I’ve written a few blogs about The Apprentice, my main problem being with it why anyone would want to work for Amstrad. Don’t get me wrong – The Apprentice makes great viewing and I have been glued, it’s just that Amstrad would be at number 137 out of the top 10 firms in technology I would want to work for.
While it may boast revenue for the six months ended December 31 of £40.6m, it’s not looking healthy. Sales were down 18% year on year. Profit was down from £8.7m to £7.5m. In that period it generated £4.3m cash from operations, down from £15.7m in the year-ago quarter. At latest count it had £28.3m in the bank. A year ago it had £49m in the bank.
Anyway, last night’s episode of The Apprentice was for me the funniest so far. While the episode in which they had to sell on a shopping channel was hysterical, I nearly laughed myself into a coma on watching last night’s. After 11 weeks in which she has had to complete all manner of pointless tasks like designing something for dogs, selling coffee on the streets of Islington (not exactly under-served by coffee shops) and selling British food at a French farmers’ market, Katie – aka the one with the shark-like eyes – fell at virtually the last hurdle.
After being told she was likely to be one of the last two to go forward into the final, Katie seemed momentarily to go into a trance, before telling Sir Alan ‘Cocked it Up Royal’ Sugar that she was stepping down. The reason? She hadn’t checked with her parents whether they will be able to help support her and look after her kids if they move from Devon to be near Sir Alan’s offices nearer London.
Say that again? After 11 weeks, she pulled out because she realised she would have to relocate to work for Amstrad. That took her 11 weeks to figure out?
“I don’t want to make a fool of you or me,” she said to Sir Alan Sugar. I’m sorry Katie, but it’s a little late for that. Had you realised in the pre-selection stages of the show you would have an issue with relocating and pulled out then, you may not have made a fool of yourself or Sir Alan, or indeed the entire production and its crew.
If you had realised after the first episode, it would have been understandable. But week 11? 11 whole weeks of tasks, and then you realise? 77 days after you began The Apprentice? 1,848 hours after you first joined, you realise that you would need to relocate and haven’t asked your parents if they would still be able to help? You hadn’t considered alternatives? You hadn’t thought it through at all?
But then, since Katie confessed that she hadn’t even done a basic Google search to gem up on Amstrad or Sir Alan Sugar before she started the whole sorry affair, perhaps that shouldn’t be at all surprising to anyone. Let’s face it, the average quality of the candidates is shockingly poor, and Katie’s last minute realisation that Amstrad is not based in Devon is the icing on the cake. But then again, it’s only because the candidates are so dreadful at nearly everything they are asked to do that The Apprentice is such compulsive viewing.
Previous blogs on this topic: