Apprentice
Take Me Out To The Boardroom

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Jacob Clifton: B+ | Grade It Now!
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Lesson Six: Don't Swing When You're Selling

Then Carolyn starts the paragraph about the task, and Clay's cute little smile falls clattering to the table, loud as a strike in an empty bowling alley, at the first sentence: "America loves sports." I'm right there with you, Clay. Sport is a $20M industry, and Dick's Sporting Goods is the most profitable purveyor in the country. Clay goes from yicked to bored in 2.5, and it's funny, because great. The task is to "create an interactive sales event based on the sport of your choice," and they'll have a team of contractors helping them, so it will be an awesome spectacle. The biggest increase in that particular sport's goods revenue wins. That sounds kind of fun. Of course Brian's exempt, thanks to his ability to avoid pissing off Randal and -- with a little practice -- say the word "Zathura" correctly. Carolyn gets very spooky-Halloweeny all, "Bill and I will...be...watching!" and then Carolyn and Bill watch them leave spookily.

In the shuttle, Markus is immediately all about how "Golf is number one! Number one choice! I don't play it, I don't like it, I just know how crazy people are about golf!" And Alla is so down with that, and me too, because the stuff costs a billion dollars, and because she and Markus are both well-acquainted with the lifestyles of the rich and famous and how they know what rich people like. Except she pulls it off, and he just looks like a living embodiment of a Thorsten Veblen diatribe, or like every New Yorker cartoon ever. Within five minutes, we knew this wouldn't be a good day at the driving range.

Alla then interviews hilariously, "I ended up with Randal and Felisha." Beat. "Aaaand then I got Clay, Markus and Adam." I believe in Adam, and even Clay in terms of sales -- the needy are sales geniuses, ask Jenthura -- and I think Markus has the perfect combination of aspiration ("I, too, love golf -- just like you, sir.") and crazy facts ("Did you know golf evolved from the Scottish belief in fairy mounds and hitting things with sticks? And did you know that this started in 905 B.C.? And did you know that I enjoy visiting the champagne areas of France when I'm not drinking box wine with Toral? And did you know that box wine in fact comes from the Boxxe region of southern France, where I summer completely alone? Where are you going?") to totally rock on this, but I see what she's saying. "I got my girl, and I got my Randal, and I got...a bunch of people." She then fully interviews about how nobody -- not one person on the team -- knows anything about sports at all, which I can believe, because it's clear Adam likes math and not dating girls, and maybe Latin declension -- so they're going to "wing it" and see "how much we can sell." They're so screwed, you guys.

Clay takes a certain hypercaffeinated lieutenant PM position at the job site, spacing out how they want the concept to go, and he votes "tunnel," and then interviews with us, calling it a "golf makeover." I kind of love Clay all of a sudden, because way to make it yours. I know what he's saying, and I would probably call it the same thing and then think, "What the fuck did I just say to the camera?" He then explains the concept, and it's perfect for the sport and the task: A full "experience" where they walk through first the clothing and accessories section, then into the clubs section where they can actually "touch some putters, some drivers, some woods" ("What the fuck did I just say to the camera?") and just do the whole thing. Basically, do a marketing blitz within the area itself where you're like, "I'd be cute in a whole golf outfit -- Look! Wristbands! -- and now I find myself in the heavy hitters area, so I better respond in kind and buy a lot of pointless golf shit."

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Apprentice

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