The Apprentice 2014 Episode One

The new series of The Apprentice began with the usual collection of 16 people who think that they are the saviour of business, of selling, of being male, or female, or anything in between but mostly blowing their own trumpets about how great they are.

Deciding to shake it up Lord Sugar throws in four more candidates into the mix making a total of 20 people to be whittled down before the process is done. He also laid down the caveat that he would fire as many people at a time as he saw fit which is going to make for an interesting viewing experience.

The first task for the two 10 strong teams was to sell items from the previous nine years of selling tasks including t-shirts, spuds, cleaning items, coffee, hotdogs, lemons, and boy did they make it difficult for themselves.

Sarah volunteered to be the project manager for the girl’s team and Felipe put himself forward to be the project manager because he can manage people and not because he could sell because as he says Felipe manage people, Felipe not sell. Sarah then decided that the girls were going to win because they are all pretty and more visually appealing than the boy’s team and that people would rather buy from them than from the boys.

She also told the girls that they should all wear lots of make-up, short skirts and high heels which didn’t please some of the girls, some of whom hadn’t even bought any short skirts, unlike the last crop of female candidates who all wore short skirts and didn’t pack anything else.

The girls decided to call their team Decadence as a play on the word decade and I also suppose the word dense! The boys called their team Summit.

The teams got a list of what they had to sell and worked out what the best way to go about it was, or that was what they should have done. The girl’s teams just split up and went their own ways with no sub team manager appointed. Sarah seemed to be very interested in cutting the lemons in two and then selling half a lemon to people which nobody else agreed with. I mean who would actually buy half a lemon? I wouldn’t even by a whole lemon!

The boys teams actually did appoint a sub team manager (the rather strangely named Chiles), which was about the only thing that they did do right in this entire task.

Not only did the girl’s forget to appoint a sub team manager, they also forgot to give the other team any of the start up capital that they had, which didn’t allow them to be able to get some of the stuff that they needed to sell to make the profit that they needed.

The girls started by making and selling coffee to punters and there were arguments between them about who should be making the coffee and who should be selling the coffee with project manager Sarah refusing to actually make coffee, as she was the project manager, and project managers do not get their hands dirty.

Part of the boys teams decide that the hot dogs were the big one and decided that they could make lots of money by putting them in buns and then smothering them in all sorts of exciting sources and extras to add more value to what you could easily make a ton of money by selling them rather cheaply in bulk.

They decided to go upmarket and chose cheese and guacamole which is certainly not a combination that I have ever heard of but doesn’t sound totally out of this world and unpalatable. They couldn’t decide on what cheese to buy either. I mean how many types of cheeses are there? How difficult can it be? This cost them quite a lot of the lunch time trade, traditionally the time when people actually want to buy hotdogs.

Both teams did decide to do something with the t-shirts. One suggestion was to just sell them as plain t-shirts to someone but that was quickly pooh-pooed and it was decided to put some sort of logo on the t-shirt which was agreed by both teams.

The girls chose the simple #London logo with the boys only able to come up with the slogan “buy this t-shirt” despite having five of the finest business brains in the whole country on the case.

In the end the boys didn’t even get to pick up their t-shirts as they didn’t have enough time to pick them up which nearly happened to the girls unless the printers hadn’t agreed to take them off their hands for a reduced rate, which they have no choice but to accept. Stephen who apparently is a counsellor who works in the Arctic wasn’t happen about this and made his point abundantly clear throughout this task, which didn’t go unnoticed by the other team members.

In the end the girls team won but only by £50 which let Sarah off the hook big style, as not one of her team agreed that she was a good project manager and had no strategy to speak off. Felipe who everyone agreed was a very nice man and a great project manager was left with the choice of choosing the two people who would return to the boardroom with him.

He chose Chiles the sub-teams manager who admitted that not returning to get t-shirts was his fault and Robert who was the person behind the posh hot dogs which caused a lot of time to be wasted on not actually selling hotdogs, which is a cardinal sin in Apprenticeland.

He wanted to choose Stephen as he felt that he was a bit of a troublemaker but Lord Sugar agreed that he was irritating but that he wasn’t the reason why they failed to win the task.

So it was Chiles who was the first person to be fired from this year’s series entirely for the t-shirt debacle, which probably would have won the task for them if they had gone back for them, which was hard to argue, but Robert was more annoying than Chiles, and so should have been sacked for just being a complete twit rather than for actually causing the team to lose, which was, sadly, why poor Chiles got the boot.

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