TV Times – 10th July 2011

The Apprentice

Week 10 – Reinvesting

Melody - The Apprentice - Jane Reynolds' TV Times ReviewYou see so much more from watching something a second time, don’t you?  I saw that bit from the end of last week’s show where Melody didn’t even acknowledge Zoe on her way out.  That’s just plain rude, isn’t it?

Right; on to this week, and Susie was at it again.  Now, what was it she said? Oh yes: “I’m just glad I made it this far without anybody realising just how ill-equipped I’d actually be to cope if I actually won.  It’s almost like I’m invisible! No matter what I say or do, I just seem to keep getting away with it every week.  Aren’t I clever?  Yay.  Can I have some sweets?”

SirAlan couldn’t have made the aim of this task any clearer, “It’s about REINVESTING.  Keep coming back to replenish your stocks,” and “You’ll have stuff left over.” *  They couldn’t have got it more wrong though.  You really have to question the business acumen of most of these candidates, don’t you?

The exception was Jim.  He not only got out there and sold, he urged Natasha to do what they’d been told to do: re-invest their cash, but she just hadn’t got a clue and could only bluster “We’re going to speak to Susie,” to which he responded (clearly gob-smacked!), “And ask HER what’s going to sell?” As Susie was asleep in the back of a cab at the time, I doubt she’d have been much help!

Things were no better on the other team.  Melody’s pitch: “I want to be PM for this task.  Even though I’ve got no direct experience, I have actually, and I’ve also got the loudest voice.  I always deliver, and don’t forget either: I set up one of the most successful democratic bodies in the world, so there …”

Susan - The Apprentice - Jane Reynolds' TV Times ReviewSusie’s pitch was equally tenuous.  “I want to be PM because my parents are a man and a woman, and men and women buy things – and I can sell anything – so vote for me, yay.  Can I have an ice-cream?” It didn’t wash and she was – once-again – voted-down.

I’ve got little to say on the actual task.  Going to a ‘Pound Shop’ to sell them £25 watches?  Buying cheap, tacky electrical goods and trying to flog them to wealthy Businessmen in The City?   I truly despair.  To quote Nick: “Natasha’s making a Horlicks of it,” (what does that mean, I wonder?).  Karren just looked exasperated the whole way through – as usual – and I don’t blame her!

Tom really stepped up.  He’s so sweet (he’ll make a wonderful father!), and I wonder if he’s suddenly become a contender?  For me though, it’s got to be Jim – as it has been from Week 1.  Even Nick likes him now!  Seeing him out selling brought it home to me (yet-again), just how alike he and I are.

In business, he’s serious; completely black and white, and with a burning desire to see fair play (and for others to ‘Tell it how it is’ and not twist things to suit themselves), but once you let him out on his own, he’s a born entertainer whose confidence and sunny side burst through.  I completely ‘get’ Jim, because we’re the same!

I have to hand it to Susie at the end though.  Natasha totally tried to blame her for her own poor performance and it SO wasn’t Susie’s fault.  (I’d have liked to have known whose decision it was to send her off flogging cheap duvets door-to-door in one of the most fashionable areas of London – I’m speechless on that one.)  Susie’s not a good match to work with SirAlan, but I have to give her her due; at the end of this Episode I now have a lot more respect for her.

Can’t WAIT for this week’s task.  I love anything food-based so will look forward to seeing which team makes the biggest hash of it, but I’m getting sad too that it’s coming to an end.  Wednesdays just won’t be the same without it …


* I got my first Management job (aged 20), in a High-class Bakery Chain in Leeds.  I was thrown in at the deep end (with no training), and had to order all the bread and cakes for the shop/coffee shop.  On his first visit, I proudly declared to the Area Manager that I’d been ordering well and was always sold out by late afternoon (keeping wastage to a minimum).

He pointed out that this was exactly the WRONG thing to do, and explained that I needed to have enough left at the end of a day so that people wanting bread/cakes late-on would know they could come to us and always be sure of being able to get something.

I (as a naive young woman), thought I ‘knew it all’ and that he was bonkers, but I increased my orders and – sure-enough – we sold more in the last hour each day than during the whole of the rest of the afternoon!  The wastage was pence to the company in comparison to the revenue gained, and it taught me a very valuable business lesson.  Aah, isn’t that a lovely story? (!)

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