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"The Apprentice" (spoilers)

I think that was it on tape - the quote was "You have to deal with being a bitch for the rest of your life"
I suspect that's where Omarosa heard the racial epithet...

Again on tape - Omarosa standing in the restaurant saying "can you make the arrangements for transportation?"  Let's see if she's a mole...

Kwame said he didn't have the luxury of firing Omarosa. What a shame.

I was just about to complain about the fret over the "Marquis Jet Sign" with no background when they went and explained why it was an issue. Good production.

Bill's thinking like an independent - "I'll be in the office, someone will be able to get hold of me"
No, you give them your cell phone number. :-)

I'm starting to agree with those who suspected that one member of each team is a mole, and Bill's mole is the one that put the Marquis sign in the trash.

Ouch on the breakfast - a true nightmare (walk in and there's nothing)

Remember my two rules:
1) Assume nothing ("I thought you had it")
2) Follow up and check (Verify the breakfast was scheduled)

Kwame said that going around checking after people was micromanaging. It can be, but for truly critical things there's simply nothing wrong with having a second set of eyes on things.

Angel's choir music for the Trumpster?

Considering Heidi's argument about "co-chairing" the Meet and Greet, I kinda wonder if maybe *all* the teams were told to make life difficult... And of course if Heidi's charge I guess now it's the "Meet and f'ing Greet"

Bill's intensity is the kind of thing that drives me insane as a subordinate. He's working a *golf course* - there is no way he can be everywhere he needs to be; he needs to place his people and rely on the radios.

Whoa - did Kwame communicate that "people flow through the room" part to Heidi? He definitely plays well under pressure, but I'm not sure why he had to lay hands on the situation?

I do think the shot of Omarosa posing on stage was evil editing - she seemed to have a handle on what was going on, but the producers wanted to keep the "screwing around" image.

Carolyn was looking really good tonight.

I cannot believe how much advertising Trump's getting out of this.

Kwame lost Jessica Simpson when Trump wanted to meet her - I wonder if Trump was really annoyed or if he was trying to put pressure on the Kwamster.

On the other hand, I find Omarosa's performance in Jessica Simpson's room shameful and unprofessional, by any stretch of the imagination. And Kwame certainly slammed her - if she's not the mole she should be near unemployable in the future.

Since Jessica performed on here, does that mean Britney will be on the Apprentice 2?

That's a weird feeling, walking away from a major event when it's all over. It's unreal - can't believe it's actually over and you get to leave. BTDT a lot...

[sigh] 45 minutes left and they're heading into the boardroom? I think I would've rather seen more of the tasks.

And now we're live. Let's hope there are no wardrobe malfunctions.

ROFLMAO!!! Infighting between George and Carolyn - "No, my job's harder"

Pre-interviewing the six team members, this may be the most mature I've seen most of them act in the whole show. Nice - Omarosa tags Bill with stuff that was her fault. She doesn't stop.

This can't be live - they're cutting too well.

Bill makes a good call - "I don't go on pedigree. I think when you start from nothing and you actually do it, it shows a lot."

Tsk. Trump asks Kwame why he didn't fire Omarosa. He said "I didn't know that was an option" - unable to think outside the box. Then he waffled about "I need three people to get it done" - he doesn't understand negative work.

And Bill wins it all!

So he gets to choose between overseeing the construction of a 90-story building in Chicago or a golf course in LA.
Trump always talks to the camera. It can get annoying.

Nice touch letting Bill sit at the big kid's table.

And no disclaimer from the Trumpster, in fact The Donald told her to her face she lied on tape - that was all Omarosa on film.

Bill won a car, not just a weekend's rental?

Was that Sam thing for real?

All in all, a nice wrap up for the series.

And I'm outta here....
Philo

Philo
Thursday, April 15, 2004

>Carolyn was looking really good tonight.

Hope they are going to show more of her in the Part 2. :)

Anon
Thursday, April 15, 2004

> Infighting between George and Carolyn - "No, my job's harder" <

Which reflected Kwame & Bill's claiming the other's task was easier.

> Whoa - did Kwame communicate that "people flow through the room" part to Heidi? <

I think he thought it up on the spot.

===

Here's a good measure. Put Bill in Kwame's task with Kwame's team, and Kwame in Bill's task with Bill's team.

Would Jessica Simpson have been lost? Would Kwame have found the Marquis Jet sign? Would nobody have known how many people were showing up to the dinner at the golf course? Would the meet & greet have gone smoother?

Or maybe the team choices where were the task was made or broken.

All in all, it's good to see the guy I've been backing win.

www.MarkTAW.com
Thursday, April 15, 2004

Who gives a damn?

It's a __TV show__ for God's sake!

Why do so many people on here care so much about it?

Fame and fortune acquired via Knock Hockey
Thursday, April 15, 2004

Is this the *real* Philo? Really???

Anon-y-mous Cow-ard
Thursday, April 15, 2004

It wasn't until this episode that I really saw what Trump was talking about when he called Troy a "loose cannon". 

But other than that, pretty cool.  Was it just me, or was that convertible sitting at the curb while it was raining?

John Wilson
Thursday, April 15, 2004

No.

Philo

Philo
Thursday, April 15, 2004

"Why do so many people on here care so much about it?"

Why do you care that we care?

Philo

Philo
Thursday, April 15, 2004

Nice recap of the show.

Bill can set fires under people -- so can the Donald.  I could see how he'd tend toward Bill.

Even though Bill probably would have said a few things to Omarossa regarding her pass-the-buck-performance  -- she would have thrown another tantrum and sucked energy from the project.  I suspect Kwame was trying to avoid having to deal with her crap.  Too bad for Kwame. 

So...to Omarossa defenders, please defend her last few comments to the Donald.  She was still trying to make excuses.  Or do you "defenders" think that too was edited against her?  Please defend her damn near intentionally bad performance w/ Kwame's project. 

There's no excuse.  Glad she made a fool of herself.

Keisha Jackson
Thursday, April 15, 2004

> I think he thought it up on the spot.

And now that I think about it, this fits Kwame's "relaxed" management style. He doesn't think things all the way through. As long as the big fuzzy picture in his head is ok, he's happy. He may have thought that that's the way a meet & greet goes and assumed heidi would have the same vision as him and never communicated it, or he may have just assumed a meet & greet would have a sort of standardized way of being done, and you'd know what that standard way was when you got there.

But Bill will have to be just a tad less hands on if he's going to last a year. He'll burn out way too fast if he's like that every day.

www.MarkTAW.com
Thursday, April 15, 2004

Bill would have handled the call that morning as soon as it became an issue.

The whole time watching the show, my girlfriend was saying things like "Why don't they call Jessica Simpson's people, why don't they call the hotel people." It's because Kwame's team was too obsessed with LOOKING good and hiding any problems, so they never really established a relationship with any of these people, and certainly never could've admitted to having a problem.

www.MarkTAW.com
Thursday, April 15, 2004

Whoever got stuck with Omarosa would have had problems.  But if Bill had Omarosa he would have given her a good cussing or fired her.  Had Kwame done that he could have won some points with the Trumpster.

T. Norman
Thursday, April 15, 2004

I agree, if Bill remains "hands-on" at that level, he'll burn out fast  -- and he'll turn off the professionals who work for him.  "Hands-on" works best w/ less experienced people.  I suspect he'll back off a bit.  That's his strength, he learns quickly. 

And now that I think about it, Kwame just might have been better in the long run w/ a group of experienced professionals.  I don't doubt he'll get a great job offer.  The world now knows who he is.

Keisha Jackson
Thursday, April 15, 2004

"> Infighting between George and Carolyn - "No, my job's harder" <"

My dick is harder. At least, that's what she said. :-P

The Scarlet Pimpernel
Thursday, April 15, 2004

> Why do you care that we care?

Because you're filling up a forum for software development/management with topics about it.

Honestly, why not go talk about your TV show on a TV newsgroup or something? There are questions on here by people who mostly either a) are really, really stuck and need some help, or b) aren't quite sure how to do something and don't want to waste time doing it the wrong way, or c) have some insightful observation they want to share with others, and I really don't like coming here and seeing "The Apprentice (spoilers)" at the top of the forum instead.

Yeah, a lot of people post off-topic stuff too every now and then, and that's fine, but this is multiple times a week on the exact same subject.

Thank God the season is finally over. I bet none of you will give a damn about it come next season, or at the very latest, the season after that, just like no one cares about "Survivor" anymore. Maybe you'll even have some remorse about wasting time vegetating in front of your television set instead of reading a book or--God forbid--getting some exercise or spending time doing something meaningful with a loved one.

Fame and fortune acquired via knock hockey
Thursday, April 15, 2004



Why don't you guys who love to discuss this stuff so much apply for Apprentice 2?  Let's see what you got!

grunt
Thursday, April 15, 2004

Kwame might have done better with experienced professionals, but so would have Bill. Take this exchange for example:

Heidi: I need more direction for this task, I've never done this before.
Kwame: We're all doing things we've never done before. Just handle it.

(later)

Heidi: Kwame thinks I'm incompetent, he assigned Troy to help me with my task.

That isn't the sign of someone who trusts the people he works for - he doesn't give her a vision and then undermines her when she doesn't know what to do. He doesn't plan, and he flies by the seat of his pants. He acts as if everything will go off without a hitch, so of course things blow up in his face. Bill acts as if everything is a disaster, so of course everything goes off without a hitch.

www.MarkTAW.com
Thursday, April 15, 2004

While we are at it (wasting space on an otherwise great forum, and inflating a useless thread):

> Thank God the season is finally over.

Thank God indeed!

> Maybe you'll even have some
> remorse about wasting time vegetating in front of your
> television set ...

You think?  I think not...

> ... instead of reading a book or--God forbid--
> getting some exercise or spending time doing something
> meaningful with a loved one.

This is how addiction starts.. with mostly denial, that is.. And before you know it, you are neck deep in it... of course at the expense of other activities and loved ones.  :(

As I said before, if you love this stuff so much, just apply and we'll see if you can even make the first cut.  <grin>

grunt
Thursday, April 15, 2004

To those of you who don't like the chat about The Apprentice, why are you even reading it? 

Don't assume we don't read...in fact, you could use a spelling course.

Keisha Jackson
Friday, April 16, 2004

"There are questions on here by people who mostly either a) are really, really stuck and need some help, or b) aren't quite sure how to do something and don't want to waste time doing it the wrong way, or c) have some insightful observation they want to share with others,"

Just an FYI - the general consensus seems to be that the first two of these "don't belong" either - check out the occasional complaints about JoS "becoming a help desk."

"and I really don't like coming here and seeing "The Apprentice (spoilers)" at the top of the forum instead."

Then don't come here on Thursday night. :)

"Yeah, a lot of people post off-topic stuff too every now and then, and that's fine, but this is multiple times a week on the exact same subject."

By the way, I do know of exactly ONE explicit rule that Joel has stated about what is "off topic" - meta-discussion is absolutely verboten and will generally get actively deleted. So you're in the wrong more than I am. :)

"Thank God the season is finally over. I bet none of you will give a damn about it come next season"

You were probably right. Until now. :P

Philo

PS - "The Apprentice" threads are about management, leadership, and interacting with peers in a work environment. If you think that has nothing to do with software, I have one thing to say:
        I'd like fries with that, please.

Philo
Friday, April 16, 2004

> Was it just me, or was that convertible sitting at the curb while it was raining? <

It's not raining in New York. It's standard practice to wet the streets for TV and Film. When the streets are dry they're just black and fade into nothing. When they're wet, they come alive for the camera.

www.MarkTAW.com
Friday, April 16, 2004

> You think?  I think not...

Yeah, I'm just trying to be optimistic.

> This is how addiction starts.. with mostly denial, that is.. And before you know it, you are neck deep in it... of course at the expense of other activities and loved ones.  :(

I wish people would just try to go a month without TV and see how much better they feel.

How many people do you know whose lives consist mostly of work, TV, sleep, repeat?

When you're on your death bed years from now, I can guarantee you that you're not going to regret missing the "Live finale" of the Apprentice.

> To those of you who don't like the chat about The Apprentice, why are you even reading it?

Because I'm sick of seeing all of these topics about it.

> in fact, you could use a spelling course.

I spell fine, thank you.

Fame and fortune acquired via knock hockey
Friday, April 16, 2004

>Just an FYI - the general consensus seems to be that the first two of these "don't belong" either - check out the occasional complaints about JoS "becoming a help desk."

No, the general consensus is *not*. Questions about software are obviously on topic by virtue of the fact that the vast majority of the topics here are just that--questions about software. JoS *is* a helpdesk; I just wish it was a helpdesk without a TV.

> Then don't come here on Thursday night. :)

You posted a topic yesterday too, remember?

> PS - "The Apprentice" threads are about management, leadership, and interacting with peers in a work environment.

"The Apprentice" threads are about a "reality" TV show that has little reality in it. It's fake, just like Survivor and most everything else on TV is. Somebody posting about *their* office or *their* peers or *their* management has to do with software. A bunch of MBAs running around selling lemonade in Manhattan for the TV cameras and charismatic billionaire does not.

Fame and fortune acquired via knock hockey
Friday, April 16, 2004

""The Apprentice" threads are about a "reality" TV show that has little reality in it. It's fake, just like Survivor and most everything else on TV is. Somebody posting about *their* office or *their* peers or *their* management has to do with software. A bunch of MBAs running around selling lemonade in Manhattan for the TV cameras and charismatic billionaire does not. "

Here, here! Excellent post.

'Reality' TV Show != Reality
Friday, April 16, 2004

Frankly, another screwup for The Donald. I'm guessing he's heading for another bankruptcy if he really lets that clown Bill Rancid do any real work.

This reminds me of the episode where Trump said he's dupped all the time. Well, Bill dupped him again.

Kwame's problem was that he's too nice. He needed to stand up at some point and say Omarossa is garbage and I don't want her on my team. In the end it cost him the job.

The Ronald
Friday, April 16, 2004

Fame etc.,  The fact of the matter is, philo's been here a long time, and we like his posts.  I believe I speak for a lot of people when I say we don't like yours.  So, stop cluttering up this thread, and either leave or go post something useful if possible.

vince
Friday, April 16, 2004

Bill will do better in the construction management position than Kwame would have. 

I've been involved in two construction projects and the number of details to tracvk is mind boggling.  And those were just for manufacturing facilities - not Chicago high rises.

Bill has the kind of attention to detail that the position requires, whereas Kwame's hands-off management style would get him into trouble.

Don't get me wrong, I think Kwame would do fine in some organizations, but to really make the grade he needs to:

  - get over his fear of confrontation
  - be more hands on
  - pay more attention to details

All in all, I'm glad Bill won, and I think Trump made a good choice.  I've rooted for him and Amy since the beginning, so I'm obviously just breaking my arm patting myself on the back for being a good judge of talent.

Nick
Friday, April 16, 2004

BTW, I watched CNBC interview a panel of "The Apprentice all stars" - Mark Cuban, Donny Deutch (sp?), Isaac Mizrahi, Carson Daly, and a few others that I don't remember.

Isaac Mizrahi had nice things to say about Kwame.  When the cameras stopped rolling, he said it was Kwame that came over and ironed out all the details.

The panel was split on who would win, but they all agreed that Kwame may be too nice (all but Mizrahi, that is).

When asked who the series MVP was, they unanimously said Amy.

Several entrepreneurs (Cuban and Deutch) also thought that Bill may be too much of a maverick to do well in Trump's organization.  Their logic was that people who start businesses often don't make good employees working for someone else.

Nick
Friday, April 16, 2004

My conspiracy theory- the thing was fixed from the start and Bill was always going to be the guy and here is why.  Trump has been planning a tower in Chicago for years (in fact originally he wanted to do another "world's tallest building").  Chicago has a massive inferiority complex with respect to New York (and, to a lesser extent Los Angeles) and there was a serious concern that Trump would be viewed as a bit of a carpet bagger.

The solution?  Create a home town hero that everyone is rooting for.  Make him your face man.  There is no way that this cigar seller is suddenly running a major construction project in any real way.  He's the guy who makes sure people in the city don't cause too much trouble for the project.  After all he is still on probabtion for a year. This is the guy who legitimized Chicago and Loyola.  Do you want to make him fail?

Look at the contrast they built Loyola vs. Harvard and New York vs Chicago.  Even at the end they made him choose in 3 minutes (anyone believe that?) between LA and Chicago and the home town boy chooses the best city on earth- Chicago.

Maybe it just worked out this way but if Trump or one of his people planned it, he is a genius.

name withheld out of cowardice
Friday, April 16, 2004

""" "The Apprentice" threads are about management, leadership, and interacting with peers in a work environment """

Hahahahaha! That's pretty funny. It's actually about ENTERTAINMENT. This is NOT an education show and I wish people would stop treating it like it is.

You could get more management education by reading a magazine article than watching the entire season (I've done both!).

mba grad
Friday, April 16, 2004

The useful thing about The Apprentice is that everyone experiences it in the same way.  If I complained about my coworkers, you'd never really know what's up because I'm filtering it all, and I could be irrational but convincing.  With this tv show, everyone's watching the same 2d images from the same angle.  So we can discuss what we see and imagine how we'd solve the problems.

I think the show is pretty crappy educationalwise, but it's the best we have.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Friday, April 16, 2004

""" but it's the best we have. """

How lame. It may be the best YOU have, but not me.


Friday, April 16, 2004

Read the part again about shared experience and communication, snobbish dumbshit.

Ahh, mutual abuse is so good. ;)  Hit me again.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Friday, April 16, 2004

While the show may be over-produced and the cast may not do what we would do, it's the discussion surrouding their actions: What would you have done in situation X? How would you handle employee situation Y?  et al that really create value.

The tasks might not be terribly challenging, but they allow people to have insightful discussions about management practices in a very solid manner (as everyone experience the event in the same way).

Lou
Friday, April 16, 2004

John & Lou basically said the same thing:
everyone experiences the event in the same way.

That's just not true, as we've seen multiple interpretations of the same show and actions of the members. Jeez. Some people don't think Omarosa is even lying!

This is "Management Education" in the same sense that "Survivor" is survival training.

 
Friday, April 16, 2004

Oh yes, this is quite the insightful discussion! You people must all work as rocket scientists in your day job.

mba grad
Friday, April 16, 2004

What about Sam's offer?  $10k to work for Trump for free?  And Trump takes the cash, without saying yes, only "I'm going to think about it."  I hope NBC gave Sam the cash because he's never going to see it again, nor will he work there.  If Sam were paying attnetion, he should have said "I need an anser now" or "you can't keep the 10k unless you say yes" or something like that.

Trump Dump
Friday, April 16, 2004

You really think that was real cash?  The cash was as fake as this stupid show.

grunt
Friday, April 16, 2004

You're right, it was either fake or sent by NBC to be used as a prop (maybe they didn't know how to fill in the last 45 min?).

I also hope Sam's passion for Trump is fake; it would be sad if Sam really loves hime.

Also: love the conspiracy idea about the building in Chicago project (therefore need a Chicago local hero for PR).

Trump Dump
Friday, April 16, 2004

MBA Grad, almost no one's arguing the meat of your point.  But some tv productions are pushing the envelope.  If there's a lot of demand for The Apprentice, another show might take a risk and aim at a smaller but more "demanding" audience.

Someone like you could be so disgusted that she goes out and does a better show.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Friday, April 16, 2004

One last thought on all this: "The Apprentice" (na dshows like it) are  "Dehumanizing and Mean, but It's All Part of the Fun"

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/15/arts/television/15STAN.html

Trump Dump
Friday, April 16, 2004

"Oh yes, this is quite the insightful discussion! You people must all work as rocket scientists in your day job."

Hahahahahahahahahaha.

This from a mba grad. lol. At least we know who the rocket scientists are NOT.

anon
Friday, April 16, 2004

MBA grad, you need to work on your reading comprehension. I didn't say the SHOW was educational - I said the *discussions* were educational. I've found it enlightening to see the different points of view from people who watched the same show, and have enjoyed some of the lively debate we've had over the players and contests.

Again, I honestly have to wonder how sad it is that people like you and Knock Hockey feel the need to come in here and deprecate something that quite a few people are enjoying. You guys should really undergo some self-reflection on what you're gaining out of it. I suspect you derive some form of self-worth that you're "better" than us because you think "it's just a TV show."

Except you just don't get it. It *is* just a TV show, and we all know that. But WE are a group of colleagues who are having an entertaining discussion - having fun and maybe learning a little about dealing with others. It's a water cooler discussion with a few dozen coworkers from around the world. :)

Philo

Philo
Friday, April 16, 2004

Philo, you're a big ol' pantywaist.

I really enjoy the show. Maybe you need to practice YOUR reading comprehension, as I have said such already. But if you get anything out of these discussions other than entertainment, you're dumber than I thought.

mba grad
Friday, April 16, 2004

Oh, I don't mind the discussions (again, with your reading skills - were you able to pass the bar?). 

I just think it's stupid to say they are educational. Hmm.  maybe if you graduated podunk community college they are educational...

Mildly informative to see how people think? Yep. Educational? No chance in hell!

mba grad
Friday, April 16, 2004

"This is 'Management Education' in the same sense that 'Survivor' is survival training. "

That's funny. Apprentice is Survivor set in the boardroom.

html tag user
Friday, April 16, 2004

Seriously Philo, how dare you start these "Apprentice" threads? 

Don't you realize that you are consuming precious hard drive space that could be utilized by yet another thread about offshoring?

I just thank god that we have the JOS forum police to keep us informed about how we are wasting our lives.

ken
Friday, April 16, 2004

The minute by minute blog on msnbc has some pretty good stuff in it:

"8:48: Kwame: "My management style requires talented people." Well, sorry, instead you got Heidi, Omarosa and Troy."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4326967/

mba grad
Friday, April 16, 2004

I don't object to the topic at all but I don't think I'll watch the show if and when it's broadcast in Britain. 

From the discussion it appears to be a group of unpleasant people being unpleasant to each other and sucking up to someone unpleasant with money.  I suppose it has the same appeal as "The Office" but I'll pass all the same.

a cynic writes...
Friday, April 16, 2004

My favorite site for TV shows is televisionwithoutpity.com

BahHumbug
Friday, April 16, 2004

Always fascinating when "the haters", in a futile attempt at snobbery and academic superiority, propose that people should "read a book" rather than "wasting time" on entertainment. I presume tha they will provide a list of worthwhile books, as surely not just any piece of fiction qualifies for their worthwhile on-your-deathbed minimal standard. On my deathbed, will I reflect with pride upon writing this comment? I suppose not, so I suppose I should cease. On a similar topic, this, and Survivor, are both shows that my wife and I enjoy watching together, discussing the various attributes, feeling the successes and losses of the people we root for, so it's laughable that we should "spend time with loved ones" instead. Doing what? Playing boggle? Round the clock hardcore?

As an aside, it's fascinating that this show, and Survivor (which still has great rankings, by the way), are called "fake". How exactly are they fake? On both shows the external elements are controlled, and indeed are fake from that perspective, but the _people_ and their interactions are anything but fake. Someone WANTS to win, and they want to use every tool to get there. There is absolutely nothing unreal about that, and if the snobs can't see this past their own bloated sense of worth then it's their loss.

Dennis Forbes
Friday, April 16, 2004

"""  if the snobs can't see this past their own bloated sense of worth then it's their loss """

Now, would you be considered a Reality Show Snob? Or are only the haters considered snobs?


Friday, April 16, 2004

> On a similar topic, this, and Survivor, are both shows
> that my wife and I enjoy watching together, discussing
> the various attributes, feeling the successes and losses
>  of the people we root for, so it's laughable that we
> should "spend time with loved ones" instead. Doing
> what? Playing boggle? Round the clock hardcore?

Sounds like you are spending time with a loved one even as you watch the show.. Good for you. Star on your forehead.

> How exactly are they fake? On both shows the external
> elements are controlled, and indeed are fake from that
> perspective, but the _people_ and their interactions are
> anything but fake.

It's called *editing*.

And the "controlled environment" is exactly what makes it fake.

And I don't know how they picked all the candidates, but if that's the best they could come up with from amongst however many people applied, that's just pathetic. But of course due to the controlled environment, they had to go for "drama". At least the finalists were Bill and Kwame. They were the most professional ones. The others might as well have been selected amongst actors and actresses.

I think the show had lots of potential, but opting for drama killed it for me.

I wish they made more shows for people who do have a brain, and who do find entertainment in the value the show provides, not just in people whining, and crying, being all highschool-kid like... There are *plenty* of shows doing that already.

grunt
Friday, April 16, 2004

What are the shows that are doing that?  Why aren't you watching those shows and starting meaningful discussions here on JOS about them as they relate to Painless Management? 

Elephant
Friday, April 16, 2004

Anyone complaining in an online board about other people wasting time is whining, crying, and generally acting high-school like.

The Apprentice was fun to watch and I enjoyed the weekly discussions.

NathanJ
Friday, April 16, 2004

Mark Burnett calls his shows "unscripted drama", not "reality TV".  So drama is what it's about.

NoName
Friday, April 16, 2004

"And the "controlled environment" is exactly what makes it fake."

I see both shows as being about basic competition and human interaction. I have never seen the Apprentice being about the search for a corporate executive, just as I don't see Survivor as being a show about survivalism. Both are just manufactured scenario backdrops that elicit human interaction and drama.

The actions of the participants most certainly can be described as "fake", but not any more than the facade each of us puts on daily to achieve our goals.

It is unfortunate that every situation has to be edited to be a make or break crisis, but I think that's par for the course in most forms of entertainment. The alternative is often rather boring. There's a Canadian show called "Opening Soon" (they've branched to the US with lots of San Francisco and NYC openings as of late) where they document the process of opening a restaurant - It's usually dramatic (and thus enjoyable) because the show creators knew that most restaurant openings are a series of missteps, screwups, late deliveries, missed promises, gross budget slips, etc, and from all of the prior points comes human drama such as partner conflict, vendor/owner conflict, etc. There was one episode though (for Bymark - A great little restaurant in downtown TO) that went absolutely smoothly - on time, under budget, virtually everything as expected. What a bore.

Dennis Forbes
Friday, April 16, 2004

Speaking of TV and how bad it is, next week is national Turn Off Your TV Week: http://www.tvturnoff.org/

Why not give it a shot? Next week, after work, instead of coming home and turning on the box, go out for a walk. Read a book. Write some software. See if you don't enjoy it more!

Big Jim Tucker
Friday, April 16, 2004

> "Dehumanizing and Mean, but It's All Part of the Fun"

Isn't that exactly what I said 2 months ago?

http://www.marktaw.com/culture_and_media/TelevisionasParent.html

And they didn't even say it as well as me, they just added some filler examples from the show.

www.MarkTAW.com
Friday, April 16, 2004

Excuse me (and the NY Times Arts editorial staff) for not noticing your (obvious important and profound) blog.

Oh, the injustice!

Trump Dump
Friday, April 16, 2004

"Why not give it a shot? Next week, after work, instead of coming home and turning on the box, go out for a walk. Read a book."

How come "read a book" (in the generic) is always suggested to be somehow superior to "watch TV" (in the generic)? Are you really suggesting that a Harlequin Romance or Piers Anthony's Firefly are somehow intellectually superior to, say, American Beauty or The Sopranos?

Now "read a classic" vs. "watch a WB sitcom" I'm not going to argue with. [grin]

But what I find better than either is to participate in some common experience (watching the same movie, TV show, reading the same book, etc) then having a discussion about it with other people. The social aspects far outweigh anything gained by sitting next to Walden Puddle reading Shakespeare. As I keep saying - the show in and of itself is bread and circuses; it's the discussion here that really lights my fire about it.

Philo

Philo
Friday, April 16, 2004

> As I keep saying - the show in and of itself is bread and
> circuses; it's the discussion here that really lights my fire
> about it.

Philo,

Why don't you try starting a business and we'll all talk about that. Real people, real circumstances, real products, real problems, real drama... That's educating, entertaining and has real value.

Talking about a fake drama show every aspect of which is under control Not to mention that a bunch of incompetent imbeciles are competing against each other? That's plain old wasting time... 

Why do I care?  I really don't remember any more.  :)

grunt
Friday, April 16, 2004

Anything older automatically carries more prestige. In 100 years The Apprentice on a normal 2D screen is going to be much more "educational" than it's 22nd century equivelant - 3D smell-o-vision where you interact with the characters as if they're in the room with you.

Black & White v. Color
Radio v. Television
Radio v. Books
Modern Books v. Classics
Classics v. Anything Ancient Greek
Watches with hands v. Digtal watches
Pong v. Tomb Raider
Hardcover v. Paperback
A 1953 Fender Telecaster v. A 2004 Fender Telecaster

Reading the MSNBC blog thingy someone posted a link to :

> 8:48: Kwame: "My management style requires talented
> people." Well, sorry, instead you got Heidi, Omarosa and
> Troy.

I seriously seriously seriously want to know that Kwame has ALWAYS worked for and with "Talented people," where he could just say "Build me a car in 7 days" and it would get done. This kind of talk really smacks of "I was never a manager."

Just look at Football coaches. They come up with a game plan, as Kwame did, hire competent people, as Kwame would like to, yet make constant adjusments throughout the game to make sure things stay on course. Even if you're gonna be a big-picture guy like Kwame, you have to know that the grunts are only 2 inches from what they're working on and need course readjustments from time to time. Heck, didn't Kwame use the analogy of "dropping the ball?"

Another interesting point: Bill ALWAYS has a clipboard. He can always write something down and refer to it later. Kwame had one the first few hours and lost it. Folks, this is how details get lost & people can pretend to have heard something else the next day.

www.MarkTAW.com
Friday, April 16, 2004

"""Now, would you be considered a Reality Show Snob? Or are only the haters considered snobs?"""

Yes, only the haters are snobs.  While the haters very obviously look down on the watchers, the reverse is not true.

Watcher
Friday, April 16, 2004

One thing that I think translates well out of the show was Kwame's non-management management style and how it failed.  Specifically I am referring to Heidi's tasking to the Meet and Greet.

Kwame essentially said, as far as we have seen, "You're in charge of the Meet and Greet".  He probably gave Heidi the start time and the room assignment and possibly a tally of people coming.  But that's about it.

In retrospect it would have been much better had he done something like the following:
"I need you to organize and supervise the Meet and Greet;  I know you haven't done anything like this before, so I got in contact with the event staff at the Casino who have, here's their number, also here's Jessica's people's number - they've agreed to help you set this up and operate it appropriately.  Here's the photographer's number, and here's the tally of people and here's the contact information of the radio station and the people in charge of VIPs so you can orchestrate their arrival and stationing.

I expect that you'll handle the talent well and make sure Jessica has everything she needs and gets back to her room on time in order to prepare.  That's job #1.  Second to that, lets take care of the top level VIPs and the radio station winners so we can keep good relations - the president of the casino identified that as the order of precedence so he can keep good pr with the station.

Is there anything else you need?  If you think of anything you need me to arrange let me know."

That would have set Heidi up for success. Give her the necessary elements to succeed and offer her support in specific and necessary ways.  I've seen this same scenario play out in real life and it nearly always ends up with employees feeling like Heidi did, frustrated and handicapped from the start.

Lou
Friday, April 16, 2004

I think this button sums up Omarossa the best:
http://www.glarkware.com/media/product_detail_t_buttons_drywall_big.jpg

It says, "I got hit in the head with drywall... and now you're a racist" for those of you who don't want to follow the link.

nathan
Friday, April 16, 2004

I'm with Lou. SOMEONE in Jessica's organization or at the hotel MUST HAVE done a meet & greet before & would know how to handle this situation.

Kwame's job was to find those people or tell Heidi how to find those people. Kwame didn't adapt from insular team jobs that didn't really deal with other organizations. The only people this was new to are the 4 of them.

I think in time, Kwame would learn what kinds of details people need to do their jobs and how to give it to them. Also, in time Bill will learn who to trust when it comes to getting things done and what areas of responsibility he can delegate to others.

This being a one time operation, I think Bill's approach works much better. Better to be too cautious than assume the variables and unknowns will take care of themselves.

www.MarkTAW.com
Friday, April 16, 2004

Incidentally, when Trump was on Saturday Night Live, the best skit was one of the players showing up on Weekend Update as Omarosa.
She got hit on the head with:
A piece of drywall
A larger piece of drywall
A stage light
A dictionary ("Thank goodness it was abridged")
An unabridged dictionary
A typewriter
A bowling ball

I think that was it...

Philo

Philo
Friday, April 16, 2004

>>Now "read a classic" vs. "watch a WB sitcom" I'm not going to argue with. [grin]

Philo,

How about anything by Jane Austen vs. the WB show that had the red head with big knockers?

Nick
Friday, April 16, 2004

Agree with Ken also. I think there's more to managing than simply delegating. A manager has to be more than a proxy between the higher ups and underlings, they have to add value. Otherwise, it would make more sense to remove the proxy and have the higher ups communicate directly to the underlings.

Adding value means making contigency plans, providing direction, especially when your underlings ask for help, knowing the strengths and weakneses of your team, and assigning tasks that take advantage of the strengths and minimize the weaknesses.

I didn't see any of that in Kwame. He appeared to be a figure head who delegated the real managing responsibilties to his underlings.

josReader
Friday, April 16, 2004

"Otherwise, it would make more sense to remove the proxy and have the higher ups communicate directly to the underlings."

?!?

Think about why proxies exist on the internet. Works the same way in business - the manager acts as a proxy so that evil external forces (upper management) don't interfere and destroy the operability of productive resources (the dev team)

Philo

Philo
Friday, April 16, 2004

I think yesterday's final segment of the show could be an excellent springboard for class discussion re managment techniques.  Forget the personalities (even though they're irresistable).

Which leads to my reply to : "don't watch tv, do something meaningful...."    Since when is watching a tv show and reading or enjoying one's family mutually exclusive?  Those of you who think watching a tv show excudes everything else in life should expand your thinking.  Life isn't one-dimensional -- enjoy your job, watch tv, read a book, make a little love..."get down tonight."  sing and dance too.  I know lots of people who can manage it all.  Try it sometime!     

Keisha Jackson
Friday, April 16, 2004

Good point Keisha - apparently the anti-TV types think that last night I should've gone to a play or opera and sat in total silence for three hours instead of spending a laughing, rollicking time with my family (in the room watching) and friends (here online)

Philo

Philo
Friday, April 16, 2004

Philo, You'll enjoy this: I have a subscription to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and a few weeks ago during an intermission of a Beethovan performance, what do you think my fellow "culture vultures" talked about?  Yep. "The Apprentice."  And what fun it was!  Complimenting the concert's guest pianist -- then laughing about Heidi, Troy, etc. ....then lobby lights blinked and we headed back into the auditorium.  Such fun.  My advice to anti-tv folks:  don't define yourselves too narrowly.  Sounds like you're trying too hard and not having fun.  Such snobbery implies one-upsmanship -- and life's too short.

Keisha Jackson
Friday, April 16, 2004

Many have bashed the show as not being educational about business.  I couldn't disagree more.  I could easily pull a dozen lessons out of the final two episodes.

Despite the short interview and competition footage, there were a lot of real world scenarios played out. If my kids were high school or college age, I would've had a whole lot of material to discuss with them.

Nick
Saturday, April 17, 2004

> I could easily pull a dozen lessons out of the final two
> episodes.

And they are???  Please list *all* 12...

grunt
Saturday, April 17, 2004

Here's 12 things my students learned/discussed from the show:
1.Choose a team based on trust (Kwame didn't really trust "O.")

2. Be prepared to "straighten-out" or fire a team member. 

3.  If team member lies once in a project (the table phone call), bet your life the lying will continue throughout project.

4. Let your team know where you stand.  It was important for Kwame to let team know--immediately-- how he felt about "O's" b.s.  They need to know he's not being conned.  He would have gotten more respect for taking some of their precious time (set 10 min. time limit )and tell her in front of others that he won't take her  sh_t.  Ask others in front of her if they'd be willing to pick up her duties if she doesn't straighten out. 
4.  Omarossa herself was a lesson: her behavior didn't change in the last project.  Avoid employees with whom you've had real problems, it's unlikely they'll change.  Kwame shouldn't have assumed she'd really work for him. 

5.  Get outlines from team members w/contingency plans.  Make them think of what could go wrong and how they'd attempt to fix it. 

6.  Kwame heard that making the "star" happy was of utmost importance.  NEVER give the most important job to the most problematic team member.

7.  During events where the team is spread out, demand--insist upon -- phones being carried on their persons at all times.  They're on-call.  "O" stuck phone in her purse.  Kwame knew she wouldn't answer her phone.  Outrageous! Maybe have each member check-in if they change location.  Manager should never not know where someone is.

8.  Was Bill too flustered? Did it affect the team? Students could discuss how they might have controlled the tension.

9. In spite of his stress, Bill didn't verbally abuse his team; a weaker person might have.  Lesson:  don't verbally abuse when you don't know what happened or who to blame.  He handled it well.

10.  Kwame's team stated that they wanted more "hands-on" leadership.  The lesson: in certain situations, maybe managers could periodically ask team if they need direction. 

11. Kwame congratulated all members for doing a great job.  Granted this was a one-time deal, but any good manager should review and tell it like it is: come out and clearly express dissatisfaction w/ "O."  If this were a long-term company team, that employee would think she did nothing wrong;and no matter the success other members would be pissed and that would work against the next project.

12. Short turn-around times were emphasized throughout the entire show.  What's to be learned from having to make quick decisions? 

I bet we could all come up with a few more things to discuss.  Sure lots schmaltziness went with "The Apprentice" but all-and-all not such a bad show.  And the Donald is a hoot!  Good for him.

Keisha Jackson
Saturday, April 17, 2004

Apparently Kwame quit his job at Goldman Sachs to do The Apprentice, and they've since offered to take him back.  But he also got an offer from billionaire Mark Cuban.

http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/entertainment/8455015.htm?1c

T. Norman
Saturday, April 17, 2004

"He would have gotten more respect for taking some of their precious time (set 10 min. time limit )and tell her in front of others that he won't take her  sh_t."

I respectfully beg to differ.
"Commend in public, reprimand in private." is the general rule. In O's case it's worse because that would put her on the defensive and could truly generate an antagonistic "I'll show him" attitude where she actively attempts to sabotage the task.

My gut instinct from the outside would've been to fire her or sideline her immediately. However, if some part of me felt she deserved a second chance, I would've taken her aside in private, pointed out the "issue" with the phone calls, told her she's on notice, and asked her if she wanted to keep working the task or would she rather just go home now?
I would've done it off-camera and made a point to her that it was off-camera, but the rest of her performance wasn't.

Then I'd watch her like a hawk. Give her small tasks which have immediately obvious results. Anything less than 100% and she's gone.

This just occurred to me - I know why Kwame picked her second; he knew he was going to get stuck with her anyway, and picking her second gave him a leg up on her ego - pretty smart move, really. He just didn't follow through properly.

Philo

Philo
Saturday, April 17, 2004

KFC also said they'd give the runner up a $25k 1 week position as head of marketing.

http://www.google.com/search?q=kfc+runner+up

I read about it a week or two ago. Maybe they saw the Hire Me link on Kwame's page. http://www.kwamejackson.com/

Or the the odd "Bill also develops real estate and speaks at universities and businesses around the country," on Bill's homepage. http://www.billrancic.com/

(this is what I was Rot13ing last week)

It's Saturday folks, I'm outta here! :P

www.MarkTAW.com
Saturday, April 17, 2004

The strategy of picking Omarosa second was ok -- what about not picking Troy first, but Katrina first.  Would Bill pick Troy -- I say he'd be worried about sabotage.  So he probably picks Nick.  Now Kwame should pick Heidi.  Bill has a choice:  Troy or Omarosa.  I say Kwame has an even chance of having Katrina, Heidi, Troy. Instead of a 100% chance of Omarosa, Troy, player to be named later.

Like many of the challenges -- the first decision made all the difference.

Lou Franco
Saturday, April 17, 2004

And the awards go to:
Worst business decision ever: The Project Manager who said “We don't have time to meet with the client" (The advertising episode)

The most obnoxious salesman:  The guy riding on people to buy his stupid lemonade.

Best in your face: Bringing out the tiger.

Best line: “Don’t keep selling after it’s sold” (Taj Mahal episode)

The biggest 'open-mouthed' idea: Advertising on the Pedicab

Most creative:  The women’s advertising campaign.

Best job of knowing your client: Troy for not wearing his belt (Auction episode).

Best decision:  Bill, for choosing sky-scrapers over golf courses.  (Sky scapers have greater potential and more skills to be gained.  These will look good during his annual review in April, 2005).

bizguy
Tuesday, April 20, 2004

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