Friday, December 3, 2004

Second Ivana to be "Trumped"

I was so appalled by the behavior of Ivana last night on The Apprentice that I hardly know where to begin. Having owned and operated businesses since 1970 and been friends with any number of professional women, it is outrageous to leave the impression that her desperate ploy of "dropping" her skirt for $20.00 was representative. (Unless, of course, that is one's business.)

Listening to the way she trashed the "M&M sisters" (Jennifer M. and Sandy) only increases the outrageousness of her behavior. America is full of professional women who respect themselves and the work that they do, who would never dream of dropping their skirts as a viable alternative for increasing sales. In fact, just the opposite. Today's professional woman goes to great lengths to ensure that her behavior is at all times deserving of respect. That this would have occurred to her, at all, makes one wonder just what is being taught at the business schools today.

There's no question in my mind, that her teammates were as useful as dandruff -- ever-present but serving no recognizable purpose. Kelly knew he was safe from being the previous week's project manager and did little to help Ivana in marketing the candy bars. Kevin was 100% in the wrong to lower the price of their product without consensus from his project manager. Ivana's job was to make sure that he did not lower the price and she could have insisted on it. For that matter, I never understood why she let them all stand together in a little group instead of branching out in different directions to locate a variety of customers.

Towards the end of the show, Ivana explained her behavior as one of desperation but, in retrospect, probably made a wrong choice. However, I did not see any sense of her recognizing her behavior as wrong in either her expression or voice. I really believe she just didn't understand the full impact on her professional life from this choice. And, that is sad.

This year, it seems that The Apprentice has gone out of its way to locate the most immature young women as representatives of the future business women of America. Recognizing that the show is ultimately meant as entertainment, I can make some allowances, but this seemed to be a season of extremely rude and boorish behavior by the women. But, Ivana's behavior topped them all. She lost all professional credibility, in my eyes, yet she will reap thousands from personal appearances because of this outrageous behavior; although, she undoubtedly will be asked to "drop her skirt" in participation. And, years from now, like Monica Lewinsky after her debacle, she will still be wondering why people don't respect her .

So far as Ivana's behavior is concerned, this was a true case of the product not being worth the cost and, as the British are wont to say, "Some things are simply not done."