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The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, Episode 5: MVPs and LVPs, Corner Office and Mailroom Assignmentsby Sandy McFarland -- 10/25/2005
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This week, Martha decided to finally mix things up a bit, as she was sick of Matchstick’s losing ways, and summoned the candidates back to the Conference Room. Once they arrived she asked which Primarius team members had yet to be project manager. Three raised their hands. Martha then chose Jennifer and Ryan to pick new teams. Jennifer headed up the new Primarius team of Howie, Sarah, Bethenny, Carrie, and Jim. Ryan inherited the Matchstick name with Dawna, Leslie, Amanda, David, and Marcela as its members.
The teams’ new “fun” task was to develop, package, and sell a unique, limited edition salad dressing for Wishbone. The teams would get their own test kitchens and demonstrate and sell their salad dressing at separate Stew Leonard’s locations.
Project Manager Jennifer assigned Bethenny to be the creative genius behind the recipe, and trusted Jim to design the label. Jennifer started her leadership role by stating the obvious: “This has to be a great dressing for salad lovers, primarily for salad!”
Bethenny, a natural foods chef, was all over this assignment. This was the first task she could actually say, “This is me, this is what I do!” She immediately decided to create an Asian-flavored salad dressing and I was in total agreement with her choice. Sarah took notes as Bethenny blended her ingredients of sesame oil, vinegars, and ginger together. When the team finally got to sample her salad dressing, her teammates’ enthusiastic moans of their taste buds’ approval echoed throughout the kitchen.
The team went to their Connecticut store and sold a more than respectable amount of salad dressing. Bethenny and Jennifer took care of making up the servings while Carrie, Howie, Sarah, and Jim offered the samples to the customers and sold the product. As normal, Jim went over the top, making everyone wince with his numerous sales pitches that bordered on vulgar and were clearly inappropriate. Outside of complaining to each other, eye-rolling, and cringing, not one person from this team took the initiative to shut him up.
To add insult to injury, Jim dropped an “F” bomb and a couple of “ball” words to Howie when questioning the other team’s price point, resulting in a customer complaint and team reprimand. If there was another customer complaint, they would be pedaling their dressing from the streets.
Primarius – Corner Office
Bethenny wins this coveted spot hands down. Her recipe sounded scrumptious! I even received emails asking for the ingredients. She was correct when she told us that this is what she does. Bethenny knew her stuff, including which tastes were popular, and created a salad dressing that made viewers lick their chops through their TV screen. Even when Martha sampled the dressing, she found it “very, very tasty,” as well as versatile, and more than once she called it delicious. She could see it on her favorite sesame noodles. I truly believe Martha was surprised when this team’s salad dressing didn’t win.
That said, I’m going to reward Bethenny with an appetizer of scallops ceviche, a salad featuring her almost winning recipe, and a succulent wild rice stuffed rock Cornish game hen, smothered in a savory currant sauce. Her just desserts (and because I feel a tad guilty for making her sit on the floor last week) will be a six-count box of my favorite Neuhaus chocolates, which, in keeping with her talents, are made from all-natural ingredients.
Primarius – Mailroom
Need you ask? Jim was a loud-mouthed, aggressive, crass, and inappropriate ass. He was not at a carnival trying to sell tickets to get folks to look at a three-headed mongoose, he was at a family grocery store selling a limited edition salad dressing with a well-known label. His vulgar sales pitches embarrassed his teammates and made customers cringe. He was reprimanded by the store manager for dropping an “F” bomb. Jennifer was ousted because she couldn’t control him, but who on earth could? Even Martha took Jim to task and reminded him that her creative people are “nice,” which clearly Jim isn’t. He is a steamroller ready to flatten anyone that gets in his way.
Carrie admitted that she would worry about being hurt while she slept if she went up against Jim. Howie’s nasty temper once again flared due to Jim’s not-so-hidden warnings and threats. I do not believe for a minute that the recipe or price had anything to do with their lack of sales. If this team had sold just a few more bottles of salad dressing, they would have won. But I can see why at least that many customers would have high-tailed it to the other end of the store to get as far away from Jim as possible. Jim told us he was selling humor, but none of his teammates seemed to be amused. There is no way that I think Jim would have shut his noisy yap, even if he had been put behind the counter to make salads. Sheesh, the team would have had to lock him in the van with the windows up! Mailroom – heck, I will send him to the basement to unpack office supplies. At least no one will be able to hear him from there.
I will first reward the rest of the team with my thoughts. Jennifer asked Howie what she should do about Jim. He said, “I don’t know!” I thought this was all about teamwork. Carrie pulled an “it’s not my job” when she voiced her concerns to us about Jim also. Sarah only did what she always does – complain to others. They all knew Jim was a loose cannon, and like the Matchstick team of old, sat there and did nothing but get ready to let Jennifer take the fall. This team had a winning recipe, hampered by a losing salesman whom no one had the guts to take on. That said, the remaining teammates can dine on a steaming bowl of tripe.
Ryan immediately gathered his new team, but all we got to see was him giving a pep talk to Marcela about why he picked her last. He was thoughtful and totally respectful of her feelings, while telling her his expectations. She responded in an upbeat manner and promised she would show him what she’s got. Marcela admitted to us that maybe it was her fault that she hadn’t fought hard enough to be heard. She told Ryan that she was hungry to prove herself. Ryan shared his excitement with her, which totally welcomed her on board.1 2 Next-->
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