Embarrassed by The Apprentice

If capitalism were a brand, what kind of brand message is THE APPRENTICE sending? I didn’t sit down and watch last nights episode. It was already on when I got in, and stayed on in the background while I busied myself with other things. In that half aware, peripheral vision, wallpaper kind of state, I was struck by how juvenile it all is.

I realise these people are there as much for entertainment as anything else, but if these are the brightest and the best, Lord Sugar’s business is in trouble. They go about their task like a blind man in a patch of brambles, staggering here, tripping there. As far as I can tell, they’re so busy trying to elbow their way to the front of the line, they don’t see the others in their team as anything but competition.

The worst of it comes when they get to the boardroom. The team with slightly better result is rewarded with a trip to a peep show circus, and the others, the ones who did that bit worse, get to play the greasy spoon blame game.

The post task autopsy is like watching a child caught pinching a sibling. They shift the blame, and obfuscate, while holding their knees together, hoping Sugar will believe them. If they are, it’s off to slime another day. If not, they’re on their bike, doomed to poverty, and the arbitrary nature of the labour market.

If I were the brand manager of capitalism, I’d be embarrassed by The Apprentice, and what it says about my product.


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