Chapter 22- The Votes Are In
"The day I take advice from Kenny Cosgrove is the day I die." Pete Campbell pouted.
"Hey, I'm just saying, if you want to grab more accounts, extend your hands a little further." Ken inhaled from his cigarette, which was loosely dangling from his fingertips.
"Look, I'm doing fine. I'm talking with Mohawk Airlines right now, and I'm pretty sure they're confident enough to come back to us. I just would like a bigger office. That pole is right at my doorstep and it's confining me. Not to mention I have no windows."
"Nothing I can do about that." Ken spurted, leaning off of Pete's desk.
"Well I was going to ask you if you would…."
"See I'm gonna stop you right there pal." Ken butted the cigarette against the underside of Pete's desk.
"Hey! That's my property!" he yelped.
"You don't have an ashtray!" Ken retorted.
"Because I don't smoke!" Pete shot back.
"That's your problem, not mine! Besides, I'm not the one trying to pawn off my closet for prime real estate by the big boys." Ken began walking towards the door.
"What if I paid you?"
"Money isn't enough to buy your way out of solitary confinement Petey." Ken laughed as he walked out the door.
Pete reclined in his chair and rubbed his eyes in a deep sigh. "Why me?" he thought to himself. "I wonder how Tammy is." The thought crept into his head, and he imagined his daughter in her crib. Her adorable face made him grin. The thought perished quickly.
"I need a bigger office."
He stood from the chair and left the office walking towards Roger Sterling's sprawling estate at the end of the hall.
Caroline was sitting at her desk and as Mr. Campbell approached, she warned him.
"Roger is on a call. Wait a minute."
Pete scoffed impatiently and leaned against the wall of Roger's office. It took a good moment for the call to end, and once Pete saw the light go off, he swung the door open and barged into the room.
"Pete. What can I do for you this fine day." Roger smiled as the voice of Caroline scolding Pete drowned in the background.
"Well my office is much too small to support any real business." He sat down on the couch, one hand on each knee. "I don't mean to be blunt, but I need a new office. One where I can conduct business with real dignity."
"Why do you need an office to conduct business?" Roger lit up. "You're an account man. You go out and visit people. You don't bring them here."
"Of course I do." Pete seemed insulted and stood back up. "I bring in clients often."
"Then use the conference room." Roger tapped the ashes off his cigarette.
"No, I need my office. They like to see my place of work."
"Fine, Boy Wonder, what do you want me to do?" Roger swiveled to face the window.
"Well, since I draw in most of the money for this company, I was thinking that you and I could switch offices."
"Absolutely not." Roger swung back to face Campbell, a stern look on his face.
"I think it's completely reasonable." He stood with a surety in his voice and air. "We all know you barely do anything around here."
"Oh really." Roger narrowed his eyes and pursed his lips tightly shut. "You'll be staying in your office."
"What? This is ridiculous. Be reasonable Roger."
"Go peddle your problems on someone else's doorstep."
"I need a new office. Can we consider buying more space?"
"Sure thing Petey, just write us a check and we'll buy you all the space you want." Roger slid his glasses on his nose and began reading the daily paper in front of him.
"I'll confront the other partners. They'll agree with my case." He stated. Roger pushed the paper forward and looked over to Pete who was nearing the door.
"Bert? He doesn't even have an office. You're in line behind him. Why would he let you have an office before him? Lane, maybe. If you can win him over with your charm. Don, well Don hasn't liked you since you kissed his ass daily back when I owned this company. We also have a newest junior partner, so step aside Petey. We're making the announcement at the party next week."
Peter Campbell let out a frustrated struggle and left the office in a puff. Roger laughed and continued reading the paper.
Once he was outside in a cloud of fitted tantrum, he marched to Joan's office and barged in.
"Joan, I need you to do something about my office situation." Pete's voice held a desperate ring to it, and Joan picked it up.
"What is wrong with your office Mr. Campbell." She looked up from her work.
"It's much too small. There are no windows, and when you open the door, a support beam is placed directly at the entrance."
"That is unfortunate, but there is nothing I can do at the moment. All of the other offices are full."
"I know." He paused a moment. "I was hoping you could get someone to switch."
"Who?" a feeling in her stomach formed, and needless to say: rightly so.
"Mr. Campbell, I'm afraid your effort is a fruitless one. Roger Sterling will never leave his office, voluntarily at least, and I doubt you have the force to make him move."
"No, but you could persuade him! We all know he's very fond of you. You could use your womanly charms to convince him." Pete's face lit up and Joan's face reddened in embarrassment.
"I beg your pardon!"
Pete's face contorted in confusion. "What seems to be the matter?"
"The mere idea that you think I would do that, let alone for some petty argument, means to me that you need to learn respect, Mr. Campbell. Now leave, I have mountains of work to catch up since my time off. These secretaries had no idea what they were doing, and no one got anything done."
"Joan.." he pleaded.
"Leave Pete, now." She gesture towards the awaiting door. Pete slowly showed himself out the door. He then backpedaled towards the creative room, where Peggy, Stan, Mike and Ken were sitting down and talking. He tightened his tie and walked in confidently.
"I know this is last minute, but I need someone to switch offices with me."
"Don't look at me." Mike said. "I'm already bunking with Kenny." Pete turned his attention to Peggy.
"I need my office. I have all of my work in there and it's just the right size as is." She spoke up.
Pete scowled loudly and marched out of the creative room.
"What's got him in a twist?" Stan mumbled.
"Anything. He probably stubbed his toe on his ego." Peggy replied. The 4 musquateers laughed and continued work.
"I have a meeting with the Sony execs in two hours and I need something to go on." Ken began.
"What product are we aimed for?" Mike asked.
"Those miniature television sets that sit in the palm of your hand."
"They make those now?" Stan raised a brow.
"What can I say? The Japs know it all." Ken smiled.
"Next we'll be having a phone we can just walk around and take with us." Stan joked.
"That would be really neat. No need to worry about missing calls, just being about to reach into your pocket and dial! I think Sony should work on that." Ken said.
There was a brief silence while the four friends sat in thought. Ken was aiming for an angle that included how cool and revolutionary the TV was. Stan was thinking more of the futuristic element. Peggy was just wondering what Stan was thinking, and it was Mike who spoke up first.
"We hit the futurism of the set. It's small, workable, goes anywhere. It's portable, and that's what is interesting about it."
"Ignoring the fact that you can't even really see what is on the screen because it's four inches wide." Peggy butted in.
"I guess, but Mike has a point. How many people will see this and think "Wow, I really couldn't watch anything on that." Or would more people think, "Wow how cool of a TV." Ken gestured with his hand towards the crude drawing outlines.
"Sony, the future comes with you." Peggy grinned.
"Bang." Ken pointed at Peggy in approval. "That's what I needed."
"Wait. Have the girl in the ad staring at the set from a side angle: it's in her hand. We see her profile, and the television sets'. She's smiling, maybe an odd colour background but the focus is on the screen: below it reads, "Sony. The future is in the palm of your hand." Mike closed with his hands clenched together, waiting for a response.
"Boom!" Ken stood up and grinned. "This is why I love you guys. It's perfect." He shouted to the heavens. Ken threw his coat back on and began leaving the creative room. "Write that down before you forget!" he yelled as he made his way towards the shared office.
"Nice one Mikey." Stan happily walked over to the paper board and began laying out the advertisement. Peggy had a look of happiness as well, but some thought of dissatisfaction was read through her eyes.
"Hey, you came up with the idea, I refined it." He pointed to Peggy with his pen. "Don't you frown."
"I know, but it just seem like every time a great idea comes along, it's from you."
"No it's from you. You always say something that inspires me to think deeper. Without you, there is no bright idea! No Tesla, no Edison. No Edison, no light bulb. You're my Tesla." He smiled heartily and Peggy grinned from the corner of her mouth.
He simpered quickly and Joan walked into the creative room, her stiletto's clacking against the tiles.
"Michael, can I borrow you for a moment?" her gay expression heightened his senses.
"Of course." Mike threw down the paper onto the table and followed her into her office.
"Number one, Lane wanted me to let you know he would like to have a word with you in his office sometime today."
"Alright, and number two?"
"Green or blue."
"What am I bidding on?"
"Don't think, just answer." She kindly shook her head. Mike shifted his weight onto his one leg and pondered.
"Blue it is then."
"The table tops. We need to cover them with something. None of this, grubby grey, or white."
"Party planning Joannie." He chuckled.
"It's good to be prepared you know!"
"I'm aware! What I'm not aware of is what I should match myself accordingly to." He smirked at her.
She responded quickly, "Here." Reaching into her purse, she pulled out a small piece of cloth and handed it to him.
"A blue… rag?" his eyebrow cocked and mouth raised in question.
"That's a small piece of the dress."
"Alright, but I don't know what it looks like, the folding, pattern, or what is on it."
"So I have to guess! What if I'm wrong?" he sounded outraged in a playful way.
"Then it will be your fault." She winked coyly.
"That's not fair." He announced tipping his nose.
"Neither is life Mike, get used to it. Now go and see Lane." She tapped him on the nose with her index finger and left the room.
"Women." He scoffed loudly, closing the door behind him.
Friday, August 7th, 1965: 10:15 p.m
For the first time in company history, it seemed more that Roger Sterling was running the show than anyone else. He smooth talked his way into a good deal with the catering and fixtures. The tablecloths were from his house: luckily they had ten in the same shade of blue. The drinks were from Cavanaugh's Bar down the road, to which Dallas Sylko, the owner, had an outstanding favour owed, and the music was brought to you in full part by Peggy's good friends in the underground blues world. The lights were cut low and the friends flooded in. There was a large TV on a table at the end of the main room where the secretaries' desks normally sat and the two doors on the conference room had been unhinged, and removed.
The party was fun and loud, but also a quaint one. All the faces were familiar and kind: nobody to impress from the outside world, just friends or family.
Roger never left work that day, simply pushing back his evening and getting Jane to ride alone to the office. She was decently dressed in a brightly lit yellow dress. "It suits her well, but she looks like a slut" he thought. Roger wore his every day attire, as usual.
Ken and Cynthia Cosgrove were the first to roll in, Cynthia was dolled up in red and Ken was in a deep coloured plaid suit. Not long after, Pete and Trudy Campbell walked in smiling and shaking hands with Ken and Cynthia. Peggy and her friends followed them in, filling up the room. Stan had brought an old friend from another firm and the secretaries had all brought their boyfriends or husbands. The polls opened at 8:00 and that was precisely when Don showed up with Katy on his arm. Harry Crane quickstepped in with Jennifer, preceded by Michael and Joan. Lane was one of the last people to arrive with Rebecca on his arm. Once the big players had all filed in, Roger cranked up the music and broke out the drinks.
"To Rockefeller. For, undoubtedly giving us the edge." Roger raised his glass followed by the crowd.
"To the edge. For undoubtedly giving us Rockefeller." Don toasted
"Here, here." Roger replied tipping his glass to Don. Everyone agreed and drank down the first round quickly.
Pete pushed his way through the small congregation standing in the doorway of the conference room and began talking over Ken.
"Exciting night no doubt." He looked around as if surveying the area for the first time.
"Yes, I guess so." Ken replied, annoyed that Pete cut him down.
"I can't wait to see us win. I hear the point's margin was growing."
"Not so. In the last few weeks Harriman was closing the gap. Something about "the poor rising up to take their rightful wage" or however he put it." Ken retorted. Pete was confused and thus retracted his previous statement.
"Oh, I guess I was misinformed."
"Politics, shmolitics. Who cares?" Stan drank down a gulp of whiskey.
"We do." Mike laughed with Ken and Peggy.
"Whatever!" He scoffed sarcastically. "I think the only reason why we're really here is because of the ladies."
"Really Stanley Rizzo and how is that?"
"Choose your next few words, very carefully my friend." Ken teethed.
"Well we all look mediocre, whereas you girls get glamorous with those dresses."
"A backhanded compliment: not bad." Peggy sarcastically replied.
"Take what you can get." He laughed with the group.
Roger walked over to the widening group with Jane at his side.
"Aren't we all looking marvelous tonight." Jane smiled.
"Yeah, I like that dress Joan, nice colour." Roger quipped.
"Thank you Roger." She smiled.
"And of course dear Mikey with the matching tie over here." Roger stepped to shake Mike's hand and Mike met it.
"Expect nothing less." He continued shaking it and then let go as he said. "Jane, you are ravishing in yellow, I'm sure the envy of many here."
"Indeed. It is your colour." Joan added.
"Why thank you." Jane smiled.
Don made his way through the bustling secretaries to introduce his girl.
"Everyone, this is Katy, and Katy, this is everyone. There, I did it." Don smiled and everyone laughed quietly.
"Nice to meet you all." She said. Katy was in a black and white cream dress that complimented her hair perfectly. The shading was just right to attract attention to each individual cloak of the dress, but not rip away from other important areas. In short, she looked gorgeous, and Don was noticing.
Suddenly Walter Cronkite came blasting through the speakers of the TV saying,
"This important news update for New York. The gap between candidates Nelson A. Rockefeller and W. Averell Harriman are in a tight race. Nearly finished half of the voting by now, it's up to the counters to finalize the results on who will be the next Governor of New York. As it stands at 10:19 p.m. eastern time, it is 34 districts to 29, favouring Rockefeller. The upcoming districts are in Harriman's favour in pre-voting counts, and could be the deciding factor in this shaky race. Updates, as we hear them." The picture of the famous newscaster then switched to a film of the board counter, stating Rockefeller: 34, Harriman: 29.
"Well at least we're ahead." Peggy said.
"That doesn't really mean anything." Pete cut her off. "This could switch in 5 minutes with the way it's going tonight. This is almost worse than the Kennedy Nixon election."
"Except then we thought we had a surefire step to Nixon winning." Kenny mused.
"I had money on that election too." Pete angrily splurged.
"Can't take the bet, get out of the ring." Roger smiled weakly.
"Easy for you to say moneybags."
"I can't help it if my father was smart."
"No, I guess you couldn't." his face turning slightly beet in anger.
"Peter." Trudy clenched his arm.
"Alright! Sorry, just must be the drinks." He brushed it off.
Upbeat dance music began playing and the girls slowly pulled their men towards the floor and began shaking to the undeniable beat. The music was of a fading generation but still was a "bloody good time" as Lane Pryce said. After the quick dances, slower dances came on
"Did I choose the right suit?" Michael asked as he and Joan spun in the low light.
"You chose the right suit." She smiled. "I'm surprised at how well you did with just that one piece."
"Innovation is a facet of my character I guess." He falsified the humbleness in his voice.
"I would say that. I would also say you're getting a little ego driven."
"What? I don't want you turning out like them." She said complacently. Mike beamed and replied.
"Certainly not." He moved the placement of his right hand to the small of Joan's back and pulled her closer.
"Feeling bold are we." She rested her head on his shoulder, looking out into the sea of other dancers.
"I like seeing your face better." He whispered into her ear.
"I'm just making sure you don't get too bold." She smirked to herself.
Don and Katy were at the other end of the dance, much more awkwardly dancing for the first time. Normally Don was much smoother with these types of things, but for the first time, the girl was trying to lead.
"Your old man lead often I'm guessing?" Don mused.
"That's just the way I grew up dancing. Sorry if it bugs you."
"Not at all." Don took a moment to continue. "It's just interesting."
"My father taught me to dance. He said that any real man would appreciate the woman taking initiative and making her own path instead of following in the steps of society."
Don raised a brow in surprise. "Well said."
They continued to dance for a longer while, but Katy hadn't made the move to lean in on Don, and he was getting worried that she didn't want to. He had previously tried to move closer, but she had somehow squirreled out of his embrace. "All I Have to Do Is Dream" by the Everly Brothers came on and they changed to a very slow pace.
Katy pushed in slowly and wrapped her arms tighter around his neck looking deeply into the ocean of his eyes.
"You were waiting for this, I'm assuming?"
"What told you that?"
"You, trying to force me into it the whole evening."
"I guess I'm not very subtle." He laughed.
"Not really." She looked into his eyes and gently pecked him on the lips, catching him off guard. Don reacted instantly by kissing her back, much more passionately.
"Oh quit staring at everyone."
"I'm just looking around!" Roger said innocently.
"Fine." Jane settled. "It would be nice to receive a compliment around here."
"You did! Not 10 minutes ago too."
"From someone else!"
"You're beautiful, does that help?"
"Well now you're just trying to shut me up."
"What do you want me to say! Nothing at all then! If I say one thing I'm trapped, if I say another, I'm trapped. Give me some leg room!" he nearly shouted through the loud song.
"Alright sorry. I just would like to hear you say it every now and then."
"Okay you got it, I will try." Roger responded, in a desperate attempt to alleviate the situation.
"I'm getting tired of dancing." Katy said
"Alright we can do something else." Don suggested.
"And what would that be?" she smiled slyly
"I don't know, it's up to you." He winked.
"Maybe you could show me your office?" Katy felt a small burn in her stomach
"After you dear." Don smirked and winked.
"You know I love you right?" Michael admitted with some hesitation.
"I know you do." Joan pulled off of his shoulder looked into the ocean of blue.
"Do I what?" she avoided the question.
"Why don't you like saying that. I think I've heard you say it once."
"I don't know Mike… I just…. Don't know."
"That's not bad." He said assuredly.
"No?" she asked in a high tone.
"When love binds it blinds, and when love blinds, it lingers. Like the afterglow of a lightbulb, even after it's out you can still see the glow from the filament for a while."
Joan thought a long moment and the replied.
"I love you."
Mike felt a deep heat in is heart and he broke out in the most dumbfound smile.
"I want you." She continued, looking away and biting her lip lightly.
"I want you too."
"No, like… I want you" she mumbled.
"I don't…. oh, I get it." He winked at her.
Joan and Michael pushed through the crowd towards the fringe and exited quietly.
Roger was half asleep on the couch in the main room when the results came blasting through the television set. Many people had petered out and either gone home, been too drunk to do so and collapsed on office furniture, or were glued to the television set in front of their face.
It was nearly 3:00 when final verified results were broadcasted to the world.
"It was a brilliant race tonight in the great state of New York, but alas only one political member can rise to the seat of Governor for the state. Will Nelson Rockefeller keep the high standing seat he has, or would W. Averell Harriman steal it from him? The race started fairly displaced, with Rockefeller quickly taking the lead, and Harriman trailing in his wide wake. After a few hours the lone southern industrial sectors were picking up on Harriman's side, closing the gap: a "gap shutting" a few attribute to his stake in the Harriman Railway Company. None the less, in the latter hours of the race, the gap was nearly dead even, at midnight it sitting with 43 and 43, and two sectors to go. Finally at 12:30, the votes were counted, recounted, and counted a third time. At 3:04, eastern standard time on August 8th, we bring the true final results. With 45 divisions clamoring for his name, Nelson Rockefeller will hold his seat as Governor of New York." Cronkite concluded.
A few hurrahs broke from the small group nailed to the set and even Roger stood throwing up a toast.
"To those of us who survived and are here as witnesses, Job well done. Now get back to work. It's tomorrow already." He laughed.
"Here, here!" Ken shouted in a drunken stupor. Roger spilt some of his whiskey in his suit
"Shit." He mumbled. "Favourite suit."
Mike opened the door of his shared office and saw Ken sitting in a swivel chair being rolled around by Roger.
"Did we win?" he fixed his hair and shoved his dress shirt back into the folds of his pants, pulling them up. Roger flung the chair that Ken was in towards Mike. Ken stuck out his feet and stopped the chair just short of Mike.
"Yeah we did! What a score hey? 45 to 45."
Joan walked out of the office behind him, adjusting her hair as well. She blushed slightly seeing the men watch her.
"Sorry my dress was coming undone. I needed help." She burned it off
"Of course." Ken smirked.
Katy was lying on Don's hairy chest in his office when they heard the news.
"I guess you got the big bang then tonight." She mused.
"I guess I did." Don laughed. "A lot of work."
"It's never easy pleasing people." Katy agreed.
"Tonight I'm just glad I pleased one person." He looked deeply into her eyes. They kissed.
"Me too Don, me too."