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The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, Episode 9: MVPs and LVPs, Corner Office and Mailroom Assignmentsby Sandy McFarland -- 11/22/2005
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As I have a lot to say regarding this episode, I am going to cut right to the chase. The teams were given a $40,000 budget to set up a retail store and sell Tassimo hot beverage systems. The team with the highest gross sales would win.
Was this show about copping an attitude or what? Did we finally get to see some real personalities shine through? Let me say right now and up front, I was less than pleased with what went on and what I saw during this task. So I’m going to nip this in the bud right here and right now.
If memory serves me correctly, when the teams flip flopped, Ryan took Marcela aside and gave her a pep talk, asking her to work harder than ever before as he welcomed her on board. I even remember praising him for this. She wanted her chance to shine and she was going to prove to him that she could. Yep, I checked my notes and that’s exactly what happened! Did I write a bunch of nasty about him when he secured a measly couple grand during her last project manager stint in the Doggy Auction? Nope. Did I blame Marcela for their loss? Yep. Well, faithful readers, the tables have turned.
Marcela was project manager for this task and immediately we saw this team gathered at the worktable. Marcela asked if Ryan would draft up a list of questions. When he didn’t answer, she asked again, which garnered a semi-snide retort, “Can you wait for my computer to load up?” Yeah, he said he’d do it, but sheesh, he could have tried not to sneer. Trying to gather support from her teammates, she pleaded with both Amanda and Ryan, “I need you guys, please, you’re 100% here, right? I sense there’s an attitude but it’s gone, right?” Ryan barely gave her a glance over his shoulder before turning his back to her to answer, “Right.” This set the tone for this task’s demise, and it didn’t get better.
Amanda told us that all Marcela thinks about is food, when this task is about the selling the beverage machines. That was the only time Amanda said anything half right during this task. Marcela was set on hiring a celebrity pastry chef, and I was in total agreement with this approach. While Leslie and Marcela ventured outside, Ryan whined to Amanda about the lack of direction and delegation, while sitting back like a bump on a friggin’ log smirking. He and Amanda agreed that for the money, they should be getting a “real” celebrity instead of the pastry chef that Marcela had envisioned.
Marcela asked for Amanda’s input but received zero, zilch, and nada. Amanda opted to not step on Marcela’s toes, but meant, “figure it out yourself!” Hey, Amanda, why didn’t you mind trying to run Ryan’s show last week? Meanwhile, Ryan found his celebrity and he was full of joy! He could get Big Pussy to visit their store. What? Marcela didn’t want Big Pussy? Hard to believe! He and Amanda rolled their eyes at each other ‘cause Marcela’s pastry chef idea was so dumb! Ryan finally called five pastry chefs, but he wasn’t even trying to look happy about it. Even worse, he announced in front of Charles and Alexis that he couldn’t deliver.
When Leslie pointed out that they needed a way to get people in the door, Amanda admitted that this had been her biggest concern! Unfortunately, once again, she didn’t have any ideas to share. Marcela reminded her that she had begged, from the beginning, for her input, to which Amanda pulled a Ryan! Yep, she turned her back on her, and answered, “Whatever!” She and Ryan had agreed that they wouldn’t lead by proxy while Marcela stood around and did nothing. I guess they showed her, as they seemed to doing nothing, too. The celebrity chef’s pastries, along with the hot beverages, certainly got the people into the store; unfortunately the customers chose to snack rather than buy.
The way I see it, this team had no reason whatsoever to lose. Their store was sharp, the caterers were elegant, and the customers were on hand for the picking. The pastry should have been sampled, possibly given away with each sale, while the beverage/beverage machine promoted; the idea just needed adjusting. Price point and attitude were so out of whack, this group not only sabotaged their Project Manager, they begged for this loss.
Ryan can call this place home. I am beyond disappointed in him. His sales approach was asking a customer, “Just sampling, not interested?” Give me a freakin’ break. I can’t blame him for the ridiculous price of $299, but I know he knew better. Last week he made sure that hose rewinder sold for mere pennies over the suggested retail price. He stood back and allowed this price to be set at nearly double its worth! If I had been a customer I would have felt totally duped!
Jim said it, “What Matchstick was TRYING to do to Marcela was just wrong!” Ryan, he meant YOU and that pal of yours, Amanda! In front of Martha, Ryan out right laughed when Marcela said she couldn’t manage a team that didn’t support her. How rude was that? Alexis said she that during the sales, this team was “dead, morose, UNHELPFUL.”
It was nice that he was willing to share in the blame for this loss, but Martha pointed out the obvious. He and his ousted pal Amanda had been leading the project manager lamb to slaughter. “A small team needs teamwork!” From everything I have seen, Marcela had always supported him, shown loyalty, and he went out of his way to make sure this project failed. Ryan DID sit back and seemed to enjoy that his leader was floundering. He did to Marcela what she would have never done to him.1 2 Next-->
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