Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
The Apprentice 5 Corner Office and Mailroom Assignments, Episodes 7 & 8by Jenn Brasler -- 04/17/2006
View Printable version of this article
We had two episodes this week, which means double the praising and double the banishing. Gold Rush lost twice, first failing to provide enough variety in a room for a Boys and Girls Club, then charging too much for “p’eatzzas” at a place where Slurpees cost just over a dollar. Both times, the project managers got the boot and we had to say goodbye to Lenny and Leslie.
Lenny had quite a following, including here at RNO, but he proved this week that he wasn’t operating at quite the same level as the other candidates. Unlike Sean, who I praised last week for learning something from past seasons, Lenny hasn’t even learned from past weeks. Project managers should always be ready (and on time) for meetings with executives. They should always focus on time, making sure they have enough to complete tasks and when certain things should be happening. They should certainly always take responsibility for their errors, as this gives them a better chance of surviving the boardroom. Lenny is 0 for 3 in these departments.
Lenny got off to a bad start by failing to say anything interesting in the meeting with the Ace executives. Even Charmaine did a better job and she forgot the motto of the program they were promoting. At least she tried - Lenny basically sat back and watched things blow up around him. Then, when he wound up in the boardroom, he tried to blame Charmaine for being negative and bringing everyone down. Too bad for him she was the one who tried to save him and get him back on track. Lenny also screwed up big time by leaving the room at the Boys and Girls Club while everyone was working to get it ready in time. The project manager should always be overseeing the main part of the task, which in this case was the decorating and renovating. Lenny seemed like he didn’t care about any part of this task, and in the end, he still couldn’t see that he’d done anything wrong. Trump was right to fire him, and Lenny will be punished further with a turn in the mailroom.
On the 7-Eleven task, Leslie made fewer (and less blatant) mistakes than Lenny, but she still made some poor decisions. First of all, no one wants to spend $7.99 for a sandwich, no matter how good it supposedly is. As if that price weren’t ridiculous enough, Leslie didn’t even listen to Lee when he told her it was a bad idea. I guess she didn’t hear the Trump Lesson of the Week a few episodes ago when he encouraged project managers to listen to their teams.
Leslie also tried to blame Lee for the team’s loss, even though he took a risk (on what she thought was a “shady deal”) and could have easily won it all for Gold Rush. At the store, she’d said that she was glad he at least tried, but her tune changed drastically when her butt was on the line. Instead of being a potential hero, Lee was a screw-up and Leslie must have thought she shined in comparison. Maybe if she’d shut up and let him keep talking instead of complaining about it, Lee could have buried himself. Instead, Leslie failed to listen once again and made herself look overly defensive, often a sign of a person who can’t dig herself out of a hole fast enough. Leslie didn’t screw up as horribly as some past project managers, but it was enough to get her stamp-licking duty.
Though many thought Charmaine was annoying this week, I think she deserves to be in the corner office for trying to keep everything going on the first task. Not only did she have some good questions to ask in the meeting with the Ace executives, but at least she had something to say (unlike Lenny, who couldn’t have looked more apathetic). When it became obvious that Lenny wasn’t going to ask anything, Charmaine jumped in and tried to get information that could be helpful to the team.
For all of her complaining to Lenny during the decorating, Charmaine looked to be on top of things. She kept an eye on the clock and knew when they needed to allow extra time for certain tasks. Without her, Gold Rush might have completely fallen apart, especially after Lenny basically disappeared. She should have kept her mouth shut after the boardroom (both times), but Charmaine stepped up when Lenny didn’t. For this, she gets to spend some time relaxing in the corner office.
Lee was the man on the 7-Eleven task. He took a big risk by trying to sell so many sandwiches at once, and though he didn’t succeed, I was sure that Trump would admire his effort. Thinking like Trump is probably a good idea, at least right now - and it happens to be another method of kissing up. Trump is always saying that risks are important, and Lee took a very good one. He really had nothing to lose by trying. Lee also knew that Leslie’s price was way too high, mostly because he’s from the area and knows what people would be willing to spend on a sandwich. (Well, granted, that’s kind of common sense.) For taking a lesson from used-car salesmen and attempting a great negotiation, Lee gets to go back to the corner office this week.1 2 Next-->
View Printable version of this article