Memo From <em>Mad Men</em>‘s Human Resources Department Re: Office Morale

'The Doorway,' 6x1

Business as usual. (AMC)
Business as usual. (AMC)

To: Employees of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce

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From: HR

Subject:  Policy Review

To all staff,

We hope you had a lovely Christmas and a happy New Year to boot! We know that 1968 is going to be a huge year for Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, one in which we’ll see all our targets hit. On that note, we hope you all enjoyed your holiday bonuses, which–while not as large as the number circulating around the rumor mill in the office due to some financial irregularities–were still quite competitive. A new year is a fresh start, and with that in mind, we ask that you all take a moment to review the SCDP employee handbook, so we can learn from our hiccups last quarters and move forward. (Note on handbooks: If you haven’t received yours, ask your secretary to find it.)

Office morale: As many of you know, we lost one of our founding partners over Christmas. Lane Pryce was a highly-regarded member of our company, and his untimely death was a tragedy. To wit: We’ve recieved complaints from several staffers regarding some gruesome speculation as to the manner and location of Mr. Pryce’s demise. We would ask that everyone please refrain from giving more voice to these ugly (and highly detailed! my, what imaginations you all have!) hearsay. While we can’t at this time fully disclose the climate surrounding Mr. Pryce’s passing until a formal inquiry has been made, we can address the following rumors:

1) Mr. Pryce’s ghost is not haunting the halls and of course it is perfectly safe to enter his former office. The frankly ludicrous theory that in order to avoid the “ghost’s curse” one must kiss a copywriter is not just offensive but shows a distinctly weak display of cognitive faculties. We would hope that any employee of this firm would know better than to fall for such macabre tomfoolery. (We are looking at you, temp pool.)

2.) Addendum to 1.): While the building may not have a ghost, the haunting sense of metaphysical unease and ennui that has pervaded this floor since The Incident is totally normal, and can be chalked up to Wintertime Blues and/or death of a colleague. The best cure for the creeping fear of your own mortality is, as always, a sunny attitude.

3.) Despite reports to the contrary, none of our other managing partners are currently showing symptoms of suicidal tendencies. The occasional office crying jag, scheduled therapy session, ill-timed vomiting spell and/or death-embracing sales pitch should be treated as what they actually are–business as usual–and not given undue speculation.

This is not to say we take mental health lightly at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. On the contrary, we have just received the DSMII and are currently on the lookout for an insidious little brain disease that we’ll just call “Midlife Crisis-itis.” Symptoms may vary but be extra vigilant for the following signs of the disease: a sudden lack of interest in ass-grabbing, long musings on the existential, a marked increase in consumption of cigarettes and alcohol, a marked decrease in consumption of cigarettes and alcohol, and/or long periods of staring into space after being asked a question, almost as if the person in question has been reminded of something…something very far away. If you or your coworkers start displaying any of these symptoms, please contact us immediately

On a lighter note, if anyone finds a copy of Dante’s Inferno, can you please return it to Mr. Draper’s office during lunch?

Thank you,

Rhonda Sullivan

Head of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Human Resources

Memo From <em>Mad Men</em>‘s Human Resources Department Re: Office Morale