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Mint Meltdown: Battles Aplenty on This Week's "Flipping Out"

It was only a matter of time before Jeff Lewis broke down yet another assistant. I just didn't think it would be quite so soon.

On this week's episode of Bravo's hysterically addictive reality series Flipping Out ("Never Trust a Contractor"), Jeff learned once again that it never pays to mix business with pleasure. Or in his case that he can't continue to keep hiring his friends to work for him because it never, ever, ever ends well.

Thus was the case once again with Jeff's latest assistant, the flighty and disorganized Rachel, a friend of Jeff's hired for three days a week in order to accommodate Jenni's schedule. But the calculated demands of Jeff Lewis, constant tardiness, and a lack of mints in Jeff's car soon spelled doom for Rachel.

While I knew from the very first seconds of the season premiere that Rachel wouldn't be long for Jeff Lewis' office, I expected to see her make it through more than three episodes this season. But her tenure in the office--marked as it was by a dearth of brown salsa, some uneven wine glasses, and the twice-in-row lateness--only lasted a matter of mere weeks in the real world.

Now Jeff is the first to admit that he's a demanding boss; he's hyper-attentive to details, a self-confessed OCD sufferer, and he gives new meaning to the word particular. But Rachel, as a friend of Jeff's, knew that going into the job. She should also have known that Jeff doesn't like it when you make excuses or argue with his edicts. Or complain and try to paint yourself as a victim of his tyrannical rule. After all, it's his way or the highway and he was kind enough to give Rachel a job in the first place.

I do have to side with Jeff on the matter of Rachel's tardiness. She overslept one day and came in late. I get that sometimes things happen beyond your control; I'd have bought her an alarm clock but that's just me. But to then come in and spend twenty or so minutes doing your makeup instead of reporting for duty when you're already late is just insanity, especially in this office. But to compound matters, Rachel was then late again the very next day.

Of course Jeff is going to freak out. Of course he's going to razz you about it all day and keep harping on it until the cows come home (or the deer, one supposes) because that's his nature. Half of it is in jest and the other half is deadly serious; he's putting you in your place so you don't do it again.

Now, it was perfectly clear that Rachel was seriously unhappy at Jeff Lewis' office. That was clear right off the bat and crystallized even more as these episodes wore on. The lateness, the sluggishness, the spaciness (to wit: that check-writing incident), and the lack of care in her personal appearance all signified that she had checked out already.

And sure enough, she had. Beside for the crying jag, Rachel then pulled off the basest of betrayals in Jeff's eyes: she left him hanging by giving her notice fifteen minutes before the end of the work day on a Friday, telling him that she wouldn't be coming back the following week. Now I get that she had a full-time job on the line, but surely she knew about this gig before the end of the day, no? Suspicious...

While it's definitely time for Rachel to go (and if either of them wanted to salvage their friendship, she HAD to go), I'm curious to see just who Jeff ends up hiring next, especially as formerly clown-haired house assistant Jet has been a nonentity so far this season.

What did you think of this week's episode? Would Jeff have fired Rachel if she hadn't quit first? And whose side were you on? Discuss.

Next week on Flipping Out ("Bad Mojo"), it's not a good day at Jeff Lewis' office as one of Jeff's employees commits the ultimate act of betrayal, leading Jeff to bring in a feng shui expert to help calm the chaos.

Flipping Out Preview: Professionalism Out the Window

Flipping Out Preview: Mercedes Held Hostage


greebs said…
Seems like something more fishy was up with Rachel; the bathroom breaks, the spaciness...were that MY friend, let alone my employee, I'd worry about whether she was doing drugs.
Daphne said…
I think that, had Rachel not quit, Jeff would have eventually fired her. She was miserable and doing a horrible job. I just can't believe that she waited until the end of the day on Friday to tell him she was leaving. Pretty lame.

Thank god he's got Jenni! The two of them make a great team.
ewench said…
I have to actually side with Jeff too. I worked as an assistant in a high stress industry to a boss even more demanding and scary then Jeff as one of my first jobs in the late 80’s. He didn’t accept excuses, he expected you to have data at your fingertips, be prepared, anticipate and think logically and if you were bringing him a problem you had better have tried every avenue to solve it yourself first. For people that are excellent at what they do, I can respect and accept this kind of behavior. More then my education or anything else I credit this period of my life as the secret to my own success in business. And hellish as it was at times, I still am grateful for the experience.

So yes, I sided with Jeff 100% over the Rachel thing. I was really appalled at how incompetent she was. Frankly I even sided with Jeff over the Jenni blow up in the car a couple shows ago – she should have just said “Yes I was wrong, I should have brought the number” – she *was* wrong, she should have had it.

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