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The Apprentice 3 Weekly Performance Review, Episode 13: Tabledby Mike DeGeorge -- 04/27/2005
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I probably shouldn’t be surprised that I’m not impressed by anyone this week. Why do I even bother hoping any more? It’s probably because there are so fewer contestants that they have to show more of the ones they have, and thus, the suck is far more concentrated. But think about it - in the first two seasons, there were contestants that most people felt got a raw deal when they got fired. Oops, maybe I'm generalizing (sorry, Craig!) but remember how upset you were when Troy was fired? Or Heidi? Or Nick or Amy (not I, but still)? What about when Bradford left us in week two of season two for foolishly giving up his immunity? Or when Kevin was fired for having too much education, and Sandy was fired for having too little?
The point is, think back to all the people who have been fired this year. Did any of them anger you? Did you look back and think, "that was unfair!" No, everyone who was fired this year screwed up, and their firing was usually well-deserved. Does this mean the show is unfair? Maybe - but it's because all the candidates are equally bad.
As for last week, a few people took me to task for being hard on Craig and letting Tana off easy, in addition to being way harder on him than I was on the others from the Home Depot challenge. The problem I had is simple – Craig had the exact same thing happen to him that he did to Kendra. Exactly the same. While his teammates at the time deserved scorn, they didn’t have the past experience of feeling betrayed by your teammates and yet, STILL, he acted the way he did last week. Not just disrespectful, it was downright shameful. It’s like the little fat kid who loses weight and turns around and picks on the other fat kid in the class. Craig, of all people, should have known better.
That may not convince anyone, but that’s the reasoning.
By the way, Staples? Another big customer. They’re good people. Their ads may suck, but I love Staples anyway.
I really didn’t like the Desk Apprentice. It looked way too bulky, and the lazy susan aspect bugged me. It won’t fit on my desk, and besides, it won’t do anything that my stackables don’t already do. I guess the main problem is, if you’re going to use something like this, why not just put it in your desk drawers? How do you get rid of desk clutter by sticking a giant block in its place? “Hey, I still don’t have any space, but at least I’m organized!” I also agreed with Kendra (big shock there) that the vertical design was inconvenient. It’s a novel idea, a neat design, but it answered a question no one asked – it took a couple different designs and mushed them together. Whee.
The Desk Apprentice is sold out at Staples.com, though, so what do I know?
Kendra: No, even though you’re my favorite to win, you don’t escape this week. Considering your history with Craig, you should have brought up your problem with the design (again, in front of George and/or Carolyn) and let it drop. You should have known you weren’t going to change his mind, and besides which, he was the Project Manager, if he wanted to paint it tutti-frutti purple, you make your opposition known and let it go.
Tana: I would say that I’m disappointed in you, but to be honest, I don’t expect anything out of you after last week. I know you weren’t Project Manager, but to basically plug your ears and go “lalalalala, I can’t hear anything” when your team is dissolving around you is… well, I’m running out of negative descriptions for you people. Down to the final six, you should be treating each task as if you were the Project Manager. Which means you don’t just sit there eating your freakin’ sandwich while your teammates are at each others’ throats! Do something, for crying out loud!
Craig: I had considered apologizing to you this week for my comments last week. After all, I was pretty rough on you. But after this week, I’m convinced you deserved every bit of it and more. People were upset that I called you same names? Calling Kendra a liar for making a generalization? I know I don’t take well to being called a liar – I almost walked off a job because a boss implied that something I had told her was untrue. The only reason I didn’t was that I knew I was planning on leaving soon anyway. But call me a jerk, an a**hole, a slimebag, whatever. I can deal with that, those are opinions. Calling someone a liar and questioning their integrity is a whole other form of name calling.
Besides which, your comment that sparked this whole argument was about generalizations. I have news for you: SPEAKING in generalizations in private, provided they are not offensive comments, means nothing. Acting in generalities is what causes problems. If you get so upset about someone saying “you always do this,” then your priorities are seriously out of whack.
In addition, you accepted Kendra’s stackable idea, but totally dismissed any of her ideas in execution. Seriously, a smaller calendar? That’s a worse idea then covering the bins with plexiglass. You don’t seem to understand the whole point of the focus groups, and what’s worse, your sitting around while the others interviewed customers was just classless. You’re a condescending jerk, not willing to give in to anyone’s arguments, and take credit for their work, but you’re more than willing to sit around while they do the grunt work? You don’t respect anyone else and ask the same inane question fifty times, then get upset when someone asks a legitimate question? And people wonder why I called you a slimeball?
Luckily for you, Alex and Bren were as creative as a box of rocks. You’ve managed to make it to the final four, but I don’t believe it’s been as a result of anything you have done. Aside from the Home Depot task, where you did perform well, you haven’t shown the least bit of managerial promise. I look forward to seeing your smug, condescending (yes, I know what it means), loudmouthed, egotistical self climb into the cab. Soon.
Now, I liked the idea of a storage desk like that, even though, to be fair, I have even less room for another desk than I would for a Desk Apprentice. The actual engineering of the desk sucked rocks, though. Even the top drawers were decent, but covering them with the plexiglass was, as everyone in creation has said, a stupid idea. You could have designed a cover for just the inbox portion! And the bottom shelves to store your stapler? Da hell? I almost wondered there for a minute if Alex had actually WORKED in an office before.
Alex: Note to Trump: Alex was never a star except in your own mind. He wasn’t a “star in the beginning,” he was brought into the boardroom in the very first task for not training enough people on the registers. You yourself said he did a “lousy job.” Doesn’t sound like a star to me.
Aside from the bad product, you didn’t exactly manage well. You threw the “focus group” task at Bren with no help and no follow up. Did it not occur to you to visit the store? Did you really not have enough time to schlep over and meet with anyone? Judges, customers, janitors, anyone? At the final five, you make time. You’re just lucky that Bren piped up with his weakness, or you’d get the cab ride.
Bren: It’s pretty simple why you lost. Trump was all set to fire Alex, focusing on his weak leadership, but you jumped in and mentioned that you didn’t like to take risks. What were you doing, taking the bullet? You didn’t do a very good job on the focus groups, but then, you weren’t really given much to work with. You were on the ride back up to the suite before you opened your mouth out of the blue, I’m sorry to say.
You weren’t exactly a superstar in the past few weeks, but you’ve been pretty good. Definitely someone I’d like to work with. You may not have shown what it takes to run a huge organization, but in your dealings with people, you’ve shown me that you have what it takes to be a really great guy.
Mike DeGeorge has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, and has almost ten years of management experience. He is also Associate Editor of RNO. Email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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