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The Apprentice 4 Corner Office and Mailroom Assignments, Episode 3by Gil Sery -- 10/12/2005
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This week it was time once again for the two teams to give back to the community by teaching seniors how to use the cornucopia of technology available today. One senior thought technology was something from the devil, but did the devil have some human help? Let’s find out.
With Randal as project manager, the Gadget Guys managed to pull off an impressive technology fair. They had three subthemes - Hobbies/Interests, Digital Photography, and Fun/Entertainment (most notably TiVo) - under the general theme of Connecting the Generations. It was never shown whose idea it was to have a theme with subthemes, but it was a brilliant and unifying concept.
Speaking of unifying, the Gadget Guys were dressed uniformly in Geek Squad shirts. As anyone who has visited Best Buy knows, the Geek Squad is Best Buy’s computer tech support division (although something tells me these geeks would have no trouble landing dates). The idea to be dressed uniformly was also a great idea in that it made the Gadget Guys appear to be experts in their respective fields. They also had huge signs, lots of balloons, food people actually ate, and most importantly of all, lots of attendees. Even Markus was utilized in a position where he could talk to his heart’s content instead of being sidelined.
Obviously, it was a team effort, but a lot of the credit has to go to the project manager for keeping things running smoothly. For that, Randal gets the Corner Office with his very own red phone to Donald Trump’s private line.
On the flip side, Clay gets the Bradford Cohen Idiot of the Week Award for asking George’s opinion as a senior. He might as well have said, “Yo, old guy, what do people your age think of this idea?” Truly, it was this close to the interviewee in a recent ad who asked his interviewer (and potential employer), “Am I dumb ass material?” thereby mispronouncing the company’s name. For sheer stupidity, Clay, get thee to the mailroom where there’s no chance of you disrespecting your superiors or elders.
Team Capital Edge
Kristi, Alla, and Felisha didn’t feel “jazzed” enough by their leader to do a good job, and that was the least of the problems for the Gizmo Girls. There’s a line in each show at the end of the opening credits that says, “It’s not personal, it’s just business.” Rebecca seems to disagree. If she were in the Corleone family, she would have probably gone with that other famous saying from The Godfather, “That’s my family; that’s not me.”
As much as people e-mailed me last week to stick up for Marshawn, whom they felt was a victim of editing and should not have been sent to the mailroom, I have to stick up for Toral this week for the same reason. Seeing her try to demonstrate to a senior how to operate a high definition TV set reminds me of the numerous unsuccessful attempts I’ve had trying to show my mother how to use the remote for her high definition TV. Sometimes the technology itself malfunctions at the most inopportune time through no fault of its user. From what we saw, it certainly looked like this was the case here.
I also found it noteworthy that Toral was the only one who raised her hand when Trump asked who thought Rebecca did a great job leading the team. So Toral, even though I respect your teammates’ opinions of you, you’re not pulling mailroom duty this week.
Rebecca and Jennifer W. will share that dubious honor. Rebecca gets to sort mail for making her boardroom decisions based on friendship instead of on team performance. She still has to live with her teammates, and if she wants them to respect her the next time she’s project manager, she had better play nice with them even if she disagrees with them. Her loyalty to Toral is admirable, but misplaced to the point of inflexibility.
Also, why did Rebecca bring Jennifer M. into the boardroom? She claimed that Jennifer M. spends a lot of time on meaningless things, but that didn’t seem to be the case from what we saw on the show. In fact, Jennifer M. can give me a demonstration any time! I’ll bet her heart was not the only one racing during her demonstration. Hormones aside, she didn’t appear to do anything wrong, and Trump noted this. Rebecca just needed to bring someone else to the boardroom and happened to choose Jennifer M.
As for Jennifer W., she gets to lick stamps because she had a huge responsibility and failed in an arena where she should have been able to excel.
That said, I’m not sure who deserves the corner office among the Gizmo Girls. Kristi, Alla, and Felisha should have been able to get inspired by that fact that a) they’re part of a team and b) they’re doing something good for the community. Toral had a bad day, Marshawn whined about Toral, Rebecca let her emotions cloud her judgment, and Jennifer W. was incompetent, not to mention that she cried before the boardroom, and as Martha Stewart will tell you, “There’s no crying in business.” Thus, Jennifer M. gets the Corner Office for being the person on Capital Edge who sucked the least this week.
Week Three Tally
So how did the Gadget Guys and Gizmos Girls stack up this week? Here’s a summary. As always, the numbers in parentheses are the weeks in which the position was awarded.
Gil Sery is a freelance entertainment journalist who loves watching reality TV. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions on whom you would have picked for the corner office or mailroom.
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