July 28th, 2009
|09:25 pm - Working hard, Roger, or hardly working?|
Hooray for http://www.madmenyourself.com!
This is Harold J. Kraputnik. He is an advertising executive in an up-and-coming New York ad firm. Of him it can safely be said that he is, indeed, "in advertising".
Let us take a look at Harold and his world.
Here is Harold at his advertising firm, Sterling Cooper. See all the busy employees! They all have enough time to take some out of their day to stop and admire Harold J. Kraputnik. Don Draper considers Harold a competent worker and an able asset to the team. Don is especially impressed that Harold always carries a newspaper with him wherever he goes, so that he is always on top of things. Pete Campbell looks up to Harold but does not admit it. Pete Campbell does not admit a lot of things. Roger Sterling is already trying to decide whose shoes Harold Kraputnik will fill when next the axe falls. Peggy and Joan have a lot to say in another scene, so in this one they just look very pretty in their dresses.
Here is where Peggy and Joan get to say stuff! Joan greets Harold in the morning by saying "Good morning, Harold." If it is a good morning, Harold will say "Good morning, Joan." When Harold gets to his desk, Peggy is there and gives him his coffee and he always says thank you.
"Did you hear about what happened to the president last night?" Peggy asks, after being thanked.
"Yes I did," Harold replies. "I read about it in this newspaper I carry around with me."
"A newspaper, huh? I oughta try that," says Peggy, and immediately gets a promotion to copy writer.
"Congratulations, Peggy!" says Joan, now considering her a threat. She does not admit this, though. Joan Holloway does not admit a lot of things.
Harold makes an important pitch to one of his big, important clients. "You see, gentlemen, I have it on very good authority -- this newspaper right here, in fact -- that this is the ad campaign that you need to sell your product and sell lots of it."
"I agree," says the client, and the deal is sealed.
"Nice job, Kraputnik," says one of the junior executives, and does it really matter who? "You really knocked that one out of the park for three points and an extra turn."
"Thank you for such an informative presentation," the client says to Harold on his way to the elevator. "I'll ship a case of our product your way."
"No need," says Harold. "But I appreciate the gesture anyway."
After work, Harold goes out drinking with Don Draper and matches him one for one. They each take the train home and arrive at a decently late but still respectable hour. Nothing awkward happens, no secret slips out in a drunken slur, and there are no scandalous confrontations with members of the opposite sex. Harold and Don had a lot to say to each other about what happened to the President, and Harold enjoyed filling out the crossword on the train ride home.
The next day is Saturday, and Harold J. Kraputnik is up early. So is his wife, Lois, who has to get up early to start her nine packs a day.
"I am going to mow the lawn," Harold says, "After I finish reading my newspaper."
"I will do the laundry," Lois says, "But I am going to do it passive-aggressively."
"Suit yourself," says Harold. "Afterwards, I thought it might be nice to take the kids out for a trip." Lois nods and smiles.
"The kids'll love it. And it will be nice to get some fresh air." Nobody is certain if she is being passive-aggressive at that moment, but it is okay because there is a picnic afoot.
It is a very nice afternoon for a picnic, Harold thinks, as he folds up his newspaper and takes another drag on his cigarette. He is smoking the client's brand. Not because it is his favorite, mind you. Because he is paid to. The kids have finished their lunches of hot dogs and fluffernutters, and helpfully assisted in the cleanup by making sure all the trash was knocked clean off the picnic blanket before they picked it up. Somewhere, off in the distance, a single tear rolls down an Indian's cheek.
During Harold J. Kraputnik's tenure at Sterling Cooper, nothing untoward happens to him. He does not dabble in office politics, he is not entangled or embroiled in office conspiracy, and he neither seduces nor is seduced by any member of any sex. (He does, however, sleep with his wife in a king size bed.) He works diligently and in doing so has earned the respect of his co-workers and superiors. In short, he is a very boring man.
So they had to cut him out of the show.
MR. SPATCH SALUTES
HAROLD J. KRAPUTNIK