The Company Apprentice has ended
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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Task Five: Winners

The two teams gathered in front of me, anxious for their judgment.

"Incredible work," I said as I finished going through the Paper Jam website. "Now, let's see how Team One did."

Nepharia smiled (a rare occurrence) as she showed me a hilarious cat YouTube.

I laughed all through it, and after it was over said, "Amazing. Absolutely amazing."

Jon and The Professor high-fived each other.

"Now, it's time," I announced, "to find out who won this. It's close. I really think it's close."

Koma rolled his eyes and mumbled, "He always says that."

"First up," I said, ignoring Koma's untoward behavior, "your messages."

The Haitian spoke up about Team One, "The message here was quite clear. Team One Rocks."

Claire interjected, "Actually, it was Team One Rules."

Nepharia clarified, "Team One Rocks or Rules."

"Victorious Secret," Claire began, "went with, like, a message of totally buying paper and then, like, had undertones (Oh, my god! How do I know that word?) of protecting family."

"Team One's message is very effective," I stated. "It's short, simple and to the point, despite having two variations. But remember, you're being judged on the creativity of it. And while 'Team One Rules/Rocks' may be an effective subliminal message to sieze control of the hearts and minds of the world, it's not very creative."

Jon's bottom lip dropped forward.

I continued, "On the other hand, Victorious Secret's message wasn't extremely creative either. I was hoping one of you would convince the world that helium balloons are powered by the yeast from invisible loafs of bread, or something. Gyrobo, what happened? You had the opportunity to propagate any message, and you went with Buy Paper, Protect Your Family. I do appreciate the obvious butt-kissing there, however. And they're good solid messages. While I think having an evil paper company that attempts to kill its employees, and their family, may put the public at odds with paper and paper products, I've got to award the point to Victorioius Secret. Team One, you had an effective message, but it just wasn't creative."

The Professor tried to reverse my decision with his telepathy while The Haitian struggled in his seat. Eventually, he gave up, and I went on to the next point.

"Originality of the premise," I rubbed my chin in thought. "Victorious Secret, I'm not sure how you came up with such an engaging, complex and dramatic storyline full of deceit and surprises. It's very original, and a very good premise, thoroughly fleshed out. Team One, your premise was obviously not original, right?"

Jon nodded. "But it's tried and true!"

"While the crime dramas make an effective show for syndication and profits, they don't have the powerful manipulative effects of a program like Battlestar Galactica or LOST. Another point to Victorious Secret. So say we all."

"So say we all," Jon whispered lamentably.

"Now, the quality of the pilot," I looked over at Koma. "Synthoids, are they really as good as real humans?"

"You tell me," he replied. "How was Megan Fox?"

"Like I said before," I explained, "I had to confiscate her. In this business there's no time for physical intimacy."

Professor X jumped out of his wheelchair. "What?"

I continued with the judgment, and Charles settled back down in his handicapable seat. "You never get evil Muppets to write a TV series. Ever hear of Journey Man? Exactly. Charles, excellent use of cleavage. Not only did it raise the quality of your pilot, but it also raised....the viewership of The Company Apprentice. You and Jon were great actors, perhaps even proving that, unless you want a show like Grey's Anatomy, you shouldn't use robots for actors. Sorry, Gyrobo. This point goes to Team One and the Professor's excellent directing ability."

"Unfortunate," Gyrobo stated, "but not very chewy."

"Effectiveness of the pitch," I said. "Jon, the executives were very impressed with your pitch. They see the opportunity to make a lot of money. When I asked them what they thought, they told me, 'Team One Rocks'. It was good move putting Private Hudson up as patsy to let the executives remove. They always want to make you feel like their in charge. You knew they would kick out Hudson. Who wouldn't? And that would give them the illusion of having some creative control."

Jon smiled.

"Ciera, you could have used a Private Hudson. The executives were all over your decisions. I would have stood strong on the three hour pilot. They were impressed with your business model, though. I think one was using business model as a euphemism for something else, however. It was very close. You both gave great pitches, but I think Jon has the upperhand when it comes to wowing dull, uptight nondescripts. Team One gets the point."

Ciera counted on her fingers, then said, "Oh, no. We're tied."

"That's right," I responded. "Two points each. And all that's left is the viral element of the task. Victorious Secret, your website is excellent. I scored a 60% on the quiz. I also enjoyed the Making Of commentary, though I'm not sure if that's viral or not. It was, regardless, an interesting and entertaining addition to the overall project."

The mentally untarded robot smiled.

"The review of Team One's show was really great. I'm not sure how you accomplished that, but I suspect Jon had something to do with it. He truly has a billion dollar brain. But then there was the YouTube cats...."

I paused for dramatic effect.

"Eh," Professor Xavier said, "the dramatic effect pause doesn't really work here."

So, I continued, "That was great. Hilarious. If the cats were on a third team competing on The Company Apprentice, I think you'd all be fired by now. So, the point goes to..."

I paused and glanced at Charles. He nodded.

So, I let the pause linger a while.

"Team One," I announced. "Team One wins. It was very, very close. Both viral efforts were excellent, but ultimately you can't say no to a cat YouTube."

Ciera looked like she was holding back an inferno.

"Since there is only three on your team," I explained, "there's no reason to pick people to join you in the boardroom. Ciera, Gyrobo, of you will be fired."


  1. just fire me.

    my real life is more important than this and I'm tired of being criticized every time it interfers.

  2. Whew.

    I mean, I never had a doubt. Better fire up that teleporter, Koma.

  3. SEE! I TOLD you guys -- we should have gone with the message of "the world will be destroyed unless every one wears pink latex stockings for the rest of their lives." But hoOOOOoooo -- you said it sounded too much like something Gyrobo would have done....we could have cinched that point. Hrmph.

  4. Another reason I'm glad we won. Team One Rocks and Rules was my idea. Whoopsie.

    J/K, Koma. I liked your post.