When it comes to workplace drama, Mad Men has it all: high-stakes accounts, employees fighting for promotions and power, interoffice affairs, drinking on the job, and professional talent clouded by shenanigans, secrecy, and even sexual harassment. Whenever I watch the show I am both captivated by the saucy situations and characters and thankful for how far we have come as professionals since the 1960s.
The plotlines that evolve within the powerful Sterling Cooper agency and its smart but unruly ad men and women are dramatized for our viewing pleasure, but it is true that office culture has changed substantially in the last 40 years. If it hadn't, we wouldn't be so shocked and awed when we see the way the characters talk to one another. There there are plenty of lessons we can learn from the (mis)behavior on the show. Find out what they are before you start bringing back early morning scotch breaks and get sent to HR.