The Secretaries of Don Draper

The plot turns in the fourth season finale of “Mad Men” Sunday puts us to mind of all the secretaries who have worked for Don Draper from 1960 to 65.

  • Peggy Olson. How did such a newbie end up as Don Draper’s secretary? Brassy office queen bee Joan Harris tried to fill her in on all the details of being a secretary (including getting on the pill). But eventually, she showed enough of her own creativity and promise that she was made Sterling Cooper’s first female copywriter at the end of season one and was invited to join the new Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce when it began at the end of season three.
  • Jane Siegel – Draper’s new secretary in season two is young but inefficient. When she is criticized by Don, Roger Sterling comes to her rescue and by the end of the season those two are married.
  • Lois Sadler – The comic switchboard operator in season one, succeeds Jane as Don’s secretary. She messes things up, though, and she fires her. She ends up back at the switchboard and eventually becomes Paul Kinsey’s secretary in season three. It’s during that season she spills the beans about the agency takeover. But her most spectacular turn comes in driving a John Deere tractor during an in-office tragedy (but is not fired even then).
  • Allison – (No last name!) Began at Sterling Cooper as receptionist but became Draper’s secretary in season three. After bringing his keys to his apartment after one drunken night, they had a little fling, which she was shattered to find had been considered a one-night stand. She quit and in a fit of tears, threw a brass ornament at him.
  • Ida Blankenship – An older Jewish woman was a change of pace for a Don Draper secretary – a 67 year old woman drawn from a pool in the office, though never seen until she took the desk outside Draper’s office. She had a dry humor and could be slow in the uptake, she was seen as being good for his office in that she was neither a distraction nor a possible sexual conquest. Being old had its consequences, though: She died at the desk suddenly one day.
  • Megan Calvet – The comely receptionist for Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce was moved up to Draper’s secretary when Miss Blankenship died on the job. She offered herself for a no-strings tryst one day and promised to be cool about it. Then after a California trip in which she was nanny for the kids and companion for the father, she became engaged to Draper – a surprise to nearly everyone, including viewers.
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