When Donald Trump’s reality show, The Apprentice came to Miami, Florida to hold auditions for the show’s second season, I jumped at the opportunity. I stayed in my wheelchair all night after a full day’s work so that I could line up with the rest of the Floridian hopefuls. It was cold, breezy and rainy. But I came prepared with an umbrella courtesy of Zuni Transportation.
Some people had hotel rooms where they slept for a few hours while a kind soul saved their spot on the line. Other people slept on the sidewalk. I didn’t have either choice so I sucked it up in my wheelchair. I was the 120th person or something like that in the line.
I know this because there was some nut job who spent his time counting aloud and pointing at us.
The guy next to me was holding a place for his friend. George Levy became my hero that morning when we were told to go inside the hotel. It turns out that I needed an application to be a part of the audition and I didn’t have one. George woke his father so he could bring me an application. Then, he stopped traffic during morning rush hour to get the application from his father in the car and helped me fill it out since I didn’t have anything to write on.
He also became my eyes because I was squished in a crowd of eager and aggressive people. The only thing I saw were people’s ugly behinds as we made our way to the front of the hotel. I could only hope that no one near me would pass gas and make me faint from the smell. But luck was shining on me! Instead, the sky opened up and water from nowhere attacked us.
What was once a group of happy business savvy contestants turned into a selfish stampede of wannabe Trumps! I thought I was going to be knocked out of my wheelchair! George’s friend was part of the stampede but George grabbed my wheelchair and brought me to the front of the hotel before I became part of the pavement.
Once inside the hotel, we were placed in groups and told to line up. We weren’t given a chance to comb our hair, change our clothes or even brush our teeth. I had on a dress and jeans underneath. I couldn’t go anywhere or I would lose my spot. I had no choice! I took off my jeans in the lobby while in line with a bunch of strangers. It is probably on the hotel’s security tapes for everyone’s enjoyment!
This was the best opportunity and I couldn’t pass it up!
Once inside, our group sat at a round table with a moderator who asked us questions. At the end, she asked each of us who we would pick as our project manager. The guy that the first three contestants chose said that he would choose me! I was really flattered! The rest of the group agreed. I thought I would surely get a call from Donald Trump himself wondering where I had been all his business life.
Some friends said that I would be a liability for the show. I thought rubbish! He wants someone with a brain! He doesn’t care if I can walk or not. He doesn’t care about image! Have you seen his hair?
I continued to think that the Trump organization had lost my telephone number and were still out there looking for me.
After tonight, I hope they never find it!
If you haven’t seen tonight’s episode (March 20, 2006) then I am about to spoil it for you. Read at your own risk!
Yeah, I thought you would continue reading. You are so nosey!
If you have been following this season’s show you know Brent. He is a unique character with a flair for words. His hair is as outdated as Trump’s and his manners need some major assistance. His teammates have made him the scapegoat for every one of their losses.
Tonight he got fired. Now, ordinarily I could handle someone getting fired. But this was unfair and a direct discrimination against a person’s physical appearance. Brent didn’t have any part in the project because no one ever gives him a task. He is usually in the background bobbing his head or in front of the camera giving us his opinions on how lousy his team is doing. Of course, no one will listen to him so he stays in the background.
Tonight’s task was to design a billboard for Grape Nuts cereal. His team lost because the billboard was boring and the presenter with the beautiful accent fumbled with the words. Once in the board room, Brent becomes the target for their failure. He tries to defend himself and even states the obvious: he was told that he was too fat to make the presentation. If that is not offensive enough, Mr. Comb Over Hair agrees with them!
Supposedly he wasn’t healthy looking enough. For goodness sake’s, they were given the presentation within 24 hours. Was he supposed to go on a crash diet? Brent wasn’t going to be on the billboard! He was going to present the team’s vision. Not even the judges from Grape Nuts were good looking! This was preposterous! Brent was being singled out because he didn’t look healthy.
It hit me! It hit me hard! I would have been booted out as well because I am in a wheelchair so I know I am not the epitome of good health. So what if I could give a better presentation than Mr. Fumble Up, I would not be healthy looking enough to present the team’s idea!
People might say that Brent was a liability to the team. Perhaps he was in previous tasks, but not this time! Team Synergy was in the boardroom because they lost a task that wasn’t even Brent’s fault. If they wanted Brent off the team, they should have made him the Project Manager so he could fail based on his lack of ability not because he didn’t look healthy enough.
Donald Trump with his I-Don’t-Care-What-People-Think-About-The-Way-I-Look-Attitude made a huge U-turn when he agreed with Synergy that only a healthy looking person should give the presentation.
Yet, they used a good looking person and still lost! Did anyone there remember that Brent had no part in the project and that only the healthy and good looking people participated in another loss for Synergy? Perhaps they were so mesmerized by the healthy glow from the team minus Brent, of course, that they didn’t realize it.
Do you think that a wheelchair, scooter, cane or walker would be considered an unhealthy accessory? Like Trump’s hair?
Who are they going to blame next week when they lose again?
Donald should learn from the success of his show because if we wanted to watch The Apprentice based on the judges’ looks, it would never have made it past the first episode!
When people are judged solely on their merits and their ability to perform rather than on physical appearances, the work environment will be a friendlier place for unhealthy looking people like you and me!
Email me with your thoughts. email@example.com