Never mind that it’s vulgar. “The Donald’s” catch phrase, “You’re fired!” taps into the collective fear of working Americans more than any other reality TV show so far: Contestants grapple with annoying co-workers, hairy deadlines and lectures from the boss.
In case you don’t know the formula, it goes like this: Each week, two teams perform an assignment, and Trump boots someone off the losing team.
Critics say the show looks like business reflected in fun-house mirrors.
“It’s deception, trickery and sex peddling,” Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, associate dean of Yale’s business school, told Newsweek. “The lesson is that selection is developed in a process akin to musical chairs at a Hooters restaurant.”
True enough. Trump’s minions do learn to suck up to the boss. They variously work hard, talk fast and bat their eyelashes to woo customers. But at least Trump has the sense to chew out the women’s team when they overdo their “sex sells” approach. He listens; he advises. He even shows the sensitivity to ask a player about her ailing mother.
Here are the seven rules of success Trump applies on the show:
1. Start out with brains.
2. Love what you’re doing.
3. Don’t even think about giving up.
4. Believe in yourself.
5. Play people against each other to bring out their best and worst. If their worst emerges, you don’t want them working for you.
6. Remain cool under fire.
7. Be loyal. Disloyalty is the worst sin.
— Adapted from “The World According to Trump,” Keith Naughton and Marc Peyser, Newsweek, and “The Trump School of Business,” Linda Tischler, Fast Company.