For the past several weeks, I’ve been watching the prior seasons of The Apprentice. That’s the show billionaire Donald Trump produces and where those who want to work for him compete by doing “tasks.” All of the tasks are reflective of what people in the real world have to go through. Mr. Trump calls it a 16-week job interview.
I started off watching the first season (all episodes are available for free on YouTube) as I wanted to see the antics of the infamous Omarosa. She was truly given too much media attention based on how little she contributed. But if her ulterior motive was to get her name on most folk’s radar, she succeeded notoriously.
As I watched the entire series of episodes evolve, I truly came to appreciate the boardroom scenes. Donald Trump became a billionaire several times over by being a successful businessman. It would behoove parents to make watching the series a mandatory assignment for their kids.
First and foremost, many of the tasks the candidates were assigned looked like fun. Since many children in the black community don’t come from households where someone owns a business, those children have little to no concept of what being in business means. How many of our children would think that overseeing a huge charity event is a business event? Yes, they know about the corner store, the fast food joints and the drug boys, but the grand scheme of business eludes them.
I’m also fascinated by Trump’s observations. In one scene, he chastised the men for not pulling out the chairs for the women at the boardroom table. I immediately wondered how many parents are teaching their children such manners. How many girls are being taught to sit, act and speak like a lady while boys are trained in the art of being a gentleman?
A moment like this lets you know that if you don’t have manners, employers will notice and in the back of their minds hold it against you. It doesn’t matter if the employer is offering you a six-figure income or minimum wage. They all expect value for their money and when those applying for jobs get an opportunity to be interviewed, the decision to hire is still subjective. That means the employer can decide they like you and hire you, overlooking your faux pas, or opt not to even call you back.
I’m just finishing season three. It was good to see that an African American has always made it to the final four. Whether or not Trump knew it, there were several instances in the series that for black folks could be called “teachable moments” – especially during season two when Kevin, with all his degrees, had the employers wishing he had done something with them as opposed to going for more and more education.
I also think the whole debacle about Omarosa is worth watching and analyzing. Was she stereotyped or did she stereotype herself? Was it racial or was it just her? Omarosa, as well as the other female black candidates who followed, left a lot to be desired. Those women had me pondering whether the black community was creating a bogeyman where none truly existed.
All in all, watching those old episodes opens a lot of avenues for discussion. It might even inspire you or your children to think of a business to go into.