Ten things about...Week 8, Children’s party planning.
- The main event - this is our task about organising something and trying not to make it the worst thing that has ever happened by simultaneously keeping an eye on the budget but not making it look like you’ve been on a trolley dash in Poundland. The task concerned keeping two little delights, Jamal and Nicole, happy as their parents decided that TWO THOUSAND POUNDS was a viable amount of money to spend on keeping their little treasures happy on their (non landmark) birthdays. This was not going to be the kind of party I went to when I was young, where we all taunted the Saturday girl in a Mr Wimpy suit and all we went home with was a slice of cake and a party popper. I had to have a chuckle as the voiceover declared the meeting point, The Museum of Childhood, the largest collection of children’s things as a miniature Lordalan walked into shot. Apparently kid's parties are a two billion a year business. Lordalan made Selina PM of Connexus and Gary PM of Versatile, as they both have event management business plans. Selina was allowed to pick a member for her team and she chooses Richard, which turns out to be both the best and worst decision, with absolutely nothing in between. It looks early on that Versatile are going to smash it - they ask the right questions, listen to the client who actually seems to like them, and remember such important things as getting the client’s phone number, but a series of disasters seems to befall them so frequently it seems like they’re cursed. Connexus don’t get contact details, don’t upsell and have Richard on their team being a complete subteam despot but still manage to walk it in ,with a profit of around £614 as opposed to Versatile’s £396.
- Party on? - So what were the parties like? Versatile’s party is an outdoor assault course which had all the atmosphere and charm of a corporate away day for 11 year olds with added health and safety awareness, which of course, it was. This was followed up with an afternoon somewhere that had a beach volleyball pitch. This tied in with a vaguely beachy theme which inspired the party bags which they tried to shill for £15, but dad managed to knock them down to £9. Connexus went sporty because that’s what the birthday girl wanted, despite Claude’s grumbles that it may not be what her friends like. Well, if mummy is spending two thousand pounds on her party then I could probably take a punt that she’s fairly well used to getting her own way. In fact, in the most Veruca Salt moment on television this week, and also the funniest, she went running into a hurdle and yelled “HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME” as she tumbled to the floor. Neither party were happy with the… parties though. Both paid less than the two grand. The difference came when it came to the upselling. Basically, because Connexus didn’t really attempt it, they won.
- Upsell down the river - This point is annoying me. It seems that Connexus won because they didn’t upsell. The reason they didn't upsell was because Selina forgot to take any contact details. By her own admission, with the contact details ,she would have been flinging unicorns at them. Why couldn’t we have seen this? The whole thing makes me angry and disappointed. Speaking of which...
- Have you Selina? - This episode was Selina’s chance to shine. There were a few grumbles at the beginning from her team regarding her perceived negativity but as Rad pointed out last week, she has hardly been getting the fair end of the wedge. This week we got to see her putting on her eyeliner (interesting technique) and learned that she’s been fire breathing for 10 years. Not in a metaphorical sense, as Richard and Vana cheerfully bitch on their way to suss out food, but she’s an actual performer. I’m impressed. She also makes her feelings on children very clear (see quotes below). I also enjoyed the way she totally projected on to her poor party victim about the things that she might like including Karaoke, a dance off and possibly something called a Glam Booth. She also probably had the idea to put Scott and Brett in vests for a party of teenage girls. I have no proof of this, but I know it was her. In my heart. An honorable bitch mention to Charleine for feeding back to Joseph that David doesn’t think he’s much cop. It was truly a beautiful moment.
- Nut- hella - Much was made over Versatile’s cake-gate. What seemed to happen was that Charleine and Joseph were charged with making a nut free cake which they did apart from having a chocolate spread that may contain nuts. Charleine confidently thought that that was just “something they said” and went ahead. Maybe not the best of judgements, but better than Nutella. Then we see Gary very confidently tell Jamal’s parent’s that the cake was a Nutella cake and have to be told by Karren to actually check. It turns out it wasn’t but at this point, the parents are sufficiently freaked out that mum is sat outside whilst dad goes in to check the packaging because at this point he rightly has zero faith in anyone or anything. This is twisted round in the boardroom to being Charliene and Joseph’s fault. Yes, it's clearly Charleine and Joseph’s fault that Gary told the boy’s parents that the cake had Nutella in it. FFS. This is so ingrained in everyone’s mind that they get pulled back to the boardroom for it.
- Scott’s arms - No further questions M’lud.
- Gary the Giraffe - “some people call me Gary the Giraffe because I’m so tall”. Well, Helen from the Apprent-Bitch calls you an idiot because you are one. Lordsir Sugar doesn’t care for your inability to choose who to bring back to the boardroom, nor your “retail giant” that you’ve been working for for years. Does anyone know which one it is? [It's Tesco, which, of course it is - Rad] I’d look him up on Linkedin if I could be bothered. The way he weaseled out of trying to pick someone for the board room was unforgivable, so he must have an epic business plan for Ludalan to let him through, even if it is by the skin of his teeth. The way he hid round the corner when they all returned home was unforgivably cheesy, though Richard bounding over to him made up for it. Just.
- Bit of a Dick - Lets take a moment to speak about Richard. To quote Vana, he’s the ‘actual worst’ and he proved it in this task. He was horrible to Vana pretty much all day, to the point where they needed to get the cake out and he basically screamed at her for suggesting it might be needed at the party. He sabotaged the afternoon tea idea to get round to his idea of making a barbecue ( which he also cocked up by serving late) and refused to get stuff to decorate the party bags because he didn’t want to. He did all of this whilst managing to convince Queen Selina that he had her best interests at heart and was merely managing the budget. The man is an evil genius and lord help us, he’s probably going to win.
- Quotes of the week - “I don’t have children and I don’t like them. That’s not to say I’m not brilliant at putting on children's events” - Selina
“Selina, she can’t do fire breathing, does she have the tools? can she just breath any type of fire?” - Yes, Vana. She’s an actual Dragon.
“I’m not sure how you got to that figure” - Versatile’s dad, on asking why it costs £15 for some novelty sunglasses and some glow sticks.
“Were we supposed to get her number or something?” - yes, Selina. You were.
“Was (Richard) a brick of Lego in a Meccano set?” - Yes, Lord Sugar, he was.
“I just wanted you to shut up about the cake” - Richard, because he wanted Vana to be quiet and not interrupt the grown ups working.
“I don’t want to dance around the bush, it left a sour taste in the client’s eye at the end of the day” - Gary, getting as many metaphors in as possible.
10. Down to a T - In the end, David clocked the blame for the t shirt fiasco, which cost them £179 pounds. It’s unclear if this is real or metaphorical money but it cost David dear. He moaned about the lack of content in the party bags but gave half of it away on the bus. He turned the party into a safety training session and tried to get some 11 year old boys to do the Hokey Cokey. He then cocked up the tshirts both in the printing and the ironing. It looked like Charliene might have been for it at one point as Lordsir took the unusual move of insisting she remained in the boardroom and getting insulted when she stood up of her own accord like they do every time. How presumptuous to presume that the usual thing that happens will happen. It was David that got it in the end though, and thoroughly deserved it was.
Anyway, that’s it for this week. Join Steven next week for Property selling! It was bound to happen [again - Ruth Badger did it in her s2 unstoppable sales force mode. And that year's other Apprenti were also in the episode allegedly - Rad] one day.