Sunday, 20 November 2011

Young Apprentice 2011: Weeks 3 & 4

I didn't say anything about Week 3, because, to be honest, it mostly went disappointingly quite well.  Apart from Lewis leaving his mobile phone on in a meeting, being told to turn it off, and then still leaving it on and getting hysterical because he didn't know how to turn it off.  And also Sir Harry of Posh being generally very posh indeed.  They had to sell flowers, a task which James was terrified off, since flowers are for girls and he's a proper man and therefore couldn't be expected to touch them.  But apart from one of the arrangements for a wedding or some other important function Lord Sugar had laid on (he needs to stop going round lying on things, heh heh) being a bit on the small side, they generally did fairly well for a bunch of 16 year olds who've never done flower arranging before.

So that was disappointing.

A girl called Hannah got fired.  It is possible she had been specially drafted in for the firing, as I'm pretty sure she hadn't appeared up till then.

Onto week 4, and they were summonsed to a museum because (wait for it) the task is all about old people (specifically, the over-50s), and museums are full of old things, like people over 50.  Glorious.  A few weeks ago we had casual racism; now we're targetting the elderly (and not even elderly, since they're only over 50).

It's the one where they see some naff inventions and then flog them at a trade show; in this case, a trade show for people who are over 50.  Which is weird.  I didn't know those existed.  Did you know those existed?

Haya gets put in charge of her team (Sir Harry of Posh, Lewis and a blonde girl) because she spends lots o' time wiv 'er gran; James gets put in charge of the other lot (the other Harry, Gbemi, girl with red hair and the other blonde girl) because he says so.

As ever, the inventions are a heap of toot: an electric pie maker, a posh shopping trolley, a bird box camera, a really really sucky vacuum cleaner, a cushion which you can sit on AND put behind your head, and an inflatable thing you can bath your dog in.  Like a paddling pool, but smaller and therefore less useful.

James' strategy is to be really really really enthusiastic about everything they're shown, even if it's a device to recycle human bones into a handy drinks dispenser.  Lewis, on the other hand, goes down the route of burbling incoherently at the shopping trolley guy while Haya tries to figure out if she can bump him off before Nick's eyebrows entirely leave his face and go into orbit.

So Haya and co end up flogging the pie maker and the bird box camera, and James' lot have the shopping trolley and the vacuum cleaner.

Their sales techniques leave a bit to be desired - Haya nabs an old woman and starts yelling "Let me introduce you to our pie maker!" (what?  "Old woman - meet Pie Maker; Pie Maker, meet old woman"?) while Lewis hollers "Don't be shy, come and try some pie!".  So the old people spend the morning eating the pies and not buying the pie maker, because why would you bother making yourself a pie when Lewis is going to stand there all day making them for you?  Their pricing is insane - they upped the price of the pie maker, because Haya thinks people should pay more for it.  Also, old people have a serious sense of entitlement when it comes to a discount, and that is exactly what Haya is not offering.

James, meanwhile, tries to talk another old woman into buying a shopping trolley for £125; when she politely mutters that she'll "come back later", James screams "You better not be lying!".  Poor not-posh Harry gets a lecture from an old lady on his sales technique, who thinks, basically, that he'd sell more if they were a bit cheaper, which you can't really argue with.

Sir Harry of Posh and the other blonde girl, meanwhile, are just randomly making up prices, and not even the same ones.  Sir Harry threatens customers that he'll put the price up later in the day; meanwhile blonde girl next to him is practically paying people to take them.

What senior citizens do not seem interested in, at all, is what the birds in their bird boxes are up to, so Sir Harry and blonde girl decide that instead of selling the bird box cameras directly, they'll flog them to the other traders and let them worry about getting money for them.  It's genius.  And it works.  Mainly because he lies like mad about how well they sold in the first place.

Back in the boardroom, James' lot win, and they get to go and see a guy doing magic on the London Eye.  Haya and co go off to Cafe Losers, where they drink tea and look miserable.  Especially Posh Harry, who has probably never been anywhere so working class in his life.  Back to the boardroom, where they argue a bit about the relative merits of cushions and bird box cameras, and Haya brings back Lewis and the blonde girl.

Haya says she brought Lewis back in because he talked bubbles; Lewis then chips in to disagree, not with being brought back in, but with her reason for bringing him back.  As he points out, he didn't sell anything, so he should have been brought back in for that.  Eventually, though, they talk him round and he agrees that the talking bubbles thing was also true, so he talks about that for a while.  Unsurprisingly, he gets fired.  I think the nation agrees that it's for the best.

We love Lewis, though.

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