Ep 7: "Markus, you're fired"
The clock ticked away and still no word from the boardroom. The remaining members of Capital Edge and Excel sat around in silence, waiting to see who was fired and who was spared. At midnight...still no word. It finally sunk in: no one was coming back.
When the teams met with Trump in the morning, they learned that their fear was correct: four of them had been fired, leaving Excel with only three team members versus Capital Edge's six. To even things up, Trump asked Excel if they wanted to bring one member of Capital Edge to their team. They chose Randal.
Kelly, the second Apprentice, joined everyone in the lobby of Trump place. The Donald explained that Kelly has learned much during his tenure, and that this week's task was also about learning. "The Learning Annex" is a continuing education program that holds over 8,000 classes a year. Each team was to create and teach a new Learning Annex class. The students would grade the classes, and the team with the highest score would win.
Adam took the reins of Capital Edge as project manager, but felt that Alla was the best person to run their brainstorming session. She instructed each team member to write down five ideas for a class. Instead of paying attention to these instructions, Markus jumped in with one of his ideas, and refused to come up with more since he's not a "list maker." As usual, the team didn't respond well to what Markus had to offer.
Adam pulled Markus aside and asked him to follow instructions and focus on the task at hand. They returned to the room and continued with their session. They came up with teaching a class on "Sex in the Workplace," even though it made Adam extremely uncomfortable. However, since everyone thought it was a great idea, Adam gave in.
Randal seized his new opportunity with the regrouped Excel to become its project manager. After tossing around a number of ideas, Randal chose the topic "Standing Out," though he was the only one who seemed enthusiastic about this idea.
Later on, Capital Edge shared their research with each other. Everyone had something to add...except for Markus. Though he had a sheaf of paper with him, he wasn't making any sense, and Adam had to pull him aside again to try and get some kind of control over him.
Randal got Excel's class going by trying to energize the classroom filled with students. The topic of the class was "Standing Out," which George felt was lackluster, though he was impressed by Randal's entertaining and enthusiastic speaking style. Other members of Excel took turns at the microphone with Marshawn leading a special breakout session.
Adam got his class's attention in a heartbeat by saying a single word..."Sex." Though he admitted he was uncomfortable with the topic, and talked about being a "nice, Jewish boy from Atlanta," he dove right into Capital Edge's class on sex in the workplace. Carolyn sat in on the class as other members of the team took turns teaching segments. Carolyn thought the class was funny, but didn't think it was educational and had no idea what they were trying to teach or why Markus was playing with a yo yo.
Clay talked about his homosexuality and about "checking out" coworkers and being slapped on the "ass" at work. According to Felisha, Clay was the "king of awkward moments" as his off-colored comments garnered many raised eyebrows.
Clay also managed to offend Adam. Adam was talking about taking someone to dinner for a first date and said, "I have to feel really comfortable with the person, and I also have to be willing to spend the money." Clay chimed in with, "But remember, he's the shy, tight Jewish boy." Adam looked stunned, as did many people in the crowd. Adam confronted Clay about this after the presentation. Clay apologized and said he didn't mean to offend, and that Adam misinterpreted what he said.
Trump started the boardroom by asking the teams to assess their project managers. Both teams had nothing but kind things to say. He then turned his focus on the actual classes. Carolyn read a number of comments about Capital Edge's class on sex in the workplace: "no agenda, no flow of ideas", "poor presentation skills," "it was boring for a juicy topic." Their average score on a scale of one to 10 was 6.98.
George read a number of comments about Excel's class: "it was lots of fun," "Randal was a good coach," "representatives were friendly and very well informed." Their average score was 7.07. Everyone on Excel voted to give Randal exemption from next week's boardroom.
For their reward, internationally renowned clothing designer Michael Kors worked with each member of Excel to pick out a new outfit at his Madison Avenue boutique, which was closed down for this occasion.
Trump wanted to know "what went wrong" with such a good topic when he sat down with Excel. Adam thought that it all came down to Clay's offensive presentation, and told Trump that Clay called him a "tight-ass Jew." Clay defended himself, saying that he never said this or meant to say anything like it, and that Adam was remembering the incident incorrectly.
Markus agreed that Clay's presentation and his focus on homosexuality was the reason for their failure, and that they should have used his idea on teaching a class on time management. He also felt that Adam kept him too corralled, but Markus's confusing syntax left George, Carolyn, and Trump frustrated. At the end, Adam chose Clay and Markus to come back to the boardroom.
Carolyn asked Markus what he did on the task. Markus hemmed and hawed, sputtering a few words that didn't form a full sentence. Carolyn accused Markus of believing in the "cover your ass theory" - he doesn't do much during the tasks and then turns around and says, "I told you so" when it fails.
Ultimately, Adam felt they lost because of Clay's poor presentation. While Adam accepted Clay's apology and didn't think that Clay was anti-Semitic, Adam felt that his provocative presentation led to their low scores. Trump turned his attention back to Markus's excuse making and his inability to communicate clearly. "You're fired!"