Monday, February 22, 2016

The Apprentice

The question on everybody's lips is how did we get to this point where nothing seems to make sense anymore. The answer can be found in this unseen segment of The Apprentice 

Donald Trump sits at his desk looking very managerial, very dignified. On the other side are three tycoon wannabes, finalists who have come to present their case for why they should be the next apprentice. They are two men, Tom and Dick, and one woman, Mary. All three are young, attractive, well-dressed and appear confident. We don’t know if they are intelligent but assume they are or else they wouldn’t have gotten this far.

Their project, which they have been working on for several weeks, is to breathe life into a once great, but now failing company. The moment of truth has arrived.

“So Tom, what are you prepared to do to restore this company to greatness?”

“More than these two jerks. I can tell you that.”

Trump looks taken aback but tilts his head ever so slightly. “Well, why don’t you tell me how?”

“This company is obviously being run by people who don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground. They don’t understand who their customers are and don’t seem to want to know. They have to go, they have to be gone if this company stands a chance of going anywhere.”

“And who would you replace them with?”

“Better people, obviously. People who aren’t jerks. People with get up and go. The current CEO has to go, be gone, outta here. Replacing him with me will be my first priority.”

Mary wasn’t waiting for an invite.

“Tom’s half right. The idiot running the company now is running it into the ground. He’s stupid and he is surrounded by stupid people, but I don’t see how putting another stupid person in charge is going to help. Make no mistake. This company can be great again—even better than great if that’s possible and I don’t see why it wouldn’t be with great leadership, which it doesn’t have now and don’t look like it’s gonna have any time soon if Tom or Dick get the job.”

“You bitch.”

“Shut up, Dick. I’ve got this.”

“You bitch.”

Mary saw this coming. Actually, she saw both of them coming. In fact, she was waiting for them.

“Ooooh. Big tough guys. I’ll tell you what this company doesn’t need is some macho man coming in and turning everything upside down.”

“So they need a macho woman?” Asked Dick, still trying to get a word in edgewise.

“Maybe you’re not as stupid as I thought, Dick, but I gotta tell you, I thought you were pretty stupid.”

“So Mary, what is your plan?” Asked a clearly flabbergasted Trump.

“To make this company great again.”

“I know. But how?”

Mary smiled, or thought she was smiling. No one else was seeing it. Nevertheless, she was happy to have the floor.

“Other companies are taking advantage of this company left and right.”

“Left and Right? What does that mean?”

“How many times do I have to tell you to shut up, Dick?”

“It doesn’t matter, Tom, because no one is listening to you. You know, and this isn’t just me talking, but I’ve heard others...I’m not saying who because some of them are nice people but some of them...many of them don’t...okay, all of them have told me they don’t know how you made it this far. You’re lazy and conceited and don’t have the demeanor to be a leader. You’re a nice guy and I respect you but you’re a jerk. Those aren’t my words. I heard Mary call you a jerk outside in the hall before we came in. I didn’t say it, she did, but she’s right. She’s right because she’s a jerk too and it takes one to know one.”

Trump had seen enough.

“All right. All of you be quiet. I’ve heard enough. More than enough. I don’t know what you guys are thinking, but the business world doesn’t conduct itself this way. Our decisions are based on hard, indisputable facts, not innuendo.

“And we treat each other with respect. My god, the American economy is the greatest economy in the world, so we must be doing something right. Yes, this company needs help but I really haven’t heard any of you say how you were going to help it. Denigrating its leaders isn’t going to make the company great again. It doesn’t work like that. At least it’s not the way it’s supposed to work.

“A successful businessman needs to deal with other businessmen. He needs to deal with his employees. He needs to know his customers and understand their needs. All these people aren’t suckers. They aren’t going to buy into a scam just because you dressed it up to make it sound appealing.

They can recognize a fraud when he’s standing right in front of them. This is the real world, by god, and problems in the real world need real solutions. Not the rudeness, bluster and bullyism I’ve been hearing from you three. They want to hear ideas and that is what I had hoped to hear.

“I don’t know what made any of you think that this foolishness would convince me to give you a job. You’ll be lucky if I provide you with cab fare home. What I’ve heard today will never garner success in the business world. In fact, I don’t know where this sort of behavior would be rewarded.”

As he spoke those last words, his eyes seemed to open up and a snarky smile seemed to take over his pouty lips. This has happened to him before and whenever it did, he knew something good was about to happen.

“Okay, the three of you. Out. Right now. Come on, get your shit together...all your notebooks and all that other crap. We’re done here.”

“Who gets the job? You promised one of us a job.”

“Sue me. It won’t be the first time. Now get out. I have an announcement to make.”

He got the press and network news on the line. He never liked going through channels...especially not for something this important. A briefing was hastily scheduled and within the hour, a crowd had swarmed around him.

“Thank you all for coming. As you now, I am a very successful businessman...probably one of the most successful businessman to have ever lived. I’ve always enjoyed being a businessman...making deals...turning run down property into great property. It’s what I do. Well, it’s what I used to do.

“I’m announcing today that I am entering a new field. I don’t know how I will do but I think I will do well because I think I have the talent to do well. I’ve enjoyed being a businessman and I have done a great job as a businessman, but the time has come to do something different. I’m tired of the politically correct business world where everyone has to be sooo nice because they don’t want to offend someone and maybe lose a deal. That’s what you have to do in the business world but you don’t have to do it in every world. You don’t have to be politically correct in the world of politics. In fact, in politics, being politically incorrect is actually a plus. So today, I am proud to announce I’m running for president. It’s time now to make our country great again. It’s a big job but not too big for me.

“Now I’m not a least I wasn’t a politician before, but I am going to be one. I am going to be a great politician because I can do what being a great politician need to do. I will tell people what they want to hear the way they want to hear it. I will be great and I will make America great again. America doesn’t need any more stupid leaders. It certainly doesn’t need a nice leader. It needs a great leader. God bless all of you, God bless America and God bless me. Thank you.”

He turned and walked away from a thunderous crowd that obviously heard what it wanted to hear. As he did so, he turned to an aide and whispered in his ear.

“Those three idiots we just sent home...get them back. Get them back immediately. While you’re at it, see if there are any more where they came from. We’re going to need staff and plenty of them.”