Wednesday 13 November 2019

Fired Apprentice candidate Jenny dishes the dirt

Elle Stevenson, Charleine Wain, Jenny Garbis and Ruth Whiteley shovelling manure on The Apprentice (BBC/PA)
Elle Stevenson, Charleine Wain, Jenny Garbis and Ruth Whiteley shovelling manure on The Apprentice (BBC/PA)

Fired Apprentice candidate Jenny Garbis thinks she would still be in the competition - if she had chosen the easy task of finding 30kg of manure.

The task in the third episode was to buy a series of objects, including champagne flutes and an inflatable boat, by negotiating the lowest price possible - with the teams split between Calais and Kent. The boys won the task, incurring the fewest penalties for missing items.

Garbis, 23, was on the English sub-team and was originally allocated Leavers Lace, until the team realised it was a speciality of Calais and decided to buy it in France. She was then asked by project manager Vana Koutsomitis to find mussels, but after a series of visits to restaurants on the Kent coast was unable to purchase any late in the afternoon.

The rest of the team managed to purchase seven of the nine items on the list: an inflatable boat, seven champagne flutes, a cheese (but not the right cheese), an anchor and snails. Ruth Whiteley, in charge of finding manure, obtained her item free of charge from a friendly farmer.

Koutsomitis brought Garbis back into the boardroom for being "dead weight", alongside Elle Stevenson who had been in charge of the team on the English side of the Channel. But it was Garbis who ended up on the manure heap.

Looking back, the recent business studies graduate said: "Who gives somebody two different items to source in the UK, when you can only source them in France? It's almost like I was set up to fail. I'm not saying there are any conspiracy theories, but I think it was just very unlucky. And actually I think a lot of the process is about luck."

She added: "When we were given the task of finding the nine items I actually chose the hardest item, because I was trying to do it for the greater good of the team.

"I'm glad that I stuck to my morals and my values and I'm going to continue to do that, and continue to have that strategy, because I'd rather go out early and stick to my values and treat people nicely, and respect others, and let other people talk, rather than going really far and just screwing over everyone else."

Garbis defended herself in front of Lord Sugar and his aides, saying: "I felt like I'd been dealt a bad hand here. If I'd have been given the manure, I wouldn't have been in this boardroom, because I'd have had 'an item' to my name. It would have been ticked off the list: tick, she's got an item."

Karren Brady said: "The problem with Jenny is she's always got her excuse ready when things go wrong."

Deliberating on who to fire, Lord Sugar said: "Jenny, you didn't buy anything, and quite frankly all I've heard from you is excuses, why this didn't work and why that hasn't gone well ... I've yet to see any actual achievements, anything that one can actually pin down to you and say, 'Well, that was very good'. So I'm having less of a problem here. Jenny, you're fired."

After the firing, Garbis told Koutsomitis and Stevenson: "Do you know what, if I'd have taken the manure I wouldn't be here."

Speaking to the Press Association, Garbis said she knew the firing was a possibility - but had not given up hope when it came down to the final three in the boardroom.

She said: "Because I didn't have an item to my name, I knew I'd be in the firing line. But I suppose there was a glimmer of hope there that Lord Sugar would take me through on the back of my business plan. And the thing is, I wasn't willing to throw other people under a bus in the boardroom.

"Do you know what, if I'd have done that, and if I'd have just ranted on about me and my business plan and all this kind of stuff, maybe I wouldn't have gone. But then I don't regret that, because I'd rather be respectful, listen to others."

In the back of the taxi after she became the third contestant to leave the show, she said: "I know what I'm capable of, and if Lord Sugar can't see that, I shouldn't be his business partner anyway, quite frankly. I'm going to achieve massive things. I bet you anything, in a few years' time he'll be knocking on my door, wanting to be part of my business."

Looking back, Garbis said she and Lord Sugar could still be a good match as partners in her business, which centres on creating a funding platform for renewable energy projects.

She said it was disappointing to go out so early: "If he had known more about my business plan, maybe he wouldn't have fired me ... It's just a shame that he didn't get to see that, because I think that it would have had a drastically different outcome, and I can guarantee that I would definitely have held my own during the interview stages.

"It's a shame that Lord Sugar couldn't see that in me, but then again he does see quite a small amount of what really goes on, and obviously he didn't get to see my business plan.

"I still maintain that I think he would be a good match, because he does campaign for higher emissions targets, and obviously my business plan is all about helping renewable energy entrepreneurs as a sector ... I think he would have loved it, to be honest. I'd love to have a chat with him properly and speak to him about it, and I'm pretty sure he'd have a different viewpoint."

However, she added: "Lord Sugar certainly isn't the only investor out there. There are a lot of other options."

PA Media

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