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Apprentice 3, MVPs and LVPs: Episode 1 Corner Office and Mailroom Assignmentsby Mel Ellis -- 01/27/2005
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Anyone else lose their invite to Mar-a-Lago this past weekend? Not only has The Donald decided to marry again, he's also given us a new battle of the "apprenticeses," as Ellen DeGeneres calls it. This time, we have brains versus pedigree, savvy versus brainy, Davy versus Goliath. Actually, Goliath was always the smarter of the two, so I'd make the "street" team Team Goliath in this one. Davy always did seem a little nerdy to me.
How did everyone fare this week? As always, I will be applying my scientific acumen and flare for everything snarky to decide who deserves the lush corner office and who should be working the mailroom.
As we should all know by now, the first task played to The Donald's love for corporate hucksterism, with Streets and Schools shilling for Burger King. From the start, the Streets seemed more energized and more focused on the goal (most revenue from "special sandwich" sales). The Schools, on the other hand, spent too much time analyzing team name choices and singing Kumbaya to Danny's wretched guitar. Does anyone deserve corner office status?
Schools: Is there even one capable person on this team? Team leader Todd (don't let the door hit ya in the tush) was in a Kelly-like trance of meditative preparation while his colleagues were sweating their onion rings off in the kitchen and by the register. It would be adding insult to his injury to put him to mailroom duty, and I'd be worried he'd study the postage meter manual instead of delivering stuff.
Erin, who cries more than a Barbara Walters interview subject, worked the register veerrrrry slowly; her slowness was almost painful. Not to mention, she dresses like my color-blind Aunt Rose. Still, she made at least a very lame and most definitely pitiful pitch for the specialty sandwich when she was working the register. I mean, at least she was working, you know?
That's how I finally had to determine mailroom duty – who actually worked and who either whined about everything or just stood around and threw golf balls into paper bags. Bren, who crows more than any rooster I've seen, was utterly useless in the task and a whiner to boot. And then there's Danny. How did Danny pass the psychological exam? I don't know which he sucked at more, the simple name-picking task, which he turned into a sing-along, or the promotion, which he turned into surreal street theater. Bren and Danny will work the mailroom together, so that Bren learns humility and Danny learns how real people work.
As for corner office, I'm stumped. I would have gladly given it to Alex, who busted his hump working the kitchen, but his boneheaded move of falling on his sword in the boardroom (voluntarily taking the blame for the lack of register staff) proves he is not yet corner office worthy. Since he is he closest thing Schools has to an MVP, I'm choosing not to award any School a corner office this week.
Streets: This team seemed so cohesive from the start. No fighting about who was team leader, no whining about tasks delegated, except for that whole, bulldog-piddling-on-my-foot thing. Their decision to meet with the BK chef was quick and decisive, and their choice of sandwich was equally quick and decisive. And how about that Western theme? Very cute. As cute and winning as the baseball-alien theme from Schools was disturbing (what were those wiggly things on the cashiers' heads?). The offer of a giveaway was... oh, let's face it. I could go on and on, but plain and simple, Streets mopped the floor with Schools.
Problem is that the corner office, while large, is not quite large enough for everyone. And not everyone on Streets is equally deserving. John was a wonderful leader and delegated well. Usually the first-time team leaders are pitiful; but his leadership was excellent, and I loved his "we're just like you" pep talk to the Burger King personnel. John gets the corner office this week, and well-deserved. Relax on the calfskin sofa and don't forget to light the aromatherapy candle on your desk.
Mailroom duty for this team was a mite harder than it was for Schools. I mean, even Tana, who whined incessantly about the "travel agent" and the piddling bulldog, was the one who thought up the Vegas trip idea. I was tempted to send Brian and his Flava Flav Viking helmet to the mailroom for giving me Surreal Life flashbacks, but he did steer the group to the dollar store, which ended up saving them a lot of money. I decided to give mailroom duty to Kristen, who didn't come up with any of the ideas, who whined about the "travel agent," and who complained about Brian and his Viking helmet antics. You can vent all you want in the mailroom, and we don't have to hear you.
Since we're only on Week 1, I won't list everyone, just the ones who have been promoted or delegated. Here's the tally:
We'll see how everyone stacks up this week. See you then!
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other Apprentice 3 Episode 9 articles:
Mel Ellis is a prosecutor and loves a good debate. Feel free to email her with your thoughts on who should be or should have been mail clerks or apprentice CEO's. You can reach Mel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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