Friday, December 16, 2005

Final "Apprentice" Episode Thoughts

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. Is this career—being a Caddie Master—really a plausible selection for me? Is there something else I should be doing with myself? Do I have the ability to manage people? Could I ever handle the business-world? Important questions, and unfortunately, I haven’t really had the time lately to discover any answers.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, but the final episode of this season’s “The Apprentice” was on TV. Now I’ve never been a huge fan of the show. And in thinking about it, I can’t really remember why. I think it was because I haven’t really had a lot of access to a television until this winter. My schedule was just too ERRATIC. Well, whatever the reason, I haven’t really watched the show before. But thanks to TiVo and a roommate who won’t stop sitting on the couch, I’ve been watching a fair amount of this season’s episodes.

As you’ve probably gleaned from some of my previous posts, my personality and management style are quite different from that of the current Caddie Masters’. He has more experience, demands respect immediately, utilizes a passive-aggressive argumentative approach and can be wishy-washy when it comes to determining just exactly where he stands on a particular managerial decision. I, on the other hand, have little to NO experience as a Caddie Master, would rather be friends with my co-workers than their boss, my confrontations are done face to face, and I like to stick by my convictions and let everyone know exactly where I stand (This site may come off as a little passive-aggressive sometimes, but I do really let people know right away how I feel about something. My heart is on my sleeve. I can’t help it).

Tonight’s episode of “The Apprentice” happened to highlight the final tasks of the final two candidates for Mr. Trump to base his hiring decision off of. One of the candidates had more experience and a better statistical track record in the competition, but showed some major character flaws and proved by the end of the show that he really didn’t care about anyone but himself and his own success. The other was young, inexperienced, and held a mere 1-2 track record throughout the competition, but displayed a high level of loyalty and respect towards her competitors. As the Caddie Master and I looked at the screen, watching these final two candidates support their decisions in front of Trump himself, I couldn’t help but realize the amazing parallel of the whole situation. It was like each of our personalities and managerial styles were manifested in these final two candidates. It was at this moment when we started to argue. He fired first.

“So who do you think Trump should hire?”

“I think the girl.”

“Why? The guy’s got much more experience and education backing him. He’s also started his own company and made millions on his own. It’s no contest.”

“She started a non-profit at the age of 15 and raised almost a million dollars. She has strong beliefs in the work she’s doing and the people around her. Plus, look at what he’s doing. He’s making a personal attack on her abilities as a manager.”

“He’s trying to get the job! That’s how you succeed in business! You have to fuck over your friends if they aren’t getting the job done. You know Trump would.”

It was really depressing to watch. For those of you who didn’t see it or didn’t get to watch the whole thing, here was the part that bothered me: After the final task was completed by each candidate, they relaxed together in the suite and had a leisurely breakfast the following morning. They did nothing but talk about their experiences in the competition and give words of encouragement and praise to one another. “I have so much respect for you, yada yada.” But as soon as they both get in the boardroom, the male starts viciously attacking everything the female has done and desperately tries to prove to Trump why it would be stupid to hire her into the organization. There’s a pause, and Trump looks over at the girl. He asks, “Do you respect him?”

“Very much, yes.”

I couldn’t believe she said that. Here this guy won’t stop being a dickhead and she’s simply keeping her cool and being the adult. In my head, I just kept saying to myself, “If the guy gets this job, I do not belong in the business world. If THAT is what it takes to be successful out there, it’s not for me.”

The guy just came off as a backstabber to me. He was very nice and professional on the job, but once it came down to his own success, he was lashing out at whatever he could get his hands on to try and land the job. Trump even had to cut him off at one point. All I could do was admire the girl for keeping her cool. And wouldn’t you know it, Trump ended up hiring the guy. But before the show ended, he asked the winner one final question: “Would you hire her as well?”

The two candidates had chosen different projects. They would not be competing anymore. They could both come out winners.

Without hesitation, the male replied: “This show is called ‘The Apprentice.’ One. Not ‘The ApprenticeS.’ There should be only one winner.”

And that was it. He would be the only one hired. Everyone booed. She could’ve easily gotten the job as well, but her opponent’s ego had gotten in the way.

The TV turned off and the Caddie Master turned around to face me.

“So you want to go out tonight?”

“No thanks.”


Chris said...

Don't be too disheartened. Different management styles fit different positions. I would have gone w/ the girl too (as you've explained it, I didin't see the show) but in Trumps "dog eat dog" world that may not be the right move. She would no doubt make a good manager in another arena.

Anonymous said...

Remember, "The Apprentice" is entertainment, not business. It's hard to have a successful business where everybody has to watch their own back.

Anonymous said...

Agree, agree. Screw the guy, he'll be alone tonight.

Pbreads said...

Perhaps things are different at a golf course and in a caddy shack. It sounds like you are more apt to be a caddy master than your current manager, but on a larger scale with more money at stake, you usually have to be more selfish, and care more about the job than people's feelings. That was just business, it wasn't personal.

Jam Boy said...

Appreciate the feedback. It's always nice to hear some other opinions. I'm certainly learning by doing with this job and I need all the help I can get.

bordercollie said...

(depending on your persuasuion);)
I am very happy that I stumbled upon your website this past year, your observations would give Davis Feherty pause. In some respects you are the "Studs Terkel" of Caddiedom. :)
I'd loop 18 with you anytime -

Jam Boy said...

Merry Christmas. I'm very thankful for all of your comments. Somehow, I seem to have stumbled upon a great audience in my travels. Hope everyone has a great day.

♥ Albachiara ♥ said...

I wish you a wonderful new year...
An embrace from Italy

Take care