Thursday, July 06, 2006

The accidental apprentice

Back in April, I had just finished watching the last few episodes of the second UK series of The Apprentice and was marvelling at the greatness of the US version in comparison. In a fit of pique, I filled in an application for the third UK series, which amounted to a rant about the weakness of the candidates, pathetic tasks, and encouragement of poor business behaviour, as well as criticisms of the Big Koala as an appropriate sorcerer to this motley bunch of lousy would-be apprentices.

Much to my amusement, this email landed yesterday:

-----Original Message-----
Sent: 05 July 2006 19:14
Subject: Your Application for The Apprentice, Series 3

Thank you, Jung Hyun Rho, for your application to take part in The Apprentice, series 3

This email confirms receipt of your application for The Apprentice.

Interviews for the series will take place on the following dates :-

Glasgow - Tuesday 18th July
Manchester - Wednesday 19th July
Birmingham - Thursday 20th July
London - Saturday 22nd July (SURNAME A-G), Sunday 23rd July (SURNAME G-O), Monday 24th July. (SURNAME O-Z)

(Applicants coming to London please note that the alphabetical allocation of days may change closer to the time.)

Please put these dates in your diary now as they are likely to be the ONLY interview days for this series.

Due to the volume of applicants and the nature of the process, initial interviews may be brief. However, you should prepare to be with us for two hours, possibly longer.

If you are selected to come to interview, we will contact you in due course with details of the location, time and date of your interview after the applications have closed.

If you have not heard from us by the date of the auditions in your chosen city, you should assume that you have not been selected this time around.

Due to the huge number of applicants we have, we are unable to deal with any inquiries at this stage.

With very best wishes,

The Apprentice Team

-----End Message-----

So due to the large number of crap applicants they have had, they still seem to have let me through their initial vetting process despite my downright offensive application. And they then cocked up their mail-merge and sent an email that contained several hundred messages to all the other candidates too (I have edited it so you only see Jung Hyun Rho, but this went on until they had 3 megabytes of plain text on the longest email the machine would allow).

I felt a response was in order...

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Freedman []
Sent: 06 July 2006 00:07
To: ''
Subject: RE: Your Application for The Apprentice, Series 3

Dear Sir Alan (or most likely poor old Tim or Michelle doing the dull paperwork)

Thanks for this, now I know who many of the other applicants are, and if I had the time and urge, I could go through and delete them from your database for some competitive advantage. However, being rather well-behaved in that sense (and therefore utterly unsuited to actually being on the show), I'm bringing to your attention instead that your mail-merge has really screwed up, resulting in the world's longest email. Still, when the email first arrived, I was so excited that someone had remembered my Vietnamese birthing name Jung Hyun Rho...

Bless your famous catchphrase (not the one about the hole in your bloody arse) - one of you really ought to be hearing it soon over this ;)


Michael Freedman

PS Does this get me a bye to the next round?

-----End Message-----

So watch this space - if they really won't take no for an answer, I've promised the Bison that I'll take a spy camera and try to get as far as possible on the show, revealing all the hideous secrets of how they really thought Syed and Paul were 2 of the top 5 young business brains in the country...

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