The Apprentice 4, Episode 2: MVPs and LVPs, Corner Office and Mailroom Assignmentsby Gil Sery -- 10/04/2005
Remember last season when Bren was so cocky about his team of guys having an edge in designing a car ad, only to lose to a bunch of women? Well, it happened again. The men were high-fiving each other left and right and were to impressed with themselves to see that their campaign — umm, how do I put this gently? — sucked like the sound of my wallet at a gas station!
There are three people on this team who blundered badly – Markus, Mark, and Chris. Markus would make a great politician. He has the art of talking incessantly without saying anything meaningful down to a science, something that any good politician needs in their bag of tricks. As a businessman though, I don’t see his potential. Maybe he was talking about selling Hot Wheels, when he mentioned he had experience in selling cars. He should have mentioned this repeatedly if he really wanted his ideas taken seriously, instead of just giving up when his fellow teammates didn’t agree with him.
I can tell you that, as a former proofreader, there are no situations that call for an entire nation of people to be referred to with a lower case initial, the way Mark did with “italian." Case in point: I’ll never forget the time I was in elementary school and my teacher, who was British, quipped, “I know the British are small, but please spell it with a capital B.”
Then there was Chris. This guy made the biggest blunders of all. Trump pretty much spelled out that he didn’t want Markus in the boardroom, but did want Mark there. Remember this episode’s lesson, called “Be Flexible”? Apparently, Chris didn’t get the memo that good leaders need to be flexible. He told Trump that he felt his team was charging down the field. However, it doesn’t help if you’re charging in the wrong direction.
Let’s say hypothetically that Chris becomes the Apprentice and ends up working for Trump. Trump tells him, “I like this contractor a lot better than that one, but I have to go close a business deal, so I’ll leave the final decision in your hands.” Would Chris award the job to the contractor that Trump likes less? And if so, would he claim that his decision was not personal?
There’s a lot of flexibility in your new mailroom position, Chris. You can even choose which stamps to lick.
Since none of the overconfident men who worked on the project deserves the Corner Office with adjoining restroom, and aerial view of New York, Randal gets it this week. Why, you ask? Even though he had an extremely trying day, he came back in time to be with his team for their presentation, thus showing team solidarity.
Team Capital Edge
Marshawn didn’t have a whole lot to do with her team’s winning video ad, arguably the largest part of the task. She delegated the video direction to Alla and, in one of the extra video scenes, shot down the “Do you need permission?” suggestion, because she was too afraid to stray from what her team had already discussed and agreed on. Like Chris on Excel, she was too inflexible to change when circumstances suggested it might be better to do so. So for lack of bravery and lack of involvement in the biggest part of the task, Marshawn gets to deal with absolutes like which pieces of mail are addressed to whom.
While I would love to give Kristi the corner office for being the only one to have the guts not to give Marshawn an exemption, that honor has to go to Alla. The way she directed the video shoot and the way she helped execute her team’s vision of the ad have earned her the corner office this week. Kudos, Alla! Your Dom Perignon is waiting for you in your new office.Week Two Tally:
So how does the scoreboard look after week two? The numbers in parentheses are the weeks in which the position was awarded.
Gil Sery is a freelance entertainment journalist who loves watching reality TV. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org