray after tray fell off the conveyor belt into the trash. I was sure you were goners. I think Carolyn was, too. She had a special gleam in her as she watched your candy making fiasco. Nevertheless, you pulled off some production, making only 30 less bars than the other team. Which actually leads me to another slam at Team Apex - with another person and faster production you could only come up with 30 more bars than the Doublemint Twins? You are SO NOT getting a corner office this week!1 2 Next-->
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