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Hire me, Martha!
Could your views about prostitution score you a spot on 'The Apprentice: Martha Stewart?'
March 3, 2005: 9:01 PM EST
Jessica Seid, CNN/Money staff writer
Martha Stewart:
Battle of the Sexes

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What men said
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What women said
A few eager applicants arrived the night before and slept outside.
A few eager applicants arrived the night before and slept outside.
Donald Trump gave his seal of approval.
Donald Trump gave his seal of approval.
Groups of 10 sat around tables to engage in
Groups of 10 sat around tables to engage in "racy" discussions.

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Even on a rainy February day in New York, around 2,000 people showed up at the Trump building and waited on line for three to four hours to compete to become "The Apprentice." Not so bright but very early, I joined a long line of hopefuls auditioning for the $250,000 gig.

Mostly men in suits, some without even a coat or umbrella, they looked tough and eager, unlike myself. I felt cold and uncomfortable and I looked it. The total number of applicants for next season's two "Apprentice" shows will top one million, Jim Dowd, senior press manager for NBC, told CNN/Money. I couldn't help but think, what if I win?

As the line inched forward, we were asked whether we were auditioning to be Martha Stewart's or Donald Trump's next apprentice. Surprisingly, some people were undecided (or indifferent), but the majority were there for the Donald. I felt a wave of hopefulness. Maybe I could really win.

After three hours of shivering, Donald Trump himself breezed by to check out the line and wish us all good luck. You might think this was the high point of the morning but it was quickly surpassed when a security guard ushered a group of us inside the lobby of the Trump building and I started to feel my fingers and toes again.

Once inside, the "Marthas" were gathered into groups of 10. My group consisted of nine women and one man, all of us professionals in our mid-to-late 20s except for a stay-at-home mom in her late 40s who was now getting back into the workforce.

I sized up my competition and overheard one of the women saying she was wearing a sweater she had knit herself. I suddenly felt less confident in my Banana Republic ensemble I had carefully chosen the night before.

The 10 of us took seats around a table with a casting director, Jenny, for a "discussion." After we gave our introductions, Jenny told us we were going to talk for a few minutes about something a bit "racy." I liked where this was going.

Then she said, "ok, let's talk about legalizing prostitution." That was not what I had in mind. The older woman in my group spoke first, arguing aggressively and persuasively in support of legalizing prostitution. The rest of the women immediately jumped in with their views (all against). The lone male at our table struggled to get a word in edgewise (for or against, I'm still not sure). I couldn't help but wonder, what would Martha think?

As I was leaving, I realized that I had not been asked a single question about my academic background (I have a masters degree!) or employment history (I work for CNN!), but wasn't I supposed to be applying for a job?

At least I didn't spend too much time preparing answers about home decorating, baking and organizing.

The only question I was asked in my interview for "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart" was how I felt about prostitutes.

I guess in the end it was all about who had the strongest personality, something Martha Stewart understands better than the rest of us.  Top of page


Martha Stewart
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