Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Any Old Iron?

This week's task on the business game show The Apprentice was to make money out of old tat. It must have brought tears of nostalgia to Lord Sucre's eyes.

Alan has of course set up some dodgy deals for the hapless teams of naive young TV starlets.

One is to shift some suspiciously arranged, second hand office furniture. Suspicious in that it looks as if an office has been hired, and furniture bought, purely for the purpose of selling it back to the teams.

"We'll take it off your hands for £100" offers Zoe. Hang on, it's used office furniture, aren't they supposed to be buying it? Susan has a rare lucid moment when she remembers the point of the task.

"Alright, £80"

The man in the office (or stooge or actor etc.) says he'll think about it. I'll pay you to buy some used furniture off me. Sounds like a fantastic deal.

The second team offer to take it off his hands for nothing. Of course, if he has to choose one bid, he'll take the lowest.

Melody closes a deal to buy 150 bags of rubbish. "That's what this business is about". What, a load of rubbish? How apt.

Edna chips in with her usually team-oriented attitude. Well, team oriented when someone's looking for a scapegoat. Me, me, me when there's credit to be had. "I've been the brains of this operation, and I've been the brawn"

Yes, Edna, but never the looks. And we'd question the brains too.

Actually, maybe she didn't say brawn, maybe she said Braun. She's the team ladyshave. And she's certainly heading for a close shave in the board room if she doesn't buck up her ideas soon. Which, let's face it, she won't.

Team Logic (which sounds like the Vulcan Science Academy has turned up on University Challenge) does a fabulous deal with a builder. Fabulous for the builder, of course. They take one load of scrap and junk, go back for the second load and... hey presto! There's more rubbish! The builder denies putting more on the pile at first, and then says that the deal was to take the lot, regardless of how much. Helen decides it's better to get on with it than to stand and argue.

Unfortunately, the program's editors didn't allow us to see if this was a good idea or not.

Was it better to tell him where to stick his pile of rubbish, or to take it as they promised, even though he wasn't sticking to the deal?

They had to pay to dump the rubbish, making a loss, but Tom had determined that there were valuable metals in there.

In the end, the two teams had a scrap dealer come in, weigh up their metal and give them some cash. Now, here's the best bit.

Team Venture, managed by Zoe, took their £900ish and whooped for joy. It certainly did sound like a good deal.

Team Logic (which sounds like the make of a cheap and nasty CD player) took their £390ish and asked for a bit more. To be fair, Melody did a bloody good job, asking the scrap man to round it up. What, round it up to £400? I was thinking £410. Not round, then. He says no, Helen pushes. The man says, "All right, £410 if you load it onto the van". Helen says, "Well, we'll help you". Brilliant!

How many people, team included, at that point were thinking, "After all that hard work, now you're going to load the scrap onto the scrap man's van for the sake of £10? Are you mad? Put your feet up, it's only £10"

In the boardroom, we can't help but notice that Zoe and Glenn are cosied up to each other.

Glenn and Zoe sitting in a tree, A-P-P-R-E-N-T-I-C-E

E rhymes with tree, you see, so it works.

Anyway, let's cut to the results.


Takings   Spendings   Profitings
Logical Team Helen:   £1090 £378 £712
Venturous Team Zoe:   £1045 £339 £706

Well, would you Adam and Eve it? £6 difference.

So you see, if you'd sat back and said I'm not loading his lousy van for him the cheeky blighter, you'd have lost by £4.

That's astonishing. That's even closer than the previous astonishingly close result.

Susan says, "i've been the brains behind this entire operation". Erm... that must be why you lost, then.

Who cut the deal with the hot water tanks?

Glenn: "I got him to three" (from two)
Susan: "I pitched it to him as well" Pitched? It's not Dragon's Den, luv
Edna: "It was a co-operative effort" Here we go again...

Who will Zoe bring back? Not Glenn obviously cos he's her bitch. Nor Leon, cos he just kept his gob shut like a nice boy.

Surely she'll bring back Edna and Susan? She does.

We've been impressed by Zoe's composure, resilience and ability to take it on the chin so far. But has her bullishness bitten off more than she could chew? And can we fit any more cliches into this paragraph? Only time will tell. A watched pot never boils.

Sorry, got carried away then.

Zoe and Susan put on the most extraordinary catfight for the entertainment of the judges. We saw faces on Zoe that have never been seen before. A kind of 'WELL????' look, and a scrumpled up brow that made her look like a Klingon.

Edna interrupts the action to inform his Lordliness that she teaches CEOs to be better at their jobs. Does she not know when to keep her gob shut? Zoe and Susan were about to come to blows, guaranteeing their rapid exit from the boardroom.

But no, she had to jump in with some random statement which involved her being great and saving the planet. She also has a MBA in 'Entrepreneurial and Innovation', whatever that is.

Apparently, everyone tells her that she has a proven ability to come up with ideas and, something to do with translating them into French. Oh no, solutions. That was it. Translating her ideas into solutions.

"Edna, get yo ass outa mah boardoom", said MC Sugar.


Next week... it's the revenge of the surfing bikini builders. Yes, the teams have to launch free magazines. One of them has a brainstorm.

Who likes magazines that they don't have to buy?

Men!

What do men like?

Surfing, girls in bikinis and building things!

It's Hawaii-Five-O meets DIY SOS.

It can only end in tears.

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