“I’m not interested in where you come from, whether your father is a QC or a senior partner at another law firm… if, however your parents are connected with a leading PLC or multi-national, we would like to know that. I’m not interested in where you did your LPC because that course is not particularly demanding or intellectually rigorous. You are here today because we have looked at your CV and have checked you out. We have ignored the lavish praise heaped on you by your academic referees and your LPC course directors (the prospect of being sued by a disgruntled former student has to be considered ) so we have made our own decision on the basis of the preliminary interviews and assault course results which 25 candidates completed last week. You have been selected to do a four week interview from hell – to borrow a phrase from Sir Alan and his reality game show. Like ‘The Apprentice’, one of you will get a job as a trainee at the end of it and, if you survive your training contract, you will work directly with me in Commercial. The rest of you will have to pursue your legal careers elsewhere – perhaps even consider a career as a community service officer. All seven of you are here because we think you have the potential to become a trainee at Muttley Dastardly LLP. “
Matt Muttley, Managing Partner, Muttley Dastardly LLP
Well… I did not have Sir Alan Sugar or The Apprentice in mind when I created Muttley Dastardly LLP as a section of my blog. But The Apprentice is back on our screens in full ‘technicolor’ (sic). I find it almost repellently compelling viewing. The Dragon’s Den is tedious – but The Apprentice has drama, perfidy, pathos, venality, and schadenfreude. It also has a cast of ‘wannabees': The hapless (or hopeless), public school types, a couple of wonderfully shifty ones on the make and, of course, the real stars – “The Board” – Sir Alan, Margaret Mountford and Nick Hewer. I am a bit puzzled, however, as to what the other 9984 applicants were like if this is the pick of the bunch.
I’ll be watching. Last night, a charming man called Andy, who called the women ‘sweetheart’, told everyone they should ‘work until they bleed’, had no discernible leadership skills and no real understanding of the task. He f****d up (to use the language of business) and got ‘fired’. It is early days but I have my eye on ‘Tre’ as my pantomime villain. I feel equally sure that Matt Muttley is about to institute a similar style of interview process for his next “Trainee’.
Several years ago, in my other life, I went into a venture with a well known company which proved to be most enjoyable and successful. In the final stages of the negotiations – and it sold it for me – the Chairman of the PLC we were dealing with said: “I’ve got my cock on the table on this one”. It was 8.00 am. Anyone who can be so enthusiastic at that time in the morning is worth doing business with – and so it proved to be.