5/14 Season Two, Episode 16: The Life of the Party-Scarecrow and Mrs King

On to the Private Party offices for Amanda and Francine’s job interviews!
2.16 LOTP.avi_001033733Amanda first!!
Mrs Flanagan: I’m impressed, Mrs King. Obvious enthusiasm, wonderful school records. Well! You have all the skills we need.
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[which probably isn’t much! This is soooo funny! The lady tells Amanda she has wonderful school records? my goodness!! school records? At Amanda’s age?]
Amanda: Well, thank you.
2.16 LOTP.avi_001040740
[whoooo I see the haircut is looking much much nicer here!!!! I am much much happier!!! Smile So what’s the difference?
2.16 LOTP.avi_0010127122.16 LOTP.avi_001041741
a side part?? her hair tucked behind her ears? maybe it’s the fringe she has too.. a bit? Hey! that’s the fluffy Jacket she wore in Car Wars!! Smile]
2.16 LOTP.avi_001042742Mrs Flannigan: There is just one more thing. Why are you
2.16 LOTP.avi_001043743seeking a job as a maid with Private Party?
Amanda: Well, quite frankly, I can use the money.

2.16 LOTP.avi_0010517512.16 LOTP.avi_001050750
Mrs Flannigan: Refreshingly honest, Mrs King. Thank you so very much. If you’ll just take a seat with the others, please.
[Mrs Flannigan remarks this is refreshingly honest?? Forgive me, but why else would someone want to work as a maid? because it has been their life long dream? because they just have a passion for cleaning? because now they are a millionaire they can do whatever they like without financial burdens??!!… refreshingly obvious me thinks Winking smile ]
Amanda: Yes, thank you, Mrs Flannigan.

It’s funny how the interviews are all done together, with the other women being interviewed in the same room!- they are listening in.. A lot of confidential information is discussed in interviews that is no one else’s business! Still it makes for a deliciously squirmy Francine here! Smile Private Party has zero private interviews! 😉

Mrs Flannigan: Francine Desmond?
2.16 LOTP.avi_001063763

Francine: I didn’t get a chance to finish all the questions.
2.16 LOTP.avi_001068768
Mrs Flannigan: Oh, that’s quite all right. Now, let’s see what we have here. Address, yes, that’s right. Blue eyes.
2.16 LOTP.avi_0010771772.16 LOTP.avi_001077310
2.16 LOTP.avi_001077444 [I think Francine is thinking this is ridiculous! who cares what colour eyes you have.. I’m surprised she doesn’t ask to see Francine’s teeth and for her bloodline papers!!]
2.16 LOTP.avi_001084784…Um, Miss Desmond, under height you have 5’8″ or 5’9″ and then “D.O.H.”? What is 2.16 LOTP.avi_001085518D.O.H.?
[We see Amanda is listening in and wondering herself what could D.O.H mean??]

Francine: Depending on heels. 1HaHaHa
2.16 LOTP.avi_0010887882.16 LOTP.avi_001089789
Ohhhhh I love Amanda’s reaction to this.. Ohhh Francine!!!! Idiot Francine!! 1facepalm
If I didn’t know better I would say she is trying to sabotage getting hired!!! I agree with Francine that this is outrageous, unfair questioning.. but Francine is suppose to be a professional- and she has an important job to do here! She should rise above it! Who writes DOH and expects to be taken seriously??!!! haaa!
2.16 LOTP.avi_001091791Mrs Flannigan: I see…
…Weight, 110. err ‘ish’?
– Ugh!! why do women have to answer such humiliating questions to get a job as a maid?! They must be borrowing the forms for hiring from Honeycutt typewriters!
These are women, not children.. and to me, these questions are disrespectful! Okay okay.. 2.16 LOTP.avi_001097797I do find Francine’s squirming lots of fun though!! Smile Such a fun scene!!!
2.16 LOTP.avi_001098798Francine is fully aware Amanda can
2.16 LOTP.avi_001099799hear!: Could you keep your voice down just a little bit? [Actually, I think that is a pretty good answer – Though after everything Amanda has had to endure at the hands of Francine? Amanda’s enjoying this!!!! and I can’t say I blame her! Smile Poetic Justice! ]
2.16 LOTP.avi_001102802Mrs Flannigan: And you haven’t filled out your age, Miss Desmond.
2.16 LOTP.avi_001104804Francine: No, I didn’t. I didn’t think it was really important. I mean, I am over 21.
Mrs Flannigan: I’m quite sure you are.

2.16 LOTP.avi_001109809
Ohhh hoo hooooo!!!! This is incredibly rude! teee heeee!!! and  I’m simultaneously laughing my head off!! Winking smile [Just like Amanda! I love that KJ manages to portray Amanda giggling.. but at the same time, it seems like a naughty giggle!! Like she just knows she should giggle at this .. but… 😉 ]
2.16 LOTP.avi_001110810
2.16 LOTP.avi_001115815Mrs Flanagan: Miss Desmond, this is a job questionnaire.
[Could have fooled me! Smile
2.16 LOTP.avi_001116816…And there are 2.16 LOTP.avi_001119819certain vital statistics that are required… [I can understand models being asked these questions..but.. maids?!]  2.16 LOTP.avi_001124824…Now… your age, please?
2.16 LOTP.avi_001125825
Francine:
Uh, twentyyyy-

2.16 LOTP.avi_001128828[Francine is cut off by the intercom buzzing- phew!! Winking smile ]
Malcolm (over the intercom): Mrs Flannigan, could you step in for a minute?
2.16 LOTP.avi_001133833Mrs Flannigan: Yes. Yes, of course, sir. Would you excuse me, Miss Desmond?..
2.16 LOTP.avi_001138838 …And you can use the time to finish the questionnaire.


Francine takes the forms and sits back down next to Amanda..
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For once, I love Francine’s outfit!!! it’s normal! LOL!!! and see the back split?
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It matches the purpley/pink top so it’s a matching suit.. looks really lovely on her..

I think this scene is very cleverly written.. it works on two levels – on the surface, it’s hilarious!!!! Suffer Francine!!! At the same time, it’s a comment on the treatment of women in the workforce!! I see both here.. and don’t think the humour cancels out the serious message, nor vice versa! It works beautifully!!

Thank goodness we don’t have to put up with this drivel in today’s workforce! [Well.. we may come across it..but now we can sue them! 🙂 ] but.. it sure is fun to see Francine squirm!! heheheheeeeee!!
2.16 LOTP.avi_001148848Francine: Honestly. All these questions just to become a maid.
[I agree with her, it’s outrageous! but..
Suck it up Princess! You’ve got a job to do here! I think I’ll be saying that a bit this episode! Francine doesn’t do herself any favours huh!]
2.16 LOTP.avi_001150850Amanda: Francine, you’ve gotta get this job, no matter how old you are.

2.16 LOTP.avi_001153853Francine: I know. Billy made that very clear.

Amanda: It’s really 2.16 LOTP.avi_001159859going to be kind of fun. I’m sort of excited- we’re working together for the first time.

[yeah!!! Get ready Francine I think a few of your beliefs are about to be challenged!!]

2.16 LOTP.avi_001161861Francine: Nifty, isn’t it?
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Amanda looks a little disappointed at Francine’s attitude Sad smile but you can’t keep Amanda down! She’s a trouper! Francine is about to see this first hand! Smile
Mrs Flannigan returns, followed by Malcolm and Vic Burling
[the two male bosses, and their female secretary.. my goodness.. such stereotypes!]
Mrs Flannigan: Excuse me, ladies. I’d like you all to meet our owners. This is Mr Vic and Mr Malcolm Burling.
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Vic: My brother and I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for your interest in Private Party. Now, you’ll all be given a short trial run before final selections are made. Mrs Flannigan will get in touch with you concerning the specifics.
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ROFL! soooo they basically all get a trial run.. me thinks the Burlings like free labour.. I bet they don’t get paid for this ‘trial’. It’s like they’re 2.16 LOTP.avi_001180880giving all the women a little pat on the head – you are still in with a chance to be lucky enough to work for us!!! whoo hoo! –ugh!
BTW is it just me or does Private Party sound really dodgy?? Especially straight after ALSALS! Winking smile where I’m pretty sure Rita was running a business called private party also Winking smile
2.16 LOTP.avi_001185552Malcolm: Thank you, all of you for coming, and drive carefully. [Ugh! drive carefully?!! when he killed Sally and tossed her body in the boot like it was garbage?!!!]
Amanda: Thank you.
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All the women stand and head for the door, Francine handing her form back to Mrs Flannigan.
Mrs Flannigan: Oh, thank you.
Amanda (under her breath as they leave): Fill in your age, Francine?!
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With all the applicants gone.. Malcolm to Mrs Flannigan: Anybody look good?
Mrs Flannigan: Yes, as a matter of fact. Mrs  Amanda King. Divorcee, mother of two, wants the job badly. She even said she needed the money.

Mmm yes but.. why else would someone be a maid?! Winking smile
Malcolm: Oh, that sounds promising. Good, keep an eye on her. We need somebody to replace Sally. [Anyone else wonder what happens to Sally’s body- I don’t think she is ever mentioned again, so I don’t think they find her Sad smile Poor Sally!]
Vic: Where are you putting her tomorrow?
Mrs Flannigan: General Oliver’s garden party.

So they decide Amanda is the perfect choice to spy on clients..or well, to be blackmailed into it..  Amanda has the knack of being picked out by the baddies for special treatment – be that good or bad!! Smile What Luck!! Winking smile

Sooo this is quite an interesting interrogation.. err I mean hazing ritual… err I mean interview isn’t it?!

Francine is such a contradiction at times, I find her fascinating! I am reminded of her dialogue when she first met Amanda at IFF [which ironically has references to Amanda looking for work!]:

Francine (condescendingly): What is it you say you do, dear?
Amanda: I’m a mother. And I’m a den mother. I’m looking for work. Actually, I do a lot.
Francine: Sounds like it.
[not] I guess I should have taken time for some of those 85 francinethings, but, uh. . . .You know, I believe that it is never too late for today’s woman to do anything she wants to 84 amanda listens to francinedo. So, now that I am a successful professional, I’ve decided to go back to school.

Francine is a modern woman of the 80’s. A successful professional, a highly trained agent,  who believes in women’s equality, but because she is also a bit of a snob, she doesn’t think all women are equal! [Given she knows nothing about cooking or cleaning, I’m guessing her parents raised her to ‘marry well’ – and she’s trying Winking smile but.. she has also chosen to do great things with her work and ‘be somebody’ ] She looks down on women like Amanda [a nobody – always overlooked remember?!], and the way they live their lives. I think she looks down on women who are not career women because she has rejected that homemaker image of women.. to her,  she wants to be a somebody, not a nobody!

At this interview, Francine is angry at the treatment she experiences.. that women have to answer these questions to be a maid! Francine fights to be taken seriously in the workforce..  I think Francine is right!

But.. this is not the whole story – and here’s where Francine is a contradiction- What Francine doesn’t realise IMHO is that Francine is part of the problem, as she rebuffs Amanda’s expressions of excitement that they will be working together for the first time– she’s dismissing Amanda and what she has to offer without knowing!!.. You’ll see Francine!  Smile 

I think this episode has some wonderfully positive things to say about women! Gooo women!!! Smile It’s interesting that this all comes up at a time in the show when we are starting to sense that Amanda is becoming more comfortable taking on her role as a professional woman! An smk coincidence?? Hmm.. I’m thinking not! Smile

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts!! Any cringe worthy work experiences you’d like to share?? Anyone had an interview like this one??!!! I was too young to be going to work interviews in the 80s.. Byeee for now!!

77 responses to “5/14 Season Two, Episode 16: The Life of the Party-Scarecrow and Mrs King

  1. Colleen Davis

    Too much interesting stuff to read here and not enough time–argghhh! Loving this blog–thanks so much, iwsod!!!

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  2. Melissa Robertson

    I just read an old newspaper article about KJ and BB and seriously the listed both of their heights and BB’s weight. I just thought it was an odd thing to put in an article 🙂

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  3. I have to say that things have really changed in the work place today. Sometimes when you are in the midst of struggling to make change happen, it appears that things are moving glacially slowly. We forget how terrifyingly backward and unjust it was. Race, religion, weight, you name it. Nothing was against the rules to ask. When my father came home after WWII, he began looking for a job in retail. He filled out an application for very prominent department store and they were happy that he was so well qualified. That is until they saw that his religion. He was told that he would be hired at a low level but would never move up in the company since it was owner was Catholic. This despite the fact that he had the education and work experience they were looking for. And this was a common and not a unique experience. Fascinating since he eventually became president of a company. Sorry, I know this is a long ramble but even when I go crazy because it appears that sometimes we are going backwards, I can see how far we have evolved and it gives me hope.

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    • Here here Jule! (err or is that hear hear! uh oh.. )

      Loved your comments.. It is great to remember how far we’ve come – when we see how far we still have left to go!

      Prejudice is alive and well sadly.. so society needs to be vigilant I say… Sorry to hear of your dad’s lousy experience – but whoo hooo good for him going ahead and not letting it get him down! that is inspirational!

      BTW – sorry I missed it but happy anniversary!

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      • I so throughly enjoy this blog and love to hear about others life experiences too. It’s what we bring to the table that makes our view of SMK so interesting and refreshingly honest. So thanks Iwsod for the safe place to be ourselves! And yes, twas a lovely anniversary, thanks for the good wishes!

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  4. Wow, this really isn’t a blog that I can fall behind in anymore, because I can never catch up with all the comments!

    Iwsod, I’m so glad you mentioned Francine’s outfit. I absolutely love it too … I so wish I had one just like it! (Not that I ever wear suits these days but…) And the purple slit just makes it perfect! (I rarely get excited about clothes, so this is quite a big deal for me 🙂

    I’m not sure if this point has been made regarding some of the audacity of the interview process, and I agree with the excellent point being raised about how women were regarded in the work force back in the early 80’s, but it also reminds me how much more insensitive society was back then. I think you notice this a lot, Iwsod, sometimes identifying it as a character thing when in some cases I think it’s actually a sign of the times. This was the end of era, which makes SMK delightfully on the cusp … it was not yet truly unacceptable to tell an ethnic joke, or to use disparaging labels for groups of people, or to comment to a woman in the work force about her physique. The world has become a gentler, kinder place. I may also argue that at times we are *too* sensitive, to the point of not delivering a tough message when it needs to be delivered, but all in all it is a favorable social change. So Iwsod, when you passionately dislike a character’s insensitivity or cloddishness while I didn’t even notice, I think that’s a fascinating reflection of the generational changes that have taken place (or perhaps it just means I’m still an insensitive clod myself, lol!).

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    • Raffie.. can I print off this comment of yours and frame it?! Genius!!! You’ve expressed so well what I’ve been grasping at on the edges.. SMK is ‘on the cusp’ – I absolutely love it!!!!

      yes!! I proabably do attribute something only to the character when that is a sign of those times, and I would not realise it..I was very young when this show aired.. so I would not look on the 80s as an adult.. though I give it a good go but I know I won’t quite get there 😉

      Raffie I would love it if you would point out the context of the 80s sometime!! I love to explore what SMK said about society at that time.. and indeed.. how I and others view SMK now says something about our society at this time too! 🙂

      I find it fascinating too Raffie!!! I know you are super busy.. so no pressure – but I always love to hear from you! 🙂

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  5. The thought occurred to me today that we don’t see a lot of female agents on this show. While we do often see male agents who assist, we don’t often see females. This is, I think, indicative of the times, so Francine is one of a few in her field. One reason she pushes forward without regard for other females. She’s so busy trying to affirm her own worth as an agent that she doesn’t have time to help another female Besides, she doesn’t want one to get ahead of her because she’s fought too hard to get where she is. I believe this is a bit of what drives her.

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    • There are some episodes where you do see more female agents–I think maybe they occur in season three…???… Maybe they had a “girls can do anything” makeover?

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      • I think Debilyn raises a great point! I agree, especially up to LOTParty, there has been very few female agents (though lots were trying out at Section 1!)

        I think there are female agents around, but they are not so highly visible.. I don’t remember seeing many more female agents in s3 & 4.. but I’ll look forward to keeping an eye out.. we do see Sylvia in You only die twice soon.. she is a top agent.. and Billy really respects her.. so they are around but agreeing with Debilyn’s comments I think they are the exception. When you see random nameless agents show up to arrest the Burling Brothers, it is not typical that there would be a female agent amongst them. They seem to be men.. or Francine.. [and sometimes it seems Francine can be both! 😉 tee hee!]

        Yeah.. it’s interesting to look back and see how things have progressed a little!

        A ‘girls can do anything’ makeover sounds to me like tokenism..{I guess it had to start somewhere huh?!] it should not be an extra effort to add in a woman agent, it should be a given 🙂 Isn’t there three male agents and their three female assistants in Three Little Spies?? So, maybe s3 & 4 are a little more gender balanced- sort of! 😉 I think SMK tries to move ahead with the times [Go KJ!!], but it is still a child of it’s era.. LOL.. looking forward to you guys reading the next part of this episode! 🙂
        Byeee for now!

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        • I never gave much thought to the lack of female agents before. I think it’s because we see so much of Francine and Amanda. I know Amanda’s not a trained agent but she pulls her weight like one. It’s weird funny how we see so many more women as baddies instead of agents. Women can be the top baddie, but not necessarily top agents other than Francine.

          I also think you make a great point, debilyn. I am sure that if I were in Francine’s shoes I would feel rankled by someone who I thought was untrained and unsophisticated (yet pretty – prettier than me perhaps which would make it worse) trying to do my job – or worse yet, thinking she could do my job. I was a tomboy growing up and spent my time playing with the boys and not the girls. I remember not being happy when the other girls would come around and want to join in.

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          • BJo, I remember that kind of a thing too. I always enjoyed being with the boys than the girls when I was younger and was a bit tough in my attitude towards any other girl that wanted to join in. But I don’t view Francine as a tom boy, just a woman working in what was up to that time a man’s world. She was breaking through for the women, and I bet that she was a bit chagrinned that a divorcee with “motherhood written on her bones” was benefiting from the ground that she plowed. It would be one thing for a young feminist with an axe to grind to benefit from her hard work, but someone like Amanda? I can see how that would make Francine wince.

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            • Some interesting points here 🙂
              Francine routinely equates trained = better. So like Morley and BJo mention thats going to seriously put her nose out of joint. It seems rather ironic that Francine who has clearly tried to plough the road in terms of career would be so willing to hamper the efforts of another woman to improve within the Agency.
              I recall in Stemwinder seeing a female agent being part of the group that turn up to arrest Lee and Amanda but suspect that wouldn’t have been the case had it been Lee on his own. This woman agent also brought along her handbag which I sniggered at being highly impractical…..maybe that’s why more women agents aren’t used for arrests LOL

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              • Hiya Jenbo! haaaa!!! your comment here just reminded me.. there is a female agent at the beginning of Saved by the bells – she’s backing up Lee as he tackles the nun rofl – I remember it because she had the funniest look on her face.. I think she wasn’t sure it was Rostov! 🙂
                Did you sort out how to chat?? I was thinking you could do facebook or tumbler or Path.. apparently wordpress links to them apparently.. The only wordpress forum I can find is the one you post technical problems on to get answered.. (?) You could start a forum if you like Jenbo.. I guess there is chat over on yuku.. It would be nice to chat and not have all the subscribers reading it too!(there are now over 80!) I’d come chat with you there.. err when I have the time! but I hope you find a way to keep on having fun with these great fellow smk fans that works for everyone! Let me know how things go!

                Just getting next post up now.. so your timing is perfect! 🙂

                I keep thinking of that cut scene in remembrance of things past [see https://justwalkwithme.com/2012/02/19/34-season-one-episode-11-remembrance-of-things-past/ I transcribed it.. the extra scene at the drive in] – where Francine tells Amanda what she thinks of her.. I definitely agree that it would have been very difficult for Francine to accept Amanda.. galling! and I kind of agree with her on that!! she didn’t have to automatically love Amanda (but then who wouldn’t 😉 ) but.. at times her treatment of Amanda is inexcusable.. I don’t care how little Francine thinks Amanda has earned her place, Francine shouldn’t speak to another human being that way!! but.. I have never hated Francine.. I just love to hate her. haaaa.. Francine makes Amanda look good 🙂
                byeee for now!

                [edited to add link to extra scene.. ]

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        • Three Little Spies had an interesting twist on the ‘assistants’, I thought.

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  6. I did have a job in the 80’s. I worked at a local grocery store. Age, height, weight were included on all job applications at the time, and had been for quite a few years. I don’t know that the particulars of why these questions were asked, but they were.

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    • Those questions are certainly weird, but could it have some legal reason? For example, if a background (police) check is required? Or if the employee commits a crime (stealing earrings!) and the police need a physical description.

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      • I know now if there were a safety concern or job requirement– like being to short or tall or heavy or light for harnesses, or not strong enough for the job requirements etc. the questions are allowed. I think the questions were just a throwback to when discriminaton based on appearance, gender, marital status or ethnic background were tolerated.
        BTW LasinLA — Welcome!

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        • You mentioned questions about marital status which made me think of the Honeycutt Typewriter interview when he mentioned that she was divorced with 2 children. And watching You Only Die Twice the same stats are brought up on the computer including the part where she lived with her mother. I believe that nowadays living arrangements and marital status are not something focused on so much, am I right about that?

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          • Yes, you’re not allowed to ask those things in interviews. However, if the one being interviewed brings them up, you can talk about them.

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  7. Is Kate Jackson that much taller than Martha Smith?
    Their height difference is really noticeable when they sit on the sofa next to each other. Or is KJ sitting on a board that doesn’t sink like MS’s portion of the sofa does? The scene on the sofa make Amanda seem prim, proper and professional. While Francine appears almost frumpy as she sits down.

    Regarding the personal questions, unfortunately those are definitely part of the interviews when you are hiring to impress. PP has an image to uphold so they are looking for specific body types similar to a modeling agency. I disagree with this practice, but this type of discrimination continues to happen today.

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    • I was surprised when I was applying for teaching positions in the early to mid 90s how many application forms violated our labour laws by asking height/weight/eye colour/ age and marital status questions. The school boards probably were not impressed that I reported them (because, at the time I told them their hiring practises were breaking the law), but I would not want to have worked for them anyway.

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    • Jeanine, I like your observation in your first paragraph. I wonder if that was done on purpose?

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      • I don’t know about the height difference.. It is a nice touch I agree Jeanine! I think that Francine is slouched over her report – probably not wanting Amanda to read over her shoulder as she fills in her age 😉

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        • I mentioned the height thing and thought Francine’s portion of the couch might be missing springs–or maybe everyone sits on the end cushion and the springs are worn… but I like the idea that it might be on purpose to highlight Amanda. 🙂

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    • I looked online and found this: KJ is 5′ 9″ and MS is 5′ 6″. In the close-up of them on the couch, it looks like there is more than a 4″ difference between the two, but in the wider angle it doesn’t look as different.

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  8. Can I start off by saying how gorgeous Francine looks in this part. Her hair for once is really lovely and she’s not dressed too outrageous 🙂 well done Francine on really making the effort 😉
    I agree with you IWSOD how they have styled Amanda’s hair really makes a difference. It looks slightly less than a helmet on her head lol
    I do have a good chuckle at the DOH line, hilarious 🙂 I too don’t know why they need to know height and weight when they could just ask what their dress size is for a uniform.
    You’re right IWSOD aside from the murder and blackmailing of employees they do operate some rather dodgy employment practices. Trial run, without pay…..goes without saying 😦
    I know people in interviews can be tempted to embellish or hide real reason for applying for the job hence Mrs Flannagan finding Amanda being refreshingly honest.
    I am lucky I’ve not had any dodgy interviews or work experience. I was fresh out of Sixth Form College, decided I didn’t want to go to University and applied for a couple of office junior jobs in an office. I was frequently told I was over qualified because of my A Level results (what I did at 6th form)…..I couldn’t type, use a computer or a photocopier but apparently having studied English Literature, History and Economics I was overqualified 😦 sure I can talk about the elasticity of demand and the canons of taxation but that ain’t much use when someone wants a letter photocopying lmao

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  9. Yay! One of the better scenes in the episode!! And some good short hair! Well, much better at least.

    With regard to school, I’m thinking that Amanda graduated from the University of Virginia. Is that right or am I just making that up? I know Lee wears a UVa t-shirt in TMBus episode – it’s the one where we can only see “Virgin” on his shirt during their jog and we all snicker. Thanks to whoever pointed that one out! I don’t know that Lee graduated from there, but for some reason I’m thinking Amanda did.

    Amanda’s hair don’t looks soo much better here. It’s longer and softer and really frames her face well. Other than that awful sweater/coat she looks pretty with her short hair, IMHO. Why didn’t they style her short hair like this from the get go? I think they went back and had to re-film this scene for some reason and that’s why her hair looks longer and better. I don’t even notice the bad earrings – I’m pretty sure she wore these same earrings with the hair don’t and they really stood out then.

    Francine, why didn’t you get a chance to finish all the questions? Amanda did and she interviewed before you? Were the questions too tough? Like – how would you clean a toilet?? Sorry, I couldn’t help it. And I’m not a Francine hater. I do like her.

    I understand what others are saying about the height and weight for uniform purposes, but why wouldn’t they just ask her size? That makes more sense to me. Maybe they clean Hobbit and elf houses in Middle Earth and need to know who will fit inside those dwellings? Couldn’t resist again! And I don’t mean that as a dig – I love those books. Regardless of why they are asking, the way they wrote/filmed/edited this scene does make it sound bad. I’m with you iwsod, these are humiliating questions and ones they shouldn’t have to answer. I’m glad things have progressed. I was too young to be working in the 80’s as well, so I don’t know what it was like then.

    PP does sound dodgy, but like KC said, I don’t think many people read into it back then. I don’t think I did when I watched the show, but I was also a little bit naïve as well.

    I agree with what you wrote about Francine, iwsod (except I’m not sure she was raised to marry well – one of the later S4 episodes touches on this). I remember clearly the women working vs. women staying at home issues when I was growing up and how women in each group thought of the other. Who was right, who was wrong, what does it mean for the kids/society, etc. It is still an issue today – at least I see it in my circle of friends – but it doesn’t raise everyone’s hackles like it did 20-30 years ago. At least that’s my impression. But to this day, I never know how to ask another woman I’m meeting for the first time if she “works”. There is no good way to ask that question it seems. It bugs me.

    I’ve gone on long enough – I’ll stop there.

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    • Tee hee with the Middle Earth comment (but my understanding is that Tolkien Elves a rather tall, yup I am a Tolkien geek)

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      • So they’re not like the Keebler kind? tee hee….

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        • Think Orlando Bloom 😉

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          • Just looked up images of him on the internet…now I really do need to go watch those movies. 😉

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            • What? Elrond (Hugo Weaving) isn’t eye candy enough? 😀 (Oy. When I watched LOTR, even after reading the books, I kept waiting for Elrond to turn evil. Damn you, Matrix! Luckily I had no such issue with Legolas.)

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              • You’re losing me, KC. Had to look him up too. Not bad 😉 – like his Matrix look also, but haven’t seen those movies either. Yeah, yeah, I know – I don’t get out much. Just had a flash – HW kind of looks like a younger, way more handsome Duran from (TPEngineer in S3).

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              • I kept expecting Elrond to call Frodo Mr. Anderson. I liked the first Matrix, got lost in the second one and never watched the third, I was a bit disappointed. I like Keanu Reeves, he is an actor that I will watch any movie that he does (almost).

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                • I’m glad I’m not the only one who got caught up in the typecasting? characterization? whatever you want to call it of strongly linking a character to an actor wrt Agent Smith. 😀 (Which is extra funny since Hugo Weaving has had a pretty diverse career!)

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                  • Add to that the fact that the two movies were filmed around the same time, weren’t they? Must have been confusing for Weaving as well.

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                    • So we were all just lucky that Elrond didn’t bust out the shades? 😀

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                    • Someone must have done a parody like that…could you imagine Elrond putting on shades and calling Frodo Mr. Anderson. ROFL 🙂

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                    • Today has been a weird funny day on this blog! LOL!!! All this talk of LOTR etc.. and we are in the middle of discussing what I find to be a fascinating episode!!!
                      Usually this happens when the episode is a bit lame ( class act.. ahem.. ) Does this mean you are not so interested in LOTP?? Maybe I should cut the analysis down and stick to the giggles..?

                      You guys are so funny.. wouldn’t it be fabulous if there was a chat option here?? Such a shame wordpress is so limited – though you all do a wonderful job of working with what we’ve got!

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                    • Iwsod, don’t limit the analysis!!! We just followed a rabbit trail, we took the red (or blue) pill last night. Maybe we need more analysis? What ever you do don’t limit the content of your posts, we all love it so much. Plus I think we all can supply enough giggles already, huh?

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          • Ooooh YES PLEASE 😉

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    • Well, the UVA question has prodded me into joining the discussion (after a year or so of hanging around here). 🙂 My husband went to grad school there, so we lived in Charlottesville for 7 years. Nice town.
      Yes, Amanda graduated from UVA and we infer that Lee attended there and didn’t graduate (probably “one of the many he got kicked out of” as Francine says at some point). I think he also wears a Virginia shirt/sweater when he shows up at Amanda’s during ROTP. UVA started admitting women in the early ’70s, so Amanda would have been part of an early co-ed class. I can see Dotty liking the idea of her daughter helping to diversify an all-male school. There are a lot of Northern Virginia students at UVA. It’s about 2 hrs. from DC.
      By way of introduction, I grew up watching SMK. It was my favorite show in 4th grade according to the old school papers my mom recently handed over. 🙂 Like several folks here, I rediscovered it in the last few years and have loved watching (and rewatching) and love reading all of your posts and comments. Thanks for hosting the blog, iwsod!

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      • Welcome LAS! I think it comes up a couple of times that Amanda graduated from UVA. It’s always nice to meet an SMK fan.

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      • Welcome to the blog LAS. So glad you commented. I wonder if Amanda was at UVA at the same time as Lee. Didn’t they talk about the Kappa house in one episode? That would make an interesting story…

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      • Welcome LAS!!!! Glad the uni was mentioned so you jumped on in!! 🙂 now you’re out in the open *tee hee* Hope you’ll share your smk thoughts with us and join in the fun! 🙂

        Thanks for the encouragement LAS, it’s really wonderful to hear people are enjoying the blog.. SMK still is, and always will be a lot of fun!!! 🙂

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      • Welcome LAS 🙂

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      • Welcome, LAS! Glad you decided to join us in posting.

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      • Thanks for the welcome everyone! You all are the reason my kids ask “Mama, why are you smiling at the computer?” Speaking of children, I have three, NES 10 and EMS 8 [Ha! Couldn’t resist!] and OAS 5. 😉

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        • I’d like to say welcome too, LASinLA! I’ve not had the chance to be on the blog all day, but had just a minute to pop in now to say glad you found us, glad you decided to comment and thank you for answering my UVa question. Hope you like it here!

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    • Hi BJo, wish I could discuss this at length .. but must be brief.. I don’t really remember suitable for framing – I think that might be the one you are referring to?? I guess there is always a dilemma.. take into consideration what we learn in the future?? or enjoy and understand the show where it is at in the story? LOL!
      I was thinking Francine was raised to Marry well – because she was raised to be a snob.. did we hear already that she went to Sarah Lawrence?? and had a housekeeper?? anyone?

      Yeah you know how you think something and you’re not sure where you got it from? well.. I guess I figure (rightly or wrongly) Francine likes to date Rich, handsome, successful royalty.. and she’s not afraid to make this well known.. Oh I don’t know! 🙂 It’s fun to have the chance to ponder Francine more deeply huh??!! Hope you guys are finding it fun too 🙂

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      • I think Francine mentions her type in There Goes the Neighborhood when she is talking about Bumpy Holcomb (is that the right name). She also makes a comment coming up about dating rich men between 30 and 40. The mention of Sarah Lawrence says it all a seriously progressive all girls school, very blue blood. But where is that mentioned? It feels to me that this is the first episode where we really learn about Francine. Am I remembering that rightly? The information we have picked up about her up till now has come in bits and pieces it seems.

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        • Francine mentioned attending Sarah Lawrence when she visits Amanda’s home in SBTBells. Dotty is told that she owns the chimpanzee that Amanda pet-sits. lol

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      • Yes, it is a dilemma, isn’t it? And with Francine there is so much we learn about her later that it is hard to separate that from how I think about her character. But we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves here which is why I didn’t get into any real detail in my commment. If I only consider Francine from TFT to now, I would be a ‘hater’. She really can be such a witch. When I think of someone being raised to marry well, I take that to mean that that is all they are expected to do – catch the ‘right’ husband and marry him – nothing else – no career, etc. Because Francine has a career I figured there was more to her past than just getting married to the ‘right’ man. Does that make sense?

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        • That’s interesting BJo.. you would be a hater? See.. I don’t mind experiencing the characters as the story unfolds.. I’m okay with not understanding Francine.. and not liking her.. 🙂 It’s all part of the journey! Maybe this comes from me never watching the show in it’s first run.. I didn’t get to experience what it was like to watch the characters unfold bit by bit.. sooo I’m probably trying to capture that understanding now. [and part of it is that emotional journey the show takes us on]

          I guess we can’t switch off the knowledge that eventually we come to understand even Francine better.. and she improves! 🙂

          Oh yes what you say about Marrying well makes perfect sense BJo. It could be defined that way.. in fact I think most people might define it that way 🙂 I define it more broadly LOL.. maybe I define it in a modern sense.. Marrying well is now still having your career! It’s the feminist version of Marrying Well! haaa! – Francine is a complicated woman.. which IMHO is a lovely contrast to Amanda, who is a lot less complicated though still utterly fascinating! 🙂

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          • When I reach waaaay back into my memory banks, I remember not liking Francine at all until I came to understand more about her history in S4. I do love some of her one-liners directed toward Amanda though – she had some of the best ones of the series. So at this point in S2 I don’t know that I really liked her at all. I found her to be very snotty and condescending toward Amanda. Intellectually I can understand why she treats Amanda this way, I still think she was a meany. I didn’t think Francine was pretty at all and I really really didn’t like her wardrobe or her hair. Not even in this episode – the one side pull back in the interview scene is soo 80’s to me that I find it hard to say anything nice about it…sort of like the oh so manly mullet. But now that I’m a bit more seasoned myself (ahem), and can appreciate so much more all the details and subtleties of the characters and their journeys I have come to actually like and admire Ms. Desmond. IMO, I think she is less complicated than Amanda though. I think it’s because I can relate better to her so I feel like she is easier to understand. Perhaps you are more like Amanda?

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  10. Valerie, I got the same sense about the question of why Amanda was seeking the maid job and her refreshingly honest answer. I guess the point is that the applicant is honest and does not try to invent some reason to sell themselves or butter up the interviewer. Of course the Private Party people are also looking for a desperate maid to make more money by being blackmailed.

    As usual I love the screen caps, especially the ones of Francine. When have we seen her making such faces? And I love how it highlights Francine’s insecurities. We women are funny that way. I work with a beautiful blond woman and as I have gotten to know her I have come to realize that she is just as or more insecure than I am about how she looks or performs her job. And here I thought she was a goddess 😉 It is a great equalizer.

    I also think the way this episode highlights Amanda’s skills is just another of a series of bullet points that these episodes after SOS point out. Amanda is loyal and trust worthy in her work at the Agency (Spiderweb), loyal and trustworthy with Lee’s heart (RS), she is a lady (ALSALS), and she has valuable and esteem able skills both in the home and in the field (LOTP). The bullet points go on, but we haven’t gotten there yet, and I think they are there for Lee to see as well as Billy and Francine and maybe Amanda herself. We on the other hand knew this all along.

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  11. Regarding the school records, in Mrs Flanagan’s defence I’m guessing she was referring to university records–school being an umbrella for primary, secondary and tertiary studies? Or maybe not. 😀
    I actually think the fringe–or something about the hair there–actually makes Amanda look older. 😦
    I agree with Valerie re: the refreshingly honest comment… I think a lot of people do lie in interviews, and having someone who’s obviously not probably *is* refreshing. shrug
    Yep–the appearance questions are kind of disrespectful… but as far as height and weight, maybe they need that info for uniform sizing purposes???
    I love Amanda’s giggle, and it always makes me laugh when I see Francine sit back down next to Amanda and sink all the way into the sofa–missing some springs?–so that Amanda ends up towering over her… ROFL
    Yes, Private Party does sound… uh… dodgy… suggestive… but then, this is the 80s and I think people were less likely to read suggesting meanings into names/words/phrases the way we do now–or some of us do now… I’m bad for snickering at things when I really shouldn’t. 😦
    Cringe-worthy work experiences? I’m not sure whether this qualifies, but I was once offered a job just because I’m a woman (in a field at the time under-represented with woman)–which p*ssed me off ‘cos the offer should’ve been based on my skills, not my gender. They just wanted a token female to make the company look less like a boys club… ugh. :p

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    • I was going to say something about the school records and I forgot. I taught at a school that had a high school and we also moved into a building that held a former high school. We would get phone calls all the time checking for school records when someone was seeking a new job. What some employers were looking at was their attendance records to see presence and tardiness patterns.

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    • Another school board told me I would get the job no problem and I was confused because he didn’t even ask me about my qualifications other than I was trained in highschool science. I was blown away (and not in a good way) when he explained because I was a female. I was insulted and told him that I did not need to use the fact I was female to get the job because my marks and previous degree and job experiences would allow me to compete with anyone male or female for the position. I didn’t even bother applying.
      On the other hand, I was truly surprised by several parents who told me how important it was and what a difference it made for their daughters to finally have a science/math teacher who was also female. *shrug*.

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      • Gooooo Cindy!!!! You are my hero!! 🙂 I love it! No wonder you are such a champion for Amanda! 🙂

        yeah.. girls need a role model- it’s true.. we just had our first female prime minister.. don’t get me started.. but the way she was treated by the media locally? No girl watching that is going to want to become prime minister. Appalling..

        Well, you guys have come up with some actually great reasons for why they need to be asking age, height, weight! gah!! When I was just plain appalled by it!

        At the same time, for me- I think this was what the writers were going for – after all the interviews are being held in one room where everyone in the room can hear that information – very private information- sooo it’s one thing to be asked your height and weight for size reasons ( I agree with BJO btw – they could have just asked for a size, shown people a size chart and gotten them to to say.. Ie. this humiliation was unnecessary), but it is another for the interviewer to be reading that information aloud for the rest of the room to hear. Nope.. I’m with Francine.. not Ohhhhhh Kaaaaayyyy!

        Morley loved your insight about Amanda’s kudo’s for being ‘refreshingly honest’ – when for once she isn’t.. I guess we are left to assume Amanda is making it up?? Because she’s so good in the field and she’s thinking about the job.. not thinking about her reputation and Francine finding out her height and weight ( LOL Francine has probably looked it up anyway haaaa.. it is on their computer records.. so Amanda probably already feels at IFF she has nothing to hide! 😉 Yes that computer screen in you only died twice says she lives with Dotty.. but I think it also says her height and weight! gaaaahhh!!! so wrong!!!! 🙂 tee heee… LOL we can explore that one when we get to it!

        In Australia you are not allowed to ask about marital status age etc. well.. you are only allowed to ask a female prime minister apparently! Really.. don’t get me started!!

        Yes good suggestion Valerie – that Francine needs a journey.. I think her character’s journey is fascinating! 🙂 we’ve learned some things about her up to this point.. Hmm.. maybe we can make a list.. Anyone??
        I’ll start! Yes (thanks Debilyn, I knew there was a Sarah Lawrence mention somewhere!) she went to Sarah Lawrence – I think the info she gives Dotty in that conversation is true- why lie about it? well except for the chimpanzee!
        Francine can’t cook..
        Likes designer originals..
        Gushes at the thought of meeting Royalty (Prince Russad? thank goodness I’m wearing my designer original!)
        To get a little deeper- I think Francine has a strong need for external validation (remember she went on and on about the great job she did in Dead Ringer wearing a wig and contact lenses?!) 😉 that’s going to come up in this ep! well bye for now!!

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        • The royalty thing comes up again in The Boy Who Would Be King. Billy refers to her seeing herself as Grace Kelly. Some of Francine’s defensiveness may come from being left at the altar and being disappointed by someone. In Fast Food for Thought she tries to convince Amanda not to expect Lee to rescue her all the time because people don’t always live up to your expectations. She was obviously very hurt by someone. I’m actually starting to feel a little sorry for Francine. Maybe this discussion of this episode is leading to some better understanding of Francine. Who would have thunk it? Maybe Francine has a wall up just like Lee did and doesn’t want to allow anyone in. Maybe it’s a spy thing.

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          • Reading this, I realize that both Amanda and Francine were left by the man in their lives. Could their characters also show the fruit of different reactions and attitudes to similar circumstances?

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          • Here here! Francine is fascinating to explore!

            Valerie, I hope this makes sense LOL- but as we walk through the episodes, and I write the recaps – I am trying to understand and enjoy the show from the context of where I am up to – of course I can’t do this perfectly.. we all know Lee and Amanda get together.. rah rah.. 😉 but – I do try not to watch ahead with episodes, and many season 3 and 4 episodes I haven’t seen for a year or two.. I am looking forward to getting to all those episodes with you Valerie!!!! 🙂

            With a few Lovely new SMK friends joining in.. maybe it is helpful if I explain how I approach this blog.
            I prefer to consider Francine based on what we’ve learned about her so far.. and see how the character unfolds..

            While I can acknowledge her issues are addressed in Suitable for framing, I would prefer to hold off on discussing them. You can if you want to.. I won’t stop anyone – but I think the advantage of not going ahead often is that our discussions of the episodes don’t then lead to future events being discussed, which may or may not be remembered correctly or which we may all interpret differently – and then we end up discussing future episodes rather than the show up to the point where we are up to.. does that make sense?
            When this happens, threads of the story where we are currently at are lost.. we miss things..

            The Blog is called ‘Just walk with me’ – because it was Lee’s first words to Amanda! swoony! 🙂 but.. it also refers to how we are walking through the show together – an episode at a time.. while we can see what’s ahead on this road looking into the distance, we notice more of the journey’s detail if we are not looking ahead, we notice more if we are aware of where we are at on each part of the journey..

            BTW- I too feel frustrated at times at not being up to a certain part of the show.. LOL.. but I need to remind myself that there is only 88 episodes, and I can only do this walk through one time this way – so I try not to wish away episodes ( yes even Arful dodger – gah!) and stay in the moment.. each episode has some great insights into each of these characters and their journeys… and when we don’t look ahead too much – we think back on what we know so far and realise we actually know more than we think we do sometimes!

            Notice, any posts written by other authors do not go ahead of where we are at in the journey..

            So there you go.. I hope that makes sense.. I love love love that you all love this show as much as I do 😆
            I love to hear all your thoughts and insights – and I don’t want to stifle discussion in anyway 🙂
            So I won’t limit discussions here.. but I ask that you consider the unique experience which not jumping ahead gives us as we walk through the episodes together! [and which is how it would have been when the show aired weekly] I think this approach has lots of unique advantages 🙂

            LOL.. what a looooong essay! 😮 sorry everyone! byeee for now!! 😆

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            • Sorry, Iwsod, I got a little ahead of myself. I do see where you said up to this point. I will endeavor to slow my pace on this journey.

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              • Nothing to apologise for Valerie! 🙂 You’re lovely.. and (I’m) very glad you are here for the journey! 🙂

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              • I did it again too, Iwsod must have an iron will. I keep forgetting. I think I need to post a sign above my computer that says “don’t race ahead, just walk with me.” Maybe that will help me 🙂

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            • I do remember wondering what was up with this woman (Francine) the first time I watched the series. It would have been so easy to hate her, but I never did. I always felt there was a back story there somewhere. While she was snarky, there were other clues that it was more about Amanda “taking over” than just being a rude person. So, despite her snarkiness, I’ve always liked Francine. I do understand how other folks find it hard, though.

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        • Yeah, my sister is in Melbourne and was absolutely appalled how your female prime minister was treated.

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  12. I remember seeing a CSI episode where people were applying and being interviewed to be maids or janitorial staff. If I remember correctly (I’ll have to check it out) they were all in one room and asked to come up at one time. I once worked at Greenfield Village/Henry Ford Museum which is a living history museum here. I was a historical presenter and dressed in costume. It was an awesome summer job. But I went to a job fair for it and stood in these lines with a bunch of other people. We would go to tables and have interviews right there on the spot.

    Maybe Amanda was refreshingly honest because some people might try to make up a reason as to why they want a job as if they are trying to be impressive in some way. For some odd reason people like to ask that question in interviews. There is always an obvious answer to the why you want to work somewhere. Also, the stats may be based on the fact that the company would provide the uniform to be used and they need to know the height and weight of each individual. I know that for my costume I had to be fitted and the costumes were made to that particular time period and were worth a bit of money. And each piece was very specific and had to be worn. I had to sign for everything and make sure to return it in good condition when I left their employ. I’m not sure why they needed to know that her eye color.

    Back in the late 50s and early 60s my mother worked as a maid, but not for a specific company. I’m not sure how she was hired, but she worked for an individual family. She liked her job well enough that she named my sister after the woman she worked for. I’m not sure if she had to wear a uniform though.

    I did find the scene interesting in that it seemed to put Francine more in her place. This episode did a lot with showing some positives as far as Amanda is concerned, what she is capable of, and not to underestimate her. I remember in Brunettes when Lee tells Amanda that he has more experience and she tries to tell him that he has more experience in some things while she has more in others. I think this episode highlights some of Amanda’s abilities that maybe Francine has taken for granted or frowned upon. She is going to learn just how hard Amanda does work and the amount of effort it does take.

    I think that also while Francine tries to make it seem that she is so put together and knows everything she has those same self-esteem issues that women tend to have about age and weight. She is confident in her abilities as an agent, but still self-conscious about age and weight. She may feel that Amanda may end up using the information to her advantage or against her at some point. Which again shows how much she really doesn’t know Amanda.

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    • I like what you say Valerie about this episode highlighting some of Amanda’s abilities that Francine takes for granted or frowns upon. It makes the end of the episode before the tag that much sweeter!

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