Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Guest Post: Murphy Rants About... The Apprentice S11E7

This week’s challenge was the discount store challenge, where contestants have to set up a discount store in the vein of Poundland and its many imitators. Scott, best known for his hardline views on hair replenishment, became the team leader of Connexus, while Gary, who is so bland that I was unaware of his existence until this week, became team leader of Versatile.

Well, apparently half of the candidates don’t know how wholesalers work. One went in asking for a buy-one-get-one-free deal, which a wholesaler would never do since they make tiny margins and profit from selling in bulk, and a fifty percent discount would mean they were making a loss.

Sam, meanwhile, revealed once again that he can’t do numbers at all. Not complicated numbers or anything: Basic mathematics with the aid of a calculator. It was horrible and embarrassing.

So, they got their stuff, tested them out on street stalls, and then bought more of the biggest sellers to sell in their actual shop - that, actually, all went pretty well. It was when they’d actually set up in physical shops at a shopping centre that things started to go really wrong.

For Team Versatile: Richard. Tasked with bringing in shoppers to their store, he decided his primary method of doing this was going to be to scream ‘I AM ICE-SKATING’ while chasing people around the shopping centre. It was horrible and embarrassing to watch, and only made worse by the fact that this is the only thing he seemed interested in doing: If he tried any other tactics for getting people into the shop, we weren’t shown any of them.

For Team Connexus: Everyone. You had Sam meandering around the shop being unable to work tills and apparently unwilling to sell; you had Brett and Vana protesting that being sent out to bring in shoppers was all part of some kind of diabolical political game plan meant to make them scapegoats for an eventual loss; and you had Scott trying and failing to keep everyone under control. At one point, tensions in the team got bad enough that Scott and Brett had an out-and-out, highly aggressive argument.

(This would become somewhat relevant in the boardroom.)

When they got into the boardroom, Connexus had actually brought in more money than Versatile - but since victory on this task is calculated both by sales made and the total value of the stock they had left, Versatile, which had almost three times as much stock value, won. Scott brought Sam and Brett back into the boardroom - Sam being a no-brainer, and Brett having been quite aggressive.

Quite aggressive, but not as aggressive as Scott tried to claim. Scott tried to tell Lord Sugar that Brett had threatened to assault him, only for Brett, Sam, and Karren to all respond that literally nothing like that had ever happened. I’m not sure why he thought it would be a good idea to tell a lie that blatant, but he did, so here we are.

Probably the only thing that saved Scott from being fired for that was Sam’s tremendous incompetence with everything, and the fact that the previous week had been a triple firing already. Sam was fired, and while Lord Sugar seemed to really, really want to fire Scott, he refrained from doing so.

(Some tabloids are reporting that shortly afterwards, Brett and Scott did indeed have an actual fight, so that’s a thing.)

Next week, we apparently have party planning, which will surely be an unmitigated disaster.

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