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My Big, Fat, Obnoxious Boss, Episode 8: Blowin’ In the Windby Mel Ellis -- 03/29/2005
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We start, as always, with the group waiting at the penthouse. Damien, David, and Keri are sleeping on couches. Did they get bounced from their rooms, or is the anticipation of seeing who comes through the door so great they are camping out? Seems to be the latter, as Damien nods off and jerks awake with a start only to have Keri reassure him that, “we’ll hear the footsteps.” David seems pleased that the men have survived so far, calling the situation a “sausage fest.” I coulda done without that comment, but whatever.
Annette and Mike (Goatee Guy, GG for short), come back to hugs and questions. Annette notes that she really wanted Mike to go home and felt he was antagonistic and was beating up on her. Seems she threw the first punch, if my memory serves.
Annette and GG repeat the knock-knock joke with which NPT fired Douglas. Damien is stunned, but Keri likes a good joke. She thinks it’s funny, although she admits that if she were the punch line, it would be tough. David is shocked that Doug was fired, noting what a good man and good performer he was, but chalking it up to who Mr. Todd (N.Paul Todd, or NPT) “likes most.” Oh, Davey, if you only knew.
Day 24. The nameless corporate delivery woman (at least Rhona “from Mr. Trump’s office” gets a name) delivers a message to the group to meet NPT in the boardroom. As the group gussies, Keri wonders if it’s an executive privilege; they are uncertain, but think it’s not an elimination. Since they weren’t told to pack, Annette thinks it might be dinner and something fun, or a challenge. GG is at least smart enough to note that it’s never a good experience being in the boardroom.
The group files in and sits down. NPT notes that the room is rarely the scene of anything pleasant. He starts out by telling the group, “I’m not gonna eliminate anyone today.” The group seems relieved. Instead, NPT has a challenge. The group will be working as a single team. They have to pick a team leader first, however. Unanimously, the gang chooses Damien, who knows Chicago and also has never been in the boardroom for elimination.
NPT lays out the challenge by citing to the “Greely principle” of business. Damien nods like he knows what NPT’s talking about. NPT goes on to explain: Adolphus Greely was an American explorer in 1881 and set records for exploring the Arctic. However, the success came at a brutal cost. They were stranded on an ice floe and had to use whatever means they had to survive. They ate “clothes, boots, supply packs,” and eventually, each other, starting with the lowest man and working their way up the food chain. As he was talking, I flashed to that wonderful scene in Goldrush where Charlie Chaplin tries to make a meal out of his boots. Classic.
NPT says the “Greely principle” of business “posits that, when a business is in dire circumstances, it’s inevitable that it will turn inward on itself, look inward to its weakest members, and cannibalize itself.” GG starts chewing his lip. NPT tells the group that, although there are five contestants here now, in one hour, there will be four. The group looks confused. NPT explains that he said he wasn’t firing anyone, and he’s not. They are. The group has one hour to deliberate, and then Damien, as team boss, has to do the firing. He has the final say as to who goes. Damien looks like someone kidnapped his puppy.
I go the extra mile for you. I “Googled” Adolphus Greely, and wouldn’t you know it? He was a real explorer and co-founder of the National Geographic Society. In 1881, Adolphus Washington Greely took a team of 25 with him to the Arctic. It was America’s first official exploration of the area; Greely was there studying meteorological conditions. He and his crew did run afoul of bad weather, and before they were rescued in 1884, eighteen (or nineteen, depending on whom you consult) of his men had frozen or starved to death. I couldn’t find anything but rumors about cannibalism, and it’s clear that the so-called “Greely principle” of business is part of the hoax, but I thought it was kinda neat that Greely truly existed. You can even pay your respects to him at Arlington National Cemetery. Who said television isn’t educational?
NPT turns over a large hourglass. “You have one hour.” Before he leaves, he asks Damien to sit in his seat, to see what the view is like from the boss’s chair, “to feel the weight of the decisions that I make every day.” (Can I just say that I loooove this challenge already and wish Trump would use it? Could you imagine how delicious the boardroom would be that week?) Damien takes NPT’s chair and NPT exits, telling the team he’ll be back in an hour. “Bon appetit.”
Damien starts by asking the group who would make the best venture capital executive. GG starts with a backhanded compliment—and by backhand, I mean, the back of his hand bitch-slapping Annette. He tells Damien that venture capitalism is about dishonesty and he thinks David’s values and morals are too high. Someone who could “look in the mirror and not care about it” would definitely be Annette. If looks could kill… Annette tries the same tack: David is so sweet and honest, she can’t see him going out there and deceiving people. However, Keri would be good ‘cause she’s blonde (Whaaa?), blah blah blah.
Understandably, David doesn’t think the job is about deceit (if he only knew). “You build a successful business based on trust, honesty.” He chooses Annette or her sharp business mind. Annette nods in agreement. How do I love me, let me count the ways… Who would you like on your team the most? David chooses GG; he’s one of the most “relational” people David’s ever met. He means it as being gregarious and approachable. Relational actually means “arising from kinship.” (See? Educational.) Mike is David’s favorite player. Keri agrees; Annette looks stunned. Keri calls him creative, loyal, and honest. Annette looks like she might have been the one who kidnapped Damien’s puppy. GG chooses David. He’s learned so much from him; he “strives to be like you someday.” Annette, true to form, is all about Annette. “One quality I know I possess is honesty and, since I can’t say me (spare me), I also say David.”
David has just won Miss Congeniality.1 2 3 Next-->
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