Apologies for the delay in transmission; I have been doing Important Things like working and going on Outings. But The Apprentice has been rumbling on, and it's time to get up to speed. After last week's dog's dinner, this week's task is a load of rubbish. Heh. Literally. Or should that be litterally? Ha! Aha ha ha ha ha!
Ahem. *stands up and puts on serious voice*
It's a shame we've gone off Jim, because the episode opened with a pants shot; a fortnight ago we would have swooned, but we're past that now. Anyway, it's off to a scrapyard (or 'waste transfer station', as we appear to be calling it these days), because this week's task is to get a ton of junk and then flog it.
Since there's hardly anyone left on Team Logic, we do another shuffle; Helen (has never lost a task) moves to Logic (has never won a task), so it now consists of Jim, Lovely Tom, Melody, Natasha (yeah, innit?) and Helen. Team Mental, or whatever it's called, is made up of Leon, Glenn, Susan, Zoe and Scary Edna. Helen and Zoe take charge, and they all wear hi-vis jackets and big boots, which looks ridiculous.
Now, it has to be said that this is not a straightforward task; you have to look at a pile of junk and figure out if someone might buy any of it. Do you charge the person because you're providing a service and taking it away? Or are you really buying it off them, so you should pay them? Anyway, such questions are beyond the scope of the programme, because otherwise mayhem might not ensue. Suffice to say, it's one of those tasks which is so contrived as to be ludicrous, and any actual resemblance to anything you might ever do in real life is purely accidental, and slightly despised.
First we have to pick team leaders. Chez Mental, Glenn and Leon seem to think they'd be best suited to lifting piles of rubble; Susan is all up for being project manager, then Zoe appoints herself and tells them all to shut up. A La Tragic, Helen's the obvious choice, as she's the only one with any competence at all (apart from Lovely Tom, but no one listens to him, so he can't be in charge).
Glenn and Leon decide to target cafes, because they're well-known as being places which produce a lot of valuable re-sellable waste. Jim and Lovely Tom, meanwhile, drive around the suburbs in a lorry with a megaphone, yelling at people to give them junk. When this, surprisingly, fails, Lovely Tom tries to nick barbecues from people's front gardens.
Natasha, Helen and Melody are at a place that's been refurbished, and there's a ton of crap and some metal. They have to decide how much they're going to charge the guys to take it all away; Helen comes up with the idea of not charging them, which is either very very stupid, or very very clever. Of course, it all sounds good until afterwards, when they think about it. As Natasha says, via interpretive dance, "The horse has left the station"; Melody responds "And now we're going to the next station", as if that explains it. Zoe's lot go in, and fight over how much the stuff weighs, and whether they can sell it, and everything, basically. They quote £150 to take it all away. So Helen gets that job.
Jim and Leon wander round houses asking people if they have any spare radiators lying around, and generally, they don't. They start raiding skips.
Helen and co are at an office, and again they're not charging, because they're getting a load of desks and chairs and stuff that they could probably actually sell. Their strategy is risky, but at least when your quote is £0 you know where you stand. Zoe, Melody and Susan are not so clued in. They debate what to charge, and it becomes apparent that Susie thinks £150 is a better offer than £100, at which point they realise that she thinks they're giving him money for the stuff, and laugh at her. Until, that is, he phones them up later, and says that he doesn't really want to pay them money to give them stuff. And so, Susan is happy again.
Back at the house, Zoe cries, Edna huffs and puffs, and Susan just... is. Glenn and Leon come back, and are all encouraging and promise to fix it, and I fancy them both a little bit, despite them not being Lovely Tom and me not really liking either of them that much before.
And so to the next morning. Team Zoe are in a bit of a panic, but decide to focus on getting as much metal as they can, which is at least an Actual Plan. Helen's lot are sorting through all the stuff they agreed to take yesterday, and have realised that one of the places is up two flights of stairs, which means much running about with heavy things. There's a lot of Chuckle Brothers-esque 'to me, to you', some shots of things falling off lorries, a bit of shouting, and a lot of people looking at a lot of piles of rubble.
Susan strikes some kind of deal for some copper cylinders, which seems quite good, but what would I know? Jim negotiates with a builder to clear a garden; when he goes back to pick it up, the builder has (quite brilliantly) added a couple more skip loads of bricks, and they have a bit of a row. Zoe's team do a great job of clearing a yard, and then try to get the guy to agree to pay them more than they originally stated, which I suppose is a nice try.
Back to the boardroom, and it's a tough one to call, mainly because nobody has the faintest idea what they're trying to do or how they should be doing it. In the interview things they show before the boardroom actually starts, Melody (who is really starting to irritate me) says she was very excited that she got dirty yesterday, while Susan moans about how much she doesn't want to work with Zoe EVER AGAIN.
Everyone in the boardroom is in top form, and there's lots of banter. They all tease Lovely Tom a bit because he hasn't won anything yet, and he smiles very endearingly. Helen admits that not charging for taking stuff away might have been a mistake. Then Zoe says she messed up the contract things and she's very sorry. It's all getting a bit self-flagellating, until Scary Edna steps in and bigs up how great she was at phoning people.
The results are in: Zoe's lot made a profit of £706; Helen and Co made £712. And Lovely Tom has won a task, and we all rejoice. He's so excited, his glasses steam up a little bit. I love lovely Tom. They're all off to a spa, which is actually not an appalling treat. As they float around, Lovely Tom asks endearingly "Is this what all the treats are like?". Bless.
Over at Cafe Disaster, it's all "I gave 110%, I shouldn't be fired, he did nothing, it's not my fault". Etc.
Back to the boardroom, and Zoe gets a pat on the back for having a go and for admitting she fecked it up. Susan thinks it's all very unfair, and Edna claims credit for everything. So the two of them get brought back in, and Glenn and Leon go back to the house. Nick seems to have some kind of grandfatherly affection for Susan, and points out that she actually seems to sometimes have a clue what's going on. She and Zoe start a fight about who closed a deal or set up a phone call, or something. Edna pitches in with how well she did. She also points out how she took over on day two and made really good decisions and set up really good appointments. It's a shame they didn't show us any of that.
So we move on to Edna's CV (we do not appear to be calling it a ray-zoo-may this year), and how great she is at everything. She points out that she has an MBA. This goes down so badly that she panics, and can do nothing but keep repeating it.
After the obligatory run-down of everyone's bad points, the finger is pointed, and Edna is the one who goes. In the taxi, we hear a bit more about the MBA.
Meanwhile, in the other taxi, Susan is lecturing Zoe about how she should have done everything. I imagine Susan goes on a bit. I think I'd want to slap her.
Next time, we're making magazines. Stay tuned, because it's Quite Good. Not the magazines, they're crap, but the episode is good.