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The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, Episode 3: MVPs and LVPs, Corner Office and Mailroom Assignmentsby Sandy McFarland -- 10/10/2005
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I love weddings. I actually want to get married again, but my husband won't let me. The more I see of this show the more I want to be a contestant! Children's books, flower arranging, and wedding cakes are screaming out to me! Who would not want to work for Martha? Oh well, enough about me and my Martha fawning, it's time to focus on the deserving, along with the not so deserving applicants. In this week's episode, each team had to design, bake, transport, and sell their original wedding cakes. The cake not only had to look good, it had to taste good. The team that made the most money at the Bridal Fair would win the task.
Dawna reminded the group that the cake had to be one that would bring in the most revenue. Amanda told us that they went to Martha Stewart Weddings to find out which cakes were the most popular. Even Howie said they needed a cake that would appeal to the masses; they didn't want to limit themselves to one customer.
Howie assigned three of the team members to check out "three or four" different bridal centers. He and Carrie decided to surf the World Wide Web, and typed "New York Wedding" into their search engine. The New York Wedding Center on Grand St. popped up. Sarah, Ryan, and Jennifer high-tailed it over to the wedding center, which, unfortunately, turned out to be an Asian wedding shop that didn't have the mass appeal the team was looking for. (Heh heh, no doubt!) A frustrated Sarah told us it was a "miscommunication with Howie," and said if they didn't get it together they wouldn't win this task. (I actually looked for this website, found it, and clicked on it to see if Primarius forgot to go one step further in their search. Unfortunately, the stinkin' site wouldn't come up! Obviously, I'm not a very good detective.) Anyway, it was their job to check out different wedding centers and gather the goods needed for the perfect cake presentation, while the rest of the team focused on the cake design, baking, and decoration.
After spending the day picking up the supplies for their cake display, Sarah, Ryan, and Jennifer returned to the rest of the Primarius team at their kitchen. Immediately Ryan got on the phone, asking one vendor how late they would be open, as they still needed a cake stand. Howie seemed to be a bit surprised at this, and reminded the group that he had given them a list, and it was their job to get a cake stand. (Hey, it makes perfect sense to me! Howie would look pretty silly slapping that big ol' cake down on the tabletop.) Sarah got defensive and told Howie that she didn't appreciate that he thought the lack of a cake platter was their fault 'cause that was BS!
Howie, still calm, reminded them that they were in charge of getting the supplies for the presentation, and the cake stand was part of it. Sarah chose to further disagree, rose her voice a few screechy octaves, pointed her nasty little finger, and accused him of sending them to an Asian wedding store! Well, let me tell you one thing, fellow Martha fans, if there had been a cake in the oven it would have fallen fast and furiously at this moment in time! Howie's dander went up and he started roaring like a lion! He jutted out his finger in payback and yelled, "I didn't send you anywhere! I didn't give you that name, you are a liar!" (Umm, Howie, that WAS the address on your computer screen. Now maybe you didn't give an exact order... but I read it myself!) Sarah, in turn, started screaming like a banshee, "No, I'm not a liar!" Of course Howie then had to drive the point home by yelling "Liar" about ten more times, with that finger just a-waggin' like a puppy dog's tail. Sarah couldn't figure out why Howie was freaking out like that!
Primarius – Mailroom
What the heck, I'm gonna throw 'em both in the Mailroom. I didn't want to since they made up and all, so it probably won't be much of a punishment. I actually only wanted to throw Sarah in, but in good conscience, couldn't, Howie's going ballistic behavior sealed his deal.
Sarah earned the Mailroom first for starting the fight. Howie calmly, though lightly agitated reminded the three shoppers that the cake stand was part of the presentation items they were supposed to pick up. Sarah denied this obvious point, and went on the defense, immediately changing the subject to Howie's error in sending them to an Asian Wedding Center. In Howie's defense, he asked them to check out three or four places. They way I looked at it was if one wedding center was a bomb, so be it! They were to move on to a few other places anyway.
The fact is that Howie did not forget the cake stand, pure and simple. Sarah started the attack on the Project Manager in defense of her group's error. If she had owned up to the fact that they had forgotten the cake stand, hey, maybe it wasn't even on their list, none of this would have happened. Either way, it was an important part of the presentation and Ryan was already taking care of it! She showed total lack of respect to the Project Manager and acted like a spoiled brat. Personally, I expect she had been stewing about the Asian wedding center all day! Even so, Howie did not accuse, point fingers, or swear when he realized the stand was missing. That came later, but only after she started it. That said, I will supply the mailroom with that children's mint flavored paste that kiddies used to love to snack on, along with a couple boxes of glue-less envelopes. If Sarah decides to go on another childish rant, maybe her tongue will stick to the roof of her mouth before all hell breaks loose again.
Howie's journey to the Mailroom is obvious. He flew out of control. He paid Sarah back in triplicate with the swearing, pointing, and name calling. What's worse, Sarah didn't lie. Was there a miscommunication? Maybe, but I know I saw New York Wedding Center on the computer screen, and I expect the entire Primarius team did too. I also know it didn't say "Asian New York Wedding Center." Who was to know? Even so, there is no excuse for the verbal attack he heaped on her. It made some of his team doubt his leadership. For snack, I will allow Howie to chomp on all of his nasty words.
Primarius - Corner Office
After the team arrived at Michael C. Fina's for the Bridal Fair, Howie informed us that he had made Ryan his second in command, and that Ryan would be in charge of cake sales. After a few hours with no sales, Ryan started chatting with an engaged couple that had met online. Ryan explained to them that picking out a cake was much more than picking out a dessert. It was her cake for her wedding. Ryan smiled warmly at the couple as they gasped in unison upon hearing the $720 price tag. We got to see all sorts of loving moments between the couple as they make their decision. The groom decided to go for it earning Ryan and his sales team their first sale. It even earned Ryan a hug and kiss from Sarah and Howie!
From me, it earned Ryan the coveted Corner Office. Though we were only privy to the one sale, Howie did put Ryan in charge of a sales force that sold $3,658 worth of cakes. Being the fair and generous person that I am, I will invite anyone that sold a cake to join Ryan for a finger lickin' good dinner of big fat BBQ beef ribs, hush puppies, gooey cold slaw, and a batch of my triple layer million dollar brownies! I will also provide finger wipes! By special request, Corona beer with lime will be served to all.1 2 Next-->
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