110%

“Let me stay, Lord Sugar, I’ll give 110% to the task”

Very few things get my goat as much as “I’ll give it 110%.” *
No you won’t. And saying so also goes to show you don’t understand maths either. To be honest, I’d sack anyone who came out with such nonsense regardless of whether they were any good at this week’s task or not.

I am proud to say that when doing close up magic, “I give it 80%”.

80% is enough I reckon. I can do some pretty impressive magic on 80%. I use the remaining 20% for walking around, talking, breathing, that kind of thing. It’s also nice to have a little in reserve. If someone is really loving the magic, I like to give them an extra 10%. Also if someone is not a great fan of magic (it happens sometimes) like to give them an extra 10% too. Once they are reeled in to the moment, I wind back to my usual 80.

“What if I really, really love the magic Jack. Can I have an extra 20%?”, you may ask. Well I’m afraid the answer is “no”. That would push me right to the limit. I wouldn’t be able to walk, and I’d keel over short of breath. I’m afraid that 90% is as far as I’m ever prepared to go.

“But there’s another magician, promising to give it 200%. I think I’ll go with him”.

I wouldn’t. If his magic is a good as his maths, you’ll be disappointed. And anyway, 80% of astonishing is still better than 200% of mediocre.

I doubt that this kind of talk would keep me in the Apprentice though.

* “At the end of the day” also gets my goat. “At the end of the day, you can’t beat a good breakfast”, “At the end of the day, you’ve got to go to work”, “At the end of the day, Lord Sugar, I’ll give it 110%”. Aargh! Get a grip!