AMC must be cha-cha-chaing all the way to the bank as its biggest hit Mad Men returns for its fifth season this weekend. And holy highballs, we couldn’t be more excited! In the world of Mad Men, advertising is king and the white-collared, trench-coated man is the ruler of his own domain. It’s 1965, and there are no need for mancaves; it’s a mad man’s world.*
But it’s 2012, you mod(ern) man you, and the sleazy, sexy, life-shortening practices of yesteryear have given way to more sensible, balanced and healthier lifestyles. And what were once the rites of any hardworking corporate brotherhood have now become obvious liabilities. So here are five classic workplace practices to remind you it’s no longer Don Draper’s world.
*Except when, as in the pilot, we’re reminded that it’s hard to be a man.
Drinking … on the Job
What’s a happy hour? Draper and his team would’ve made you the laughingstock of New York City if you turned down a drink at a meeting. Really, who waits until after work for cocktails? Nothing says “working lunch” like a whiskey, or two, or three, or a four before punching out…or blacking out. Today, imbibe your spirit of choice anytime between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., and you’ll find yourself on forced temporary leave and signing up for a twelve-step program.
Filtering All That Clean Air with Cigarettes
It’s 1965, gentlemen; there is no such thing as a Designated Smoking Area. In fact, the Marlboro Man has just made it onto the scene and the iconic image is everywhere; in the trains, on TV, on billboards, even in advertisements at the hospital, yes, hospital. So smoke away, it’s the cool thing to do. Smoke like it’s going out of style. But it’s 2012, guys, so before you light up, go find yourself a hidden little spot about three blocks from your office, nice and private … and away from helpless children!
Gorging on High-Fat Foods Like Your Life Depended on It
Monday is meatloaf, Tuesday is tater casserole, and Wednesday is whiskey for dinner. Thus was the doctor-recommended daily diet you strictly followed in the ’60’s. Unaware of the lifetime of health problems one would incur, eating a heavy, lard-laden meal was the responsible thing to do. Follow that bleeding porterhouse with a bottle of your favorite scotch and you’ve got yourself a perfect night in with the wife and kids. Today, you’d be lucky if your doctor gives you the green light on an 8 oz. steak. Actually, you’d be lucky if you’ve managed to keep your cholesterol level down and those heart attacks at bay.
Having an Illicit Adulterous Affair with the Entire Female Population of Manhattan
Don Draper did it and ended up destroying his marriage to Betty. But that was 1965, folks. In 2012…well…actually no further comment.
Informing Your Secretary She Looks Good Enough to Eat
Two words: YOU’RE FIRED!
So remember it’s 2012, not 1965. Go get yourself a new pair of running shoes, eat some vegetables, and throw out those half-empty bottles of the stuff you tell the little one is good for cleaning mirrors. But make sure you give yourself enough time for a post-run stretch before you get comfy on the couch, with your kale chips and kombucha, because the fifth season of Mad Men is going to be great, and Don Draper will once again reign gloriously supreme.
Cesar Guadamuz does not lead the life of a Mad Man; Cesar Guadamuz leads the life of a Sensible Man. You can follow his enlightened train of thought on Twitter @LetCesarSpeak