Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Episode 29 - The Red Dot

The Plot:  The episode opens at Elaine’s office at Pendant Publishing.  After introducing Jerry & George to her new boyfriend (Dick) Elaine tells George that there is an opening for a reader in her department and she can give the job to anyone she wants and she offers it to him.  At the same time, Dick, a recovering alcoholic starts to act a little antagonistic to Jerry.  After a little spat, Dick grabs his cranberry juice and storms off.  Elaine returns to find that Dick has accidently picked up her drink (cranberry and vodka).

To say thank you for getting him a job, George goes shopping with Jerry to find a gift.  He finds an incredibly expensive cashmere sweater, that has a minor flaw (a red dot) on the bottom hem, and thus has been marked down to a10th of the normal retail price. After being initially elated at the thoughtful gift, Elaine notices the red spot and wants to return the sweater for a clean one.  When George acts strange about her returning the gift, she begins to suspect that he bought the sweater with the blemish so that he could get it cheap.  She even tries to get Jerry to admit that George knew the sweater was damaged.  She also is trying to figure out if Dick is drinking again.  She asks Kramer if she can smell him after he’s had a drink to see if she could tell.  Kramer takes a drink of Hennigans whiskey (a brand that recurs in this episode and the series).   

Elaine is finally able to trick George into admitting that he knew the sweater was damaged.  Irate at his cheapness, she gives him the sweater back. 

The next scene cuts to George working at his new job at Pendant.  He starts some playful banter with the cleaning lady in the office.  Next thing we know, George is telling Jerry about having sex with the cleaning lady on his office desk.  When Jerry asks how that happened, George blames Hennigans. 

The next day, the cleaning lady gets upset over what happened the previous night and threatens to report what happened to the boss, Mr. Lippman. George tries to compensate with her by offering the flawed cashmere sweater. The cleaning lady is extremely overjoyed by the gift, launching into an emotional story about her first cashmere experience. Unfortunately for George she then notices the red spot, thus consequently getting him fired. 

As George is packing his things in the office he is met by Elaine and Jerry. After getting into an argument they suddenly hear a drunken Dick rampaging through the office hallway, coming to gain his revenge on Jerry for losing his job. The three quickly hide under George's desk and wait as the drunkard approaches them. Just then, George offers the cashmere sweater to Dick, this manages to calm Dick's rage until he sees the spot.

Fun Facts:

  • This is the first episode that has a character appear in the standup routine portion of the show.
  • When asked who his favorite writer is, George cites Art Vandelay (again) who he claims has written a novel called Venetian Blinds (we’ll see that one again).

Favorite Quote:   George explaining the events that led up to he and the cleaning woman hooking up:

George: Hennigans. I was there sitting in the office and the cleaning woman comes in. I've always been attracted to cleaning women. Cleaning women, chambermaids.
Jerry: Yeah chambermaids, I'm attracted to them too.
George: Why is that?
Jerry: It's a woman in your room. 

George: So we started drinking, and I'll tell you I don't know if it was the alcohol or the ammonia, but the next think I knew she was mopping the floor with me.
Jerry: So how was it?
George: Well the sex was okay, but I threw up from the Hennigans.
Jerry: Good thing the cleaning lady was there.

Favorite Scene:   The look on George’s face when Lippman confronts him about his encounter with the cleaning lady is priceless: 

Lippman: I'm going to get right to the point. It has come to my attention that you and the cleaning woman have engaged in sexual intercourse on the desk in your office. Is that correct?
George: Who said that?
Lippman: She did.
George: Was that wrong? Should I have not done that? I tell you I gotta plead ignorance on this thing because if anyone had said anything to me at all when I first started here that that sort of thing was frowned upon, you know, cause I've worked in a lot of offices and I tell you people do that all the time.
Lippman: You're fired.

The Lesson:  A couple of very important lessons for entrepreneurs, like not drinking too much in the workplace and/or avoid sexual encounters with your staff.  But again, those are too easy and obvious.  The key lesson for entrepreneurs from this episode, is you usually end  getting what you deserve when you’re cheap.  As we have mentioned countless times in this blog, startups do not have an endless supply of financial resources.  They are constantly forced to make difficult decisions on where to deploy their capital.  Those decisions are never easy.  But one of the surest routes to failure is for a startup to always select the “cheapest” option available.  Pick the cheap attorney (or LegalZoom) to complete your company paperwork and you are sure to end up with an incomplete set of documents.  Rely on your cousin’s roommate to build your data analytics and odds are you will have nothing valuable to show for your time or money.  We constantly encourage our entrepreneurs to understand the difference between “cost” and “value”.  Something doesn’t have to be expensive to provide value, but it isn’t a value, just because it is cheaper.  You must constantly assess the cost associated with a particular task and the value that task creates for the company.  Making the wrong choice will almost always place a red dot on your company's reputation.

No comments:

Post a Comment