Do you know anyone like Don Draper (of Mad Men)

I’m not sure what to make of Don Draper. Yes, yes, I realize that’s the whole point of the show (in a sense) but I’m not referring to his mysterious past. I mean the fact that he is able to be charming, witty and funny with potential clients, and just sort of a moody asshole with everybody else most of the time.

In the recent episode where he went out with Roger, I kept wondering, why does Roger even like this guy? Roger is sort of a fun loving guy. Don does not strike me that way at all. I would actually think that Roger would like the fact that Don brings in a lot of money, but AVOID socializing with him.

Do you know anybody like Draper?

My own father is exactly like a chubbier Don Draper.

Fun fact: John Hamm, the actor playing Dan Draper, went to high school with Sarah Chalke, from “Scrubs” fame.

Same high school or high school at the same time? I would guess that the two of them are about 7 or 8 years apart.

I don’t mean to pry, but what is your father like with the family? with his friends? does he have close friends?

Have you ever asked him about this? Or is it just that he has a kind of superficial charm, but not interested in deep connections with people.

Sorry if I’m prying. I guess the reason for my curiosity is that at first I was kind of intrigued by the character, but I’m starting to find him annoying. It would be one thing if he were inconsistent. I have heard of lots of Steve Jobs type people who use inconsistency to keep people guessing. But Don just seems to be an asshole all the time to his subordinates.

I’ve worked in a big lawfirm, and fwiw my experience was that the people who were charming with clients were also charming (although of course not quite as nice) with subordinates. I didn’t see (or at least don’t recall seeing) anybody who had quite the dramatic split that Draper seems to have.

Good lord yes. I worked at HP, went to a top business school and then was in management consulting for over a decade at Andersen Consulting / Accenture in their Strategic Services practice - in those places, I ran into folks like that constantly.

Some folks keep things in boxes and those boxes are so strongly reinforced (so that they can keep it all together) that they practically end up with multiple personalities…I guess I see it as a byproduct of really trying to be a Player in the working world, where you end up in a high-powered place and put your job success as a priority over maintaining a good sense of self and a work/life balance…

You ever talk with any investment bankers? Oy.

One reason I don’t watch that show is that I grew up surrounded by those guys.

Exactly - I came to the show late but recorded the first season on DVR when AMC had a marathon. While I appreciated the period feel and the basic soap-opera aspect to the characters and plots, the basic characters where so reflective of the type of person and company I sought to leave that I found no interest in going there via TV…

Sorry, guys like Don Draper, or guys like the other characters on Mad Men?
The reason I ask is that the Draper character actually seems different from the other characters on the show.
The other guys on the show seem to maintain a pretty consistent, locker room, ball busting kind of disposition. By our standards they are pretty misogynistic (among other vices) but they don’t seem to exhibit the same kind of dichotomy that Draper does.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the Draper character strikes me as somewhat unrealistic. I think people who are charming tend to be charming with most people around them. It’s just the way they operate. I find it odd that this character is so charming with clients, and with nobody else.

He’s the Alpha Male. He can’t be charming with the subordinates – it would show weakness. Occasionally he tosses them a scrap “Good work” and they lick it up. They wish they could pal with him, but basically they want to be him. They are amazed and mystified by his sway over beautiful women and his immunity to most of the office honeys. His dalliances tend to be with equals or women outside of work. He does charm the women outside of the office, and opens up a little to Joan and Peggy, but otherwise the walls are up.

From a psychoanalytical standpoint (or psychobabble) his inability to deal with women comes from growing up without a real mother / son relationship. You notice that he is able to charm his children, but they see him as god, which makes it pretty easy. He empathises with his son Bobby. FWIW, the current storyline is setting him up for the fall from grace as the center of his children’s universe. Notice that Betty has more of an affinity for Glenn than she does for her own son. She wants to own some of the worship that Don gets.

John Hamm went to high school in St. Louis with Sarah Clarke, from “24.” Sarah Chalke, from “Scrubs,” is from Ottawa.

My father was a very successful salesman although he often complained that he hated the whole idea of sales. A couple of years before he died I asked him how he managed to do something every day that he said he hated.

He said that he finally decided to turn his sales calls into an exercise in manipulation. Who responded to a slap on the back and a three-martini lunch; who just wanted to crunch numbers; who wanted to talk sports or politics, etc.

Basically, he didn’t really care about the other person as a person. He just adopted whatever personna he was expected to in a given situation.