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The Apprentice, Episode 10: Rickshaw CowboyPage 2
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In any normal situation, I would be on Katrina’s side. Women are not just here on Earth for decoration, and we have lots of great ideas to contribute to the world. However, coming from Katrina, that is just rich. First of all, where were all of the fabulous ideas that the team rejected? She threw out a dumb unformed thought about Bill and Amy looking like Ben Affleck and Sharon Stone. Then she suggested selling tickets at the tourist ticket outlet. That was a decent idea that no one responded to, but she just threw it out there and did absolutely nothing to support it. Anyone who has ever been in a meeting knows that sometimes, you have to say your idea more than once to get someone to respond.
More importantly, wasn’t she at the heart of the women’s team’s ‘sex sells’ philosophy? She was even the project manager at Planet Hollywood when the women tarted themselves up as “Shooter Girls” and sold men shots in skimpy t-shirts. She was the one who went on and on about what a great business model Hooters is. And on the NBC Apprentice web site, Katrina’s pull quote is, “A woman that claims she doesn’t use her sex appeal to sell, simply hasn’t learned to use it to her advantage.” Perhaps the most ironic thing is her claim that she is not a pin-up doll. Recently, Katrina, Amy, Ereka, and Kristi did a steamy, scantily clad photo shoot for FHM magazine. Not only that, but Miss Non Pin-Up Doll? Did it for free. It is completely unreasonable for Katrina to spend weeks and weeks celebrating “Sex sells,” only to call foul when someone else tries to use that same strategy.
This week’s Trump message is “Think Outside The Box.” I immediately groan at the latest business cliché, until Trump says that it is a cliché, but that creative thinking is crucial to success.
Protégé meets with the rickshaw drivers and gives them an incentive program. The driver who makes the most money will get a $100 bonus, and the driver with the most rides before noon will also get $100. Heidi and Troy head off to sell punch cards while Kwame mounts up a rickshaw.
At Versacorp, Bill covers a rickshaw with ads. He says in an interview that he know that as project manager, he needs to hit a home run.
Meanwhile, Kwame rides around New York on his rickshaw, ringing the bell. No one responds. He has no luck at all.
Over at Versacorp, one of the signs is damaged. Nick says that they should give the client his $250 back. Bill thinks that they should negotiate a partial refund, since the ad was up for part of the day. They decide that Nick will meet with the client to give him money back. Nick says in an interview that he thinks business ethics are very important. As he leaves, Bill reminds them that they need all of the money they can get.
Katrina and Amy go to Wall Street, figuring that it will be crawling with wealthy executives just dying to ride a rickshaw driven by a cute girl. It seems like a foolish plan to me. Rickshaw rides seem like something tourists would do, or that natives might do for fun in the park. Wall Street traders, not so much. The women approach two men and offer to give them a ride for $10 each. The men scoff and say that for 20 bucks, they can walk two blocks. Amy says, “It’s supporting a great cause.” What great cause? You’re trying to make money so that you can work for Donald Trump; it’s not exactly a charity. One of the men calls her on it and asks exactly what kind of a good cause Marquis Jet is. In an interview, Katrina says that Amy is too pushy. She thinks every man is in love with her and every woman wants to be her best friend, and it’s not true.
Troy and Heidi are struggling. They went to appointments at the W Hotel and at Tavern on the Green, and both told them to come back another day. Troy realizes that after marketing, they’ve only made $11.25. He calls Kwame and Heidi together for a meeting to come up with a new plan. He says that working separately isn’t working for them, and what they need to do is have some fun. He says that he’s going to change out of his suit and get ready to pull a rickshaw. Troy head to the suite, and, as Kwame puts it, “like Clark Kent in a phone booth,” changes into his cowboy hat.
Troy pulls Heidi and Kwame through some scary city traffic and finds a huge group of tourists. He declares himself the “rickshaw cowboy,” and completely charms the crowd. The three of them are having fun again, and they sell some punch cards.
Nick meets with the client whose ad had been damaged and tells him that he is there to return the full $250, not to negotiate terms. The client is grateful. Nick tells Bill on the phone that he wouldn’t feel right about giving back any less money than that. Bill, Katrina, and Amy look unhappy with Nick’s giving back so much money, but they are hopeful that it won’t matter.
Nick’s decision brings up that sticky Apprentice issue of short term versus long term gain. To just win this task, Nick would have been better off just giving the client a partial refund (or none at all) because he did get advertising for part of the day, every dollar counts, and at 6:00, the need to have a relationship with the client ends. But in real life business, Nick’s decision was unquestionably the right one. He showed himself to be an upstanding guy, so he improved his relationship with a client. As the game gets closer to the end, Nick’s decision to be more honest and ethical will probably prove to be the right one, as it will impress Trump. Often, the actions that will win you an individual task (like, say, wearing tight t-shirts and flirting with customers) will hurt you in the long run (like when you decide that you want to be respected for your ideas over your appearance). Nick is thinking long-term, and I believe Trump will respect him for it.<--Previous 1 2 3 4 Next-->
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