Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Apprentice: Scamstrad

Deary, deary me. Perhaps they issued a different version for the viewing public here in Occupied North Jaffa. Did the Big Koala really just fire Sharon and not Syed? Luckily Amstrad's share price is not indexed against the logic of his decisions on The Apprentice. But I do feel like there is some insider dealing that is maintaining Syed's stock artificially high.

This was a doddle of a task that Syed made a meal of. Pick a couple of items from an array of new designs and inventions, and go sell as many of 'em as possible to trade buyers. First principles here, if you have any business acumen:

1. Choose items that are easy to carry, set up and explain to the punter.
2. Ensure that your items are actually available to market immediately.
3. Either pick two items from the same category so you can make a single pitch, or split your team and go for two markets.
4. Understand that the key is overall income - selling 10 products at £1000 will trump a sale of 1000 products at £9.99, so think about what people will commit to on the spot.
5. Stick to the brief, do not try and make unrealistic sales to huge bureaucratic companies.
6. Get a grasp that there are rules, and they cannot be broken too often without consequences.

Syed botched up on every count here, which was bad in its own right but when you also consider he was the project manager, there should be no question that Sugar's verdict was a big fat finger pointing in his direction. Unfortunately, Syed is only too aware that Sugar has a "hole in [his] bloody arse" because that's usually where his tongue is. So much for "I don't like arse-lickers", eh.

Despite the constant interruptions and having to tell him to shut up several times, despite being a lousy salesperson and frequent liar, despite being late and unapologetic, despite vindictively trying to get Tuan and Sharon fired for playing wingman to his and Paul's sales efforts, Syed was kept in.

And so poor Sharon is back off to Scotland to see her wee bairns. Not a moment too soon; she was fragile, feeble and out of her depth. But as so often with Sir Alan, his decision to fire her this particular week beggared belief. The best moment of her entire stay was on departure, when she turned around to Syed on exiting and told him he was an "arrogant wanker". Spot on.

Unfortunately, it seems this is a trait with appeal to the prospective employer.

With this in mind, I have applied to the next series of The Apprentice, but have made it clear I have no wish to work with the muppets, and am actually looking to sit in Sir Alan's chair. High time the audience came to believe in the integrity of the boss, and not think it might be compromised by the producers whispering in his ear what might be best for viewing figures.

Oh, and as a runner-up prize, I proposed that I might be willing to accept a regular guest panellist job on You're Fired, because that Felicity Lee is a dish. Please write in and support the campaign to have Freedmanslife as a regular feature of The Apprentice III. I promise my dictatorship shall be benign.

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