The Ways of the Apprentice

On the face of it the Apprentice appears to be a very good deal. What young thrusting executive psychopath would turn down the chance to gather with like minded individuals and spar for place at the side of that captain of industry Alan, sorry Sir Alan Sugar and his jolly minions Nick Hewer and Karen Brady. As the show starts they come like a smart business suited zombie apocalypse over the Millennium bridge in London. The figures-based Accountant from Altringham with the people skills of a gnat, the Business lawyer from Birmingham who always looks cold and calculating no matter what they do and the bright one from the Marketing Agency Cheltenham or other small town. Though if you are looking for that kind of thing then this page will be of great help.

“I’m gonna give it 110%!” “I’ll make sure Sir Alan knows how good I am at making money”, “I’ve started up 15 business all bringing in 100k clear profit a month”, “I was a millionaire by the time I was 21”, are all the likely things that we are going to hear over the course of the series. The most popular one being “For me, failure is not an option…”, ignoring that fact that it’s plainly a fact of life in whatever field you choose. It’s bluster of course and you do feel a bit sorry for the “contestants”, (Yes, they are contestants. This is a just a big game show at the end of the day). The BBC should have called it “Damned if you do and Damned if you don’t” as it would have been a more accurate title for the show.

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For example, if they say, “I’m supremely confident, I have faith in my abilities over the others”, it just comes across as arrogance and they get roundly reviled. Immediately the production team start to edit everything like the speaker is the “bad guy”. If they don’t come out with anything or take a more measured approach Sir Alan is on them like a shot rebuking them for not putting themselves forward or questioning why they are there (answer to be on telly and famous for a bit, no sorry get the job with the great one.) “Tell me Aaron/Javid/Michelle, do you really want this?! If not daan’t waste my time…”.

This came out into sharp focus in one episode when Sir Alan fired someone for being “too nice”. No one had really done anything wrong that week, so he was clutching at straws. Where does that leave the guy that’s fired? Does he then go away and start being unpleasant? What does that say to those watching it? Nice guys come last and people who try and launch a product without any real planning, market research or testing deserve everything they get. My search for a decent show to watch continues.

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