Stay Calm, and Pretend You’re In A Mad Men Episode

If I could attribute one thing to the recent “take-off” of my career, it would be the countless episodes of Mad Men I watched over the course of last year.  (Spoiler alert: I have not watched the final season.. so don’t tell.  I can’t bear to have the show “over.”  I am not so “over it.”)

I was enthralled with the clothing, I poured over this blog and read about the decisions made to have certain characters wearing certain accessories, t-shirts, colors and skirt length. The attention paid to the set design, the kitschy 1940s decorations mingled with the 1950s modernism morphing into 1960s… and not to mention watching how the advertising campaigns were conceived…

Honestly — it was  a simpler time, when I was a little girl, and I rode in the front seat of my dad’s black 1958 chevy, and all was well with the world — and there were no car seats holding us back.

The show came in handy yesterday, when I got all dressed-up, yes, including black tights, with my leg brace, knee-length dress, with my brace showing over the tights — to go into the office of one of my client’s today. I wanted to meet with my co-writer, face-to-face, to hash out some editing issues.

When my boss found out I was coming, he asked me to be put on his calendar for a 15-minute meeting in her office.

This was unsettling to me. This can’t be good, I thought. Determined to block all negativity out of mind, I just focused on what Trudy would do, from Mad Men. Surely, she’s seen worse — and she survived…except I didn’t know what My “worst” was even going to be. (This is what happens when you’re out the workforce so long… you can’t remember what is normal.)

Inside the offices, I gauged the responses of everyone and noted that all were excited, eager to greet me, holding open doors, and being ever so kind. “See,” I told myself… “nothing to worry about.”

Finally, 1:00 pm rolled around, and I was escorted into “her” office. Not only was she there… but the owner of the company was there… Unsettled, and unnerved, I focused on Mad Men and continued to smile… I pretended I was on Mad Men, in the same way I pretended I was in perpetual orbit coming down the mountain.  It’s a coping mechanism… I think they call it… actually very healthy.

The conversation went smoothly, asking about trivial things, like, “Did you have a good session with “other writer”, when’s surgery, etc. Finally, she crossed her hands in front of her, and placed them on her desk, and looked uncomfortable. I’m sure I blushed before I caught myself, and placed myself right back in Don Draper’s office… and she said, “We have to have a blog… and I’m embarrassed that we don’t.  We need a writer for our blog.. and your name keeps popping up, because I’ll I keep hearing is how great of a job you’re doing.”

(They don’t even know about Susiej, and my long history as a blogger, and all of the ghost blogging I do… because that’s a professional secret anyway..)

Now, I have another new job…

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