Don makes his appearance, and Peggy tells him that Bertram wants to see him in his office, and adds that it's just him and not Roger. Don takes a moment to process that, which is interesting, and then notices the damage to Peggy's blouse, which she tries to say happened because she caught it on something. "I might start keeping a spare." Girl, where are you going to find the money for that on your salary? Especially since your birth-control budget is so clearly off-limits?
Don is waiting outside, looking a little nervous, when Bertram opens the door and invites him in. He tells Don that he'd prefer he not smoke in there "right now," which is interesting -- it's so offhand that it didn't even occur to me at first, but do you think Bertram could be having some health issues? This is the second time he's come down on smoking, and on top of that, this upcoming scene makes a lot more sense if you consider that Bertram might be grooming Don to take his place. Anyway, Bertram tells Don that he's been incredibly valuable, and although it's hard to put a price on it, he's going to try anyway, and hands Don a check for twenty-five hundred bucks. To put that in perspective, that's well more than what Pete makes in half a year, as he'd be only too bitter to tell you. Don can't hide his joy, and they both enjoy the moment before Bertram points to his bookshelf and asks Don if he's read Atlas Shrugged; when it's clear that Don hasn't, Bertram tells him that once you hit forty, you've met every kind of person there is. So I only have three more years before I stop adding to the types of people that annoy me? Sweet! Bertram goes on that he knows what type of person Don is, because he's like Bertram, a "productive and reasonable man, and in the end, completely self-interested." Well, if that's the case, it seems like Don reading a thousand pages on Objectivism is redundant, but I'm a mean person, so I'm not going to tell him that. Bertram goes on that they're strong, and as such, "unsentimental about all the people who depend on our hard work," and that Don should "take a dollar ninety-nine" out of the bonus and buy a copy of the book. I suppose when he puts it that way, it's the least he can do, and Don agrees as Bertram goes back to tending to his rather large bonsai tree.
Under the normal "Art Department" lettering on the door, there's a hand-written sign that reads, "THIS IS THE ART DEPARTMENT, NOT CASTING." That's funny enough that I'll forgive the all-caps. New Girl (Lois Sadler is her name) causes the geeks both young and old working there to horn up, and then Salvatore appears and suavely introduces himself and apologizes for the mess. Lois says it's no problem: "I work in a closet all day." Be as on-the-nose as you want with this character, writers -- I'll still giggle. Lois awkwardly asks for directions to the Accounting Department, and after Salvatore gives them to her, leaves with a pointed, "Ciao, ciao!" Salvatore doesn't bat an eye at the switch-stalking, only commenting to the boys that he's glad the tie he bought worked. I think you'll soon find that it works a little too well. Young Geek and Old Geek enviously say that the ladies always talk to Salvatore, and then Salvatore heads back into his office, but not before snarking on Old Geek's (Dwayne) attire. He may be in there with the shoe trees and tie racks, Dwayne, but that doesn't mean he's wrong.