Apprentice
The Price Is Height

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The penthouse and the doghouse

Meanwhile, in the Trump office, Troy tells Team Oy Vey that he's looking for $32,000. They cough up an offer of $32,500, although they don't sound too excited about it. At the same time, however, Bill is showing the place to a couple of people upstairs, and they seem pretty into the place as well. As Troy is talking Team Oy Vey into a deal, Bill is approaching with Team Not So Fast. Kwame comes to the door and asks Troy into the hallway, where he explains this turn of events. Troy says that he'll go talk to Team Not So Fast, but somebody has to sit with Team Oy Vey. So poor Kwame is sent in to the be third person, of all things, to work on these poor people. Mr. Oy Vey immediately asks if this is "good cop, bad cop," which is exactly what I wondered, but Kwame insists that it's just "long, long day cop." Uh, good try, but I'm pretty sure that Team Oy Vey knows that there's no such thing as Long Day Cop, and if there were, it wouldn't be played by Troy when he could play Crushingly Manipulative Cop instead. Team Oy Vey looks very skeptical. Kwame interviews that the situation became kind of tricky at this point, what with the two simultaneous negotiations.

Bill brings Troy into the negotiation with Team Not So Fast. Bill refers to Troy as the guy who comes at the end of the deal and "sells 'em the undercoating." Hee. Troy explains to Team Not So Fast that indeed, there's another group bidding, and they can only emerge with one offer. Team Not So Fast offers $35,000 to sign the lease right now and end the whole thing. "Actually," Troy says, probably a little too smirky, "$38,500 makes it yours." The guy hesitates, shaking his head a little. Boyfriend Bill says in an interview that he felt like Troy's technique of "steamrolling" the clients created "false urgency." I'm not sure false urgency is always a bad thing -- it's certainly a common sales technique -- but here, it indeed seems to be operating only to irk Mr. Not So Fast, who abruptly pulls himself out of the deal. "I think I'm being hustled, to be honest with you," he says to Troy. "You know, with the old 'there's another person interested' trick. I'm gonna have to pass." And he puts down the contract.

I think Troy's problem in selling is that he has a very particular thing that he's good at, and that's being so charming that you sort of hate yourself for giving in to it, but you do anyway, because he's so endearing in how hard he's trying to sell. It works great for things like the charity auction where you're asking for a favor that makes everyone feel good, because sure, the Queer Eye guys probably knew Troy was doing a little bit of a song and dance with them, but they didn't mind, because it was fun. Likewise, if I were buying a glass of lemonade or something of that nature, I don't even mind being hustled. Many a flirtatious waiter has earned a good tip from me just for effort. The problem is that Troy doesn't seem to get that this doesn't quite work on everybody. Guys like Mr. Not So Fast, who pride themselves on never letting anyone get anything over on them, hate that kind of thing. It's just like Katrina. Mr. Not So Fast believes that he has never been duped, and he's not the type to submit to a friendly duping on the theory that everybody wins. Troy has a potent weapon in his particular technique, but it's the only one he has, and he seems to apply it in exactly the same way every time.

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Apprentice

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