Life’s about what happens, and what you do about it.

Celebrity Apprentice 2012

I’ve been watching Celebrity Apprentice  off and on for years.  Probably a throwback to my life as a human resource consultant.  There was always some client issue  involving unhappy employees who couldn’t grasp that they were generally responsible, period.  They couldn’t get along with others; they had totally unrealistic expectations, life wasn’t fair, yada, yada, yada.  Every so often there was some curious insight to be gleaned from observing those extremes in human behavior.  It was one aspect of my work that was intriguing – when it wasn’t personal.

I do get it.  Really.  Like when I put the live lobsters in  cold water  and put the pot on the burner – Trump turns up the heat and  watches.   Will the contestants stretch and grow?  Will they step up to the plate?  Are they clever and creative enough to win the task — wonderful challenges all in the name of BIG BUCKS charity.   Does the money for charity justify the means:  another pack of wolves in sheep’s clothing, stalking the next victim – all in the name of big ratings?

In this season particularly, the girls have been mired in devious, petty squabbling.   Isn’t that why we’re watching?  Who’s going in for the kill?  Plenty of contestants from previous seasons  – Omarosa, NeNe, LaToya, Gary – are still household names because they couldn’t get through a task without a meltdown.

I don’t totally agree with Trump’s style, but by the end of the season, the sharp and  capable have survived.  The contestants have to analyze what’s gone right and what’s gone wrong with each task.  That’s constructive, but then it deteriorates into demands for “who should be blamed and who should be fired.”   That’s one way to cull the weak players from the field, but  can’t we use wit, creativity, ingenuity, or plain old-fashioned honesty?  Does it have to be laced with venom.  Yes, the strongest survive but this process is more blood sport, and like watching a train wreck, we can’t pull our eyes away.

Bullying.   I never took Donald for an outright bully.  My husband was at Wharton with him and he’s a very tough guy, but he’s smart enough that he doesn’t have to resort to that.    This year Lisa Lampanelli is the BULLY  –  aggressive, loud, crass and mean.  Like a jackal, she has systematically zeroed-in on the weaker contestants, bullying them often to tears with her malicious words.  Self-aggrandizement, paranoia, verbal abuse, – nothing productive about those behaviors.  Her mood swings keep her team members on an emotional roller coaster week after week.   Everyone’s energy goes into giving her a wide berth, rather than pulling together and focusing on the task.  The girl’s losing track record is the result.   Her complaints about whomever she is fixated on at the moment  are rarely valid, always personal – meant to hurt and destroy,  not to find and utilize everyone’s best qualities.   Lisa apparently enjoys attacking for the sake of attacking.  There’s no leadership here.   This should not be what a civilized society is about, and it certainly shouldn’t be what the show is about.   Aren’t we better than that?

Abusive words are more devistating than fists.     There should be no place for abusive people in life and certainly not at work — which is what the show is supposed to emulate.   There are laws that prohibit such behavior in the workplace and the size of The Trump Organization would definitely preclude it from fostering a hostile work environment.  Can’t imagine anything more salacious than reading that headline! 

Workplace/sexual harassment or hostile environment exists when someone is made to feel uncomfortable.   Lisa works at making people uncomfortable.  That might work in her comedy act, but in the show’s environment  I’m surprised and disappointed that no one has called her on it.   If there is any lesson to be learned here, it’s that pit bulls like Lisa need to be stopped,  euthanized,  or at the very least, fired.  Bullying does not foster teamwork.  Too bad  The Trump Organization is playing to the worst in us instead of raising the bar and teaching us something about how we should all behave. 

Dayana Mendoza, Lisa’s latest target, has shown us she’s bright, capable, and a lot tougher than we thought.  But her communication style, not unlike Michael Andretti, Paul Teutul, Jr. and Lou Ferrigno, appears to be introverted.  All four of them have found success functioning outside their comfort zones, in the extraverted world.  Paul Senior,  allowed himself to be fired…maybe because he was sick of the histronics.  As bright and as talented as Michael is, he was thrown under the bus because  he’s not extraverted.   Instead of channeling Lou’s ability to overcome incredible difficulties and using that strength, Lisa’s bullying was shameful.  Personally I was hoping The Incredible Hulk would make an appearance, but Lou rose above it…and got fired.    Believe me, there is an equally important role for introverts in the world.  I know –   i r one.  🙂

I’m rooting for Dayana.  Wouldn’t it be great to see the good guys win once in a while?   But meanwhile, maybe she and Lou should find a good attorney and sue  for harassment.    I bet Dr. Phil –  would have a FIELD DAY analyzing Lisa’s teary melt downs and scary mood swings, her persecution complex and the martyrdom that surfaces in her boardroom scenes.   I think she’s intimidated as hell by Dayana’s calm, quiet demeanor, not to mention her incredible beauty.   Dayana, you go girl – you’re a class act.   

Geesh…where’s Victoria Gotti when you need her? 

Donald, please,  put us out of our misery and fire Lisa* so we can enjoy the rest of the show!  You’re better than this, and so is your show. 


(*I know,  I know,  the show is taped.)