You knew it was coming. When Chicago entrepreneur Bill Rancic won a job with Donald Trump on the first season of NBC’s The Apprentice, a tell-all book was more or less inevitable, and here it is.
The Apprentice is one of my not-so-guilty pleasures (I’m enjoying it even more than Survivor this season, despite some of Trump’s truly inexplicable firings), so I’ll admit I jumped at the chance to review this one. Alas, You’re Hired (written “with Daniel Paisner”, hint hint) is an autobiography with only one chapter about the show, revealing little regular viewers would not already have figured out, and also “lessons learned” sections at the end of each chapter, most of which the reader will have seen in at least a dozen other business and self-help books.
That’s not to say Rancic’s story is boring. He claims to have started off buying and re-selling used cars as a teenager, moved on to a successful mail-order cigar company after college, and graduated to property development before Trump and Mark Burnett came calling. Some of this – especially the cigar stuff – is quite interesting, and Rancic seems like a decent guy, especially compared with some of the people against whom he competed. But if you want to learn from a successful businessman, why read Rancic’s book when you can read a memoir by, say, Jack Welch? Or, for that matter, Donald Trump?
And won’t readers find it strange that Rancic spends most of his book discussing the advantages of starting your own business and working for yourself, when he jumped at the chance to work for a taskmaster like Trump? Rancic is still working for The Donald as we speak (he even appeared on The Apprentice a few weeks ago, filling in for one of Trump’s assistants), and only after reading Trump’s brief introduction did I realize that Rancic is unlikely to be too critical of the boss or his show. (One exception: even Rancic can’t make Omarosa look good.)
So, anyone looking for behind-the-scenes dirt on The Apprentice will have to wait for one of the losers to tell all, assuming they aren’t bound by confidentiality agreements. (If he doesn’t win the current season, I’d like to see Raj write a book.)