I don’t know why I watch The Apprentice…

March 26, 2009 | By Paul Mackenzie Ross | Filed in: business.

I don't know why I watch The Apprentice…within 60 seconds of the start of the first episode of the fifth series on BBC One my humble sensibilities were assaulted by the sheer brutality of these people’s egos.

For me, making money is better than sex.

Oh dear. What a sad and lonely man. If civilisation collapsed or if we ever achieved utopia, he’d be very upset.

I AM outstanding, it’s a given.

This girl doesn’t think too much of herself does she?

I’m a winner, I’m a winner every single month that I do what I’m paid to do.

Another “special one”.

I was born to do great things and if I’d I turn up I’d win it.

The reincarnation of Alexander of Macedonia? A gift from god? Or just another hugely inflated ego?

Rough tough cream puff from NY and I’m in it to win it.

Lady, you need to understand that cream puffs are neither rough nor tough; in England, puff and poof are similarly macho words… NOT.

I love the sound of my own voice.


I’m the complete package

Actually, you are A complete package.

These people, these candidates, the cream of the crop of the business and entrepreneurial sector in this country, the best 15 of 1000s of contenders… they’re just like the self-proclaimed gurus on twitter who, in all reality, are mere mortals and ultimately just like the rest of us, all they do is shout louder.

The sheer arrogance, the conceit. Like a friend of mine usually says “you need balls”. Why? Most of us do what we do professionally and we do it well, we strive to do be better, we achieve and it’s no big deal; it’s all just a natural progression and we take it in our stride. People only need “balls” when they’re chancers, when they’re making a leap and they’re not entirely sure they can make it.

So what did the crème-de-la-crème of Britain’s entrepreneurs have to do for their first task? They had to set up a cleaning business. One day and a budget of £200 to turn a quick profit.

The two teams “Empire” and “Ignite”, all-boys and all-girls respectively, then set out to, what eventually turned out to be, cleaning cars (and a bit of shoe-buffing for the boys).  To cut a long story short we saw “dominant” handshakes from one guy, a failure to correctly pronounce “carpe diem”, an entrepreneur who compared unrolling a hosepipe to Su-Doku and a bunch of people who were more sound bite than substance.

Making quotes about not accepting anything that is other than 100% is all fine and dandy until you can’t even clean a car properly – there are junior school kids down my road who do a better job of washing motors than these jokers who rate themselves so highly.

Now we know what we’re doing

Yes, you’re washing a car. It’s not hard.

The 15 candidates ended up in the boardroom and many seemed to turn to jelly, and for all the confidence they previously had. The boys won against the girls who failed from overspending on their equipment and then the bitching began.

The candidate who eventually heard Sir Alan Sugar’s “You’re Fired!” was the one who boldly stated

I AM outstanding, it’s a given.

Huh. An outstanding failure more like. Sacked for merely holding a calculator and desperately attempting to defend themselves, saying they’ll do better time. Outstanding people don’t spend a whole day failing miserably.

Actually, my rhetoric is becoming legendary (sorry, bad ego joke there)… I DO know why I watch The Apprentice… it’s to see that the people “up there” are just people and, despite all their pomp and huge egos, they’re just like the rest of us and I’m really looking forward to seeing the next episode. It’s the quiet ones of whom we saw little of that are probably the best candidates but we’ll see won’t we.

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