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The Apprentice 3 Weekly Performance Review, Episode 1: No Classby Mike DeGeorge -- 01/27/2005
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I'll be honest. After that disaster of a season two, I was NOT looking forward to watching, let alone writing about, Apprentice 3. I don't like the idea of "book smarts vs. street smarts," simply because I don't think anyone without a degree has a chance in hell if they're up against someone with a degree. The nonsensical firings of Troy and Sandy proved that to me. Combine that with a total lack of interest after the horrid season two, and that means I just don't care.
But I'll also admit that watching the show, I started becoming eager to write this column again, simply because I was looking forward to ripping into some of these morons. I have a college degree, so I would technically be on Magna Corporation, but I find myself identifying more and more with Net Worth. Which made me think - when I started this column, my intention was to combine my BS degree with my ten years of real world experience. Looking back, I've realized that I tend to rely on the latter far, FAR more than the former. Furthermore, this year we have the excellent "Big Picture" articles by Andris Pone, which handle the business school side of things quite well, leaving me free to rely on my business experience in these articles.
As always, I will give the candidates advice as if I were giving them a weekly performance review. Winning team goes first.
Net Worth Corporation:
Boy, Magna did NOT like it when you kept mentioning that your incomes were triple theirs, did they? Every time someone mentioned it, they winced. The reason for that is simple and obvious - while Magna candidates are lawyers and real estate agents, Net Worth are business owners and entrepreneurs. Love the name, by the way. Every time Trump says it, it's another twist of the knife to Magna.
Which leads me into my next point - Trump said he was a big believer in education, but he said he might have to rethink it. Um, why wait until now? What about Troy? Or Sandy? They ring a bell? They did pretty good and got fired because of their lack of education. Then again, early in the first season, Trump said he might never hire a man again. How did that work out?
I really liked your operation. Everything, from the marketing to the running of the restaurant to even the choice of burger (which, by the way, is excellent. I had one tonight, in fact.) was top notch. It was easy to predict that you would win, mainly because we spent most of our time with Magna!
Angie: The only thing I remember from you was your comment that "nothing is beneath" you. I love that attitude! The best way to motivate your staff is to show that you're willing to get your hands dirty, and nothing irritates a subordinate like being handed a dead fish of a project that no one else is willing to handle.
Audrey, Chris, Craig, and Tara: We didn't see enough of you to make a good determination of your abilities. This isn't necessarily a bad thing - I said the same thing to Bill the first few weeks of season one.
Brian: You're taking a lot of heat for worrying so much about the Viking helmet in the store. While it was a bit silly, I can't imagine that it cost your team anything, and it contributed a bit of fun to the proceedings. If I were you, I'd promote the helmet as a lucky helmet (or get a spear and make it your spear and magic helmet! Spear and magic heeellllmet! North winds blow! South winds blow!… um, sorry. It's getting late.) and bring the whole team into it, kind of like Troy's lucky hat. Promoting teamwork, when not done annoyingly like with a guitar or a stupid cheer, is always a positive. I like your attitude.
That said, you came off as a bit of a rube, especially when talking to Trump about the broken down limo story. That can be endearing, but I tend to think you'll be looked at as more of a weirdo like Raj that the others make fun of, not the one everyone likes.
Kristen: Others have commented on your past on Murder in Small Town X, but I didn't see enough to get an impression. I can't imagine how you'd be so surprised that a travel agent works out of his apartment, though. It's not like that's an incredibly rare arrangement!
Tana: If you're going to get all upset about dog pee, you're not in the right game. You should hope there's not a dog washing challenge! You did look to do a fantastic job behind the counter, though, which counts for a lot.
John: You really know how to make a great first impression! You got on your team's good side and brought attention to yourself in a good way by offering the idea that whatever happens in the boardroom stays in the boardroom. Of course, you could be setting yourself up for a fall, but that might also be part of your plan - draw them into your trap. I'll be interested to see which is the case.
Onto your performance in the task as Project Manager - to be frank, it's one of the finest performances of any project manager in three seasons of The Apprentice. Your speech to the staff about no one on the team having a college degree was a stroke of brilliance. They knew right away that they were working for people who KNEW HOW TO WORK and didn't just read about it in a book. (For further proof of this, remember how Todd was scribbling in his notebook while John was in the middle of things). As any good manager knows, once you get the staff on your side, the rest is cake.1 2 Next-->
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