Week 6: 8th June 2011
Last week, the apprentices were tasked with creating pet food. Team Logic were so bad, so very bad, in the eyes of Sralan, that they lost to the ever-triumphant Galvanised, despite the fact that Galvanised's product was called 'CatSize. Cats' Eyes. Because cats have eyes. And are the size of cats. See their light. See, they're light! The light that they have because they are Cats' Eyes. And their size is smaller. So they're light! But they are still CatSize. Because they're still cats. That have eyes' and was sold via the medium of a gay cat talking Polari. Ellie went home because she never done nothing, Vincent Dinosaur went home because he did stuff but kind of sucked, and Jim's blatant manipulations came to the fore so much that even Sralan noticed.
Edna answers the phone. She looks really worried the entire time. NotFrances tells her that they're going to Smuggler's Way, to wear hi-vis gear, and that the cars will be there in twenty minutes. Susan and Melody both seem averse to steel toe shoes. Edna gets all hot and horny about the thought of going to a building site to the extent that she says she needs a cold shower. Builders, Edna? Really? To each their own. [All things considered, I'm surprised Ellie got out alive. - Steve]
In the car with Jim, Melody asks him to explain why Logic sucks so horribly, horribly badly, though she couches it in terms of the name. 'That's why I came up with the name Venture, cos it's a winning name, and now I'm not on the team!'. Whatever, Melody, it's no Galvanised.
They get to Smuggler's Way, a big dump in south London. Sralan spends about fifty minutes saying 'Where there's muck there's brass' and moves Helen to Logic because the teams are unbalanced. The teams have to collect waste, dispose of it, and make profit. Someone will be fired. And so on and so forth.
In the car, Natasha says she's worked in construction and property for years, so will be good at this. Helen looks on impassively.
They go off to anyjunk, which was started with a single truck and is now a super-duper big hayooge mega business, so think on, Apprentices. See what you can do etc. The boss man says useful things, including 'You make money by charging people to take away waste'. Remember that for later. He also says that people will know the ropes so don't rip them off, basically, and that it costs about £115 a tonne to dispose of rubbish.
I find this task really really odd. I once worked in facilities management. It was dreadful, but I do remember a fair bit and there are Waste Carrier Licences and Waste Transfer Notes and hazardous materials rules and the WEEE directive to consider, and I'm not remotely convinced that they're doing this properly and possibly are falling foul of many many rules that they're breaking.
Leon and Glenn both say, in short, that they want to do the heavy lifting because they're so masculine and manly and grrrr butch and totally have a girlfriend and hopefully being shown lifting things will counteract the terrible pall cast over Leon by spray tanning a dude once. Susan says that she's got no experience, but will be PM if nobody wants to. Not super-enthusiastic, but I didn't doubt that she was willing to do it. Zoe pulls the first of a million sour bitch faces and says 'Right, I'll do it, we're wasting time by talking about it'. Susan just said she'd do it. Shut up. Zoe is just straight up repellent this episode, you guys. She to-cameras that she turned a company around from loss to profit, and she doesn't like talking, she likes doing blah blah. Leon asks if they're not going to vote and Zoe says you can, if you like, but that's something that a gay would do, are you sure you want to Leon, why not be manly and just get up and do it and make Zoe PM because she's wicked? Glenn and Leon then vote for her, suitably chastened, and she's PM [Has Leon been PM yet? Has Leon done anything useful yet? - Rad].
Over at Logic, Melody says whoever can get a win needs to be PM. Superstar Helen says she'll do it and Logic are still kind of punchdrunk from losing so much so just roll over at the first sign of somebody showing competence and authority. Tom says that they should be looking for metals and high-value stuff to make the profits by selling it on; Helen agrees and there we go.
The teams get dressed in their rubbish-collecting outfits to go off and find random trade. Wait, that sounded wrong. Rubbish-collecting trade. Tom and Jim, and Glenn and Leon, are the ones roaming the streets. The rest are going off to see some of Sralan's patented pre-arranged meetings.
Tom and Jim drive around, with Jim on a loudhailer saying they're collecting junk. They park outside a house and Jim just yells at the house; nobody comes out. Tom then asks if they can just steal a barbecue from outside somebody's house. Jim tells him no. [Sometimes I wonder if Tom's aware he's being filmed. - Steve]
Natasha and Melody squabble. Helen tries to rein them in. First of Sralan's contacts is a refit of a bar; Voiceover Dude tells us that to get rid of their waste, the builders would 'expect to pay about £100'. There's a whole lot of stainless steel sinks; because of this, Helen decides to take it all away for free because they can make a profit on selling it on. Karrren queries the wisdom of this. Once they're outside, Melody also isn't sure about the quote, and takes Natasha to task for claiming expertise when she works in construction recruitment, not construction proper. Natasha claims that she didn't do any such thing. She totally did. They bicker on and on, mostly only notable for Natasha saying 'the horse, the train has left the station'. I'm Team Melody in this argument, but they're both being fairly objectionable. Natasha to-cameras that none of them would know what to do, but Melody handed her 'a big plate of blame and said, “There you go, fancy a bite?”'. Shut up, Natasha.
At the bar, Susan and Zoe argue round and around about how much the rubbish weighs. Susan just says 'Are you sure it doesn't go over a tonne?' and Zoe just goes OFF on one about how she's hasn't got scales in her head, she can't weigh stuff with her eyes, it's not a simple question because if it was simple Susan wouldn't be asking it. So unpleasant today. They end up offering to take it away for £150.
In the car, Susan says she would have done it for free. Zoe asks if she's trying to sabotage it. Susan looks bewildered.
Logic gets the contract, because they're doing it for free. Melody doubts it's a good idea.
Glenn and Leon get £110 to take away some builders' waste. Then we get a montage of Tom and Jim, basically running around, diving into skips, rooting through bins, knocking on doors saying 'Can we have your old metal taps bikes sinks doorknobs metal anything metal can we have it?' and failing utterly.
Sralan's next contact is clearing office furniture. Helen again offers to do it for free; Melody again voices her doubts. Then, Zoe and Edna and Susan discuss it. Zoe wants to offer £100 to clear it all; Edna agrees but Susan says it should be higher because it's not competitive enough. Zoe's all, what, you moron? Susan says that they're paying to take it away, right, so they can sell it? Zoe asks if Edna is 'on my hymnsheet'; Edna is. Nick pulls an epic sourface. Zoe says she doesn't know what's in Susan's head and just about stops short of calling her retarded and pushing her down the stairs. Susan says maybe she got the wrong end of the stick. Nick to-cameras (clearly from earlier on, at anyjunk) that he 'hopes they were listening to the briefing. That'll be the briefing where the man said to charge people. Oh, Apprentice misdirection! You so cunning. Zoe offer £100; the dude's like 'What?'; she goes down to £80. In the car, Susan says she feels like an idiot [she IS an idiot. An idiot among a gang of idiots, but still - Rad].
Furniture dude, unsurprisingly, goes for the team that isn't charging him. He calls Zoe and tells her that the resale value is high, so he thought he'd get something for the furniture. Susan says 'So he did want money for the furniture? So I'm not an idiot'. Zoe notably does not apologise to her. [This was all so stupid - Zoe and Susan were both right and both wrong all at the same time. The task, it makes no sense - Rad]
Back at the house, Zoe has a weepy breakdown and says they messed everything up. Well, somebody did. Glenn gives her a pep talk.
Next day. We're reminded that they can sell stuff and have to pay to dump the rest. Zoe gives a little 'Go team!' speech that's quite nice, and when she's smiling and not being an awful dour generally unpleasant bitch, I don't dislike her nearly so much. She sends Edna, Glenn and Susan off to make appointments; she and Leon will follow behind.
Logic's clearance contract is hard work; they're moving two tonnes of rubbish up two flights of stairs. Karren waffles on about chop chop!, basically.
Melody secures a contract with a man who's willing to actually pay to take away stuff.
Edna has got a contract to clear some plumbers' waste; there are copper cylinders (they look like boilers or something) and a load of general crap. The man's offering £100 and two cylinders as payment. Susan jumps in and says 'The thing is, two doesn't cover the cost. How about £100 cash' and Glenn jumps in and says 'and three cylinders' and Susan then repeats 'and three cylinders' and Edna says otherwise they're making no money. Susan then asks what he'd sell them the two big cylinders for; he says £40 each and they'll definitely make more than that. Susan says, then, give us £20 and all the cylinders. The man agrees, saying the yard has to be clear and clean. I recapped that a bit stream of consciousness, but it becomes relevant. Glenn's contribution was to say 'three cylinders', Edna just made general smalltalk about profit. Susan did the negotiation, and secured the cylinders. Leon and Zoe are on the way; Zoe says she didn't want to put Susan on physical tasks. Leon agrees that she's quite little, Zoe says 'she's very weak'.
Melody sends people off to do the clearance job she secured. The builder dude wants to give them £250, Jim wants £300. Jim goes 'meet in the middle'; the dude says '£260' and Jim's like 'that's not the middle' and gets a bit aggressive; Helen shuts him up and accepts £260. Clearing the rubbish means they have to push back the office furniture job.
Zoe reassigns Edna to rubbish clearance and takes Susan off it because she's so tiny and weak, and to-cameras that she's feeling more positive. [To be fair, you could just imagine Susan whining that it was so heavy and being a total fucking martyr about it - Rad]
Melody and Helen go to a reclamation yard, selling off the old flooring from the bar clearance. Melody asks for £200, the bloke say he won't go a penny over £120 because it's not worth it for him. Melody, impressively, doesn't bother wheedling, and just shakes on it. Karrren nods approvingly and says that their strategy of going for stuff with retail value has worked.
Tom, Jim and Natasha dump the first load of builder's waste, and pay £110 to do so. They worry about time and cost, and phone Helen to suggest not bothering finishing. To their credit, Helen and Melody both look appalled by this suggestion, and Helen says they're not going to leave a client with their job half-finished. Tom says okay, and then they'll go off to the furniture job ASAP.
At another yard, Glenn and Susan find Moar! Copper! Cylinders! and buy them. Edna turns up to help Zoe and Leon clear the original copper cylinders and the yard. They get it done; Edna asks if they can have more money because it was more than the thought. The dude says no, but it's all very good natured, and he praises Zoe and Leon for clearing the yard so thoroughly.
Back at the builders', the builder has added loads more bags of rubbish. He says that he hasn't, but the deal was to clear it all. He's blatantly fucking with them. Jim gets all up in his grill, like he's going to stab him in the throat. They clear it all anyway. Melody says they're messed up for time; they've still got to get the desks.
Karrren and Nick give boring interviews about the teams they're following.
Melody and Helen take the scrap metal – the sinks and stuff – to a dealer. The sinks aren't all steel and are part iron. He offers them £393. Melody talks him up to £400, and then £410. The rest of Logic gather the furniture from the office clearance.
Zoe's team sell off their copper and metal and make over £900; she praises them and is cheerful and not hateful for a bit.
Logic sell the furniture to a dealer for £300.
Melody has a weird little moment about how wonderful it was to be covered in dirt and dust and grime and how it made her feel like a bad girl who ought to be spanked. I'm exaggerating, but not by much.
Susan says to camera that 'Zoe made so many bad decisions on this task, I don't even know where to start. She was just sad, pessimistic, with a horrible attitude throughout the task. I never ever want to work with her again'. It would be bitchy if it weren't all demonstrably true [If I had Susan Ma on my team I'd be a grumpy sod too - Rad].
They go into the boardroom. Sralan goes on about muck and brass and you all done made a business today, I done make a business once.
Sralan goes to Logic, and talks to Helen. She explains that they didn't charge and that it was a high risk but that's on her head. Karrren calls in Melody; Melody says that she thinks their time is worth money, but it's all very respectful – just a 'this was the approach that I think was better'. Sralan talks to Tom and Jim about their scavenging day. Melody talks about her builder job that she secured and says it was great; Tom and Jim are like 'not so much, we got ripped off'.
Across to Zoe; she kicks off by lying that 'everyone was putting their hand in and out' to be PM and she can't be doing with faffing so she took charge and was PM. Not what happened. Leon and Glenn said they wanted to be butch little soldiers and carry stuff; Susan said 'I don't mind doing it' and then Zoe went 'I'M DOING IT STOP FAFFING I'M BOSS'. Susan says she put herself forward, Nick dives in and says Zoe was emphatic. That's one word for it.
They lost the pitches; Zoe admits that she got it wrong, and thought they should be charging for the services. Edna explains how she found the jobs with the boilers; Glenn tries to talk down Edna's role in getting the jobs. She is having none of it.
Money time: Galvanised made £706 profit after fees and so on; Logic made £712. Logic finally win! Helen is unbeaten! Tom is beyond delighted. It occurs to me that without Melody talking that guy up from £393, they would have lost. Well done, Melody. [I hadn't thought of that. Well done indeed Melody. - Steve]
Logic get a treat at a spa; lots of shots of sex jacuzzi fun times.
At loser cafe, Zoe looks morose. Susan thinks she shouldn't be fired because she's 'the brains of the operation'. Easy, girl. I like you [really? Wow, you have a much greater tolerance of whine than me. She actually made me feel violent this week - Rad] but come now. Glenn says he shouldn't be fired because he always gives 110%, Leon had no ideas and 'Edna – poor'. You mean Edna who got the jobs that meant you weren't totally whitewashed? Fuck off, Glenn.
Back at the boardroom, Sralan says he appreciates people who admit their mistakes and who put themselves forward, but you shouldn't necessarily ALWAYS do it. Zoe says yeah, but are we going to sit around having a chat and a vote and HR process or are we going to get on with 'the bloody task'. Which would be fine if Susan hadn't already put herself forward, albeit halfheartedly.
Zoe says her strategy was family businesses, going for metal for the high value. Susan's like, 'first I've heard' and Edna backs her up. Zoe apparently discussed this with Glenn.
At the copper cylinder meeting, Glenn claims that he got them up to three. No you didn't, Susan did and you dove in. This goes round and round and round and round. Zoe reckons Glenn did it because … she does? Sralan wants one name for who closed the deal for the cylinders. Glenn, to his credit, says it was Susan. Edna keeps trying to say it was collective. It was so Susan [yeah, but Edna made it happen, so it was a Susan/Edna tag-team. Glenn can fuck right off, mind - Rad].
Zoe without a moment's hesitation says that she's bringing back Edna and Susan. Leon and Glenn go home. They step out. Nick says Edna takes credit she isn't due, and that Susan was the one who got what was going on but doesn't stand up for herself. [I thought that Susan blundered into correctness rather than arriving there through intellect or acumen, so having Nick as Susan's personal cheerleader for the next few weeks is going to piss me right off. - Steve] [Me too. Also - for why no Leon in this boardroom? - Rad] Zoe was a mess on day one but pulled it back on day two. They go back in.
Susan asks why she's there. Zoe says if you can run a task without someone, they don't need to be there. Zoe says what did you do on day one; you kept on at me and were distracting. Sralan wants Susan to respond, so she asks Zoe to be quiet. She says that if Zoe had listened to her, they could have secured the pitches. Certainly the furniture one, they could have. And on day two, she 'secured the first appointment for the job' and she got the extra cylinders. Zoe says that Edna made the appointment, ACTUALLY! Susan's like, yes, of course she did, but I sealed the deal. And yes Susan probably slightly mis-spoke but her meaning was totally clear and Zoe jumping on it like that is just gross in so many ways. It was already established that Edna made the appointment. Shut up, Zoe.
Zoe bitches on about how Susan criticised her, but if she's so great why didn't she do it herself? You've got to take risks! You've got to go for things! I really can't express in words why I'm finding her behaviour so vile right now. You'll just have to trust me that my hand are curling into claws with Zoe's every word. [As are mine with Susan's. Fight? - Rad] Edna jumps in to say she didn't put herself forward because she didn't think she had the skills.
Sralan addresses Susan again, and tells Zoe to shut up for a minute. What did Zoe do wrong? Susan says she had no strategy and no ideas and gave them no direction and they didn't get the pitches because they didn't listen to Susan. Sralan says that Zoe has to admit they'd have got the furniture for even £50. Susan says that she said they should be buying it and Zoe made her feel like an absolute idiot, all 'I can't believe you'. Zoe says that no no no, she said 'Have I got this wrong?' God, what a lie. Either it's a lie or she just has no idea how she comes across. You didn't ask if you'd got it wrong, you asked if Edna was on your hymnsheet, the hymn being 'Yea Verily, Susan Is A Subliterate Retard Who Doth Walk With The Animals'.
Edna says that nothing that happened on the second day was to do with Zoe. Edna made the appointments, and made the right ones. Zoe was sucky and morose and fell apart and was bad for morale, both Edna and Susan say. Zoe says that at the start of the second she was motivational and positive, which is true. Shame about the rest of the time.
Sralan moves across to Edna and looks at her CV and starts taking it apart, about her 'proven abilities' and what not. He clearly doesn't have a moment's time for her or her CV. She says she trains executives to be better at their jobs – Nick asks if Sralan needs training; Sralan doesn't think so. Then Edna says that she's got an 'MBA in Innovation and Entreprenuership' and god, why not just get up and piss on the desk if you want him to fire you so badly? At this point Susan and Zoe could have just got up and left; there's no way Edna's coming out of this alive.
We move on. Nick tells Susan that she often speaks a lot of sense, put needs to stand up for herself. She agrees, and says that Zoe made her feel really small by shouting at her, and people don't listen because she's young. Sralan says he doesn't mind, he was young when he started his business at 17. Susan started her business at 17, too, JUST LIKE YOU SRALAN! And even if Edna hadn't already doomed herself, Susan definitely just saved herself with that.
Sralan says he likes that Zoe admits she was wrong, but that only goes so far. Edna is highly qualified but she takes credit for a lot of things. He tells Susan she's very young, she says 'yeah' and he's like SHADDAP I'M TALKIN'. He tells her she's done some great things and some bad things. But he's giving her another chance. Zoe lost control, but Edna – they're just not going to gel. He wishes her well, but she's fired. Well, that's that crushing inevitability dealt with, at least.
Sralan won't forgive Zoe again, he claims.
Cab Edna says she's got three degrees, and will be successful in whatever she does. In the cab back to the house, Susan and Zoe disagree some more. Susan tells Zoe to be professional and that she shouldn't yell and stick her finger in people's faces. Zoe says 'it's only because you're such an annoying twat'. Susan, quite rightly, says that Zoe wouldn't talk to anyone else in the process like that. Zoe says she would, but I'm so sure [I would totally talk to Susan like that as well, if I could refrain from wringing her neck - Rad].
At the house, they all seem to want Zoe back for some reason alien to me. Zoe and Susan come back. As back at the house moments go, it's pretty disappointing.
Next week, they're launching magazines. 'Pension mention, or something like that?' 'I don't think we should mention pensions'. That's all you need to know, really.