The Apprentice 3 Weekly Performance Review, Episode 11: American Idiotsby Mike DeGeorge -- 04/13/2005
First off, make sure to check out the Apprentice Cruise that weíre advertising on the top of most of our pages. It looks like a fantastic time, and I was thinking about going before I realized Ė considering some of the contestants who will be there, Iíd either have to go under an assumed name or fear for my life the entire time.
Donít let that stop you though. Make sure you tell Ďem that RNO sent you. And make sure you tell Bradford that he got screwed.
I also got a tremendous email from a reader named Christine, asking me a lot of questions (that I will be indirectly answering in the column) and mentioning a few things I hadnít considered. Think of Christine as my Carolyn this week.
What about that horrible voice-over from Trump, trying to cover up for the idiots at Dominoís who threw away a golden opportunity to sell meatball pizzas? I donít care how great the cheeseburger pizza is, not taking advantage of AN HOUR OF FREE ADVERTISING was stupidity beyond belief. ESPECIALLY considering that thereís very little difference between a meatball and a hamburger. At least thatís the sort of thing my mom used to tell me when I refused to eat meat loaf. No amount of voiceovers about ďlistening to customersĒ will change that. Just goes to show why Iím a Pizza Hut man, even if they continue to put Jessica Simpson on my TV.
As for this weekís challenge, I rank it right up there with painting graffiti on a wall. Wearable tech? Is this an innovation the world really needed? Itís like green ketchup Ė itís filling a need that doesnít exist. Hey, you want to easily carry your iPod around with you and keep your hands free? THEYíRE CALLED POCKETS. Theyíve been around for years.
Kendra: Christine made a great point here. You really didnít begin to shine until you teamed up with Tana. The ideas I give you so much credit for might just be given to you by Tana. But you also have the edge because (as Christine said) you look the part more than Tana.
The true test is how you react to Craig this coming week. Will you freak like Audrey, or will you keep your cool?
Craig: I think Iíve figured you out. Every time you act condescending, itís toward a female. First Audrey, then Kendra. Youíve been sneaky (some might say weaselly) about it, never doing it in a hostile manner and never toward the Project Manager. Eventually youíre going to pull something in front of Carolyn, and youíll be taking a nice taxi ride.
Bren: I like you a lot, but every time I see you, itís more in the capacity of assistant than leader. You can get things done, but just donít have what it takes to lead. I give you all the credit in the world for paying attention and being able to name the cell phone as the most important piece of tech. I wonder if Craig would have been able to pull that one out.
You also had my favorite item of the week, the kangaroo pouch for the GameBoy. Encouraging kids to goof off ALWAYS means profit. I just wish you would have handled the disaster at the silk-screen place better.
Tana: I feel more and more confident in picking you to make the finals every week. Youíve got a certain charm that makes people WANT to work hard for you. Thatís a very valuable asset for a manager to have. Youíre friendly, yet you can still give orders when need be. Iíve yet to see a killer instinct, though, which I hope you show when we get to the final task. Plus, as Christine mentioned, you donít exactly look or dress like an executive. It doesnít matter? Trump has fired people for a lot less.
Awesome job with the market research, and also with educating your teammates about it. I loved the logo and Wearable Tech gimmick, even though I thought the sweatshirt looked better without a logo. You were able to take bad product and elevate yourself past it. The idea and presentation was so sound, I doubt the American Eagle execs would have even noticed a little bit of paint (although Iím fairly certain they would have noticed the backwards logo).
I would have asked one question in the boardroom: whose idea was that idiotic ďlaptop on the backĒ shirt? Fired. Bye. No more questions.
Alex: People are wondering why Trump calls you a superstar. Itís easy Ė the show we see is completely different than the one that plays out in Trumpís mind. Remember when he called Amy a star because she kept getting chosen in the ďdraftsĒ? Mind you, she hadnít actually DONE anything to deserve it, but since in the five minutes that he saw her every week, people wanted her on their team, he assumed she was good. Just like he assumed the menís team was bad because they lost every week. He threatened to fire them all! And who made the finals? Two men.
I donít see what Trump is seeing. Youíre a good soldier, a fine assistant, but you have no ideas and no management skill. Thereís a reason you do well in the background.
You were rushed going into the presentation, but apparently you and Chris had time to play with cameras and mannequins while Angie was working? I have to agree that you probably should have been fired this week. I mean, what exactly DID you do this task? I donít think it matters because you and Angie were both just episode filler. Youíre just here to fill out our contracted number of episodes.
Chris: Christine thinks that Trump is being extremely unprofessional by harping on you week after week. Why doesnít he just fire you already? The same reason he didnít fire Danny immediately, or Sam, or Raj, or Omarosa. It makes good television. At my work, everybody hates you. You donít get rid of a good villain like that quickly.
That said, Christine says that Chris has shown remarkable improvement (his recent arrest nothwithstanding) and after harping on it week after week, Trump should at least acknowledge that he managed to quit smoking.
As for Chrisí arrest, the general reaction Iíve seen is that it was hardly a surprise. No, itís not. Not to say that he didnít do what heís accused of, but you have to wonder how much his Apprentice notoriety had to do with it. ďOh, itís the loud threatening guy from The Apprentice, weíll have to watch to make sure he doesnít get out of line.Ē
Again, Iím not saying heís innocent, but letís not be too quick to judge.
To the task, people are making fun of you for not doing anything this week aside from lose the card. Well, losing a credit card is an easy mistake (albeit a fairly boneheaded one), especially when youíre worried about a few thousand dollars in gadgets. Then you were told to go get the card and not to come back without it. And you didnít. What else do they expect of you?
I hate to sound like a Chris apologist, because I think he should have been fired by now. But I feel like the guyís getting it in the shorts from this show, and I think thatís not right.
Angie: Question for Trump: who keeps saying Angie is great? Stephanie let her go last week because she didnít think she would help her go after Chris! The last few weeks, sheís been fighting for her life in the boardroom! Once again, Iíd like to watch whatever show Trump is watching. It might be more interesting than this one.
Why were you fired? Because Alex is a bad manager. Thereís a fact that most of these people donít seem to understand, and that is if your manager looks bad, you look bad. This is a possible reason that Trump thinks everyone on a winning team is a star Ė because it takes more than the manager to win. Trump just takes it to the extreme. It also takes more than the manager to lose, which is why two other people come back into the boardroom each week.
If you were overworked, and your manager is as oblivious as Alex, itís up to you to say something! My boss (not that sheís oblivious like Alex! Iím making a point here!) has told me many times to let her know if there is a problem. If she doesnít know about it, she canít fix it. In this case, Alex SHOULD have known there was a problem. You told us that he didnít, so it fell on you to bring it to his attention.
It looks like Bren will join Net Worth next week. That sets the stage nicely for Chris to go one week and Craig the other, and then Alex and Bren to go home after the executive interviews reveal them to be ďtoo smartĒ or some such nonsense. That sets up the Tana-Kendra finale I predicted a couple weeks ago. Everyone is now jumping on THAT bandwagon, except that some are choosing Tana. I stand by my prediction.
Mike DeGeorge has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, and has almost ten years of management experience. He is also Associate Editor of RNO. Email Mike at email@example.com.
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