A Dose of Reality: The Apprentice - Episode 3: Respect - The Art of Negotiation: Zoinks!
by Beth Gottfried
Published: January 22, 2004
Sam and Nick head back to the penthouse and open the door. The gang seems shocked that Sam is still around. How can they get rid of this pesky guy once and for all? Troy is convinced that Sam and Trump must somehow be connected and that the men have been going about Sam all wrong and obviously making him look sympathetic to Trump by alienating him. Time to reinstate a new plan…Bill suggests they nominate Sam as Project Leader on the next mission. He’ll prove himself either ½ nutz or brilliant. Either way, he can no longer be a threat to the team’s success if he’s voted off…
Meanwhile, where is Sam during this discussion? He is waiting by the door, slumped over, expecting salutations/greetings and not budging an inch till someone does greet him properly. At some point I imagine he takes a leak tho (from what I can ascertain) because eventually he gets up and I’m pretty sure no one actually ever came over to “greet” him. One thing is for sure from these emotional hysterics …This man is destined for the loony bin.
At Team Protégé, Jesse calls a team meeting to discuss the tension in the women’s group, or simply Omarosa and Ereka’s cattiness. I was really happy to see more of Jesse in this week’s episode because it made me really respect and actually like a woman on this show-but really just because she is SANE. She’s smart, confident, and capable without any of the theatrics. At any rate, back to O and E. Katrina speaks up at the meeting about the lack of professionalism she has witnessed going on. Omarosa feels targeted and doesn’t like the “group” talk- if someone wants to talk with her about specific concerns they have with her performance, let them do it 1-on-1. She didn’t come here to make friends, she stresses. She ups and leaves. Amy insightfully comments, “women hold grudges, men yell and scream and get over it.” Case in Point: Katrina and Omarosa later do have their 1-on-1 and fight, fight, fight. Katrina says something about “life being too short to be a b*tch” and Omarosa bites back with “I went from the Projects to the White House” I thought it might get physical, but it didn’t. That kinda footage might only be appropriate on “Girls Gone Wild” tho…The fight leaves Amy with the thought that is most aptly on everyone’s mind at this point: It might be worth losing Omarosa and taking a loss for the team to move on.
The gang meets Donald at 8AM for their third assignment: The Art of negotiation. Each team will be given a list of items to negotiate. Whichever team can negotiate most items for the lowest price under the retail value, wins. They will have till 5 PM to complete this task. Jesse is elected the Team Leader for the women and Sam is the Men’s Leader. Amy thinks the men will have the advantage because many of them are salesmen and skilled in the art of negotiation…Little does she know or suspect that with Sam on board as Captain (and this is a fitting analogy given the whole football spiel) the men don’t have a prayer.
With Sam at the head, Team VersaCorp is enduring some pretty brutal Spring training. Using metaphors of linebackers and defensemen, Sam is outlining the plan of action and as Troy says “painting a picture that comes out looking like a very distorted Picasso.” Sam can’t seem to back away from the football nonsense long enough to think logically or to employ much common sense and I think his players suffer from a lack of trust and respect for their coach…Yeah, about that…
Jesse divides her group into two: SMART move. Omarosa, Amy, Kristi, and Jesse are one team and Heidi, Katrina, Ereka, Tammy in the other group. This will minimize the Omarosa vs. Ereka/Katrina tension hopefully. And it actually works. Go figure.
Teams VersaCorp and Protégé head to Chinatown to put their bargaining skills to the test. The gals have the art of coercion down pat. I’m not sure this is “negotiation” in its purest sense, but hey, it flies. Amy negotiates the price of squid and tells Kristi to show the man how hungry he is by lifting her shirt. Kristi obliges. However, this is the same woman who also did an “adult” movie/film. Sex appeal works, YAY team!
The men’s “field” team: Bill, Kwame, and Bowie seem to be making some progress in Chinatown and have 4 items that they think they can negotiate down there. Allowing his fingers to do the walking, Sam finds a place that will sell the gold at a cheaper price but it’s Midtown and they have to get there by 11 AM. This doesn’t give Kwame, Bill, and Bowie enough time to get those 4 items. Bill and Sam are talking (via cell) and Sam, ever the ineffective micromanager, tells Bill: Drop everything and take a taxi to Midtown. Bill and Kwame both express concern with this decision and even consider abandoning Sam’s orders, but they listen. I guess in the back of their minds they must have been thinking: Let’s take this hit and lose it for the team, Sam and get rid of you once and for all!!!! (evil chuckle in the background) Bill concludes that Sam is crazy and Kwame says he’s not buying anything Sammy’s selling.
The gals: Heidi, Katrina, Tammy, and Ereka are negotiating the gold with Michael, a jeweler who seems eager to get rid of them. Heidi and Ereka resort to “Please, please please” and go into song and dance. Tammy, as spectator, reaches the conclusion that this is NOT negotiation. It does work however and they negotiate the price WAY down…well, $10, but that beats the men’s $1 that Sam had Bill, Kwame, and Bowie high-tailing to Midtown to get.
Back at VersaCorp Headquarters (btw, this SO sounds either “Office Space” or “Star Trek”) Trump pays a visit to Sam and proclaims: “I never knew you were so short.” He may as well have taken a ruler to Sam’s nether regions. Yikes! Sam loses focus after Trump leaves. Trump has shaken his hand, his lowly hand, how will he ever be able to work now? Troy gets Sammy to sit down, and close his eyes and focus and says that when he reopens his eyes to never mention hand shaking again. Next on the list of items: golf clubs. Sam gives bill a phone number and address for a place to buy golf clubs that’s completely bogus. It doesn’t exist. This wastes time and frustrates Bill, Kwame, and Bowie. The team is disintegrating at a wapid wate. (I’ve officially lost it and am now a loony tune myself, thanks Sam)
At the Hair Salon, Omarosa is getting her legs waxed. The team negotiated the price from $80 to $30. It would have been nice to see how this happened. Troy gets his legs waxed and negotiates down from $80 to $76. The gals are once again kicking some serious tootie. Bill and Kwame decide not to purchase the clubs (after they finally locate an actual store) and Amy talks the guy down from $419 to $300. As the day unwinds, Sam is once again losing focus. (cause he had it in the first place?) He is on the phone with Bill asking irrelevant questions like: “Are we gonna win this? Will you guys make it back in time?”…Um, will you get your head out of your arse long enough to THINK? That would be my personal question for Sam. So given all this, the guys are once again scrounging at the last minute. p>
It’s 5 PM and the day is officially over. Both teams hand over their receipts and at the end of the day the women have a savings of 22% and the men: 9%. Trump’s comment mirrors the dejected sentiment of Team VersaCorp upon hearing this news: He is starting to think that he’ll never hire another man again. The women win again and their prize is dinner at the 21 Club. I’m starting to think that the prizes aint all that hot. This is Trump after all, why not fly them out to Paris for the night or something a little more exotic?
Back at the pad at the end of the night, Nick laments, “I’m tired of getting out asses handed to us.” Sam’s retort: “We may have lost the war, but I think we’ve won some victorious battles.” Nick: “I’ve had it with all these women, I will not lose again.”
The gals are settling into their gowns and going off to dinner. Jesse says that this lifestyle was always a fantasy and now she sees it can be a reality. You see Jesse get a little too glassy-eyed, and start to worry. She’s a MidWesterner: She must not go over to the other side. Remember Jimmy Gatz??? Probably not, because everyone else knew him as Jay Gatsby, the name he switched to once he headed East and sold his soul! p>
The guys and gals are discussing Sam’s imminent elimination at the end of the night. Heidi doesn’t think Sam will be fired: He’s made it past 2 elimination rounds. The men think maybe Sam’s number is up. As Kwame says quite eloquently: “If Sammy pulls off his world-class theatrics, Nick may be on the chopping block.” Little does K know, he may be taking Nick’s place…
The men meet up in the boardroom. Trump relays how disappointed he is in the team and in Sam. Sam’s defense: My plan was not implemented. Kwame blames Sam for his lack of leadership abilities. Nick is of course diplomatic because he doesn’t want to be one of the final 3. Bowie says that Sam did not display leadership skills. Ever the emotional tantrum boy, Sam decided to bring Bowie and Kwame down with him. Trump calls him on the weasel activity: The only reason you are doing this is because they criticized your performance. Sam alleges that Kwame and Bowie didn’t respect him and that he couldn’t lead properly without the respect of his team. Trump agrees with this assertion but also claims that Sam hasn’t done anything to earn the respect and he never demanded it.
Sam, Kwame, and Bowie are all on the chopping block. At this point, I love both Kwame and Bowie for sticking up for themselves and being genuine about Sam. Kwame: “If I need to go for not respecting Sam, send me home.” Bowie: “Sam has proven that he is not a successful leader or follower.” Ouch! Thanks for breaking it all down, boys. With these final words, Trump utters what we’ve all been longing to hear: “Sam, you’re fired” With a diabolical look in his eyes, Sam dramatically gets up and goes out with a whimper. I suppose he was simply proving fellow dramatist's T.S. Eliot’s point.