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The Apprentice 5 Corner Office and Mailroom Assignments, Episode 1by Jenn Brasler -- 03/06/2006
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Itís almost impossible to tell which candidates will succeed and which will fail at the beginning of any season of The Apprentice. Even knowing their track records and experiences in other businesses, we canít know for sure how theyíll stand up to the pressures of the show or their interactions with the other candidates, the viceroys, and, of course, Trump. Now that weíve seen a little of the action, itís easier to determine who might be on the right track and who might be fired sooner rather than later. Hereís a look at the first weekís standouts and letdowns.
Just to refresh your memory (and mine), Gold Rush consists of Tarek, Charmaine, Dan, Leslie, Lenny, Lee, Theresa, Bryce, and first fired candidate Summer. Itís often hard to remember peopleís names in the first episode, let alone separate the good candidates from the not-so-good, so those who stand out often do so for a reason - they either did well or screwed up. Summer and Tarek were two of the most memorable candidates from Gold Rush, and not for doing smart things. These two screwed up big time and will be spending some time in the mailroom as a result.
Tarekís first big mistake was being egotistical. This is probably one of the reasons Trump has changed his tune about Tarek. No one on The Apprentice can be as self-involved as Trump and last for long. Tarekís overconfidence led to his downfall - he thought that because he was smarter than everyone else, there was no way his team could fail.
Tarek also didnít think big enough. He offered gift bags to Samís Club customers, but he didnít put anything in them and he gave them to everyone, not just members. He didnít offer any incentive for people to join up. In addition, Tarek wasnít too smart to bring Lee into the Boardroom when it was obvious that Summer was more of a target for firing. If he was going to bring three in with him, he should have brought someone who was going to fight on his side and gang up on Summer with him. Instead, Lee helped turn the conversation against Tarek, who almost got fired as a result. Have fun licking envelopes, buddy.
Summer is an obvious choice for the mailroom - she just didnít try. Despite her claim that Tarek wasnít providing guidance, any good corporate employee would ignore that and get to work anyway. No gimmick to attract customers to Samís Club? Think of something yourself that will make people want to show up. Donít want to make any more phone calls? Find something else to do. Summer had no excuse for doing nothing. Why would Trump want to hire someone who wonít even make phone calls?
The corner office assignment is a more difficult one to give. Lee struck me as the member of Gold Rush who made the most positive impact on the team. He took his job seriously and looked like he really got into speaking with the customers. In the Boardroom, he fought to get rid of Tarek because he really believed that he needed to go. He also didnít want to talk badly about Summer behind her back (though this begs the question of whether he realized thatís part of reality TV). Most of the members of Gold Rush were unmemorable, but since Lee sticks in my mind, he gets the corner office this week.
Synergyís team members are Allie, Michael, Sean, Andrea, Brent, Roxanne, Stacy, Pepi, and Tammy. Like on Gold Rush, not many of them made their mark this week, mainly because they won, so they couldnít have done too much wrong. Only two really stood out to me, one for better and one for worse.
I would be crazy not to put Brent in the mailroom for his actions this week. He was off to a bad start from the minute he opened his mouth and came up with a bad team name. After all, ďBetter to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.Ē Of course, Brent didnít stop there. He proceeded to come up with some bad ideas for ways to attract people to Samís Club, and he pouted when they were shot down.
Brentís main problem seemed to be with his teammates themselves. He didnít click with them, but Iím not sure he even tried to. After things started to go downhill, he blamed them rather than accepting that he might not have had the best ideas. His negative attitude was almost as bad as if he hadnít done anything at all. (ThoughÖ did we actually see him doing any work?) Iím sure that the other members of Synergy will remember this first task in the future, and if Brent happens to make it to trading time, Iím sure heíll be the first one cut loose. He can join Tarek in the mailroom this week and pout while he licks stamps.
Being the project manager on the first task is a major challenge, but Allie did a great job. She kept control of her team (even Brent) and made sure that they were on task and completing their assignments. She displayed some good organizational skills and, unlike some past project managers, didnít just sit back while her teammates did all the work. She spent some time talking to customers and trying to sell. Allie was smart to put Brent in the blimp because she knew that he could cause trouble during the selling part of the task. She foresaw a potential disaster and headed it off before anything could happen. Allie has already demonstrated some quick thinking and good managerial skills. She gets to relax in the corner office this week.
Week One Tally:
Weíre off to a good start, but these candidates better start stepping it up and shining. Letís hope they donít make the same mistakes week after week and that the same people donít keep winding up in the mailroom.
Corner office: Lee (1)
Mailroom: Tarek (1), Summer (1)
Corner office: Allie (1)
Mailroom: Brent (1)
Jenn Brasler is an Assistant Editor of Reality News Online and an aspiring writer from Falls Church, VA. You can e-mail her at email@example.com. She will happily accept suggestions for mailroom or corner office assignments.
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