The Apprentice Series 12 episode 7 recap: Boatloads of business idiocy
Abraham Lincoln once said “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years”. How right he was. We are formed by our life experiences and ultimately it will be these experiences that add those grey hairs/no hair to our furrowed brows, while we worry about how awful everything is.
One thing that is for sure is that 2016 has put miles on the clock and driven the whole planet to drink/drugs/zombie walks. If Abraham Lincoln had been alive in 2016, his quote would have simply read, “This year has been a big fat bag of shitty dicks”, and once again he’d be a wise man.
With an apocalypse in the mail and everyone we know and love from entertainment seemingly being taken up for the Rapture (I am kicking myself that I did all that onanism that’s keeping me down here), things can only get better, right? Wrong. We are here to once again watch the business mice wander through a maze of idiocy. First they came for the idiots, and I wasn’t that bothered…
Apologies for missing last week by the way, I was ill, sir.
Here we are, week seven of “Lord Sugar’s Find Me a Business Idiot Who Will One Day Possibly Take Me To Court.”
The Star Trek phone rings at 5.40am and Lord Sugar would like everyone to meet him onboard a super yacht (pronounced ‘Throatwobbler Mangrove’) and everyone should bring an overnight bag – perhaps he is taking them all to international waters to watch them fight each other with daggers for Bitcoin? Who knows? All that is important is that they have [insert made up time] to get ready and paint themselves thoroughly.
They are going to the Annual Boat Show in Poole Harbour. Karthik and Frances are the project leaders. Karthik gave a quick talking (barking) head to tell us he is such a good project manager that he knows the exact time and place his child was conceived – presumably that research was performed by checking the milkman’s schedule. To be fair to Karthik, he is always good value when it come to talking complete and utter crap.
Karthik began to assemble his team for selling boats to rich people, Samuel declared that he has experience of selling high-end items, a piece of information that Karthik chose to basically ignore. Claude was not happy about this and someone will die tonight. Meanwhile Frances picked her team and wisely decided to split Paul and Sofiane, while also making Paul sub-team leader.
The teams then had to choose their small items to sell on the day. The choices were a novelty fishing pen (as good as it sounds), a futuristic Buck Rodgers snorkel mask, fish pillows (made by Fish and Cushion?), a towel suit and novelty backpacks. Paul chose the snorkel and novelty bags, Karthik delegated to his team as he was completely incapable of making a decision. They chose the towel suit and the fish pillows. Alana was not very complimentary about Karthik’s leadership skills.
The teams next sampled some high-end items. Frances and Sofiane went out on jet-skis and I’ve never seen Sofiane look more at home. He bloody loves a jet-ski. Karren noted that neither of them had many pertinent lines of questioning for the jet-ski man.
Courtney and Grainne went out on a speedboat and decided to ask technical questions. This may go well for them – even Claude smiled.
Next were the two mid-range items; a water sports board for amateurs and a paddle boarding thingy. Karthik decided the best way to win over the paddle board guy was to tell him he went paddle boarding last year and then not ask him any info about price. Paul and his team however, talked turkey and seemed to be more, dare I say, professional.
Talking of “professionals”, when calling the vendor to get the deal, Karthik actually said, “We loved your paddle board and are all great sales people – two of us are professionals” which made Alana do a double take. The vendor went with Paul’s team, what with them seeming competent.
Meanwhile at the high-end, the teams swap and once again Courtney and Grainne talk specs, while Sofiane and Frances ask the boat vendors to give them a “pitch about the boat”, which made one of the vendors give them the proper stink-eye.
In the end Grainne and Courtney wins the jet-ski deal (that both teams really wanted) as the vendor was relieved to be allowed to deal with grown ups. Sofiane doesn’t take this news very well and proceeds to sulk for the entire time Frances chases up leads.
It’s the day of the boat show and it wouldn’t be an exciting English boat show if it wasn’t pissing it down with rain. Karthik is told his prices by Courtney (which doesn’t go down well with some) and after some top-level man management speak (“It’s raining but you know what they say – ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’”), Karthik and his team go out to sell the jet-skis. Frances and her team check through their stock and Paul reveals the paddle board, which Sofiane sulks at for a bit, probably still thinking about how sweet life was on that jet-ski.
Grainne and Courtney decide the best time to continue their knowledge test on the jet-skis is while hundreds of people walk past, which doesn’t impress Claude much (as Shania Twain once said). Also not safe from Claude’s wrath is Samuel who has decided to sell the towel suit and cushions cheaper than agreed, which causes Claude to go a bit red and talk about “team players”.
Meanwhile, Sofiane and Frances begin to set up their speedboat display. Sofiane comes alive again and obviously sees the potential for banter on the speedboat. Suddenly he is a small boy running around putting bottles of champagne in cup holders and towels on chairs. Frances is rapidly losing her will to live because working with him is like teaching a dog to play chess.
Jessica (the female Jim Carrey) is once again utilising her tried and tested “bullshitting” sales technique on the general public (“I’ve sold these paddle boards to aliens”), it seems to work with some, but Karren is not impressed at all. Paul is also unimpressed and steps in to tell her to stop lying – which is very much like a Jim Carrey film, so in a way she is on message.
Karthik has developed a new sales technique of wearing the towel suit, carrying a fish pillow under his arm and talking like a crazy person to the public. Samuel laughs and says “Karthik is mad!”, Alana chips in with, “Samuel? Do you think that technique is putting people off?” to which Samuel says, “Yeaaa” instantly. This cannot end well. They decide to see what happens – a well known Apprentice technique known as “throwing your Project Leader under a lorry”.
Courtney and Grainne have hooked a big fish. A man wanting to buy four or five jet-skis for his “jet-ski experience” (aka Sofiane’s heaven). The customer had questions about commercial warranties and Courtney and Grainne wisely passed him on to the vendor, which impressed Claude. If they sell three or four jet-skis, they are home and dry (and other water related metaphors).
Meanwhile on the speedboat team, despite Sofiane’s best efforts, a customer decides to go ahead and buy a boat, which is frankly staggering.
There is then a montage of both teams trying to get rid of all of their remaining items while a biblical storm falls down around them, God bless our weather. Sales are over and it’s time for the boardroom and we are treated to some further shots of Canary Wharf, despite the fact that Lord Sugar doesn’t work on Canary Wharf, so it may as well be Luton Airport.
In the boardroom it transpired that Sofiane and Frances sold two boats and Paul and his sub-team sold a lot of mid-range and low-range products, which came to around £40,000. Karthik and his team sold £188 worth of small and mid-range and……NONE of the jet-skis sold. NONE. Not one. They made £188 all day. Lord Sugar was not happy at all.
Frances cried out of joy as she had never been on a winning team. The “treat” this week was some rowing with James Cracknell. Great. Nice one. What happened to fun? At this stage we may as well give them a ‘treat’ that involves them doing interpretive dance on the M4.
After a visit to the Sad Cafe, the losing team regroup in the boardroom where Karthik is immediately fired in a cloud of Sugar-rage. After some bluster and angry words, Samuel followed him out of the door. Alana and Dillon went back to the house with severe PTSD.
Next time they have to host a party and it looks horrendous, hopefully the new leader of the free world will allow us to live one more week to see it.
See you in the bomb shelter.