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The Apprentice, Episode 1: When Life Gives You Lemons…Page 3
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From the Trump helicopter, Trump himself sees the men trying to sell lemonade by the fish market. Trump says that it’s smelly and a terrible location. Down below, the men agree that the spot isn’t good, so they decide to move. Sam blames Kwame for picking such a bad spot.
Now that the women have gotten started, they’re doing much better. Kristi flirts with male customers and offers one guy the lemonade and her phone number for five dollars. She admits that she is using sex to sell lemonade. Heidi also says that she is using her own natural charm to make sales. She spots a dog walker and starts cooing baby talk to the pooches. One of them barks and snaps at her—I guess he finds baby talk just as irritating as I do.
In their new location, the men aren’t doing much better. Sam says that he believes that “women sell product,” and tries to convince an attractive woman to sell a glass of lemonade to another guy. Both the woman and the guy seem uncomfortable, and I didn’t see Sam selling a ton of lemonade with this plan. Bill tells Sam that he’s spending too much time on individual prospective customers, and he’s right. If the guys only have one day to sell lemonade, which they’ve priced at a buck or two a cup, they need to work a lot faster. Instead, Sam decides to go for a completely different tactic. He ups the price of the lemonade to $1,000 a glass. He finds a potential customer and tries to convince him that it’s worth a thousand dollars to be able to tell people that you spent that much money on lemonade; that it would be a great story to tell. He then completely abandons logic and tells the guy that it is the American dream to buy a thousand dollar glass of lemonade. He comes across as an overly dramatic jackass. And no, the guy does not buy a glass of lemonade.
Freshly rejected, Sam goes to talk to Carolyn and Troy. Carolyn asks him how long he spent trying to get that single sale. Sam admits that it took twenty minutes, but that if it had worked, it would have been great. Carolyn states the obvious: it didn’t.
The next morning at 9:00, both teams gather in the boardroom. Carolyn reports on the men’s attempt. She says that they found a location quickly, used local resources, and doubled their money. George says that the women were slow getting started, but that once they did, they did extremely well—they quadrupled their money. Wow, those women must be incredible sellers—not only did they make a hell of a lot more money than the men did, but they also did it in less time. Trump says that the women won decisively, and that their reward will be a tour of his apartment. The women celebrate their victory and the men look glum. They’ll have to return to the boardroom to explain themselves.
Back at the suite, the men have a post-mortem. Kwame says that they made a solid effort, but that they could have done better. Troy vows to come back stronger in the next challenge.
That afternoon, the women take their tour of Donald Trump’s apartment. If I were to describe it in one word, that word would be “shiny.” Everything is gold or marble. My husband took one look at the place and said, “Apparently, he lives inside a Faberge egg.” The women enter the shiny apartment through the shiny door and meet Melania, Donald Trump’s girlfriend. Tammy asks her how she keeps a house like that clean. Oh, Tammy. You have no social skills at all, do you? Melania politely says that someone else does the cleaning for them.
Trump arrives to give the grand tour. He says that his apartment is a sign of success. He then says, “I show this apartment to very few people. Presidents. Kings.” My husband, on a roll tonight, adds, “NBC viewers. People who were too lazy to change the channel after Friends…” Trump shows off a fountain, then his gigantic marble dining room table. One of the women asks him when the last time was that he actually ate dinner there, and he admits that it’s been a long time. Kristi thinks that Trump is more personable in his home than he is in his office and that they’ve seen a different side of him. Tammy, playing the I Just Fell Off The Turnip Truck card to the hilt, says, “Oh, my God. This is so rich.”
Back in the suite, the men meet to discuss who is responsible for their failure. Troy claims partial responsibility, since as their leader, he didn’t direct them on the right path. Sam suggests that when they go before Trump, they should praise one another before giving criticism. It’s a really nice idea, but he’s such a worm about it that I can’t fully support him. David says that he’s actually looking forward to it and thinks the discussion with Trump will be interesting. He notes that Sam has the most anxiety. Indeed, Sam is nervous as hell. Troy directs him to take a deep breath to calm down. Troy seems like a really good guy.
Deep breaths or not, Sam is not calm yet. He sits down in front of the computer and writes notes about each guy on the team, both positive and negative. He thinks that David should be the one to go. In an interview, he says, “It isn’t just about selling lemonade. That I know.” Therein lies Sam’s fatal flaw. Technically, the exercise is not just about selling lemonade. It showed how well each team worked together, how strong their raw sales skills were, and how they could best use their limited capital in a limited amount of time. But above all, the exercise was about selling lemonade. You either made the sales or you didn’t, period. Sam seemed to think that it was important to do something big and showy to impress Donald Trump, so he tried to sell a glass for a thousand dollars. He got no takers, and if one of the other guys sold just one dollar worth of lemonade in the twenty minutes that Sam unsuccessfully chased after a thousand, the other guy would have done better in the competition. It’s not just about grand gestures; it’s about results.<--Previous 1 2 3 4 Next-->
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