The Apprentice 5 Corner Office and Mailroom Assignments, Episode 10by Jenn Brasler -- 05/03/2006
Even with Andrea gone this week, Iím not that thrilled with the way things happened. Gold Rush was absolutely terrible, to the point that Iím almost embarrassed I ever liked Charmaine. Synergy recovered from last weekís loss but the team members arenít getting along very well, which makes for some very strained moments. I did appreciate the double firing, though, as while watching Charmaine and Tarek battle it out in the boardroom, I said out loud, ďEh, just fire Ďem both.Ē
So, Charmaine sucked this week. Miserably. I almost wish sheíd just admitted that she didnít want to experience the Hair Cuttery process - she just wanted to get her hair done. Thereís no reason she shouldnít have been out trying to get customers like Lee and Tarek were doing. For someone who has done well in the past with calling people the day before a task to alert them to a special promotion, she should have done the same this week. Instead, she spent hours organizing hair products that her team wound up not even selling. And speaking of promotions, Charmaine didnít offer the customers anything. Synergy had two-for-one deals and discounts, including 50% off haircuts for kids. Gold Rush hadÖ shelves full of hair products. They didnít give their customers (not that there were many) any incentive to come to their salon.
Charmaine also let Tarek railroad her, both during the task and in the boardroom. If she was so adamant that ďmaking you happyĒ was a good enough theme, she should have put her foot down and told her team that that was that and there would be no more discussion. Instead, she let Tarek, Michael, and Lee (but especially Tarek) gang up on her and present a different idea. Thatís not leading by consensus, thatís letting your team make your decisions for you. In the boardroom, Charmaine committed one of the cardinal sins of The Apprentice - not shutting up and letting your competitors dig themselves deeper. Lee and Michael practiced that well this week, but Charmaine couldnít keep her mouth shut. (Not that any of us should be surprised by that.) When Tarek went off on her, she should have just let him keep talking until he was done, then defended herself calmly. She might have stood a better chance of Trump, Carolyn, and Bill jumping on him instead. Of course, Iím not sure she could have done anything to save herself, so itís a moot point. But Charmaine still gets banished to the mailroom this week for making so many mistakes she probably couldnít have recovered from any of them.
Once again, I canít choose who deserves the corner office this week for Gold Rush. Of the three team members who arenít Charmaine, none of them was a prized pig. Tarek was insufferable and didnít listen to Charmaine, leading her to accuse him of being difficult to manage. Lee was sexist and manipulative, then bragged about how great he was. (Hey, Lee - not only can women run businesses, but we also get to vote, too!) MichaelÖ did nothing, as usual. Iím surprised heís still in this. I guess I could give Michael the corner office for being the lesser of four evils, but he would probably just waste it by spending the whole time practicing lengthy speeches in the mirror.
Tammy has never impressed me. Whenever sheís on screen, I spend most of the time trying to figure out who it is she looks like. (Currently Iím thinking Kelly Monaco, which makes me sad because I donít like her, and not because of Dancing With the Stars.) I was glad that Tammy was PM this week because I thought she deserved the chance to show her stuff. The last time she led, she failed, but not so horribly that I didnít think she could redeem herself and improve her record. Iím glad she did well this week, but it wasnít that great. In fact, I canít think of one thing she actually did this week other than eat pizza with Sean.
A project manager is supposed to lead. If Tammy led her team, we didnít see it. Sure, she participated by trying to attract customers with Sean, but Allie and Roxanne were doing the real selling inside the salon. I just feel like Tammy could have done more. She was just soÖ blah. Charmaine failed, but at least she failed doing something. Even after two turns as PM, Tammy is still barely on my radar. Shouldnít someone who wants to work for Trump be a little more visible? This may not be a mailroom-banishing offense, but Iím so disappointed in Tammy that I want her to go there and think about what sheís done. (Or, in this case, not done.)
Like I said, Roxanne and Allie were the real heavy-hitters this week, but Allie impressed me the most. I think she wanted to really show herself after being criticized last week, so she stepped up her performance. The way Allie spoke to the customers at the Hair Cuttery was both firm and unobtrusive, like a real salesperson. She wanted them to buy hair products, but she didnít want to put too much pressure on them. Plus, she was clear about promotions and made sure the customers knew the benefits of buying certain things. I loved that she told one customer which product was her favorite - it showed that she knew what she was talking about, and customers like recommendations when they canít decide what to buy. Allie showed that, unlike Andrea, she can handle being led and not always being in the spotlight. For that, she gets the corner office this week.
Week Ten Tally:
And then there were six. It looks like next week Sean goes over to Gold Rush, which means itís men against women, just like the old days (by which I mean the first two seasons). However, Gold Rush still has Lee and Michael, which means theyíre still in trouble. I almost feel sorry for Sean. Almost. But he was kind of annoying this week, and I love Roxanne and want her to win, so I just canít bring myself to sympathize. Allie, Roxanne, and Tammy will be great next week, mark my words. Roxanne will most likely be the PM, and itíll be either Michael or Sean for Gold Rush. If itís Sean, Roxanne might actually have some competition. If itís Michael, Iím sure sheíll be sailing into the final five.
Corner office:Lee (1, 8, 9), Lenny (2), Leslie (2), Charmaine (2, 4), Tarek (3), Charmaine (7)
Mailroom:Tarek (1), Summer (1), Lee (2), Theresa (3), Bryce (4, 6), Dan (5), Lenny (7), Leslie (8), Charmaine (10)
Corner office:Allie (1, 7, 8, 10), Roxanne (2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9), Andrea (3, 7), Sean (6, 7), Tammy (7)
Mailroom:Brent (1), Stacy (2), Andrea (4, 5, 8, 9), Michael (6, 7), Tammy (10)
Jenn Brasler is an Assistant Editor of Reality News Online and an aspiring writer from Falls Church, VA. You can e-mail her at email@example.com. After Leeís comment about three men being led by a woman, she asked if she could punch him in the kidney.
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