That night, Michael is busy painting paneling, as is Danny. Oy, painting the paneling? Gross. That's, like, too tacky for Trading Spaces, and they make wallpaper out of address labels. At 3:13 AM, Michael comes to fetch Verna and ask her to paint a room. She tells him that she's working on staffing the hotel tomorrow. He basically tells her that if she has to give up a little bit of her customer-service planning in order to come paint, that's okay, and she should do it, because they've got painting that needs to happen. "Verna wanted to be the accountant," Michael interviews, "because it required the least amount of physical labor." And...word. We watch as Verna comes to help paint a room, so determined to remain detached from the task that she continues holding her purse the entire time. When Michael comes in to check on the progress and give some encouragement, Verna gives him some more resistance, at which point he tells her as firmly as he can to just stop it and get the damn painting done. They bicker about how she doesn't think he's doing any work, and he thinks she had the easiest job all day, and blah blah blah, he slams the door. Bren, looking more like the ice-cream man in that bow tie every day, says that indeed, there has been some strain between Verna and Michael, and that Verna is stressed over her role. He hopes Verna will relax and be "part of the team."
Brian and John have a meeting in which Brian says that people misunderstand him to be yelling at them or talking down to them when, in fact, he just has a loud voice. John explains that if he knows that, he should try not to talk to people that way, because whether he means it to be off-putting or not, it is. John presents this in as non-threatening a way as he possibly can, all about what he thinks would help that maybe Brian might want to try, but Brian is bristling. "If you just softened your tone," John suggests. Brian agrees that "sometimes [he says] things that [he] probably shouldn't," so it seems for a minute like maybe he's listening. John also points out to Brian that Trump isn't going to hire "a rash guy that rubs people the wrong way." And I think past seasons prove that's true. But all of Brian's insecurities come flying to the surface, and he hears John saying that he has no chance. This cranks up the defensiveness, and we're off. "You're totally wrong," Brian flatly declares. He goes on to say that Trump is just like him -- obnoxious and off-putting, but "telling it like it is" and all that. The thing is that Trump doesn't hire people like Trump, because he knows that he needs balance. Look at Boyfriend Bill. Look at Kelly. Look at Carolyn, George, and every other underling you've ever seen on this show. This is the whole thing -- Trump knows that if he hires himself, then that's too much of him. He knows that he needs people who are better at smoothing things over than he is, because that's what lets him be such a bastard. He's certainly not going to hire anyone he will need to make up for with people skills he doesn't have. Brian's inability to see this is a fairly obvious error in logic.
Furthermore, the other great lesson here is that whether Brian thought John should have emerged as the natural leader of the team, the fact is that he did, and that was pretty clear by this point. John had an exemption, and he could have slacked, but he didn't, and that only added to his credibility. So John was a force to deal with on the team, whether Brian liked it or not. And had Brian been willing to listen to John, he might have gotten John on his side and gained some valuable ground. Alienating the team's de facto leader because you resent him? Not smart.