Week 10 and I come in 30 minutes late thanks to a meeting that made Claude Littner look like a fabric conditioned kitten. I don’t have the time or energy to recap so will link you to the rather sweary blog my better half has assembled. Here.

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Opposite Experience to my evening before the Apprentice.

The interviewers are comprised of reliable rottweiler with a heart (human, ripped out) Claude Littner, faux dour Scot Mike Soutar, saucy media bitch Claudine Collins and melted plastic evil effigy Linda Plant.

Mike confronts Jo on her temperament and she’s pretty much contrite with him and every other interviewer. Bless her she shouldn’t have to apologise.  However when she explains her ethical business (giving share of profits from selling business wear to third world women to buy suitable clothes to get ahead in the workplace) he gives her brownie points and she skips away relatively unscathed.

She doesn’t get away so lightly with Claudine who confrontationally challenges her “HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT CONFRONTATION?” before adding “You’ve argued with some of your team members”. She basically reduces Jo to tears before saying “Don’t get upset – why are you getting upset?” in the least concerned way possible. “I got it wrong at first but I’ve tried so hard and I’ve never been able to shake this perception of me” blubs poor Jo. Bless her! Claudine appears to show some empathy “Do you think you can rein it in?” “ Yes 100% I know I’m outspoken but it’s been my biggest battle to show people how I really am”. Claudine gives a wise look, but you just know she’s going to dob in Jo for crying. Like a massive twat would do.

Linda tells Sarah her sweetie gift set website is shit. Sarah explains she wants to change her business with the platform. “What have you been doing?” barks Linda. She has a point, Sarah’s been in the same business for over 7 years. She could have paid somebody’s child to set up a better website.

I love Liz in the lift, like a big mad Ripley from Alien “God it’s Claude – come on you got this!” Lucky lucky lucky lucky!

Back in the waiting room James smugs “He’s gonna ruin her!” “Yeah” agrees Michaela eagerly.

Claude starts and you know it can only go downhill: “I have to say you have a terrific work ethic, a “can do” attitude, you’ve been memorable but…” (and it’s a big BUT) “You are impossible to work with and so overbearingly bossy it’s been traumatic to watch you taking over any task”.

Liz nods sagely “I understand what you’re saying… it COULD be one of my weaknesses”.

Claude thinks Liz’s three florist shops barely make a profit, but Liz is keen to expand into the corporate gift sector. Claude wonders if she can, she thinks she can, he says “the numbers say different… bye!”. Unfortunately her foot goes to sleep on the way out which she of course reports out loud with a Liz twinkle. Claude winces (and tries NOT to smile).

James is greeted by Linda “In 18 months you’ll be turning over 3million is that FANTASY LAND?” who talks over his every attempt to respond and points out that all his achievements have been “under the umbrella of a multinational company”.

Actually she raises something that troubles me, as James was proud enough to say is his application that he “got his old boss demoted” which seems somewhat twatty (I guess he is young – but still!). He argues that’s not the case, but then it turns out he got fired for meeting with other investors on the side (he argues “they wanted to get rid of me it wasn’t just that” which I’m not sure is the best argument). James feels these episodes added to his character. Linda points out “It more puts a shadow over your trustworthiness”.

He limps back to the Waiting Room where Michaela spots his puffy eyes “Are you crying?” “Er..no I just got like bloodshot eyes”. Good old Liz doesn’t ask any questions and gives him a hug. “Let’s get out of here” insists James.

Next day in the cab Michaela confides the process “near killed me” and regrets she can’t get “Lord Sugar in a headlock… can I?”.

Firstly the evil interviewers spill the beans on Jo. Claude’s worried about her lack of experience. Claudine points out she’s young but then dobs her in for crying and laughs that Jo “didn’t accept she is argumentative and thinks she is wrongly labelled”. Perhaps Ms Sneery as a young black woman she’s as mardy as most of the people in the process but in the past has had to face some repetitive attitudes and has a point? At least Mike sticks up for the ethical part of her business plan.

Liz gets the treatment next as Mike thinks she doesn’t have a USP as there are online flower delivery services that businesses use. He likes how she says what’s on her mind although it’s “sometimes a bit fighty”. Claude loves her work ethic but think she’s not corporate enough. This sums up part of why I love her.

James is a “young man in a hurry” according to Claude. Mike thinks “his ambition leads him to rooky errors” such as saying on his website he had a certain accreditation that he doesn’t actually have. So lying basically. Rooky errors my arse! Claudine found James “very charming” and if he wins he will be despatched to her dungeon.

Sarah gets stick for being unoriginal and not having sorted her website out since 2009. Claude sees her as “honest and credible”. Which I hope he means as a good thing.

Claudine is confused by Michaela saying she lacks confidence and not making eye contact whilst having run shit loads of businesses. That’s cos it’s bollocks. Claude quotes Michaela as having “built from nothing to 3m, but doesn’t know how to build to 30m”. Mike points out she can’t remember how many businesses she’s launched in the last 7 years, and given her idea is to have a Planning Database for contractors (the local council should be putting that online mate) he doesn’t know how it would compete against more respected databases. He adds “she is a natural entrepreneur and you shouldn’t underestimate her”.

They’re dismissed and the candidates come in for slaps on the back and in the face as they’re honed down to two for the final.

Sarah gets stick from Karren for being “Calm but cautious”. Sugar’s shit gag is she’s like “a bubble gum that lost its flavour”. “Oh that is SO frustrating to hear” interjects Sarah mildly because she must have better gum jokes.

Sugar accuses Jo of having no fashion experience. She appears to be wearing clothes that look er fashionable but whatever. She’s got lots of experience in optimising marketing websites though. Or do transferable skills no long exist unless it’s from barrow boy to scraping the barrel? Actually I’m surprising myself by getting so angry on Jo’s behalf but I’ve warmed to how hard she has been prepared to work. Sugar asks her lots of questions about quantities and returns and she has actually researched reasonable outsourcing companies. I am impressed. Sugar ain’t. It’s Claude’s go next and he describes the women’s fashion industry as a minefield. Jo points out there would be no business if that attitude was prevalent. It doesn’t work. Sugar almost pats her on the head telling her to “Go get a job in that industry and then build your business”. Yes because Jo wants to be an UNPAID INTERN as that’s all she’d be likely to get with her experience. He fires her – regretfully. Tit. I hope she starts up a fashion blog with a fundme site and goes from strength to strength with her idea. I wish there was a similar thing for school uniforms funding uniforms in poorer countries.

“Don’t give up your dream” Sugar calls sadly after Jo. Even though he crushed it

Liz admits she’s learned a lot and Karren is a proper snidy cow (“I’m SURE you have.. I’m pleased for you”). She deals with questions about scaling reasonably well.

Michaela is asked why people would use her database and admits she’d be targeting small companies as a cheaper option. Oops. Karren asks “Are you a serial entrepreneur or bored easily?” Michaela says she don’t know what an “entrepreneur” is. It’s someone in between hairdos love. Like from when this was filmed and “You’re Fired” was.

James claims he made 900k in IT recruitment last year. Sugar points out that was the company he was working for – and they may not want to work with James when he’s on his Lord Sugar assisted tod.

After all this arsetwaddle the divine Liz is eventually fired (also with regret) because of scalability (and I reckon Sugar thinks flowers are girly). “THANK YOU ALL ITS BEEN MY HONOUR AND MY PLEASURE” Liz croons on the way out. She’s ace.

So the last three step outside for Karren to bitch about them and then are dragged back in to say why they should win.

Sarah reckons her product has huge scalability and growth. Amongst fat kids.

Michaela is after a fresh start. “Ah don’t know about sweeties or recruitment – if you want them then crack on”. Oh I just warmed to her. Damn!

James thinks IT Recruitment makes money and he has energy and passion “no disrespect to Sarah” (Sarah “WTF???!” James adds “I also can give 100% unlike Michaela”. “Spoken like a true salesman” deadpans Karren.

Michaela argues like a spouse caught in flagrante “All those other companies I’m just a shareholder with –  nothing serious.. you’ll be the real thing” etc. But surprisingly Lord Sugar fires her. “When I need a building next I’ll go on your site” he adds. “Yeah it’ll be 4 grand though no mates rates” Michaela retorts. Oh I do like her. In the taxi of doom she admits she’s off for a “Bath of wine to celebrate getting through this shitstorm. Lord Sugar just lost £50 million. Bad business move!”. Never mind Liz, this lady is proper bonkers.

So the final is a choice between bland or fibby. Sarah suggests “Sugar’s going sweet”. James says something that isn’t as good. Next week they have to present their business plan to over 200 people. I tried a poll in our house: – which wins IT recruitment or sweets? Our panel says ouch our teeth hurt and we love it!

WANT TO WIN:  Sarah (head girl)

Liking a tiny, tiny little bit less: James

BYE BYE: Danny, Jeff, Elliot, Siobhan, Ross, Sarah Jayne, Sajan, Andrew, Anisa, Charles,  Bushra, Harrison, Jade, Joanna, Elizabeth, Michaela

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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