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"The Apprentice" (spoilers)

I've seen managers like Sam in the workplace. This week was definitely the proof that he is flat out incompetent. All he cared about during the entire show was his own ego. The team winning was about him. The debriefing in the boardroom was about him.

The thirty seconds of his phone conversation with the guys who were running to finish the job may be in the top ten of leadership teaching tools. "Hey, are we still a team? Do you think we're going to win?"

And my god, I *love* Trump for calling him out on the "respect" thing - "isn't this just rhetoric?"

Finally, a shout out to my passive voice buddies, because Sam did *exactly* what I was talking about:
"We had a plan, and at the end of the day, the plan was not adhered to"

Given his character (or lack thereof), this was pure weaselly "it wasn't anybody's fault, it just happened" crap.

Also of note - Sam's disbelief that he was actually fired. By that point it should've been quiet resignation, but he *still* allowed himself to show surprise that he got the bullet.

I'm interested to see what the women do next week that gets them the lecture.

Philo

Philo
Sunday, January 25, 2004

Hmmm. I think someone's seen Coyote Ugly one too many times. ;-)

www.MarkTAW.com
Sunday, January 25, 2004

>>Finally, a shout out to my passive voice buddies, because Sam did *exactly* what I was talking about:
"We had a plan, and at the end of the day, the plan was not adhered to"

Good catch on the passive voice usage, Philo. I hate that and have called people on it. I have a higher regard for people who admit that they screwed up than those who take the 'it just happened' stance. Passive conveys not only failure but also ignorance of what's going on.  In Sam's case, he was ignorant because he refused to listen to his field crew.

Lemonade kisses, phallic jets, and dancing for gold => I'm guessing that in next week's episode the women will be running the restaurant like something in between a Hooters and Coyote Ugly.  If they run it like a Girls Gone Wild, I want to see the Cinemax version.

BTW, CNBC runs second airings for any of you who miss an episode.

Nick
Sunday, January 25, 2004

Oh, I also thought that unless they cut a lot of footage, the guys gave up WAY too quickly on the leg waxing.

I would've gotten a throwaway camera first, then offered the waxing company before and after photos for advertising. :-)

Philo

Philo
Sunday, January 25, 2004

They gave up too quickly and didn't go about it right.

Whenever I've bargained for a cheaper price, I always talked to the manager in private - quietly and away from other customers. It's surprising how often it works. I've even gotten a Nordstrom's manager to sell me a Joseph Aboud jacket for $100 off. If I'd tried that by talking to the sales clerk or out in front of other customers, there's no way he would have cut me that deal.

Nick
Sunday, January 25, 2004

Good points Nick.

Again, it's not about the product, and in this case it's not about the price. The men, as always, took the direct approach - with selling, with advertising, and now with negotiations. The women *never* sold the product directly, always attaching a secondary image (usually sex) to the main action.

Also, the leg waxing place they went to was more upscale, probably on 57th Street or so and wasn't used to bargaining and didn't care if they lost some business. The place in Chinatown, on the other hand was probably more hungry for the business and used to haggling.

So let's see, Sales, Advertising, Negotiations, Management. I wonder what's next.

www.MarkTAW.com
Sunday, January 25, 2004

Whoever gets this won't be worthy of the position they're going to win.  They're just not going to be up to the standard Trump is looking for.

Think about it ... which truly brilliant businessman or businesswoman would spend 13 weeks vying for a 1 in 16 chance of a mere $250K/yr job?

T. Norman
Sunday, January 25, 2004

Is Trump really looking for someone worthy of the 250K?

If the TV producers pay him $1 mill for his name then he gets net 750K, a lot of free advertising, and some ego stroking to boot.

If the 250K is based on any sort of commission/performance criteria it might be a lot less real money to whoever wins.

I don't know the details of the show. Is Trump sponsoring this at all?

NathanJ
Sunday, January 25, 2004

I'm guessing the women get chewed out for simply slutting around town. While it makes for good TV it's not the type of behaviour a CEO should indulge in. 

Anyone see that one of the gals does soft core porn?

http://www.wwwterminator.com/members/hothut/Gallery/All_Celebs/K/Kristi_Frank/ht_kristifrank01.jpeg

http://www.nbc.com/nbc/The_Apprentice/contestants/about_kristi.shtml

Jorel on Software
Sunday, January 25, 2004

The show is run by Trump's production company.  It really is nothing more than a bid ad for Trump and his companies.

But $250K is chicken feed in Trumpland.  A person willing to give up 13 weeks for a far-from-guaranteed chance at only $250K isn't a person who is going to be worthy of Trump's time (they're going to spend a year under Trump's wing).  He should have made it at least $1 million.

T. Norman
Sunday, January 25, 2004

Oops, that first sentence should read "big ad for Trump..."

T. Norman
Sunday, January 25, 2004

I've seen a lot of Trump on TV lately. Is he going into politics? He's got the money and women, now he wants power :)
But he's doing it the wrong way. The right way is (sounding like Scarface): First, you got the power, then you got the money, and then you got a woman :))))

Floridian
Sunday, January 25, 2004

Trump definitely pegged Sam -- he's a "crash 'n burn"...."he'll either make a company great or destory it" [paraphrasing].

I've known a few crash 'n burns. It's extremely rare that those kind succeed.

I don't know if I'll continue to watch it because I just wanted to see Sam get shit-canned. Trump did it sooner than I expected. Kudos to the guys for making him project lead so they could get rid of him. Too bad they sacraficed a win to do it.

I couldn't stand they way Sam tried to weasel out of it. He should have assumed all the responsibility for losing.

P.S. There is no doubt that the women are leveraging some of their good looks to win. Interesting.

Steve
Sunday, January 25, 2004

I'll bet if Sam had told Trump "I only brought these two because it was a requirement. I am solely responsible for my team's failure and I take full responsibility" he would still be on.

Philo

Philo
Sunday, January 25, 2004

If he had just owned his f*ck-ups, he still would have been canned, at least he could have gone out on his feet, rather than on his knees.  I mean, it is national television.

Sassy
Sunday, January 25, 2004

Philo, that's what I said about the guy last week.

Has anyone noticed how into office politics Trump is? "I'm surprised you chose him because he spoke highly of you, but you're gonna have to get used to this kind of thing in the real world." "You only chose them because they spoke poorly of you," etc.

www.MarkTAW.com
Sunday, January 25, 2004

>I'll bet if Sam had told Trump "I only brought these two
> because it was a requirement. I am solely responsible for
> my team's failure and I take full responsibility" he would
> still be on.

No way. Sam's only chance was to succeed in the mission. I don't think Trump wants a failure to win, even it's a responsible failure.

At this point I'm impressed at how unimpressive the contestants are. Are these people Survivor rejects or what?

Jorel on Software
Sunday, January 25, 2004

Mark - actually I think Trump is picking up on how transparent the choices are. The leaders aren't bringing people who they think will hurt the team in the big game; they're bringing spur-of-the-moment choices, or people they don't like. The choices are tactical at best, personal at worst, and never strategic.

Jorel - agreed. The only two I've seen anything from that I'd really want in a leadership position are Troy (the guy who keeps working to get the team leaders refocused) and Kristi (the restaurant owner that so far has just made comments between sets, but they've been very good comments). I'd have to see more of them in action, but I suspect they're both very solid businesspeople.

I just noticed this tidbit on the website:
"For the women, Jessie took over as Project Manager and she wisely divided the team into two, smaller groups - separating Omarosa and Katrina."

Brilliant. That alone may have been why the women won. [grin]

Philo

Philo
Sunday, January 25, 2004

Philo - It could be, but it seemed to start pretty early on. I'm sure he's sized up just about anyone whose stuck their neck out to be sized up already.

Troy is the "close your eyes take a deep breath" guy? Yeah, despite his Brooklyn Thug Smarmy Salesman look, he seems the one most outwardly focused.

I did notice they gave Kristi a lot of airtime. I always wonder about why they choose who for those in between slots. Assuming the editing started after taping wrapped, you wonder what they're trying to build up in the audience for later victories and defeats to be more surprising and emotionally satisfying.

In other words, given what I've seen I don't expect anyone else had something as intelligent to say, but I do wonder why they weren't given the chance. It's not like Sam had anything inteligent to say either, but he got a lot of face time.

www.MarkTAW.com
Sunday, January 25, 2004

Troy is the country boy that runs a mortgage business.  He's the only guy on that show I could work for.

http://www.nbc.com/nbc/The_Apprentice/contestants/about_troy.shtml


Sunday, January 25, 2004

Or Nick.  I could work for Nick too


Sunday, January 25, 2004

"At this point I'm impressed at how unimpressive the contestants are. Are these people Survivor rejects or what?"

Like I said above, an impressive person would not waste their time on this show, given the relatively low stakes and low odds.

T. Norman
Sunday, January 25, 2004

Hmm looking at the bios, I'm reminded that Trump was giving advice to Nick during one of the elimination rounds, advising him to be still. I think Trump might have a soft spot or him, but he has to play his cards right and prove he's not a brown noser.

www.MarkTAW.com
Sunday, January 25, 2004

> Like I said above, an impressive person would not waste their time on this show, given the relatively low stakes and low odds. <

Oh, I dunno. There are more than monetary rewards. This is an experience they'll remember for the rest of their lives, learn about themselves by looking at themselves from ousdie, a chance to work, even briefly with someone who does business and publicity well, and one rather huge bit of free advertising.

www.MarkTAW.com
Sunday, January 25, 2004

No wonder David was the first one to go:

What is your definition of "success"?
Not working for The Man.

Who do you admire most (personally and/or professionally)?
DJ Gilles Peterson.

What cartoon character do you most relate to and why?
Fritz The Cat. Part human, part feline: is there a more sublime combination?

www.MarkTAW.com
Sunday, January 25, 2004

hmm.  I guess it depends on what you define as impressive. 


Sunday, January 25, 2004

> looking at themselves from ousdie

should be

looking at themselves from outside

www.MarkTAW.com
Sunday, January 25, 2004

Mark - I think Trump was more interested in keeping the focus on the guy he wanted to get rid of. ;)

Philo

Philo
Sunday, January 25, 2004

That must be it. I bet he found a bunch of incopetent men specifically so he could keep the women around longer too.

Have fun watching Coyote Apprentice next week. ;)

www.MarkTAW.com
Sunday, January 25, 2004

The vast majority of people cast to be on "reality" shows are really just unknown actors or wanna-be actors, which explains why Kristi was on Red Shoe Diaries and various other contestants on other shows have been found doing foot fetish videos, other types of soft-core porn or older
commercials, etc.

The shows aren't really scripted or anything (though the producers can tell almost any story they want with creative editing), but they still want people who have on-camera experience (though not enough that they will be 'known') who know how to layer on the drama.

Mister Fancypants
Sunday, January 25, 2004

sorry, coming to this thread a little late....no internet at the girlfriend's place ;-)

I was actually hoping Sam would pull one out of his hat here. Obviously he's not much of a follower, just maybe he'd be a real leader.

And then he refused to give the phone number of a certain shop to one of the fellows dashing around town.  Withholding information just because he thought that it wasn't necessary? Awful stuff. It brought memories of past micro-managers back to me.

I didn't pick up on the passive voice...kudos to you on that one Philo.

Nigel
Monday, January 26, 2004

I don't know if anyone already said it, but this show's purpose (like all reality shows) is to be entertaining so you'll watch. Therefore, the contestants aren't necessarily  the good candidates for the job, they are simply people the networks thought would be interesting to watch in the given situation.

Most all reality shows are the same in this regard. They intentionally make sure some contestants are chosen who will be disasterous, who will royally piss off the other contestants or who will have a breakdown when dealing with the others. It makes for good TV.

So you need not wonder why they chose some contestant who seems completely unprofessional, incompetant or unqualified, the producers did it on purpose.

DKatz
Monday, January 26, 2004

Oh, I almost forgot. My favorite Sam moment was at the start of the show when he came back from the board room. That thing where he wasn't going to enter the appartment until someone greated him at the door was priceless.

Jorel on Software
Monday, January 26, 2004

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