'Mad Men': Ding Dong, Ambition Calling!


Now that she’s a partner in a big-time ad agency, Joan has been trying to redefine her duties within the company to accurately reflect her executive-level position, but it’s been hard to make the transition when her colleagues still view her as the queen of the secretaries. Finally, her opportunity came knocking and ironically it was a company that’s notorious for using a doorbell: Avon.

Joan met with an executive from Avon for lunch. Her friend Kate—the woman from Joan’s hometown who came for a visit, and who has been inspired to reach for bigger and better things because of her friend’s ad agency success—had arranged it. Joan thought it was a blind date, but realized half-way through when the exec, Andy, was all business, that Kate had done something way more useful than setting her up with a balding divorcee. She’d given her an account lead with a Fortune 500 company. Joan quickly snapped into work mode, without losing any of her signature charm.

Back at the office, she confided in Peggy, saying she didn’t know how to share the news with the rest of the staff without getting “kicked off the diving board.” Peggy assured her that they could tell Ted because he would be cool. But he wasn’t cool. While Ted has been the only person to at the agency all season to conversationally use the word “groovy,” he doesn’t seem to be as open-minded about things as Don. Or maybe he just doesn’t know Joan well enough to know what she’s capable of doing. Whatever his reasons, that Cutler was willing to let Bob Benson work on the Chevy account after he hadn’t proved himself to be a competent salesman is proof that there was some kind of gender bias at play when Ted wrote her off and assigned Pete to help close the deal.

When it was clear that Pete did not want Joan in on the Avon meeting, she pulled some Tess McGill Working Girl shit and arranged the meeting herself without inviting him. (“I’m not gonna spend the rest of my life working my ass off and getting nowhere just because I followed rules that I had nothing to do with setting up.”)

Like most first times, it wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great. She kind of stepped on Peggy’s toes a little bit and messed up the creative flow.

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