Monday, 10 November 2014

The Canterbury fails

Episode 5 – 5th November 2014

Hello! Welcome back. Last week, Rad took you through the birth of Fat Daddy and the task based on the completely arbitrary concept of YouTube hits. Don’t get me started on how little sense that makes.  The triple firing was good though, wasn’t it? Best telly in AGES. I was jumping up and down on my chair. Totally worth learning 20 names for.

So this week promises to be about coach tours. Ah, the coach tour task, and the days of 20 diameters wide. I hope we get the same level of idiocy this week. Oh, like it was ever in doubt. There are only 12 left! That’s, like, still LOADS.

We begin at 5.30am. Lauren answers the phone that tells her she has to be ready to go to South Mimms in 20 minutes. Ah, a service station at 6am. Is it a dogging task? Gap in the market there, Lordsir.  James claims that 25 minutes isn’t long enough to blow dry his hair. I mean, I’m a pretty tolerant person, but that statement is waaaay too much for me. The rest of the Apprenti try to figure out what a South Mimms is whilst offering handy soundbites about the triple firing. Mark Wright is already dressed, because he is sensible and efficient and therefore boring as ARSE. He half talks, half interviews about there being 12 pretty good people left but the real process starts today.

The debate as to what a South Mimms is continues in the back of the Apprenticar between Sanjay, Mark Wright and Jemma. Mark Wright says that Daniel told him it was a petrol station, but apparently Daniel isn’t to be believed. Cut to Daniel giving the type of sideeye that suggests that someone somewhere is being nasty about him. AND HE’S RIGHT. It’s sort of a petrol station. STICK THAT IN YOUR PIPE.  They all get out and wait by some coaches as LordSir arrives. He says that they’re probably wondering why they’re all there and he imparts the BZNZ WZDM that coaches are money making machines and he wants them to create their own coach tours. He’s putting on the coaches and they’re doing the rest. The catch is, the tours are outside London. They’ve got to negotiate entry to attractions and show people a good time. So it is a dogging task! The team with the most profit are the winners. Simple. One of the losers will be fired.  As three of Tenacious D were given their marching orders last week, Mark Wright is now one of them. Lordsir wants to know if all that is clear. It is. Excellent.

The voiceover man reminds us that if they sell tickets at a profit, there’s money to be made. Sanjay is the boss of Sommat and he wants to do a history tour of Kent and the Canterbury tales. Mark Wright claims to be happy to be on Tenacious D whilst Daniel gives him a look that is totally sizing him up. He’s so pretty. He takes charge (in a masterful manner) and says that events are his thing. Mark Wright then gets in a totally manly manfight with him and says that he used to be a tour guide, but Daniel works in the event industry and totally feels that they can drive them to victory. He said that. He actually said that and I still would. He then interviews that most chess players think one move ahead, but he’s thinking two or three. That’s how awesome and good at BZNZ he is. Oh dear, I can’t help but feel that this is the kind of pride that inevitably ends in a crushing, crashing fall. He’s going to outsell and outclass the other candidates and there’s nothing that you can throw at him that he won’t be brilliant at. Except possibly this. Note to reader – I usually watch this alongside twitter when it airs and do the recap later, but this time I was out so I’m watching this as I recap it. Everything is going to be a surprise. He may be fine, but something tells me he won’t be. Daniel wants to do an English Experience tour of Oxford to show people English things like castles and rivers whilst mumbling crap about margins and profit. Yep, that’s hardly BZNZ NWS, is it? He wants to sell the tour for £80-100 which isn’t too far off what a city tour of London costs. [It does?  Sheesh. - Rad] Mark Wright wants to start higher. Filipe just repeats what everyone says. 

Over with Sommat, Solomon wants to go as high as possible price wise, whilst PM Sanjay is more worried about bums on seats. Bianca tries to pin them down and insists on a price. Sanjay thinks £60 is reasonable for two attractions and lunch. It’s more reasonable than £100, anyway. Bianca says that they’re doubling their cost price, which is fine, but the other team seem to think you can triple it. Karren interviews that they should be thinking about Margins more.

10.25 and the teams split up. Half of each team go off to scout locations whilst the others stay in London to look for customers. Daniel wants to sell out his 25 seats [25 seems a bit... Mimms-y.  - Rad]. Tenacious D’s sub team of Mark Wright, Lauren and Pamela are at Blenheim house. They coo whilst they are given a tour before they go off to negotiate a rate. They let Mark Wright do it because he’s sensible and capable of BZNZ. He goes in at less than half the entry price then makes out he’ll be beaten up by Daniel if he goes back with too high a price. I’d pay to see that. He manages to get his £9.50 entry price and the others congratulate him. It’s all very sedate, supportive and BORING.

Let’s see if Sommat are any more entertaining. The scouting subteam are Sanjay, Jemma and James. James wants to push his luck for a change. He wants to ask for an 80% discount. Jemma thinks this is embarrassing whilst Sanjay redefines awkward sitting between them. James demands to know what’s awkward about demanding a bargain. Jemma stutters and Sanjay tries to shut them both up. This also strikes me as a pivotal moment. Jemma’s embarrassed because she knows that they won’t get it for that. James would like to know if she can read minds now. The ‘sweetheart’ is silent. They arrive at Hever castle, home of Ann Boleyn. Standard entry price is £15.50, let’s see James get it for £3. Bless him, he tries. The lady actually laughs at him and she offers him the group rate of £12.20. [Ha!  I loved her and her NO FULE ways - Rad] He says that he’s going to try his luck again, whatever that means.

Back with Tenacious D, Daniel is selling two unwitting tourists his tour of English Oxford. He has an air of desperation which really works for him. Katie looks like she’s faring better until the people that she’s selling to discover that she’s saying 90 and not 19. Daniel lets her off and then honest to goodness winks at her. WINKS.

Sommat’s Subteam are now in Greenwich selling tours of Kent. Bianca, Roisin and Solomon are doing their best to sell their £60 tickets. Roisin interviews that Solomon’s strategy is to charm young girls. Not generally the strategy of people who are to be trusted. Cut to James still trying to barter the lady down and getting nowhere. It takes him a significant amount of time to realise that he’s not going to get a discount in any way, shape or form. Jemma interviews that he’s quite forceful and a bit like a broken record. Jemma didn’t think it needed to take that long to get a discount. They finally get a tour.

Tenacious D finally make a sale. Nick interviews that they’ve only sold a few tickets, but they’re sticking to their price. He then makes a snide comment about Daniel the master saleseman not selling anything. Whoops. The subteam phone him for an update. They’ve sold five tickets at full price. Mark Wright isn’t impressed. Neither are Pamela and Lauren. Lauren helpfully points out that Tenacious D are greater in number than the people on the tour. Pamela is also wondering why the master salesman hasn’t sold any tickets.  Mark Wright makes a wonderful comment about the only thing Daniel being able to sell is himself.

Finally though, Some DANGER. Sommat haven’t left enough time to get to Canterbury for the second part of their tour of Canterbury. Cue some very camp running from Sanjay. Jemma tries to run in heels.  Tenacious D are faring a little better and manage to secure a pretty sweet boat tour. Daniel has decided to take a different tack and is trying to sell the tour to some British People in a group. Surely they need to target people who are unsure of currency to sell at £99.50? he offers them a group rate of £65 a head and it works. He’s got 9 passengers. Katie interviews that she expected him to go in a little higher with the asking price. She’s not sure it’s the right decision. Thanks Katie!

Sanjay, Jemma and James only just make it for the Canterbury Tales tour. Jemma tries James’ tack of going in stupidly cheap. They don’t like it. Jemma asks them to give them a price. James realises that this is BZNZ SUICIDE and jumps in to give the smarm. He then interviews that he doesn’t know why Jemma is still there. I think it’s because she’s not had enough screen time to fail hard enough yet, but there’s still time. She needs to negotiate harder and not be a pushover.

8.30pm, and Filipe is trying to sell tours of Oxford to students. That’s better. Bianca corners a group and offers them any price they want. She basically tells them that she’s desperate and they pay accordingly. Solomon doesn’t like it and interviews as such.  She phones up Sanjay to tell him and he thinks that £40 a head is good news whilst James gives him the side eye and Jemma is actually ironing in the corner. Next door, Pamela, Mark Wright and Lauren are trying to learn all of history and are making bags. Pamela complains that they have done all the work whilst all the other half of the team have done is fail to sell any tickets. With a sense of timing and precision most unlike him, Daniel picks this moment to ring.  He asks how they are. Pamela says that they’re tired and just want to know how many tickets they’ve sold. Daniel says that they’re being negative even though they’ve sold 20 tickets so there’s nothing to worry about. Daniel interviews that Pamela is probably on her period or something whilst Pamela holds her head in her hands.

It’s the next day, and Sommat are trying on their lovely red uniforms. Tenacious D have yellow ones. Of Tenacious D, it’s Felipe, Mark Wright and Lauren who are leading the tour. Filipe thinks they look like expensive airline tours. The other half are in charge of lunch. Daniel wants cheese sandwiches. Pamela remains unimpressed with her. The tours are starting at London’s largest and most salubrious public toilet, Victoria coach station. Tenacious D tours welcome on their passengers. Behind them, and leading the tour for Sommat, are Sanjay, James and Jemma. Sanjay fails to close a van door.

Tenacious D tours start well. Mark Wright is such a natural, that I think that they might claw it back, despite them only selling 20 tickets. He pimps the t-shirts whilst Filipe tries to sell water.  Lauren instructs him to calm down a bit because although they are desperate, they don’t want to seem it. Sommat haven’t left the coach station. There’s some comedy language barriers and James introduces himself as “king James”. OH DEAR LORD.  They finally leave.  James gives them a pretend tour of London then tries to lead them all in a singsong which makes Karren look like she’d quite like to book into Dignitas. They even film her eyeing up the emergency exit.

Cut to other half of the team trying to buy supplies in Macro. Katie declares Apple Pie British. Yes, because wall all know the phrase “as English as apple pie”. Their lunch costs around £2 a head. QUALITY FIRST.

Tenacious D arrive at Blenheim palace to lots of coos. Lauren is in charge of showing everyone around. She does really well and even gets some grudging kudos from Nick. The customers are impressed that she did it all off the top of her head. Sommat are singing and are currently 45 minutes behind schedule. They arrive at Hever castle and someone has given James a megaphone. Oh dear LORD. Karren rightly interviews that people of all ages have come for history and entertainment and have been given “wheels on the bus”. It all rests on the tour. James then has his “12 diameters wide” moment as he describes what all the topiary is, whilst Jemma carries a clipboard. She leads the tour of the castle, reading from a clipboard and telling people to find things for themselves. [Like the PHOTOS of Henry and Anne Boleyn - Rad] It’s all a bit of a shambles. She tells a lady to hold her question for the experts. She then goes on to the morals of Henry VIII whilst Karren rolls her eyes so hard you can hear it. Bianca and Roisin sort out the tiny, tiny lunch of cheapness that’s eaten on the grass whilst James shoves t-shirts in people’s faces AS THEY EAT.  Roisin wonders whether the hard sell is the best bet whilst they’re trying to build a relationship with the punters. Tenacious D’s lunch isn’t better. Katie shouts that they’re handmade sandwiches but Nick holds one up to camera and wonders about the quality. Daniel is trying to sell them water, even though drinks aren’t included. Mark Wright isn’t happy about the fact that they’ve had such a good morning, then ‘Dan the Destroyer’ brings round some sandwiches that could ‘kill a brown dog’.  He wants them to leave because they’re ruining it and he wants a chance to pull it back.

Lunch over, everyone’s back on the buses. Sommat’s toilet has broken but James promises to sort it out. Tenacious D are on a boat and Filipe is telling everyone that there are more pigs than people in Oxford whilst dressed as a deckchair. Sommat are sending everyone to sleep and when they eventually get to their destination, they get lost. They make it with minutes to spare. Cut to Filipe boring everyone on a boat and asking everyone if they would like a recap. They don’t. 

James and Sanjay take this moment to realise that they are overrunning and have to round everyone up to get them home. Everyone is suitably impressed by this so James assures them that they are only missing 10% of the tour. Which makes it ok. They interview that they have a lot of making up to do on the way home. I don’t think 10 Green Bottles is going to get them out of this one, somehow.

7.30pm and both teams are back in London. Pamela isn’t happy with how the task was handled by Tenacious D, but thinks that they did enough to win. Sommat are actually auctioning off their remaining merchandise, including crisps and lemonade.  Bianca interviews that they’ve made a major contribution in selling tickets and making sandwiches. Solomon interviews that he sold all of his tickets at the right price, which is something that Bianca couldn’t manage, and if the other team sold high, they’re screwed. James actually asks for tips on the way out. The shamefacedness of it all.

BOARDROOM! Lordsir wishes them a good morning. He claims it’s an interesting task, and he’s looking for the complete package, much like their  customers. I don’t think anyone is writing his stuff. That’s the sad part. He’s writing his own stuff, isn’t he? They’ve offered him help to write his bits but he doesn’t want any BLADDY ENGLISH GRADUATE coming around and telling him how to write a joke. He’s heard that Sanjay was the leader of Sommat, and wants to know how they got on. Sanjay explains that he thought Kent was a nice historical place and that he went off to decide what they were going to do with a view to negotiating prices. James takes credit for this until Karren explains that the woman at Hever Castle was a bit shocked at his attitude. Sanjay tries to downplay it but James steams on, saying that the point of the task was to drive a hard bargain.  Jemma chips in and says that she did think James went in a bit low. He steams in with the “actually, you were embarrassed” line. Jemma reminds him that the woman actually laughed in his face and LordSir reminds us all that we have to be sensible AND THAT’S THE END OF THAT. He then moves on to the sales half of the team and wants to know the strategy.  Sanjay explains that his Adult tickets were £60. Did they sell out? Not in the conventional sense, pahaha. Yes, they sold all the tickets. Mark Wright looks like he knows he’s screwed. What were the roles? James and Sanjay let the tour. James claims he was in charge of singing The Wheels On The Bus. Lordsir reminds him that he was told to shut up. He claims not to have heard it. Bianca says that when she sold the tickets, she promised people a high quality trip then leaves the “but these arseholes ruined it” silent.  Next up, we talk merchandise. James is now claiming that he also sold all of the merchandise, much to the annoyance of everyone, who say he was like a bull in a china shop. Karren takes the middle ground and says that James has a different approach to selling. He takes this as a compliment because he’s an arrogant haircut. Lordsir picks him up on his “fire sale” attitude. James claims that if he hadn’t have sold anything, they would’ve sold nothing. Lordsir calls it Groundhog day, but James claims it’s totally different and asks everyone else what they sold. Tickets is the answer. He scrabbles for a crumb and reminds them that 9 of these went for £40 instead of £60.

Over to Tenacious D. Mark Wright says that Daniel took charge early because running events is what he does. Nick said that he claimed he would lead his team to victory. Daniel says that’s how confident he was. He reminds them that they toured Oxford and starts with the locations subteam. Mark Wright claims he used his Australian charms to get a 60% discount, which is a big discount and totally a world away from an 80% one. I knew an Australian man once. He had lots of charms. Good times. I digress. He wants to know about the sales strategy. Daniel says that single tickets cost more at £99.50 than multiple ones at £90.  I tell you, this world is against us single gals.  However,  explains Nick, the prices came crashing down and they didn’t sell out the coach. Sanjay makes an “ooh” face. Katie explains that she sold one at £99.50 and two at £90. Filipe sold 4 at £90 and Daniel sold none. Lordsir questions his salesman ability. His excuse is that he’s already proved that he’s a good salesman and that he pitched to groups. The others claim this to be a group effort and Nick agrees. Katie then grasses him up for selling to the group at £60 per head and that he probably could’ve gone more expensive. Nick says that they would’ve paid more and they actually said that they would’ve paid more. Daniel then tries to interrupt but Katie does the whole “let us speak” bit and rightly claims that he didn’t even try to go in any higher. Lordsir wants to know what he actually did right. Lauren jumps in and says that despite wrestling the PM role off Mark Wright because he’s an events manager, he didn’t do anything to organise or run the event. Lordsir thinks the team don’t seem to be very co-ordinated. Mark Wright does a football analogy that I won’t claim to even want to understand that basically amounts to it was us and him. He disagrees and says events manager lots whilst Katie tries to point out what he did wrong. He says he’s not going to be sucked into an argument. Lordsir says that this is unavoidable as the PM. He’s right. Daniel stands by all his decisions and claims that he’d probably sell him out in their position to save his own skin. Lordsir tells him to keep his flannel for the bathroom. That’s a half decent joke. He can have that.

NUMBERS! Sommat sold out their coach, and their total sales was £1,395.71. They spent £582.01 making a total profit of £813.70. Tenacious D sold 20 seats but generated £1,531.61 and spent £493.62 making an overall profit of £1037.99. Not so shit now, are wee, Daniel? Yeah, he is. The team pat Mark Wright on the shoulder. This is noted and fed back. Daniel claims it was only Pamela. It wasn’t just Pamela. They won the task without Daniel. He disagrees but it’s all moot because they were less shit and they’re off to climb the Orbit at the Olympic Park and they’re going to abseil down. [WORST PRIZE EVER - Rad] He’ll see them next task. Sommat are not impressed. Neither is Daniel, but only one of those are coming back to the boardroom.

In the cafe of fail, Sanjay wants to know who sold what. He interviews that he blames Bianca for selling under the asking price. We all know it’s not going to be her getting fired because she’s had a bit in the credits that hasn’t been shown yet so I’m not worried. He wonders if she got the maximum that she could’ve. She claims that she did the best she could on the last pitch of the day. She interviews that it’s unfair that Sanjay is blaming her, and it’s unacceptable. Roisin tries to blame James’ aggressive sales technique. James thinks that the fail is down to Bianca underselling and Jemma standing around with a clipboard doing very little, the latter of which is fair, I reckon.

Over at the Orbit, everyone is a bit freaked out with the abseiling. Daniel does not understand how it’s a treat. [Team Daniel - Rad] Back on the floor, Mark Wright semi apologises to Daniel and tells him that it was all for his own good. Daniel says that he’d rather win ugly than lose polite. Why does he insist on making me go off him EVERY WEEK?

Sommat are back at the boardroom. Lordsir’s opening line is to wonder where Sanjay’s brain is. It was supposed to be a high class British Tour, and he’s singing nursery rhymes. He doesn’t get it. Sanjay takes his point and it agrees that it was a poor decision. Karren suggests that maybe they should’ve stopped when someone said it was torture. Lordsir says that he’s got to go into business with one of them and they’re there singing nursery rhymes. He then ponders how different history would’ve been if Anne Boleyn’s neck had’ve been as thick as them. James listens to all this with a slack jawed grin on his face and comes back with his usual ‘I’ll show you how good I am’ bollocks. He’s got balls, unlike some. Yes, James, the ladies don’t have testicles. 10 points. Lordsir says that the only thing going for James is that he sold all the merchandise. Lordsir’s next question is about where the price came from. Sanjay, as the youngest bank manager for a bank that can’t be named should realise that 25 x £60 adds up to not that much money. Sanjay can’t answer why it came to that price and all he can say was that they agreed on it. He goes on to say that if it was him, he probably would’ve sat down and thought about how much money he could make them and gone from there. Roisin says the pricing was rushed. Sanjay then says that it doesn’t matter about pricing, because tickets were sold for less than the asking price. Bianca then sticks up for herself and says that they had 9 seats left at the end of the day and she sold them. Lordsir reminds her that she told them she was desperate. You would think that there was no coming back from this, but there is. Bianca claims not to have said this, forgetting that at this stage, it’s every man for themselves and Solomon drops her right in it. Next question is to wonder exactly what the point of Jemma is. Jemma led the tour at Hever castle, apparently, but didn’t even know what happened to Ann Boleyn, claiming that she grew apart from Henry VIII. To be fair, I don’t know much about Henry VIII, mainly because I went to school in Scotland and our history lessons were pretty much about how many times and ways Scotland was screwed over by England. Jemma has no such excuse.  Jemma tries to claim that she’s not really a tour guide but Nick just throws Lauren’s awesomeness at her. Jemma believes that she swotted up.

But let’s break paragraph for something excellent. It’s with great pleasure that I’d like to announce that RE-ZOO-MAY is officially back.  Praise BE! The reason it’s come back is because Jemma has put on hers that she’s always the girl that nearly wins and Lordsir wants to know what that means. Jemma claims that she always puts in 100% but never seems to quite make it. [That's because it's supposed to be 110.  Has she learned nothing? - Rad] She’s hoping that it will be different this time. Lordsir wonders how it’s going to be different. She’s not claiming to be perfect but she’s on a learning curve and she’s still talking but saying nothing. James jumps in and says that she only wrote on her pad for the entire day. She replies to this by saying that James has been very detrimental to her which is not what I think she means but let’s go with it. James says that this is because she hasn’t done anything. It’s kind of hard to argue with that. Jemma thinks that the failure of the task lies with Bianca for selling knock down tickets.

So who’s coming back? Bianca and Jemma. What a surprise. Lordsir isn’t happy with this, and tells James that he’s a bullock hair away from being fired for ratings so he best pull his socks up. He’s not going to be fired. He’s far too entertaining. Everyone leaves. Lordsir says that Bianca has been good up until now but wonders if she’s lost the plot. Karren claims that she may have sold too low but the prices were too low to begin with. Tenacious D sold fewer tickets at a higher price and that’s what won it. On to Jemma, her contribution every week has been disappointing and Lordsir thinks that Sanjay has a lot to answer for.

LORD SUGAR WILL SEE YOU NOW. Bianca looks ready to kill, and Jemma ready to cry. Lordsir says that he’s had a chat with Karren and Nick and the failure of the task was down to low ticket prices, so he’s giving Sanjay another  chance to tell him where he got the ticket price of £60 from. Sanjay says that it was a collective agreement but didn’t work it out in terms of costs. Lordsir wonders how he would’ve approached the task as a bank manager and give Sanjay his due, he doesn’t lie.  Why didn’t he do it here? He trots out the “taking your point on board, I’ll show you next week” trope. He moves on to Bianca and asks her why she didn’t, as a small business woman, think about how much money she could make. She answers that “we” didn’t but the real answer is that all three of them didn’t think individually.

But who’s fault is it? Bianca thinks it’s Sanjay’s, as part of the negotiating team. Bianca’s sales team were selling something that they didn’t deliver. Sanjay disagrees and says that they did deliver an entertaining and informative tour. Sanjay thinks Bianca should be fired. If that’s the case, then why is Jemma there? Sanjay thinks it was between James and Jemma, but decided on Jemma because basically, in a nutshell, James did more stuff. Jemma thinks it’s Sanjay’s fault and he should be fired. Sanjay then turns on her and says that she’s changed her mind about who’s fault it all is because he’s brought her into the board room and that shows she’s got no backbone. She says it’s because she listens to what’s being said and takes it on board. OOH. Sanjay says that she may listen, but she doesn’t do much. Lordsir is disappointed in him and his credentials, as it was a diabolical experience for the people on the coach. The tickets were too cheap and there was no strategy and he’s finding it difficult to lay blame elsewhere. Over to Jemma, her feedback from the customers was that the tour was poor and he’s not even sure what she’s been doing, anyway. Bianca is felt to have potential but the fact she knocked down the tickets is a fireable offence.  It’s regrettable that someone of Sanjay’s credentials has led his team to such a crushing failure and has tarnished his name in putting on a poor tour, but he has to say that Jemma is still the girl that nearly wins because she’s FIRED. Bye! 

Lordsir has got nothing more to say other than they’re lucky to still be there. He’s not messing about now, he can’t see Jemma as his business partner. She taxiterviwes that she’s still the nearly girl and she knows she’ll win one day.  [Bless  her being all chirpy in the cab though - Rad] Back at the house, Mark Wright says directly to James that he’s surprised he’s still there. James wonders what’s wrong with singing on a bus. Roisin says it was more about the way he sold.  When they return, Sanjay says that he was ripped a new one. He’s disappointed because from what he heard, he worked better than some of the others. Daniel claims that he did well on the day and Mark Wright can’t let this slide. He tells Daniel that he’s learned a cheap lesson today and he could take it in his stride but he’s got to stop the lies and he’s got to stop the bollocks. Daniel is still claiming to have closed two pitches but then I’m distracted because he’s wearing grey tracksuit bottoms. Mark Wright is tired. Bianca suggests everyone move on. Daniel doesn’t like being called a liar when he’s lying. Poor Mark Wright.  You’re too good for this.

NEXT WEEK! Join Rad for Board Games and Bianca being FIERCE. 

1 comment:

Kaylie said...

I know it aired yesterday, but I was out. I am so excited for Board Games. This is like something off Beat the Boss. Except the Apprenti will almost certainly be worse than the kids on that.