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The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, Weekly Performance Appraisal, Episode 2: A Weed in the Flower Patchby William Ingram -- 10/04/2005
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she could make me happy.
Flowers in her hair,
-- “The Rain, the Park, and Other Things,” The Cowsills, 1967
Welcome to the weekly (some might say, “weakly”) evaluation of the contestants on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. Each week, I will look at each remaining contestant and give my appraisal of his or her performance. Some of them will shine like stars and others will flicker like fluorescent lights down at the warehouse.
This week, we start off with the fifteen contestants. Will any of them remember what I told them last week? Will any of them learn from their mistakes? Let’s find out.
Bethenny: It’s unfortunate that you got stuck working with Jim this week. You tried to keep him in line, but, as you pointed out to him, he is insane.
Chuck: You were thrust into the limelight this episode because you have experience in the flower business and this was a floral challenge. Unfortunately, you are not a good manager. Your team was in disarray from start to finish. You never created a plan that described what your people should be doing. As a result, when they weren’t arguing with each other, they all just stood around with little question marks over their heads.
And, of course, this all came crashing down when you threatened to quit. Jim correctly pointed out that it was to his advantage to keep you as the team leader because you were weak and you were one more person between him and his own eviction.
You did finally get a backbone and started acting like a leader. That was good. But it still broke down after a while and turned into chaos because you could not sustain your leadership. You were right when you said that Martha would consider your project a disaster.
You rebounded the next day by hiring actresses to canvas the neighborhood and drum up business. That’s a lot more advertising than the other team did.
You eventually settled on the Wal-Mart strategy of selling lots of product at fire sale prices. That worked fairly well, but it was not good enough to win.
In the end, you took responsibility for your team’s loss and Martha accepted that – which is why you are cleaning out your desk right now.
David: For the second week now, you’ve laid low and not uttered a single word. This keeps you in the game, of course, but, unless you step up to the plate soon, everyone will see you as a slacker.
Dawn: You made a powerful enemy in Jim. You opposed him on a couple of issues and now he will not rest until he has gotten you voted off the island. On the one hand, that’s bad because Jim is very dogged. On the other hand, everyone sees what Jim is up to and no one will back Jim up when he needs it.
Jim: Well, your time on the chopping block hasn’t changed you. You are still just as arrogant as ever. You tried to send your team a message in that you will beat them in the Conference Room.
But I have some sad news for you, Jim. It’s Martha who decides who stays and who leaves. You may be able to bully your teammates, but Martha will see through it all, especially if she gets to see tapes of your behavior between episodes – at the very least, she will see them before the final decision.
The other problem you now have is that you have no allies. Everyone sees you as a loose cannon and won’t come within ten feet of you. You are on your own. Being on your own is a bad idea, especially when you are on a team. This was evident when you tried to override the Project Manager’s decisions about how to sell flowers. It also came up again when everyone opposed you on getting the brass cleaner. It should be obvious to you by now that no one likes you and no one wants to work with you.
And then there was that fiasco in the board room. Chuck acknowledged responsibility for all the failures of his team and you tried to oppose him. This riled up everyone else to the point that you barely got around to somehow accusing Dawn of being the problem. She was ready for you and provided a list of her accomplishments.1 2 Next-->
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