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Old 8th Jun 2011, 9:00   #841
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Default Re: The Apprentice

Same here, Lucoid.
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Old 9th Jun 2011, 18:24   #842
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Sorry folks, I missed the beginning. It was a whole mess of crap following a late finish at work which had a kind of domino effect and resulted in me not sitting down to watch until about 21:07, at which point I discover that Helen, who has been on the winning team 5 times in a row apparently (which must be why I have no idea who she is) is leading Team Tragic, and Vulture are taking it in turns to try and avoid volunteering to lead the task. The task, by the way, is to make some money out of removing other people's rubbish and turning a profit by a) getting them to pay you to take it away and/or b) selling it on afterwards.
 
Susie says she'll take the PM role if nobody else in Vulture wants it. At which point Zoe comes over all decisive and says they are spending far too long discussing it, and she's taking over as team lead. Do I scent a little one-upmanship in the air? Surely not. In her little piece to camera, Zoe asks why she should let someone else take the lead "when I can do the best job." Well let's suck it and see, shall we, Zoe?
 
Team Tragic are splitting up. The three women are going to try and get some jobs for the next day, and Jim and Tom are going to play at being rag-and-bone men, using their lovely loudhailer to shout for any old iron down suburban streets. "The people at No. 73! With the skip outside!" A small hint, Jim, if they have a skip outside their house, they have probably already addressed their waste disposal issues. They seem to be having, um, limited success.
 
Helen, Melody and Natasha, on the other hand, have attempted to secure a job removing discarded kitchen fittings and flooring from the basement of a bar, by quoting a fee of zero pounds. They are banking on the salvage having sufficient resale value to bring them a healthy profit. Melody has misgivings, and expresses them to Natasha, who is infuriated. "Melody just came up to me with a big plate of blame and said here, take a bite." Mind you, it doesn't seem to take much to infuriate Natasha. Her default expression seems to be a violent pucker of anger and frustration. She must be such fun to work with.
 
Here come Zoe, Susie and Edna, to quote for the same job. Susie seems to have the same effect on Zoe as Melody does on Natasha. "I can't weigh things with my eyes, Susie!" which frankly, seems like something of an overreaction. She really does seem to have a thing about tearing strips off Susan, which is naturally putting me on Susan's side even though at this stage they all seem equally clueless.
 
Now the Tragic women are assessing a job removing old office furniture. The guy who's getting rid of it tells them it should have quite a lot of resale value. Really? I couldn’t get rid of my old office chair on Freecycle. They take another gamble and give another zero pounds quotation.
 
Zoe and Edna are thinking of quoting the same guy a hundred and fifty pounds. Susan thinks this means they want to offer the guy £150 to buy his old furniture. Zoe is incredulous. "We're not going to give him money!" She checks with Edna, "Are you on my hymnsheet?" Edna says yes, she's on Zoe's hymnsheet. In the meantime, I am wondering what the hell kind of hymnsheet that can be. The kind of hymnsheet that tells you to take money from the collection plate rather than put it in, I suppose.
 
Oddly enough, both jobs have been awarded to the people who said they would do them for free. When Zoe discovers this, she sits in a corner and cries. I'm not entirely sure if that's because Vulture have lost both jobs, or because it means that Susie was closer to being right than she was. Surprisingly (to me, anyway) it's Glenn who provides the motivation in this little scenario, pointing out that they have a whole further 24 hours to turn their fortunes around.
 
Day 2. On the plus side, Vulture have secured a job clearing a plumber's yard of stuff which is mostly general waste, but including some valuable copper and lead. Susie negotiates a deal for £100 to clear the yard, plus two of the guy's copper cylinders, which he reckons are worth £40 each to him. She then manages to haggle him into parting with all 5 of his cylinders if he only pays them £20 for the clearance. So, a fee (albeit small) and stuff with a guaranteed return. Seems pretty good.
 
Glenn and Zoe discuss who's going to do the actual shifting. Not Susie, decides Zoe. "She's very weak." Grrr. She decides she wants Edna to help with the physical work, which backfires somewhat when Edna's idea of this seems to be standing on the back of the pickup telling the other two to hurry up.
 
Team Tragic get £120 for the flooring they salvaged from the basement bar, but the first lot of rubbish from there costs them £110 to dispose of. Tom and Jim, fed up with carting rubbish up two flights of stairs, consider not going back to finish the job. Helen's having none of that. Good on her, and I hope that half-assed attitude comes back to bite the boys in the bum at some point.
 
Tragic also make £410 on the scrap metal they collected, and £300 on the office furniture.
 
Vulture - time for raised eyebrows - make over £900 for their scrap. Boosted by Susie's copper cylinders, no doubt. And the task has made up her mind about something. "I never, ever want to work with Zoe again."
 
Back to the bored room for the results! Helen, as the Tragic project manager, admits they went for a high-risk strategy. Lead Vulture Zoe says she took the lead because "I can't be doing with faffing." Well frankly, I can't be doing with all that northern spit-and-sawdust I-say-what-I-like-and-I-like-what-I-bloody-well-say bollocks. There's down-to-earth, and then there's brusque and downright obnoxious.
 
Vulture took £1045. With expenditure of £339, their profit was £706.
 
Tragic took £1090. Their expenses were £378, giving them a profit of £712. They have won it by six measly quid. Vulture must feel like sliding a tenner across the table at the Sugarlord and asking him to put it in their pot.
 
Tragic get a proper treat too, they are off to the rooftop spa in Bath. For the first time since they went to Le Gavroche, I have Apprentice treat envy. Apparently it is to compensate them for having been surrounded by rubbish for the last two days. But surely they have been amongst their fellow candidates for at least six weeks?
 
Percentage alert! Glenn thinks he must stay, since he always gives at least 110 per cent. I have missed the stupid percentages, it's almost as though they are trying to avoid saying it this series.
 
During the post mortem, there is an unseemly bunfight over who got them the jobs that actually made them some money in the end. After much wrangling I am astonished when both Glenn and Edna give Susan some credit.
 
Zoe on the other hand seems reluctant to give any credit anywhere. What a great people manager she must be. She's bringing Susan (surprise!) and Edna back into the firing line.
 
Nick thinks that Susie "bends too quickly to the will of the others." Oh Nick, a few weeks ago you thought she was "quite the little force to be reckoned with." How soon we forget.
 
The Sugarlord has some fun with Edna's particular brand of bullshit from her CV. She tranforms highly original ideas into workable solutions apparently, and trains chief executives to run their companies better. "Hmmm. Some of these corporates have got money to burn." And she has an MBA in entrepreneurial innovation. Crikey.
 
He turns and addresses Susie. She winces at the expected blow. She's getting another chance. Well I should bloody think so, since she did the deal that left the team only six quid short of the winners.
 
He says that Zoe lost the task, as project manager. And yet the Sugarlord fires Edna. Bye bye, evil Edna. I'm not sorry to see you go - someone who works in HR really should be able to forgive a weak handshake. She looks very glam on Yer Fired!, though.
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Old 16th Jun 2011, 14:57   #843
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Disclaimer: Clearly, this is not an actual transcript of real dialogue. I am no shorthand secretary. Plus, it may have some, ahem, embellishments of my own devising.
 
Quote:
Previously on the Apprentice:
 
"You know how I told you you could make money from anything? Well this week, that's rubbish."
 
"I teach Chief Executives how to be better at their job."
 
"Do you need training, Alan?" "I don't blahddy think so."
 
"Edna, yer Fired."
 
The phone rings at 05:45. "Lord Sugar would like you to meet him at 65 Fleet St. The cars will be there in thirty minutes."
 
 
(Scene: High-rise office. Karren and Nick frown down at the candidates from the great height of a mezzanine floor. Cue the Sugarlord descending in a glass lift. Perhaps he has been taking a pee off the rooftop terrace.)
 
"This building used to be owned by Rupert Murdoch. It was here he hatched his machiavellian plans for world domination, involving putting topless bints in his papers and buying up popular US TV series once their viewing figures began to decline.
 
"There has been massive growth in free premium magazines. Or Freemiums, as I have just decided they will be called. You have no idea if this is true, but you will nod like the dog in the Churchill ads anyway because I have you under my evil Sugarlord spell.
 
"Your task is to produce one of these that doesn't suck. You will fail miserably, as you do every week, but the team that fails marginally less miserably, and therefore gets some advertisers to buy some space, will win and in the other team, one of you will get Fired.
 
"Jim, I am moving you to Vulture and appointing you as team leader so that I can fire you when you lose.
 
"Natasha, you will be Tragic team leader, because I have previously been annoyed by you also."
 
 
(Scene: A poky little office, with the candidates wondering why they never get a room in one of the impressive London offices they so often have to assemble in. I can tell them: because they don't deserve one.)
 
"Ooh, Zoe, I've never worked with you before."
 
"Ooh, Jim, and I've never worked with you before. I know this follows logically from what you just said, but I am still going to bat my eyelashes flirtatiously at you, making the TV audience feel a little bit sick. Anyway, we are Team Vulture. Logic has long ago left the building."
 
"I think our Freemium should target the over 60s."
 
"What do any of us know about being over 60? We are all young and thrusting and vigorous." (Bats eyelashes once more.)
 
"Yeah, I'm going with the Over 60s thing."
 
(Pouts.)
 
 
(Scene: Team Tragic.)
 
Natasha: "Lads' mag. Lads' mag. Lads' mag. Lads' mag."

"Is that really the way we want to be going? Is that going to attract the advertisers we want?"
 
Natasha: "Porn sells."
 
"Shouldn’t we be aiming for a higher tone?"
 
"Does that translate into Boring? I don't know."
 
 
(Scene: Focus group at the pavilion of a bowling green. Guess which demographic?)

Focus group member: "Now we can go on holiday without worrying about kids, we can go skiing..."
 
"Absolutely! I am trying to keep the patronising tone out of my voice, but not succeeding terribly well. Would you like your magazine to include crosswords and other little puzzles to keep your brains going?"
 
"The name... you need a name which hits the issue head on, like The Oldie."
 
"Let me run some of our suggested names by you. Harmony, Eternal, Joy..."
 
(tersely) "They're all awful."
 
"Zimmer! Zimmer would be brilliant."
 
 
(Scene: Focus group of young men with considerable biceps.)
 
"We'd advise you to raise the tone. The nudity thing is very 1990s."
 
 
(Scene: A woman in a hard hat, a man's jacket, underwear, a pair of stilettos and nothing else, pouts into a mobile phone. There is nothing more to be said about this.)
 
(Scene: Vulture choose a name for their magazine.)
 
Zoe: "Care Home? Coffin Dodgers? Hip Replacement?"
 
Jim: "Hip Replacement." (Strokes chin.) "I like it."
 
Susan: "No. But if that's what you're going with, I'll support it."
 
 
(Scene: Shooting the cover for Hip Replacement. Gyles Brandreth gives Bette Midler a piggyback and she looks like she really likes it. But they go with a shot of a couple in grey cardigans giving each other a lovely hug. Next up, the typsetting.)
 
"I like this font. It's really, like, ironic."
 
"No, I like this more classic font. It will be easier on the old people's eyes."
 
(Pouts.)
 
"Who's going to do the pitches? Who's buzzing?"
 
"None of us are buzzing, Jim. We all think you should do the pitches. It makes it even more likely that you will be fired when we fail, because you are team leader AND we are going to make you do all the pitches. Mwahahahaha!"
 
 
(Scene: Arranging content for the lads' mag, which is called, inexplicably, 'Covered'.)
 
"How do you blow your load?" "Erm, I think I'd like you to fuck off now, please." "Maybe I could blow your load for you, how about that?"
 
Helen: "Are we raising the tone?"
 
Natasha: "Not particularly."
 
 
(Scene: the pitches to the ad agencies. They may be somewhat conflated - just think of them as being like a recurring nightmare.)
 
Ad man: "Give us a discount off the top rates."
Jim: "Fuck off."
 
Ad lady: "You've got two people in *cardigans* on the front cover, for crying out loud. But, we'll give you two and a half grand for the inside of the front cover."
Jim: "Ah, so we're all in agreeance."
 
 
Natasha: "We don't want to drop our pants, because at this point, that's all our girls are wearing."
Ad lady: "Lads have grown up since the nineties. They are now about ten to twenty years older than they were then."
 
 
(Scene: The trip to the boardroom. There is a lovely piece of music playing, something with a violin and a piano. Really, it is much too classy for this show.)
 
The Results: Pitch #1 went badly for team Tragic and better for team Vulture. So did Pitch #2. However in Pitch #3 it just so happened that the agency's clients were all payday loan companies and providers of premium-rate x-rated phone lines, and they bought the entirety of the crappy soft porn mag for sixty grand.
 
"Your so-called 'treat' is to go to a fencing class, because you are not yet sufficiently skilled in the art of stabbing each other in the back."
 
 
(Scene: Café Misery.)
"Well, we lost. What would you have done differently, Glenn?"
"Ideally I would prefer to have won, Jim."
 
 
(Scene: Post mortem)
"Well, Jim, it seems you chose a bad name for your magazine, chose a terrible picture for the cover, and refused to negotiate at the pitches, is that about the size of it?"
 
"No, Lord Sugar, that wasn't me. A big boy did it and ran away. The rest of them were cowards, all cowards, it was only me willing to stand up to the big boy, but then he ran away."
 
"Who are you bringing back in with you?"
 
"It should be these three in the firing line, not me, never me, I never put a foot wrong. Have these three back and not me."
 
"That's not how it works, Jim and you know it."
 
"Glenn and Susie."
 
"Right. Leave us now."
 
Nick: "Jim always tries to cover his arse. Fortunately I have no desire to see his arse, so that's just as well."
Karren: "I am going to accuse Jim of being passive aggressive, even though I have no idea what that means."
Sugar: "Hmmmm."
 
 
(Scene: Boardroom bunfight.)
 
Jim: "Susan is a mouse."
 
Susan: "I do try to voice myself, but..." (rest of sentence is lost in inaudible squeaking.)
 
Nick: "When Jim refused to negotiate, Susan was at it all the time. She was constantly squeaking that you should slash the price."
 
Sugar: "Jim, don't try to bullshit a bullshitter. I've forgotten more bullshit than you're ever going to learn. However, Glenn, I am going to fire you because I have an entirely irrational prejudice against engineers. I believe that someone used to actually making and building things will never be able to attain the heights of psychopathy required to do what I do. So Glenn: Yer Fired."
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Old 16th Jun 2011, 15:36   #844
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Default Re: The Apprentice

heh. That's right on the money, ono.

Natasha, eh? Bet you ladies are delighted she's out there batting for the fairer sex. Sheesh.
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Old 17th Jun 2011, 13:43   #845
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Default Re: The Apprentice

Ono, I think I love you!
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Old 17th Jun 2011, 14:26   #846
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Default Re: The Apprentice

Aw, shucks! *looks both embarrassed and delighted at the same time*
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Old 17th Jun 2011, 14:39   #847
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Default Re: The Apprentice

Jim: "Susan is a mouse."
 
Susan: "I do try to voice myself, but..." (rest of sentence is lost in inaudible squeaking.)

Genius - thanks Ono.
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Old 17th Jun 2011, 17:02   #848
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Thanks Stradlater - I couldn't quite believe it when she said 'I do try to voice myself' so I had to write it down as proof!
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Old 24th Jun 2011, 12:02   #849
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Ah, the Apprentices abroad. I just can't wait for one of them to call an executive buyer 'my little cauliflower' or make some other embarrassing faux pas. However, I am getting ahead of myself (or should that be 'je vais devant moi-même'?) - we're not even past the opening spiel yet. The Sugarlord is going to inject GBP 250 000 into a business with one of these bright sparks. Voiceover man tells us it will be a 50/50 partnership. Does that mean all of these people have 250K of their own? And if they do, what the hell are they doing subjecting themselves to this farce of a reality tv show?
 
Previously on The Apprentice: The Sugarlord went a bit Willy Wonka as he descended in a Great Glass Elevator, Natasha was a traitor to her sex, Susie was not so much the mouse that roared as the mouse that squeaked irritably, and Glenn was fired because the Sugarlord has never met an engineer who could turn his hand to business. And I've never met anyone that bought an em@iler.
 
Ring ring. "Lord Sugar would like you to meet him at St Pancras International. Please bring your passports."
 
"That means we're going away!" "Ooh, do you think so?" No, it means he is going to put you to work cleaning the tunnel, like twenty-first century chimney sweeps. "Does anybody speak French?" Jim says that he can speak 'un petit pois', which as we all know, is french for pea.
 
Here we are at St Pancras station, ladies in fur collars and gents in suits and overcoats. It's like a scene from Brief Encounter - if Brief Encounter had starred Vinny Jones and Jessica Simpson. Tom is to be the Tragic team lead, Helen has to move back to Vulture who will be free to chose their own project manager. They choose Susie, who by her own admission knows nothing about the French.
 
They will be off to Paris to sell some tat to some French retailers. Half of them are to go straight there to do 'market research' and the other half stay behind to work on product selection.
 
The range of products includes a bean bag bed in the shape of a crocodile, a 1700 euro electric bicycle, a 3-dimensional postcard that you can grow seeds in, a child's booster seat that folds up and becomes a rucksack, a bendy grip thing for your i-phone that's a bit like a teeny tiny Gorillapod, and a tabletop lamp in the shape of a teapot that retails for over a hundred pounds.
 
Susie is busy trying out all the child-friendly products, because she is a wee slip of a thing. "Are the French very fond of their children?"
 
Both of the product selection halves of the teams (if that makes any sense whatsoever) are impressed with the childseat-rucksack combo. Tom's team also like the sprouting postcard and the teapot light.
 
Tom attempts to relay their preferred product selection to Melody. Melody is not impressed with the idea of the childseat-rucksack, and tries to sabotage the market research to fit in with her plan. "C'est une bonne idée," says one woman, which Melody relays as "She thinks it's ok..." in a tone suggestive of disapproval. She persuades Tom that the teapot light is a much classier idea, despite the fact that everyone she's mentioned the concept to, has literally laughed in her face.
 
So, Team Tragic are now Team Teapot and Teeny Tiny Growbag, and Vulture have grabbed the only decent products on offer, the gadget holder and the car seat.
 
Melody is shocked to find there are lots of cars in Paris. "But they said everyone uses the Metro!" Who is 'they', Melody? The people who were GETTING OFF THE TRAIN?
 
So, now they have to sell their stuff. Melody sells 50 teapot lights right off the bat. I am astounded, or perhaps I should say étonnée. Tom and Natasha have to decide who is going to pitch to La Redoute. The best way to decide this is apparently by playing Rock, Paper, Scissors. I kid you not. Natasha wins the game, and apparently that means she gets to pitch. Lucky Natasha.
 
We won't know the results from La Redoute until the boardroom, apparently, but it's not looking good for Tom and Natasha. Helen, on the other hand, pitching for Team Vulture, does a sterling job, expertly batting aside concerns about unit price by saying that busy successful mums will pay a lot for convenience. She has obviously seen the prices in the La Redoute catalogue.
 
Leon persuades Melody to let him try and sell some teapots, and for the first time in this episode, he actually makes a contribution by selling two thousand euros' worth. Melody's competitive streak kicks in and she sells a thousand of the weed-growing postcards.
 
In the meantime, Susie find a very chichi phone-and-gadget shop and sells them fifteen hundred units of the grippy thing. Blimey.
 
Tom hasn't sold a single thing. Poor Tom.
 
Back to the UK and the boardroom. Karren Brady lays into Susie's questions about the French, saying they were 'beyond stupid'. Some people might think it 'beyond stupid' to have a business associate who's a porn baron, but each to his own, eh Karren?
 
Leon thinks that Melody rather took over their team, leading the Sugarlord to question her opinion that everyone in Paris uses the Metro, because every time he's seen the 'Champ's Elizas', they've been rammed with traffic.
 
Results from the independent retailers: Team Tragic took €11500 worth of orders, Vulture €14699.
 
Orders from La Redoute: Team Tragic - €0, Vulture €240,000. Quite a difference, then.
 
Vulture get to go for flying lessons, Team Tragic are off to café Misery.
 
Back in the boardroom, Tom criticises Melody's market research. He specifically asked her to get him information on La Redoute, and she conspicuously failed to do so. Good thing he doesn't know she lied about the childseat-rucksack research. Man, I hope that comes back to bite her in the ass.
 
Leon and Melody criticise Tom's project management. To be fair, it's hard to be a project manager when your team is busy undermining you.
 
Nick thinks that Melody 'pushes too far', but the Sugarlord likes her bulldozer tactics. Is that what you really want, Lord S? A bulldozer which pushes too far? Is that not likely to be a teeny tiny bit destructive? Nick also seems to think that Tom and Leon should be more manly. Hmm, perhaps they should put their collective foot down and control their women a bit better, eh Nick?
 
Well, clearly Melody's not going. Boo. Which of the boys will it be?
 
Leon is fired, for not realising that the only French he needed was 'Est-ce qu'on parle anglais ici?'. I'm glad Tom has survived, as he seems to be one of the few candidates will a little native intelligence, though I think he may need to ratchet up his capacity for cynicism to survive further. Bye-bye Leon, I'm a little bit amazed that you got this far.
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Old 24th Jun 2011, 12:11   #850
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Next week, I will be sunning myself in Bakewell. Or possibly retreating into a teashop out of the rain and eating lots of delicious Bakewell pudding.

Your options include waiting till the weekend (yes, yes, I know Friday is practically the weekend) for a write-up, or getting some willing temp cover in (naming no names but amner springs to mind ).
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