The Apprentice 3 Weekly Performance Review, Episode 13: Tabledby Mike DeGeorge -- 04/27/2005
I probably shouldnít be surprised that Iím not impressed by anyone this week. Why do I even bother hoping any more? Itís probably because there are so fewer contestants that they have to show more of the ones they have, and thus, the suck is far more concentrated. But think about it - in the first two seasons, there were contestants that most people felt got a raw deal when they got fired. Oops, maybe I'm generalizing (sorry, Craig!) but remember how upset you were when Troy was fired? Or Heidi? Or Nick or Amy (not I, but still)? What about when Bradford left us in week two of season two for foolishly giving up his immunity? Or when Kevin was fired for having too much education, and Sandy was fired for having too little?
The point is, think back to all the people who have been fired this year. Did any of them anger you? Did you look back and think, "that was unfair!" No, everyone who was fired this year screwed up, and their firing was usually well-deserved. Does this mean the show is unfair? Maybe - but it's because all the candidates are equally bad.
As for last week, a few people took me to task for being hard on Craig and letting Tana off easy, in addition to being way harder on him than I was on the others from the Home Depot challenge. The problem I had is simple Ė Craig had the exact same thing happen to him that he did to Kendra. Exactly the same. While his teammates at the time deserved scorn, they didnít have the past experience of feeling betrayed by your teammates and yet, STILL, he acted the way he did last week. Not just disrespectful, it was downright shameful. Itís like the little fat kid who loses weight and turns around and picks on the other fat kid in the class. Craig, of all people, should have known better.
That may not convince anyone, but thatís the reasoning.
By the way, Staples? Another big customer. Theyíre good people. Their ads may suck, but I love Staples anyway.
I really didnít like the Desk Apprentice. It looked way too bulky, and the lazy susan aspect bugged me. It wonít fit on my desk, and besides, it wonít do anything that my stackables donít already do. I guess the main problem is, if youíre going to use something like this, why not just put it in your desk drawers? How do you get rid of desk clutter by sticking a giant block in its place? ďHey, I still donít have any space, but at least Iím organized!Ē I also agreed with Kendra (big shock there) that the vertical design was inconvenient. Itís a novel idea, a neat design, but it answered a question no one asked Ė it took a couple different designs and mushed them together. Whee.
The Desk Apprentice is sold out at Staples.com, though, so what do I know?
Kendra: No, even though youíre my favorite to win, you donít escape this week. Considering your history with Craig, you should have brought up your problem with the design (again, in front of George and/or Carolyn) and let it drop. You should have known you werenít going to change his mind, and besides which, he was the Project Manager, if he wanted to paint it tutti-frutti purple, you make your opposition known and let it go.
Tana: I would say that Iím disappointed in you, but to be honest, I donít expect anything out of you after last week. I know you werenít Project Manager, but to basically plug your ears and go ďlalalalala, I canít hear anythingĒ when your team is dissolving around you isÖ well, Iím running out of negative descriptions for you people. Down to the final six, you should be treating each task as if you were the Project Manager. Which means you donít just sit there eating your freakiní sandwich while your teammates are at each othersí throats! Do something, for crying out loud!
Craig: I had considered apologizing to you this week for my comments last week. After all, I was pretty rough on you. But after this week, Iím convinced you deserved every bit of it and more. People were upset that I called you same names? Calling Kendra a liar for making a generalization? I know I donít take well to being called a liar Ė I almost walked off a job because a boss implied that something I had told her was untrue. The only reason I didnít was that I knew I was planning on leaving soon anyway. But call me a jerk, an a**hole, a slimebag, whatever. I can deal with that, those are opinions. Calling someone a liar and questioning their integrity is a whole other form of name calling.
Besides which, your comment that sparked this whole argument was about generalizations. I have news for you: SPEAKING in generalizations in private, provided they are not offensive comments, means nothing. Acting in generalities is what causes problems. If you get so upset about someone saying ďyou always do this,Ē then your priorities are seriously out of whack.
In addition, you accepted Kendraís stackable idea, but totally dismissed any of her ideas in execution. Seriously, a smaller calendar? Thatís a worse idea then covering the bins with plexiglass. You donít seem to understand the whole point of the focus groups, and whatís worse, your sitting around while the others interviewed customers was just classless. Youíre a condescending jerk, not willing to give in to anyoneís arguments, and take credit for their work, but youíre more than willing to sit around while they do the grunt work? You donít respect anyone else and ask the same inane question fifty times, then get upset when someone asks a legitimate question? And people wonder why I called you a slimeball?
Luckily for you, Alex and Bren were as creative as a box of rocks. Youíve managed to make it to the final four, but I donít believe itís been as a result of anything you have done. Aside from the Home Depot task, where you did perform well, you havenít shown the least bit of managerial promise. I look forward to seeing your smug, condescending (yes, I know what it means), loudmouthed, egotistical self climb into the cab. Soon.
Now, I liked the idea of a storage desk like that, even though, to be fair, I have even less room for another desk than I would for a Desk Apprentice. The actual engineering of the desk sucked rocks, though. Even the top drawers were decent, but covering them with the plexiglass was, as everyone in creation has said, a stupid idea. You could have designed a cover for just the inbox portion! And the bottom shelves to store your stapler? Da hell? I almost wondered there for a minute if Alex had actually WORKED in an office before.
Alex: Note to Trump: Alex was never a star except in your own mind. He wasnít a ďstar in the beginning,Ē he was brought into the boardroom in the very first task for not training enough people on the registers. You yourself said he did a ďlousy job.Ē Doesnít sound like a star to me.
Aside from the bad product, you didnít exactly manage well. You threw the ďfocus groupĒ task at Bren with no help and no follow up. Did it not occur to you to visit the store? Did you really not have enough time to schlep over and meet with anyone? Judges, customers, janitors, anyone? At the final five, you make time. Youíre just lucky that Bren piped up with his weakness, or youíd get the cab ride.
Bren: Itís pretty simple why you lost. Trump was all set to fire Alex, focusing on his weak leadership, but you jumped in and mentioned that you didnít like to take risks. What were you doing, taking the bullet? You didnít do a very good job on the focus groups, but then, you werenít really given much to work with. You were on the ride back up to the suite before you opened your mouth out of the blue, Iím sorry to say.
You werenít exactly a superstar in the past few weeks, but youíve been pretty good. Definitely someone Iíd like to work with. You may not have shown what it takes to run a huge organization, but in your dealings with people, youíve shown me that you have what it takes to be a really great guy.
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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