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The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, Weekly Performance Appraisal, Episode 5: Lettuce Prayby William Ingram -- 10/25/2005
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Welcome to the weekly (some might say, ďweaklyĒ) evaluation of the contestants on Apprentice Martha Stewart. Each week, I will look at each contestant remaining and give my appraisal of his or her performance. Some of them will shine like stars and others will flicker like fluorescent lights down at the warehouse.
This week, we start off with the thirteen contestants. Will any of them remember what I told them last week? Will any of them learn from their mistakes? Letís find out.
Jennifer: You started off with the right idea, and that was to make sure that each person was assigned the task that they might do best with.
And things went fairly well until Jim started offending the customers. As project manager, you should have put a stop to that behavior right away. However, I really donít think his crass style of selling really hurt sales. In fact, we heard from Carrie that Jim was personally responsible for 20% of the bottles that you did sell.
As Charles said, near the end, a manager has to take a wild resource like Jim and point it in the direction that it will do the most good. Jennifer, you failed to actually follow through with your initial idea and have everybody do what they would be best at.
Worst of all, you were not the best person to be the leader and thatís why you are sitting in the dumpster with the rest of the wilted lettuce.
Howie: You were surprisingly quiet this episode. Well, until you went toe-to-toe with Jim near the end.
Sarah: Your idea to sell the dressing for 50 cents more than the other team should have been the winning idea. But, I guess you didnít just sell enough bottles. You only lost by seven bottles. Maybe the price really was too high or maybe there were other reasons for the lack of sales.
Carrie: You basically got in one line this week. You correctly pointed out that Jim sold 20% of the bottles in the task, despite his crude approach, while project leader Jennifer sold only five bottles.
Bethenny: You are a professional cook and it was your task to create the dressing. You staked your chances on an all-natural flavor. Everybody seemed to love the taste. In the end, though, you didnít sell as many as the other team. It probably wasnít your fault, though.
Jim: Notice that you were picked second-to-last when choosing up new teams. Ryan even pointed out the cameras how having you on the other team was going to bring so much conflict that your team would continue to lose.
You were in charge of making the label and packaging. That did look good.
But, your technique as a salesman was quite inadequate. You thought you were the traveling salesman of the old west, peddling snake oil to the natives. You claimed that it would cure warts. Obviously, you were joking, but, in the world we live in today, itís those kind of jokes that will get a company sued or, at least, cause them to have to issue apologies to the public. Perhaps you should have looked at how your teammates were reacting to your sales pitch.
And then, oops, cranky customers started complaining to the store manager about you.
And when you lost, you immediately started the blame game. Your teammates may not like you, but, at least, they respect that you get results.
Ryan: I was impressed at the way you picked new teammates. You successfully avoided Jim and you sweet talked Marcela when you were stuck with her at the end.
It was a good idea to send Marcela off on her own to create a new salad dressing. But, you should have hedged your bets and had maybe one or two other players, perhaps as a duo, invent a second dressing.
During the sales portion of the task, you mentioned how disheartening it was to have to resell bottles that people later decided that they didnít want. Well, let me point out that you never actually sold those bottles in the first place.
Dawna: I didnít see you doing much this week. I guess you were at the sales table, pushing bottles of the dressing or something.
Amanda: You didnít seem to do much except taste the salad dressing. I guess the team didnít really need you this time.
Leslie: During the selling of the product, you hit on the right idea, sell multiple bottles of the dressing. Anyone can sell one bottle at a time, it takes a great salesperson to sell four or five at a time. Unfortunately, you got a little pushy and people started to resent that.
David: It was nice to hear you speak up in the episode towards the end. I canít say that Martha was impressed at the bland, generic things you had to say, but she obviously thinks that you are cute as a button, so sheíll keep you as eye candy for another four or five episodes.
And, Matchstick finally won and you were a part of that. I guess weíll keep you for another week.
Marcela: Marcela, you were picked last by a jury of your peers. That is a significant slap in your face. The folks in this game do not respect your abilities. I am a little disappointed that you confessed to the camera that maybe your problem was that you didnít speak up enough. No, the problem with old Matchstick was that you couldnít work together.
In this episode, you had the whole task on your shoulders, because you are a professional cook. Yeah, I do remember that you are a Mexican chef and itís unlikely that you know about fancy salad dressings. Iíll give you props for your first attempt, since everybody loved the taste. Iím not quite sure what you could have done to fix the pukey green color.
Your second attempt got nothing more than a lukewarm reaction from the other players. That should have been a big clue that something was wrong. However, your team ended up selling more bottles than the other team, so everything worked out. You were even praised in front of Martha for your efforts.
At least you didnít create salad dressing shaped like a boot!
Now, everybody get the hell out of my office. Iíve got real work to do. Iíll call in the eleven remaining players for another performance review next week.
Bill (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a huge reality show fan. He often wears his Survivor dog tags. Heís wearing a set of Guatemala tags right now, as a matter of fact.
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