Monday, 7 April 2008

Having Worked Out How To Embed YouTube Videos, I Demonstrate My Mental Superiority Over All Sixteen Apprentice Candidates

Yes! The Apprentice is on again! Of course, in the first few weeks all the fun lies in poking fun at the inept attempts of the candidates to carry out even the most basic tasks. (In later weeks, all the fun lies in poking fun at the continued inept attempts of the candidates to carry out even the most basic tasks.)

Last week, they were challenged to run an industrial laundry. The men's team (Team Renaissance!) were disarmingly competent, especially after their woefully shoddy fishmongering skills in the first episode. The comedy came almost solely from the women's team (Team Alpha! Or something) who took incompetence to staggering new levels. While the men rang a proper laundry service to find out what they charge, the women decided to pluck a price point out of thin air and chose to charge a flat rate of £4.99 per item. Four pounds and ninety-nine pence per item of laundry. Their first task was to pitch for a contract from a hotel with a thousand sheets and pillowcases and towels to be washed, so they were looking to charge five thousand pounds. The hotel was unsurprisingly taken aback by this, expecting a price at least an order of magnitude lower.

To occupy my time, I have constructed a short list of proofs that they could have employed, without recourse to any actual research, to reach the realisation that this was not a plausible pricing strategy.

Some Proofs That £4.99 Per Item is Not a Sensible Price to Attempt to Charge a Hotel for Cleaning One Set of Laundry

  1. Several of the items were pillowcases, and you must be able to buy a pillowcase for less than that. I mean, surely. At TK Maxx.
  2. If the eight of them can earn £5,000 for less than one night's work, then they could do that for 200 nights a year and make one million pounds. Assuming you can rent and run the premises they were using for less than £100,000 (which obviously you can) this means the candidates can earn more than Alan Sugar is offering them just to clean sheets.
  3. If a guest staying one night at a hotel generates one dirty sheet, two pillowcases and two towels, this would cost the hotel £25, which even in London is a fair proportion of what the hotel would be charging.
  4. You can buy a lobster off Renaissance Fisheries for that price.
If anyone has their own proofs, please add them below.


Jim Symcox said...

1 further proof:

6) If it costs £2 to wash a load in an industrial washing and you can fit 100 pillow cases in that means you're making £497 profit for one load.

Andrew said...

It's amusing (if childish) to note that you jump upon the Make Fun Of The Girls' Bad Maths Skills while counting 1, 2, 3, 4, 6.