Monday, 1 November 2010

The CA-pprentice

Lord Sutherland: I want you to take your team away, and decide which two members you’ll bring back into the boardroom, where one of you will be fired. Off you go.

All: Yes Lord Sutherland.

[Team exit boardroom. 10 minutes later, team captain Ricky re-enters the boardroom with team]

Lord Sutherland: Take a seat. Now, Ricky, you were made team captain of Team Australia, am I correct?

Ricky: Yes Lord Sutherland, that is correct.

Lord Sutherland: Ok, and which two team members would you like to remain in the boardroom with you today?

Ricky: Lord Sutherland, Marcus and Michael are going to stay in the boardroom.

Lord Sutherland: Ok, Ricky, Marcus and Michael, you will stay here. The rest of you can return to the hotel. [Others get up and leave]. Now, Ricky you claim to have a good track record in leading others and yet your team came up short in this task, care to explain where it all went wrong?

Ricky: Firstly I want to say that I lead this team to the very best of my abilities...

Lord Sutherland: I didn’t ask for self appreciation I want an answer. What reasons can you give me as to why you came second in this particular task?

Ricky: Sorry Lord Sutherland. Our team lost today because we did not function well enough as a unit, some of us were given responsibilities that we couldn’t cope with, for example, I put Michael...

Michael: Hold on, you’re team leader you can’t shift all the blame onto me!

Ricky [voice raised]: I asked you to bat at number four and you got out cheaply over and over!

Michael: I had to come in when the team was on the verge of collapse because of you failing.

Lord Sutherland: Gentlemen, enough of the handbags. It’s like watching Sreesanth and Harbhajan all over again. Ricky, I don’t want to have to ask again, why did your team fail so miserably in this task when, looking back, you won the previous task by an absolute country mile?

Ricky: Lord Sutherland, the team alterations between the last task and this one did not help with unity. Shane, Glenn and Adam played big parts in us winning the last task but with them being moved to Team Channel 9, and Brad, Nathan and Marcus being moved across to our team, we lost all cohesion.

Lord Sutherland: So why didn’t you bring Brad and Nathan into the boardroom with you? Instead you brought Michael and Marcus.

Ricky: Because I felt they did not pull their weight when they were clearly needed to be a part of this team in a big way. I admit my performance this task was not up to standard but I improve through learning from my mistakes and I know I am the right candidate for you.

Lord Sutherland: Ok. Marcus, how was Ricky as a team leader?

Marcus: Lord Sutherland he struggled to get the best out of everybody, and he didn’t have any clue as to how to set a field properly, or manage the bowlers.

Lord Sutherland: Ah yes, Tim [motions to his aide, Tim, sat to his left] told me that there was a lot of confusion as to why Nathan was continually bowling to a rubbish field in India. But surely it was partly your responsibility to let Ricky know that there was something wrong with the placements, was it not?

Marcus: Well, umm yes but Michael agreed with him on those field settings and as they were the senior members we went along with it.

Michael: For goodness sake!

Lord Sutherland: Err Michael, I’ll be speaking to you in a minute. Marcus, tell me why I shouldn’t fire you today.

Marcus: Well Lord Sutherland, I am an amazing batsman. I’m relatively young yet I am experienced too. I’ve scored loads of runs against England and South Africa, and I’ve taken wickets against Pakistan. I’ve lead my team back home and if you give me the opportunity to continue in this process then I will show you why you made the right call to fire Cameron last week and one of these two [points to Ricky and Michael] this week.

Lord Sutherland: Michael, tell me why you shouldn’t be the one to get fired today?

Michael: Lord Sutherland I am the model employee. I have bags of experience, I have many thousands of runs to my name in all forms of the game and in all conditions. I’m an amazing fielder and a calm head in the field when things are going against us. If you asked me for a century I’d give you a double century.

Lord Sutherland: That’s all very nice but from what I’ve seen you can’t take the responsibility of being a senior member of the team.

Michael: Well, I accept that as your view Lord Sutherland but I feel I will always give as good as I can.

Lord Sutherland: And Ricky, why shouldn’t I send the team leader packing today? After all, you were the one responsible for this team and as such for this failure.

Ricky: If you keep me on and employ me at the end of this process then I will make you very very rich. I am the best candidate you have ever had, I’m smart, I’m forward thinking, I’m tough and I’m the best team leader out of all of the candidates. I give everything 116% and I score runs in my sleep.

Lord Sutherland: Well you seemed to be sleepwalking through this task I can tell you that now. Ok I need to make a decision about which one of you to fire. Michael you talk a good game and your track record is excellent but something isn’t right. Maybe it’s pressure from your brother or something. Marcus, you seem to divide everyone in their views on you. You score some wonderful centuries, don’t get me wrong, but the ducks are a real issue. However I’m willing to keep you in the process because you’re lovely. Ricky you’ve taken a lot of flak from others and the feedback I’ve had from my aides has not been all that complimentary. You’ve sat here and said how wonderful it was having Adam and Shane and Glenn in your team but the truth is they aren’t here and you’ve crumbled.


Responsibility is a big thing that I look for in a candidate. Someone who can think on their feet and can adapt to a new climate quickly. What I don’t want is someone who sits in their comfort zone scoring runs at six, then when push comes to the shove and they have to replicate that performance at number four they look like Chris Martin against Dale Steyn. Michael you’re fired.

Michael: [Broken, close to tears, sun cream smearing around his face] Thank you Lord Sutherland. [Gets up and leaves the boardroom].

Lord Sutherland: The rest of you, go back to the hotel and think about what I’ve said. Off you go.

Ricky and Marcus: Thank you Lord Sutherland [both get up, Ricky curtsies, both leave the boardroom].

Lord Sutherland: [head in hands. A bottle of whiskey has appeared on the table] Buffoons. I was close to firing all three of them to be honest.