Apprentice
Wheeling & Dealing

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After the commercial, we return to VersaCorp collecting money from its drivers, who don't seem to have had a terrific day. Bill interviews that he was "disappointed" in the money that the drivers brought in. "I don't know, Bill," Katrina says happily. "This one, I think we won." Bill is always nervous, however, and this is no exception -- he's just not so sure they've got it nailed down. "If we lose this task, Bill will definitely take me to the Boardroom," Katrina interviews, "and I will be the first person to say that he was a horrible PM." Nyaaaah! I find it very interesting that she's only going to say he was a horrible PM if they lose the task. Shouldn't he be a horrible PM either way? ["And shouldn't she have a leg to stand on in the 'not being a horrible non-PM' department if she's going to shank Bill? Lord, do I dislike her." -- Sars]

Protégé meets up with their drivers, and -- wow, I think they actually gave three hundred-dollar incentives, including one for the biggest single fare. Sheesh. That's almost one for each employee, for God's sake. They hand out the incentive payments and head out for the Boardroom meeting for results. In the Boardroom, they all stroll in and sit down. Donald arrives. Trump asks Bill how he thinks his team did. "We're cautiously optimistic," Bill offers. And how does Troy think his team did? Troy thinks they had "a fantastic day and a fun day." Trump asks if it could be a fun day if he didn't win, and all of Protégé nods enthusiastically, so I think they really did have a fun day. "I've never liked losing, personally," Trump says with a look over at George. I must say, the hair is especially yellow-and-orange stripey today. We had that cat when I was a very little girl. His name was Meechi Slav Vaspovodian Kitty, and he was named after the atrocious mangling (by a friend of my father's) of the name Mstislav Rostropovich, who is a famous cellist. So that explains why sometimes, when I see Trump's hair, I mutter, "Oh, Meechi." And have a sudden urge to listen to cello sonatas.

George presents the results from VersaCorp. From the actual rides, they made $651.29. But on top of that, they sold advertising, which added $3,450, for a total of $3,680 in profit. George is clearly impressed with the advertising idea, and particularly with the use of their past relationships from other tasks. Well, Trump asks Carolyn, how did Protégé do? She says that they concentrated solely on the transportation angle, "unfortunately." Their profit was $382.68. Now, it's interesting, because that makes it sound like VersaCorp made twice as much as Protégé from rides alone, but the Protégé number is profit; it's not clear how much they put into expenses generally, and we know they put $300 into that incentive program. So the prepaid cards may not have been quite as much of a flop as it seems like they were -- Protégé, for instance, may have had $400 in expenses (about what Protégé had) and $300 in incentives, so they may have grossed something like $1300 or $1400, as compared to the $650 that VersaCorp made from the rides. In other words, it looked to me like it did take the advertising for them to get beat, and had they known enough not to give such hefty incentive payments, I think they clearly would have made more on rides than the other team, partly as a result of selling the prepaid cards. I could be totally wrong, but that's my sense of it. It's hard to break it down perfectly. Okay, I'm actually guessing, I admit.

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Apprentice

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