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The Apprentice: Los Angeles, Weekly Performance Review, Episode 3Page 2
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Nicole: As noted above, while working with Frank, Nicole helped accomplish some needed foot-soldier tasks. However, she ran down Michelle several times, which is unnecessary and not good teamwork.
I’m not sure how to view Nicole’s unwillingness to pull an all-nighter. Clearly her need for rest was as real as the need to keep working, but being the only one who bailed out on a losing task would not sit well with Trump. Her childish arguments when roused from her sleeping bag and her claim that her body position did not affect her thinking process perhaps proved that some sleep really was in order?
One wonders if she’d have responded otherwise for a different PM. For poor team skills, Nicole gets a NEEDS IMPROVEMENT rating for the week.
Tim: Ahh, to be one of the cool kids! Tim made it clear early in this episode he wasn’t a fan of Michelle by talking smack about her with Nicole. Later, while out with Michelle searching for items of interest for their tour, he dutifully and uselessly made a note about a tacky strip club. Following instructions but not being productive is not how to win tasks, build teamwork, or support your leader.
Tim did a good job of allowing Michelle the opportunity to fail. He was purposely non-committal when Michelle asked him for a decision on which location was better. Technically he may be correct that she ought to be the one deciding, but when the boss is foundering and specifically requesting your input, one needs to step up and make a save.
Several questions need to be asked. How could Tim possibly think the “John Belushi” story was appropriate? What’s with improperly identifying the street they were on? And, was this Tim’s first time with a microphone? Or was he playing games with Michelle as the target? It looked that way to me, Tim’s been better on the job than this.
For his poor team skills and subtly sabotaging the project Tim gets an UNSATISFACTORY rating for the week.
Michelle: Michelle went home of her own volition, but there were actions to be examined first. The primary problem she faced was that she assembled a team that had no respect for her and, except for Frank, did not put forth extra effort on her behalf.
Michelle started well by identifying a theme (“A Day in the Life of the Rich and Famous”) that all agreed on. I was still supportive of her when she made a valid attempt to get buy-in from her teammates. Then, she repeatedly harped on getting their buy-in and everyone became convinced it was just an attempt to share future blame. That was a good start, ruined.
Michelle waffled on decisions all day. Although her instincts were correct when she figured their initial location was questionable, an inability to decide between Hollywood and Beverly Hills cost them so much time they could never recover. As her biography includes the partial quote, “I grew up in L.A.,” why didn’t she know better?
Time was wasted on almost every task, leading to further problems. Because so much time was lost, it became necessary to pull an all-nighter. This strained people who were already depleted past their breaking points. Tim and especially Nicole were unwilling to stay up. One of Nicole’s reasons to get some sleep was because she didn’t know what she was supposed to be doing, and it’s pretty late in the project for that concern to come up!
After the tour, in an unsure, wavering voice, Michelle told us, “There were some people on the bus who were certainly not angry...” Surely she had initially set her objectives a little higher than that?
In the Boardroom, it seemed obvious to the viewer that Trump had identified Michelle as the one going home. So when she quit, was she trying to avoid hearing the unpleasant words, “You’re fired!” or was she afraid she might somehow escape and be forced to carry on? Her argument was essentially that camping on the lawn was not something she’d bargained for, and not something she wanted to keep doing.
I partially agree. Five seasons of history indicate you’d be living in a luxury loft with full amenities, not sleeping in a coldwater tent. However, Michelle is a bit of a princess, isn’t she? Back when this was filmed in the late summer, was it really “freezing cold” or was it closer to 70? How much rain have we seen, not counting sprinklers?
It probably would have been best for Michelle to wait until the next phase of the Boardroom and let the whole process play out without defending herself. Should she somehow survive, quit at that point.
In what I see as her biggest fault, Michelle did not foresee how her actions had put the rest of her team at incredible risk, with one of them still possibly getting fired. Even as she packed, she was sure this wouldn’t happen. It turns out nobody else was fired, but her assumption was not based in fact.
I was rather discouraged that all the Trumps jumped on Michelle so aggressively for resigning, calling her a loser and forcing her to listen to patronizing advice she clearly didn’t want to hear. Jeepers, the woman is 34 years old and sells $50 million a year in real estate, she’s no neophyte in the world of business. I am quite confident that Michelle is still comfortable with her decision to quit and sleeps well at night.
Michelle’s rating is clearly UNACCEPTABLE. Almost every aspect of this task was a disaster, and the timing of her quitting put her team at unnecessary risk. She may be good at what she does, but she couldn’t seem to adapt any of it to the task at hand.
In Conclusion: Did Trump make the right decision? Yes, not firing a second individual was the right thing to do. Additionally, he’d find himself running short of episodes without sacrificing his beloved “double firing” nights.
I have no spoilers for next episode. Last article’s spoiler turned out to only be half right – Don was there, but so was Ivanka.
That’s all for this episode. Please feel free to let me know what your thoughts are at the address below.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Apprentice articles:
Brian lives in Toronto where he can be reached at email@example.com. He spent a couple of decades working in middle management at The Prudential, primarily hiding behind the coffee machine to avoid his pointy-haired bosses. He’d like to hear your opinions and promises to respond to all serious email!
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