The Apprentice 4, Episode 7 Corner Office and Mailroom Assignmentsby Gil Sery -- 11/09/2005
This week both teams had to create and teach a Learning Annex class. Capital Edge led by Adam, the “nice Jewish boy from Atlanta” came up with a seminar called “Sex in the Workplace” that was all over the map. For Excel, Randal conceived of and led his team in a class titled, “Stand Out: How to Make Your Mark”. So who went to the head of the class and who flunked out? Let’s take a look.
As mentioned above, Randal came up with the idea for the class, Randal outlined the presentation, and Randal not only spoke first, but also spoke with a commanding presence that kept the audience interested. Sensing a pattern yet? I’m sure the rest of the team contributed too (we didn’t see much of what they did, except for a little of Marshawn’s presentation), but this week’s task seemed to be all about Randal. So for coming through with flying colors for his team, and for being the only project manager with a 2-0 track record, Randal gets the corner office this week for an unprecedented third time. Keep it up, Randal! You might be working for Mr. Trump yet.
Rebecca, on the other hand, needs to learn to have a little faith in her project manager, especially since he’s never given her any reason to doubt him — at least none that the audience has seen — the way some other team members have. Her “we’re so screwed” line didn’t exactly exude confidence in Randal. Thankfully, she didn’t do this to his face. Nevertheless, I don’t think a lack of faith merits mailroom duty for the whole week, so I’ll just send her to order a roll of stamps online and let her off with a warning.
Cappy, Cappy, Cappy. (Sound familiar?) What to do with you? I’d say you’re falling apart at the seams, but there aren’t any seams at which to fall apart. You’re just one big, uncoordinated mess and managed to keep your losing streak alive for another week. Between Adam’s queasiness with the subject of sex, Clay’s anti-Semitic remark, and Markus’ ineptitude, you should consider yourselves fortunate to have Alla and Felicia as part of your team. Let’s examine the performances of Capital Edge’s team members this week.
The best thing Adam did as Project Manager was to put Alla in charge of brainstorming. She came up with the topic of “Sex in the Office,” and since her presentation was not shown, it’s safe to assume it wasn’t the train wreck that Clay’s was. Thus, for again being the best candidate on the losing team, Alla gets the Corner Office this week.
The worst thing Adam did was to tell his audience that he’s uncomfortable with the subject of sex. Imagine if Randal adopted a non-assertive attitude at his presentation or confessed that he was fine with being passed over for a promotion because he enjoys working in the background. If that were true, he would have no business leading a talk on how to stand out. These people came to the class because they considered Adam and his teammates to be some kind of experts, or at the very least people who know more about this subject than they do. Thus, it’s never a good idea to negate the audience’s positive impression of you by confessing your weaknesses.
Then there was Clay. If you listen closely, Clay says, “He’s a shy, tight Jewish boy.” It sounds like Clay might have meant tight as in “uptight.” I don’t think anyone would disagree that Adam is somewhat uptight when it comes to the subject of sex. However, Adam turned “tight” into “tight-ass” and “tight-ass” into “tight-ass Jew” all by himself. Now, please don’t get me wrong. I deplore anti-Semitism as much as the next person. I agree with George that it has no place in the marketplace or anywhere else for that matter, and have even been subjected to it at work. However, after closer inspection of the actual quote, I think the anti-Semitism was all in Adam’s mind.
If I’m wrong, and Clay did indeed mean “tight Jewish boy” as “tight-ass Jew”, then yes, that would definitely qualify him for the Bradford Cohen Idiot of the Week Award. However, I don’t think someone who has been on the receiving end of prejudice would subject someone else to similar treatment.
Now let’s look at Clay’s performance in the task itself. Clay was by far the most controversial and awkward of the Capital Edge speakers that were shown. Granted, sex is a controversial topic, but if the others could find ways to steer clear of potential minefields of controversy, why couldn’t Clay? His comments surely offended at least some of the students, which partially contributed to the team’s lower scores.
Then there was Markus. It’s been noted that geniuses are people who are extremely creative and who think outside the box on a completely different level than the rest of society. Markus has been labeled as the show’s “Inventor,” which means he has to be highly creative to think up things that nobody has ever done before. However, I wouldn’t call him a genius; just eccentric. He works in a different style than most people, but what he doesn’t seem to realize is that The Trump Organization won’t change to fit his style; he must change his style to fit in with that of The Trump Organization. The simple truth is that he is just not capable of doing that. He has his own ways of doing things and other styles or alternatives be damned.
We saw this when Alla asked everyone to write down five thoughts, and Markus chose to deliver his thoughts orally instead of in writing. When asked to do research, other team members came up with concrete facts; Markus came up with a query about how detailed his research should be, and as such, didn’t contribute any research to the team. In fact, if Markus did contribute something to the team’s efforts aside from an argumentative attitude, it certainly wasn’t shown. Thus, it came as no surprise that he was fired.
So since Markus is no longer with the company, and even though Adam was inexperienced on the subject and quite inept as a leader, the mailroom duty this week has to go to Clay for his controversial presentation and for being “the king of awkward moments,” as Felisha dubbed him. One can only hope he doesn’t offend anyone else on his way to the mailroom.
Week 7 Tally
Randal gets an unprecedented third week in Excel’s Corner Office. Not to be outdone, Alla not only accomplishes the same feat in Capital Edge’s Corner Office, but this is her second consecutive week there. If these two keep it up, we might have to order nameplates for them! Nobody gets to work in Excel’s mailroom this week, although Rebecca comes the closest. On Capital Edge, Clay’s mouth lands him in hot water and makes him the first candidate to work in the mailrooms of both corporations. Finally, Markus proves that some people are just better off working for themselves, in an environment where they can set all the rules to their liking.
Here are the results to date. As always, the numbers in parentheses indicate the weeks in which the assignments were awarded.
Corner Office: Mark (1), Randall (2, 3, 7), Clay (4), Josh (5), Rebecca (6),
Mailroom: Josh (1), Chris (2), Clay (3), Markus (5)
Corner Office: Rebecca (1), Alla (1, 6, 7), Jennifer M. (3, 4), Marshawn (5)
Mailroom: Kristi (1), Melissa (1), Marshawn (2), Rebecca (3), Jennifer W. (3), Felisha (4), Jenn M. (5), Clay (6, 7)
Gil Sery is a freelance entertainment journalist who loves watching reality TV, and loves getting email from fans even more. You can make his day by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org and telling him who you think should get the corner office or mailroom.