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

Meanwhile, at the Synergy lunch, everybody nods, no matter what, and Brent nods too hard, laughs too hard, claps at weird times, tries too hard, is too much. Trump offers some amazingly bullshit wisdom at this luncheon. "What I do to get rid of pressure is say, 'It doesn't matter.'" They all nod like idiots. Andrea is wearing some kind of magic dream-catching necklace. Trump continues, saying something I hope we can all remember for the rest of our lives, as an example of what can happen when you have so much money that you build yourself a permanent residence up your own ass. "We think it's so important, what we're doing -- and you know, especially for us it's important -- and if you really think about it, you have an earthquake in India where 100,000 people die; you have some other huge problem going on in Africa where so many people are just being killed viciously, and when you really think about it, what we're doing...isn't really so important." He opens his hands at the end, like, "And there was the wisdom."

But like, who knows where this vital info came from? This "huge problem" in "Africa" where "so many people are being killed viciously": can you elaborate? Can you name a country in Africa? Or might you have just said "in Asia," or "in Red Hook" or whatever, and assumed that, God willing, something horrible was happening in those places? Because the vagueness and generally clueless demeanor would suggest that, in fact, and contrary to your entire point, those things are not so much important to you at all, in any way, and this is actually just a handjob, given in a vacuum, to nobody in particular. "What's more important than my success? The fact that somewhere, somebody is imperiled, or something. I really mean it. It takes the stress off." Everybody clinks glasses, Brent sends back his steak because it's too rare, and Sean is just "feeling so good about the whole afternoon." They drink, to Trump, to success, to minorities dying of something somewhere. To Synergy.

Summer and Lenny are hanging out in the kitchen while the witch hunt continues on the balcony outside: "I called one customer...sitting, waiting for a gimmick, a hook...waiting for something to offer tomorrow. I did say, 'I don't think this is an appropriate time or environment to call these companies. It's phony to say you know about their business and can help their business -- and then call during dinner rush.'" Which is all true, and salient, but there are two extra things going on here. First is that she put herself into the "I'm a restaurant owner just like you" box, and Tarek didn't care about that, because the sales department doesn't have that "I need a reason to call you" gene, which is what makes them good, and scary to those of us who do have that gene. Remembering not to be a nuisance, or throwing enough smoke and mirrors around so that they don't notice you're being a nuisance, is key to pulling off a cold call like this. And second, she's just rehearsing her Boardroom speech on Lenny anyway, and it's boring for her, for you, for Lenny, for me. Lenny tells her she'll probably end up in the Boardroom, and it's possible he will too, for the simple reason that they were benched on the blimp. He interviews that this fact means they technically "worked less" on the task, regardless of how important they were. He's got Tarek's number. "When we go to Boardroom," he explains calmly and intensely, "be quiet, please. Don't bring anything up. Just be quiet. We'll kick asses. We'll be fine." So, as we'll see, he's got Summer's number too.

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