Guest Author - Eileen O´Sullivan
Yay! And twice Yay!!
It’s Wednesday March 21st, it’s the start of an English spring, and tonight it’s the beginning of The Apprentice 2012 on the BBC. In the ‘Who’s Who’ lexicon of The Apprentice, either in the UK or in its original version in the US, we know this is shorthand for who will be shafting who, and who will be giving us the biggest laughs? Oh and then there’s the minor issue of who has the most business acumen, and I say minor because this is show biz, and frankly, we just want to be entertained. This probably explains why old Sugar Daddy, formerly Sir and now Lord Alan Sugar, British business supremo, often makes rather baffling decisions.
Who seems to be the best all rounder? Who is polite, presentable and on the ball? Well whoever it is, chances are they’ll be given the boot fairly early on, unless they have that certain something, hotly spiced with chutzpah and stirred up with overweening arrogance. In other words, watch out for the candidates that would be hard pressed to elicit any fond emotion from their own mothers, and chances are they’ll be there till the bitter end. This is business, and never forget it.
If you’re new to The Apprentice UK (and have been living under a leaf for the last seven years, with no access to a TV or a computer screen and with no natural good taste and curiosity - oh or if you’re not from the UK, in which case I apologize for the leaf analogy!), then you may find this round up of Apprentice jargon, essential reading. You will need to be armed (and fore warned) before you enter the cut throat world of broadcast business, Apprentice style.
1) ‘Nothing Personal’ Well we all know what this means. This issue is deeply, deeply personal. You have been cut to the quick, wounded and even worse, bested by some complete… business person. Otherwise known as a fellow Apprentice candidate.
2) ‘You’re Fired.’ Self explanatory really, except you may well have been the keenest potential entrepreneur since the person who first packaged and distributed sliced bread. Business ability counts for nowt if you’re not a TV magnet.
3) ‘The Exception Proves The Rule’ – aka Tom Pellereau, The Apprentice, 2011. He was a nice guy!! He won!! He wasn’t very good!! He honestly wasn’t, he was a bit of a bungler, in fact. Dead nice though! Yay!
4) ‘ I’m....’ A Superstar, An Assassin, The Reflection of Perfection, A Workaholic, A Winner, An Animal, Better than Unique, One of Scotland’s Next Great Exports, Once Seen Never Forgotten, Quite Good Looking.
Well, I was going to say here is the usual jumble of Business Speak, aka BS that year on year, The Apprentice candidates come out with on the BBC Apprentice website. But hang on, what was that last comment? ‘Quite Good Looking’. There’s an element of modesty in that statement that is a little unnerving. My advice to this candidate? Look in the mirror and amend it immediately, lest we all think you’re a nice guy!
Although, on second thoughts, there is always the ‘Exception’ factor, as outlined above in point number 3. Maybe the ‘quite good looking’ Tom Gearing will even win, making it a consecutive annual triumph for a nice guy called Tom. Though actually on closer inspection, he doesn’t seem all that immodest. He also tells us he is ‘confident and charismatic’ and that ‘some people say’ he is ‘quite good looking’. In other words he thinks he is drop dead gorgeous, and that it is not quite fitting to say so. Well he’s not all that, is all I’m saying.
5) The Lord Speaks
This lot may try, but no-one can beat the good lord himself in the ‘bombast’ stakes. Famous examples of Lord Sugar’s pep talks and put downs –
‘There's only room for one bigmouth in my organisation, and that's me.’
‘I don't like liars, I don't like cheats. I don't like bullshitters. I don't like schmoozers. I don't like arse-lickers.’
‘This is not a game. This is a 12 week job interview from Hell.’
6) I was in mourning mixed with jubilation when I realized Alan Sugar’s sidekick Nick Hewer had gone walkabout and landed as the host of ‘Countdown’, the UK’s week day afternoon broadcast oddity on Channel 4, that turns sums and spelling into a national fixation. What would The Apprentice be without Nick? Well we needn’t know, as he’s still here, if not at the helm, then still on its right hand side. Yay! Again.
Hold on to your seats, people. It’s The Apprentice UK!
The opening music may not be as gripping as ‘Money Money Money Money’ (or whatever it’s called) on The Apprentice USA, but nevertheless, as soon as you hear the grand opening notes, and see Alan Sugar’s stately Rolls complete with AMS1 number plate, traversing the street’s of the capital, you know you’re at the start of a three month treat. Yay!!