I normally don't write about TV shows other than those that feature food or tech, but yesterday's Apprentice New Zealand was somewhat a disappointment. In the first instance, the teams were tasked to create a tour of Auckland in 24 hours and fill a 40-seater bus. And the tour starts mid-morning. You will therefore need the day beforehand to plan the package, price it, and market it. Quite a gargantuan task, and I had my doubts about achieving success in such a venture. This is not like the Subway challenge where you simply create a sandwich and market it in stores that already have selling track records. But a bus tour? What are the odds of getting someone off the streets to hop into a bus and take a tour on impulse?
One of the guys though thought of this idea of getting a hotel concierge to sell some of the tickets. Which could have been a huge success had the concierge actually marketed the tickets.
And so the two teams failed to fill the bus, until the game changed and they offered the trip for free. It's a failed venture from the start. To make matters worse, I did not like the mode of questioning of the advisors to Mr Serepisos. They were questioning the leadership of Paul Natac (the Project Manager of the team who lost) due to the venture that failed, inspite of his teammates saying he did well as ther leader. I found myself imagining that if I were being questioned that way, I'd tell them to ask the person who thought up of that ridiculous challenge in the first place.
And then, what gets to me is that Paul Natac was called a coward because he offered himself up to be fired. What he did was in fact a brave thing because he was standing up to the mistakes the team made. In an environment where finger-pointing is the norm (which the Apprentice series seems to be a breeding ground of), Paul Natac said he's the Project Manager, he made decisions, and he's owning up to the failure of the venture. No pointing fingers to anybody else. That, in my book, is no cowardice. And as he had mentioned, integrity is more important to him. Those words were worth a great deal more than winning.