Family Ties (1982–1989): Season 2, Episode 22 - Working at It - full transcript

Elyse gets a new job as an architecture. Nervous with her first project, not knowing how to use a computer, she over-plans and ends up quitting. Her boss reviews her plans she left behind, finds the right plan, and rehires Elyse.

♪ I bet we've been together
for a million years ♪

♪ and I'll bet we'll be together
for a million more ♪

♪ oh, it's like
I started breathing ♪

♪ on the night we kissed

♪ and I can't remember
what I ever did before ♪

♪ what would we do, baby

♪ without us?

♪ what would we do, baby

♪ without us?

♪ and there ain't no nothin' ♪

♪ we can't love
each other through ♪

♪ ooh-hoo

♪ what would we do, baby

♪ without us?

♪ sha-la-la-la

- Mom, can I talk to you?
- In a minute, honey.

I gotta finish my résumé, and
then I'm off to the interview.

Uh, why don't you talk
to your father?

He can't help me.
It's about boys.

Yeah, how would I know
about them?

You know my philosophy, Mallory.

If a boy makes you start
asking questions,

cut him loose.

Hey, how's the résumé coming,

Finished. I fudged a little bit,
but basically it's me.

Did you, uh,

- put in those things I told you?
- Some.

I left out the part about me
designing the Eiffel Tower.

Come on, ma,
they never check that stuff.

Yeah, well, I hope not.

I did take some of your advice,
and I put all my attributes

on page one, right at the top
and the center.

And then I hid the fact

that I haven't worked
in an office for 12 years

on page two, under the staple.

I also changed 12 years
to 144 months.

I don't know why I'm going
on this interview anyway.

They probably don't want me.

They probably want someone
more up to date,

someone younger.

Elyse, grandma Moses
didn't start painting

until she was 80.


That still gives you
a couple years.

Just trying to relax you.

Mom, all you've been talking
about the past two weeks

is how much you want this job.

Yeah. I thought you wanted
to expand your horizons.

I thought you wanted
more challenging work.

I thought you wanted
to make more money.

I do want all those things,
but I'm scared.

You've got
first-day jitters, mom.

I get the same thing every fall
when I go back to school.


I worry about my new teacher,

my new classroom,
new kids... everything.

But the first day
always works out for me.

And it will for you, too.

Thank you, Jennifer.

Of course, sometimes
I throw up around lunchtime.

Wha... what are you
worrying about?

You're a terrific catch
for any architectural firm.

You know what you're doing,
you're experienced,

you're reliable.

Yeah, mom, let's go over

your assets
and your liabilities.

Can't we just go over my assets?

May I?

Okay. Elyse Keaton.

Now, that's a nice name.
That should count as an asset.

Oh, it's a fine name, mom,
but, uh, let's face it.

It's not gonna get you the job.

Your, uh, references
seem to be in order.

Alex, enough.

We don't have to add up
your assets and liabilities.

When they meet you
and read this résumé,

they're gonna be very impressed.

Thank you.
You've all been very supportive.

I don't want to be late.
Any last-minute advice?

Ask about vacation.

Find out if there's
a gum ball machine.

Be yourself.

Don't tell 'em you're a woman.

Sorry. I-I'm... I'm waiting here
for Karen Banks.

You're lookin' at her.

Just kidding.
Actually, I'm Karen Dugan.

Kidding again.

Bill Channing.


Would I kid you?

Elyse Keaton.

So you're here
for the new job, huh?


I'm an architect myself.

You are?

You are.

Elyse, I'm Karen Banks.

Oh, hi.

No kidding. She is.

I'm sorry we have to meet
here in Bill's office.

The conference room is tied up.

Bill, I would like to conduct
an interview in here.

Okay, I got a couple
extra minutes.

What would you like to know?

I would like to know
when you're leaving.

Out of here.


He is actually
a very fine architect.

I could tell.

May I see your résumé, please?

Ah, yes.
Uh, I have nothing to hide.

Well, I see you haven't worked
in an office for 12 years.

Has it been that long?

It didn't seem more
than 144 months.

A-anything else
that needs clarification?

Everything seems to be in order.

Ah, no one really checks up
on those résumés anyway, huh?

We do.

Tell me why you would like
to take a full-time job again.

Well, uh, I, um...

I am an architect.


now that my, uh, kids
can take care of themselves,

I-I thought I'd go back to,
uh, to work,

uh, for what I'm trained to do,
in a...

- In a more meaningful way.
- I see.

Uh, but more than anything,
I'm tired of working

out of my kitchen.

Do you know how hard it is
working when...

When you know that you're just
inches away from fudge brownies?

Well, you won't have
that problem here.

There's one question I've been
asking all the applicants.


What do you feel should be

the role of the architect
in the 1980s?

And what did they say?

I think, uh...

I-I think we should take
advantage of the new technology,

but, uh, to build
and not destroy.

Uh, take for example
the old Morgan House.

It was beautiful.

200 years old,
and they tore it down

and put up a parking lot.

Now, that's the kind of thing
that makes me crazy.

That was one of our jobs.

Are you sure this dress
is gonna be ready

- for Chrissy's party?
- Positive.

- It's a very simple pattern.
- You'll see, Jennifer.

I'm gonna pick up this
sewing stuff really quickly.

Uh, remember, Mallory,

the thread goes
through the needle.

You'll be surprised, Alex.

I know how important it is
for a woman to learn how to sew.

Mallory, you're a real woman
of the '80s.


So how did the interview go?


Not very well.
She didn't like me.

She was very, very cold.

Now, it's not that I expected
a big banner saying,

"welcome back to architecture,
Elyse Keaton."

But I thought, well,
at least, you know, a cake.

I'm sure you made
a good first impression, Elyse.

You always do.

From the moment
I laid eyes on you,

I knew you were
the only architect for me.

Maybe I'm better off
if I don't get the job.

I mean,
what do I need a job for?

T-the commuting, having a boss.

I mean, I-I'm doing okay
working here at home.

I know exactly
what you mean, mom.

I mean, I could take geometry
next semester.

There's a chance
I could handle it,

but then there's a chance
I couldn't handle it.

So why bother, right?

I-I don't think
it's the same thing, Mallory.

Elyse, it's okay to admit
you're scared about a new job.

I'm not scared.

Don't answer that!

M-maybe I'm a little scared.


Yes, she is. One moment, please.



Hi. Yes. Speaking.

Hi, Karen.



Well, thanks
for letting me know.

I'm sorry.

I got the job!


They liked the fact that...
that I was older.

And that I-i had
more experience,

and they appreciated
my honesty at the interview.

Go figure.

- Hi, Bill.
- Oh, hi, roomie.

Hey, congratulations
on getting the job.

- Thanks.
- Whoa. That's my table.

Uh, where's mine?

Right here.

Just breaking it in for you.

Well, nice to see you.
How's everything?

Actually, I'm having
kind of a rough week.

I can't get my girlfriend

to give me her new phone number.

Oh, why don't you
just look it up in the book?

You know her last name?

Enough about me.

You know, I think you're
really gonna like it here.

Why don't you let me
introduce you to the machines.

Yo, machines, come on over here
and meet Elyse.

All right, have it your own way.

We've got the Runnymede 1800K
word processor,

the Merriwell CAD system.

Boy, these machines
are unbelievable.

Yes, they are.

Well, Elyse, I see you're
making yourself at home. -Yes.

We were just talking
about the machines. -Ah.

I assume you're familiar with

the Merriwell computer-aided
design and drafting system.

Well, I-I've never actually
used the Merriwell, but, uh,

how different can it be
from any other appliance?


Well, it could be helpful

with the Manhattan Corporation

We're bidding on a combination
office building/health club.

Bill is designing the office
building part of the project.

- You'll be working on the health club.
- Oh, sounds exciting.

We have tentatively scheduled

a presentation
with Mr. Halifax...

He's head of Manhattan...
For two weeks from tomorrow.

Two weeks?

Isn't that enough time?

I-it's more than enough.

Okay. Good. Here you go.

Site plan. Budget.
Specifications. Good luck.

Thank you.
Thanks for everything.

So let's get to know each other.

Tell me a little bit
about yourself.

Family? Kids?

- I... but i...
- I don't have any myself.

Though I was married once.

Well, twice
if you count my cousin.

So, what kind of stuff
you been working on lately?

Oh, well, the last thing...

You know, for my senior project,

I worked on an entire city
of the future.

Large enough for a half
a million people.

It was quite a challenge.

Maximizing geometric aesthetics

while maintaining
a restrained functionalism.

What did you say you did last?

I-I just finished a remodel
on the Wilsons' ranch house.

We... we totally redid
the kitchen,

which involved putting up
a new beam to support the roof.


A beam.

So, guess you're pretty anxious

to get your hands
on those little babies, huh?

No, I-i can wait my turn.

Bill, I need to go over
these design plans with you.

There is nothing here
that I wanted.

It's the opposite
of what we discussed.

She wants me.

Can't be much different
than a typewriter.

"The quick brown fox."




Uh, stop.

Stop! Stop!


Elyse, I can't believe
you're still working.

Why don't you take a break?

The presentation is tomorrow.

I'll take a break the day after.

What do you think?

It's very flattering.

Have you alerted
Women's Wear Daily?

Mom, you've got to show Mallory

how to do the other sleeve.

Honey, I'm sorry.
I forgot we were sewing tonight.

I think I did a pretty good job.
Don't you?

She'll grow into it.

I won't grow into it
by Saturday.

Mom, I need to wear it
for Chrissy's party.

Honey, I'm sorry.
I can't help you tonight.

That's what you've said
for the past five nights.

Okay, look, I'll tell you what.

A-after you kids go to bed,
I'll finish it.

But the whole idea was for me
to learn how to do it.

Well, honey, you can't have

I am doing the best I can!

Girls, girls, your mother's
really busy.

I think we should
let her work, huh?

if you're too busy for us...

Mom, I sympathize
with what you're going through.

I mean, today's woman is in
a very difficult position.

Tradition and certainly biology
have put her in the home.

Now there are these ridiculous
new feminist pressures

for her to do things
outside the home,

like developing a career.

Your anxiety is natural, mom.

You can't fool
with mother nature.

Say good night, Alex.

Good night, Alex.

Elyse, um...

I've done a lot
of presentations.

Sometimes a little joke can
get you off on the right foot.

Maybe, uh...
Maybe something like this...


A guy and his, uh, dog
go into a bar.

Steven, that's ridiculous.

I-I'm just trying to help.

A-aren't you supposed to come up
with just one design,

just one health club?

Thank you, Steven.
I think I know what I'm doing.

Look, once I've laid out
all the options,

I-I'm going to synthesize them

into a single,
coherent proposal.


I can handle it!
I can handle it!

Look, Elyse, it's after 10:00.

You promised to sew
Jennifer's dress.

You're gonna be up all night.

You're obviously overworked.

Now, why don't you talk
to Karen about that?

I can't!

I can't... I can't let her know
I'm having problems already.

But you are.

You're pretending you know
how to use the computer.

You're working at a pace
that's much faster

than what you're used to.

You're not used to
their system there,

and you're afraid
to ask questions.

Why don't you just say
I'm failing on the job?

All... all I'm saying is that
maybe you should ask

for a little help at work.

Yeah, well, I could use
a little help around here, too.

Well, I'll be glad to help.

That is exactly
what I don't want!

What are you talking about?

You know what I'm talking about.

For the past two weeks,

you've been doing more cooking
than usual.

You've been spending more time
with the kids.

You have been sweeter, kinder,
more understanding

than you have ever been in
your life, and I am sick of it!

I am trying to be supportive.

I'm trying to help.

Well, Steven, all sorts of women

have families and full-time jobs
without your help.

That's because I'm not
married to them.

But you're telling me
you'd like it if you were?

Look, Elyse...

I know you're under
a lot of pressure right now.

Evidently you've got to let off
a little steam,

so go ahead.

Nothing you can say
will make me mad.

And you call yourself

So in conclusion, Mr. Halifax,

my goal here was
to design an office

that was more impressive
than the offices of the heads

of General Motors, IBM, AT&T,

for, in my opinion,

you are a more impressive
executive than any of those men.

I understand.

Well, that's the, uh,
that's the office in a nutshell.

Uh, it was a pleasure to design.

And if I may be so bold
as to say,

you were an inspiration.

Thank you.

Thank you, Bill.
That was very good.

Uh, what do you think,
Mr. Halifax?

It's not what I had in mind
at all.

I didn't think so,

and that's why I'd be more than
willing to work on this

until I get it exactly right.

It's not what I had in mind,
but I thought it was brilliant.

Well, you have a keen eye.

Sure you never studied
architecture yourself?

Positive. Never been to college.

Self-made man.

I didn't want to go to college

My parents made me.

Well, Mr. Halifax,
I'm glad you're so pleased

with the office building.

Now Elyse will show us

what the health club's
going to be like.

Warmed him up for you, Elyse.
Go get him.

I'm real excited about
this project, Mr. Halifax,

as I'm sure you are, too.

Before I start the presentation,

I'm reminded of a little story.

This man and his dog
go into a bar...


Oh, don't stop her.
This sounds good.

What kind of a dog was it?

Bill. Elyse, please continue.

And the bartender says, "hey..."


The presentation.

Um, here is the one-story plan.

Here is the multi-story plan.

And here we have
a special one...

The underground gymnasium plan.

Now, uh, within each plan
there are several subplans,

and we can go over
the aspects of each,

and you can decide
which you like best.

You're being cute, right?

You really just have
one proposal.

I mean, you did design
a health club, didn't you?

I really didn't get a chance
to narrow it down

to just one.

Believe me... I wanted to,

but I ran out of time
last night.

Had to make all those lunches
before I went to bed,

then I lost the sleeve
on Jennifer's dress.

Let's start with
the underground gymnasium plan.

Now, that will give you
the best of all possible worlds.

And who deserves that
more than you, huh, Mr. H?

Karen, I'm a busy man.

I don't have time to look
through all these things.

Now, I'm paying
this architectural firm

to design my building.

If I wanted to design it myself,
I would have done so.

And I bet you'd have done
a heck of a job, Mr. H.

I have an idea.

Why don't you put some
of these plans on the computer,

and we can see
which you like best.

Right. The computer.

Well, why don't I just
draw it up on pencil and paper.

The computer's so impersonal.

That's why I like it. Let's go.

Uh, well...

Forget it.
I-i can't use the computer.

Why not?

I-I simply don't know
how to use the machine.

I've been faking it.

Karen, what's going on here?

Is this some kind
of affirmative-action thing?

Did you have to hire
that person?

Now, see here, Mr. Halifax...

What is it?

See here...

I didn't hear you that well.


Mr. Halifax, I-i apologize
for wasting your time.

Karen, I'm... I'm... I'm sorry.
I'm tired of pretending.

that I know everything

about architecture today.

Pretending that...
That having a job and...

And three kids
is a piece of cake.

The... the truth of the matter
is it's...

It's hard to design a building
under this kind of pressure.

It's... it's hard using machines

you've never even
heard of before!

And it is damn hard
coming back to work

after all these years.

Well, that seemed to go
pretty well.

Oh, Steven, I made such a fool
out of myself.

What ever made me think
I could handle a job like that?

Elyse, just because this one
presentation didn't work out

doesn't mean you're not
qualified for the job.

How did the joke go over?

Did you go...

Like I told you?

Uh, yeah.

Oh, uh, Steven,
I-it's Karen and Bill

- from the office.
- Oh, of course.

Come on in.

Hi, Steven. Boy, I've heard
a lot about you, big guy.

I think you'll beat
that morals charge.

Elyse, ¿qué pasa?

Oh, left your purse
at the office.

Thank you.

You got a lot of interesting
things in there.

Uh, I'm sure the three of you

have a lot to talk about.

You're out of here.

You have a way with words, Bill.

Come and sit down.

Elyse, why didn't you just tell
me you were having problems?

We all have problems at work,

and we all ask
each other for help.

I-I guess I wanted you
to think I could do the job.

Well, that's exactly
what I do think.

Elyse, you have years
of experience.

You're practical, and yet you're
one of the most creative people

I've ever met.

Thank you.

I-I am really embarrassed.

I-I've been trying to do

and, uh, I can't do it.

Oh, I t-thought that was
what you expected of me,

and all the anger
and frustration built up

and just, well, came out.

I-I'm sorry.

Actually, it was something
to see.

You're quite beautiful
when you're angry.

We sifted through your ideas
at the office.

You came up
with some good things.

What I think we should do
is talk about them together.

You... you still want me
to work on the project?

Yes, I do. We'll talk
about it in the morning.

Oh, thank you
for the second chance.

I-I was ready
to come over tomorrow

and clean out my desk.

Well, you can clean out mine.
I'll give you a blowtorch.

We have to be going.

We're meeting Mr. Halifax
for dinner.

Oh, I sure hope it
goes better than the last time.

He wouldn't let me eat
until he was finished.

Thank you.
I'll see you tomorrow.

I really appreciate it.


One of your beams?



Yeah? What is it, hon?

I'm still a working woman.

Oh, great!

I think I owe everyone
an apology.

I think that's
a very noble gesture.

What did you do?

Ever since I started working,

I was taking all my irritability
and nervousness out on you.

I'm sorry.

I was trying to be
the perfect working woman,

the perfect mother,
the perfect wife,

and, uh, that's crazy,
'cause I'm not perfect.

Ah, mom, perfection's overrated.

I know. I've been there.

It hasn't been all your fault,

If you're going to work,

we've got to make
some adjustments, too.

As a future working woman,
I'm with you 100%.

That goes double for me.

Not the bit about working.

I think what we're
trying to say, mom,

is we're willing
to help out more.

Thank you.

So, mom... What's for dinner?

Uh, what I mean is,

what would you like us
to make you for dinner?