Tuesday, December 3, 2013




It seems like every episode the execs head to lunch to talk business but mostly to drink. This is my favorite three martini lunch, where Roger through up after consuming a lot of booze and a lot of oysters. I'm pretty sure this is something that would happen to me. 


Oh wait. That has happened to me. Only it was muscles and whiskey instead of oysters and martinis. That said, three martini lunches and drinking lunches don't happen all that much anymore, although it depends on where you work. At a small agency I worked at if it wasn't crazy we'd go out for 1-2 beer lunches maybe once a week. If it was the germany place it was more like 2-4 beers if you actually count the size of the glass. I've heard of people going out more regularly but the truth is we're so slammed during the day it's hard to get away to eat lunch anywhere besides your own desk. Not to mention it's difficult to drink at lunch and then stop. At least for me, I go into nap mode and it's difficult to get any work done. I suppose this is why people smoke a lot more pot in advertising than drink. 


We didn't start seeing drugs till the later episodes, but that was more a sign of the times. Especially Roger and his acid trips. But hey, it looks fun right?


I would say 8 out of 10 people smokes weed. A lot of weed. And because of the wonders of technology and e-cigarettes, you can now smoke weed in the office.  Not to mention the coke. It depends on the agency, the client you have and the hours you work, but there's a lot of it going around. I have never, and will never do coke, but I can understand why Creatives do it. Besides that it's apparently fun, we work in a high pressure industry. The demand to constantly come up with creative ideas, each one better than the next, on top of a lot of hours is stressful. It's not an excuse, but probably no worse than all those authors who are drunks.

To show you how extensive it is, at an office party at a bar one creative proceeded to buy coke using a credit card, and did a line off the bar. At the last minute he realized this was bad because EVERYBODY was there, and had an "oh shit" moment. The following week he came in to work and kept his head down. Our boss came by, touched his nose, and asked if he had a good time, then walked away.


I don't really have to go into this, I'll just leave you with this quote from Roger that I got from "ROGER STERLING'S 25 MOST SEXIST QUOTES" - When God closes a door, he opens a dress.


If there were cameras and video recorders half of every office would be arrested. Except at my agency in Alabama, because southerners are polite. There aren't that many women creatives, and even though it'll anger ladies to hear about it, we don't think of it as harassment. It's normal, and even laughable. One of my bosses used to say "I only hit on the women I know won't act on it." But that didn't stop him from coming up to me when I wore my warrior princess boots and say "oh the things those boots make me want to do."


In this episode they get super drunk at an office party, ride the lawnmower from the John Deere client, and chop of someone's foot. Throughout the office parties on the show, they tend to get super wasted, go home with each other, have sex in office rooms, etc.

While I've never seen anybody lose a limb, the rest is true. We know how to throw a party. Whether big agency or  small, things tend to get out of hand. My two favorites are the Crispin Porter Holiday Party, which is a MASSIVE and all out costume party. They have brought in major bands and singers, and the year I was there it was 80s themed and hey transformed the entire agency. Young MC played and there was a room made of candy.

 My favorite party though has been, hands down, the Leo Burnett Breakfast, which takes place the first week of December.

"The Breakfast" as it's called was started by Leo Burnett himself. He used to gather everybody in  a room, and give a speech. In later years extra police as well as Macy's workers staffed the streets around the agency. The police because of thousands of out of control drunkness, and the Macy's staff because the bonuses were so big, the wives would meet their husbands in the lobby, take the cash, and go shopping. The bonus's don't happen any more, but in the hey day of advertising I've heard of people buying boats with it. 

Here's what happened last year: The night before my bosses put a bar in the elevator "The Up Down Lounge. Lifting Spirits Since ____" Some people have a drink on their way out of work or going to another floor, others stay in there, drink and socialize till it's over. If you've never gotten drunk in an elevator I suggest you try it. 

At 730am the next day my group shows up dressed to the nines- this is crazy considering most of us don't show up to work until 10-11am for work. We drink a lot of whiskey/cocktails and take a swig of green liquid out of a big golden fish. That year, at 10 we smuggled bottles of champagne into the Chicago Theater where our bosses put on a 2 hour original musical for us tat most of us didn't pay attention and got in trouble for continually popping champagne bottles. Next we went to a bar and drank more. At 1230 the entire agency filed into The House Of Blues where we ate and drank as much as we could from the open bar. On the dance floor masks and feathered hats fell from the sky as live bands played and we danced for hours, drinking more liquor and if you were me and my account person, getting threatened to be kicked out for dancing on the stage. At the after party, my boss put a 1000$ bounty on a man's pants. After drinking for 15 hours I had no problem storming into the men's bathroom and demanding the pants. He gave them up. They were rainbow sequined overalls. I put them up and danced around a stripped pole in front of my boss to prove I had them. Then I found out it was the CEO's pants I'd stolen. I did receive $1000 check the next week. Oh, and most everybody went home with somebody. Like Vegas, what happens at the Breakfast, stays at the Breakfast and spouses/significant others are not allowed. In any other industry many of us would have been fired. 


Maybe it was just the sign of the times, but people just don't seem hungry in MadMen. Maybe it's because d student loans didn't exist to completely desolate your finances, but for whatever the reason no one seems to scavenge. 

When a client comes to town, catering comes. The entire day, we walk by slowly, sniffing at the air to see. Are their sandwiches inside? A jackpot of burritos? Or the worst. A fruit plate and coffee. WHO THE HELL EATS FRUIT ANYWAY. I have survived days by eating nothing but leftovers from client meetings. 

At Leo Burnet they have the most awesome thing ever, which takes all the fun out of stalking but turns every day into something like Black Friday at Best Buy. It's called the Food Alert Network. When there is leftover food, someone posts it to the facebook page. And then you have to get there first. There are 35 floors in that building, and elevators that only go from 21-35 and 0-21. It can get ugly when two starving 23 year olds, surviving on nothing but ramen, both go in for the last sandwich from Hannah's Bretzel. 

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