Take Me Out To The Boardroom

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

This is brilliant and I give Clay a lot of credit here, even though later it comes off like that part of it was Alla's idea, which I'm sure it was. It's just a great concept, especially with a bunch of cameras and ADD Apprenti looking gorgeous and camera-ready pushing the shit on you. It's Do you have to ask permission? all over again. It's great. Not to mention -- I'm getting all my Clay love out right now, so don't think I got bonked by falling plaster or anything -- the fact that, as a real estate person, he knows fifty more tricks about this than you do. Real estate is this exact same game on a fiscally crazy scale: switching around the qualities of the space so you have to measure yourself against it and prove that you're worthy of it. So cool.

He goes into a whole spiel about where everything should be, this goes here and that goes there, and his basic point is that he wants a representative sample of all the different product available, confronting the people, and they can hide a lot of other stuff and really maximize the space. Fair enough. Alla cuts in on him and is like, "Got it, stop talking about concept and start talking about construction, because the contractors are standing around here," and he's like, "That's what I'm giving you." And I see where they're both going with this, and I don't know if it's the quality of the people left or the quality of the editing, but I can't remember feeling that way too many times this year. He interviews that she's "mean," which...this is where it starts, Clay. I was so with you. He continues that she doesn't think about logistics, just the big picture, and, like, she just told you to start thinking about logistics instead of the concept, but you were both talking about the same thing, in crazily different language, so whatever.

Clay advises that the fence enclosing the sales space is the main thing and should be all-inclusive, making the experience total, and Alla disagrees, because this is the first non-marketing task -- there's not going to be comment cards, there are going to be receipts, and I agree with what she's...WHOA WHOA she's dressed like the ambassador from The Upper Crazy Republics of Nutbar-Flountasia all of a sudden, interviewing. Okay, she's got this white jacket with yooge lapels and a gaudy gold insect (Goldbug!) broach with what are probably rubies on it, which is Big Mac-sized, a big reddish sash tied under her ribcage like an honorable sash, and under that a white stripper dress with criss-crossy straps. She looks like an insane foreign dignitary from the outer reaches of space! I wish I could give you a screen capture shot; it's that amazing. Imagine what Maya Rudolph would wear to the Senate from Star Wars, then do some drugs. It's like that.

Okay, sorry, she just blew my entire mind. So Alla interviews that this idea of fencing it all in is dumb, because you're cutting them off from the merchandise. Which, to be fair, it sounded more to me like the whole directed-selling, "everything is an impulse buy" strategy of like Central Market or IKEA, which is fine. But in terms of making cashola, why not make the whole thing accessible to buy buy buy. You don't wanna be like, "Oh, leather gloves with the holes that only go on one hand? Take a left at the green Astroturf deals, then a right at the little-kid putting green, then go past the dude selling hats, dodge crazy shrieking Felisha, Frogger yourself past Rebecca's wheelchair, then go about a half-mile down to where the Hand Accessories are kept. You're going to need this complimentary bottle of Fiji, and a map. You could fit a whole ecosystem in this Wal-Mart!" So yeah, she's right, and everyone agrees, but Clay's just kind of affronted because, as he says, "she doesn't really want your opinion," which I agree with, even as I think she made the right call -- and is the frigging PM and it's her call, and she took your idea into consideration whether or not you know it -- and that she is "cheesy," which is...I'm not going to argue with that. I'm still cool with him right now, I just think that considering his ideas and giving a better one is the same thing as thinking he's an idiot, as far as he can tell, which is just wrong. I actually like watching the team dynamics at play in this episode, as I said before: "Here's a good idea," "Great, here's a better one," so I am bugged by his not loving the same Borg-mind process I do. I don't mean to spoil you, Clay, but it's totally why you won: people working together and refining their ideas.

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