Apprentice
Summer Of Sam's

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Jacob Clifton: A | Grade It Now!
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Lesson One: Competence Is Only Skin Deep

Sean talks his super-classy British talk into the PA, and we see people getting massages and whatever, but, like, no matter how British, no matter how strong and capable the masseurs, you're still surrounded by the smell of cardboard and baby wipes and old ladies with shit glued to their sweatshirts. You know? There's something deeply unsanitary about cost-effective shopping solutions. You're standing on the cement floor of a Sam's Club, with a hundred layers of wax over wads of chewed gum, until they're like part of the floor. I don't want a stranger touching me in a Sam's Club. I'm certainly not taking any clothes off in a Sam's Club. "Cheers," Sean smarms. "Bye bye." Meanwhile, the rest of them are, you know, actually selling. Michael's charming, and Allie's loving it -- "He's not gonna let a single sale go through the door" -- and he's dazzling as he offers to stand with a customer's cart and kid while she gets a manicure. This is a person who gets the appeal: "You deserve to be pampered. Anybody that shows up at fucking Sam's Club at 10 AM or whatever deserves a medal." Allie projects that the "women really take to Sean." Or maybe she's right, I don't know. He makes me want to vomit. She estimates "95% of his sales" were to women. "Because it sounds so good!" Ah, the "burbs." George loves the whole strategy -- and if he knew what Gold Rush was up to, he'd be even more impressed at the fact that Synergy has any kind of strategy at all -- and notes how they put the two pampering areas up front, before they start shopping, and then make contact with the distracted visitors in a "nice, friendly manner." It really is smart. It's got that whole real estate vibe, like, "Let me wrap you in this lovely blanket and here are some cookies and some hot tea, and now that you're comfortable, let's talk about the buyer's market."

Tarek laughs hugely, fakely, dramatically, self-conscious-teen-girl-ily, staring up at the blimp in the parking lot like it's the first time he's seen snow. It sounds like this: "Ha! Ha! Ha." He walkies with Lenny, up in the blimp, who's there as the navigator and not, you know, because he's benched. Like Summer, who still has not been turned back on. They discuss the route he'll take, and then Tarek tells us in private that she's up there because he had "no confidence that Summer would be at all successful on the sales floor, given that she didn't complete the one simple task that I asked her to do, which was call people up on the telephone." Well, I would think from talking to her for five seconds that you'd know she'd be great at this, because not all tasks are equal, and her whole stake in this task has been talking about how great Sam's is, which is what the sales part of the task requires, but what do I know, Tarek? I clearly can't "sum people up" very well. Inside, Dan schmoozes and is suddenly raging attractive, and Tarek explains to Carolyn that "the first 485" people will get a free -- and oh so hideous -- duffle bag, to "add excitement to getting there early," which: Tarek, they were going to do that anyway. You haven't given them a reason beyond "the novelty of blimps" to change their schedule in any way. My grandmother, a harsh woman but one with an ear for a phrase, could have taken this ass down so fast with her ultimate killer line: "Breeding tells, you know." Dude, his face would melt like the Nazis in Lost Ark.

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Apprentice

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