Apprentice
Bedazzled By A Beefy T

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Miss Alli: B- | Grade It Now!
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Fifty years, and it's come to this

In the cab, we watch Alex and Tana's long, long trip to Staten Island. As they go, Alex tells her that they need to be thinking about how they can get people into the store -- that is, about marketing. Tana says that they can "hire somebody on the street holding a banner," which is the worst idea I ever heard. In fact, my family once debated whether it was even ethical to hire someone to stand on the street and wave a banner outside a Pizza Hut. Although that person appeared…"special," and they're unlikely to choose someone "special," unless Alex takes the job himself. Alex explains that as they were riding out there, he kept trying to get Tana to engage in a discussion about marketing, and she kept putting him off. She takes some phone call or other, and then when she's off, she says they can finish the marketing conversation on the way home. When they arrive at the craft store, Tana is in paradise with the rack of Bedazzler rhinestones. "Long drive for something so small," Alex says unhappily as he loads up the, like, tiny bags of rhinestones. He's thinking they had those in Manhattan, and I'm thinking he's probably right. He steps on his moment of correctness, however, by interviewing most smarmily that he's been keeping a list of Tana's "decisions," which he won't call mistakes until the Boardroom, har har, and he thinks the Staten Island trip was "really dumb." And I can't disagree there.

Magna is having a meeting, and Kendra is talking price. She suggests selling the short-sleeved shirt for $20 and the long-sleeved for $25. "Or something," she adds, waiting for Craig to offer input. "Or something," he says sarcastically. "What is that something?" Well, asshole, that something is a suggestion from you. She's trying to make a proposal while leaving the door open, and that's what the "or something" is, and while she may not have found the most articulate way to say it, you know that's what it is, and you're intentionally being an asshole here, and you're not hiding it very well. Kendra starts to say that if they price it too high -- and he cuts her off. "What's too high?" he asks. "Like, 40 bucks," she answers. "You think 40 bucks for a hoodie is too high?" he asks. God. He is the most passive-aggressive person I have ever seen. He refuses to offer a suggestion when she's clearly asking for one, and then the minute she opens her mouth, he mocks whatever she just said. He's just horrible this week, not that he's been great in past weeks. He goes on to ridicule her notion that 40 bucks is too high for "a unique, limited-edition piece of art," and she says, "I don't feel 100 percent comfortable with it, but I value your perspective, and I'd rather meet you in the middle." She proposes $25 and $30 as prices for the shirts. She also offers the very reasonable suggestion that they can always adjust the price during the day depending on how it goes, to which Craig says -- with no conceivable reason -- that they have to stick with whatever price they choose. Why? Why would you have to do that? Again, that makes no sense, and it thus comes off as just trying to sandbag her completely. He interviews that she "manages time poorly," but it looks to me like that's partly because he simply refuses to engage in a conversation with her without forcing her to pull teeth. I'm no great booster of hers, but I think that in this particular interaction, she's not to blame for how badly it's going. It takes a year to discuss anything with Craig, because he just repeats back whatever she just said and then acts like it's the stupidest thing he ever heard.

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Apprentice

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