Tonight OH and I will be tuning into the Apprentice. Again.
Sadly perhaps, it’s become our Wednesday night routine (post-baby social life in the wilds of Wiltshire isn’t quite what it was in our London days).
Dinner, washing-up and homework out-of-the-way, J Boy will (hopefully) be tucked up in bed. We can settle down in front of the Apprentice with a cup of tea or glass of toffee apple cider (depending on how the day’s gone).
I used to kid myself that I was keeping up with business culture (if that’s not an oxymoron). But this series, I’ve had to come clean. The Apprentice is car crash TV, the B Tech of Big Brother. It’s become a sort of guilty pleasure, like the jumbo Aero bar I keep at the back of the medicine cupboard. And the occasional second bottle of toffee apple cider.
Tonight, though, I may follow the advice I’ve thoughtlessly dished out to the Oldies every time they complain about swearing and back-to-back soaps on TV. I’ll do that radical thing. And flick the off button on the remote.
It’s not the banality of the programme that has started to irritate me. Trust me, by 9pm on a Wednesday evening, that doesn’t even enter into the equation.
My growing irritation goes deeper than that. True, I’m fed up with the boardroom shenanigans and the arrogance of a candidate who describes herself as half machine. But, more importantly (having watched, transfixed, as the girls’ team bitch and threaten each other with their Moschino handbags) I’ve started to wonder what the Apprentice says about women in business.
Perhaps the idea of compassionate capitalism always was just another oxymoron. And the concept of sisterhood may well be the sort of pinko feminist drivel that Sir Alan despises. But I’d like to see a bit more teamwork, a bit more win-win. And, just possibly, a girl candidate who didn’t remind me of Sofie Fatale or Gordon Gecko in drag.
I started watching the Apprentice because I’m genuinely interested in business. There are great opportunities out there for women, as the growth of the mompreneur proves.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for making the most of what you’ve got. It’s just that I think getting on with people, and being able to add up, count for more than an MBA in soundbites and vitriol.
My business role models are inspirational women like the late Anita Roddick and Camila Batmanghelidjh.
And, without wanting to sink to soundbites and vitriol myself, the current crop of Apprentice wannabes don’t come close.