Space Cadet

Written By: Mort Gordon

Mort Gordon 254 East. 68th St New York, NY 10065 (212) 861 1246 45 Box Tree Rd PO-1201 Quogue, NY 11959 SPACE CADET by Mort Gordon She was young. She was sexy. She was smart she was eager to please. I was publisher of a well known fashion magazine, divorced and in the midst of a new relationship when Laura walked into my office. Her aim was to become part of a growing corps of women in a new and financially lucrative role selling advertising space for prestigious, high circulation magazines Like others, she was well educated, inexperienced, and in need of on the job training. And like the others of her kind, she was affectionately and sometimes derisively referred to as a “space cadet”. -more- She approached me in my office and offered a firm handshake. I’m Laura Button and I was recommended by John Richards,” she said, as she looked at me with soulful eyes. obviously hungry, for acceptance. “Yes, I know. John told me about you, that you have limited experience and want to get into magazine space sales.” Laura was 24, newly-married with ash blond hair, green eyes, a Barbara Streisand like nose and sensuality that was subtle. As I gazed across my desk and disinterestedly perused her resume I saw that feature by feature there were flaws. But the long hair, questioning eyes, full, sensuous lips, long legs and near perfect breasts made an irresistible package. I hired her on the spot, determined to train her myself and make her the best in the field. And I knew I was in trouble Laura craved direction and I started her out at a modest salary plus commission and assigned her to a series of “Kamikaze” accounts inactive and very difficult to sell. -more- Laura had a goal, to show she could beat the pants off the males who have long been the backbone of space sales. The kind who have six, figure incomes, take long martini lunches, are part of the “buddy system” which, along with loyal secretaries, helps protect them from bosses and wives who sometimes get too close to discovering their inefficiencies and/or indiscretions. Women like Laura thus have a fertile field to harvest because most of them are sober, career-driven, eager to earn a lot of money to maintain their independence, and most importantly, make maximum use of their femininity on the phone, in letters, and on sales calls to first get the appointment and then the order. This is the way it is in publishing today, and the male drones are feeling its affect through job changes, early retirement, or alcohol rehabilitation. These women are rapidly on the rise to regional managers, advertising managers, advertising directors, and publishers. Some of the more notable ones are earning at the $500,000 level with all the perks that go with the executive suite. So here I was with my own space cadet, seeing her every day, looking at her legs as she walked by my office leaning to see down her blouse whenever she bent over my desk. -more- The lust became maddening. But I was determined to play it straight. After all, she was married and I was old enough to be her father. Finally, after making a number of in town sales calls, we took our first day trip together to an ad agency outside of Boston. We were side by side on the shuttle, in the rental car to and from the call, and back on the flight to flew York where we each had two vodkas on the rocks to celebrate. We had been successful. We got the business because I showed her how to ask for the order. We sat in my car at Laguardia and fell into a long silence, staring at each other. The alcohol and the day’s success were a bit much for both of us. “Laura”, I said quietly, “this was a. terrific day. You did well. You listened, you took notes, you contributed at the right time and you observed what I did. You are going to make one helluva salesperson She continued to stare at me like a hungry child with a half smile on her face and a pouting lower lip which now became too much to resist. -more- I reached over and pulled her toward me, kissing her full on the lips. Our months parted and our tongues intertwined. When it was over, we both leaned back on the front seat of the car and were now faced with the reality of the “quickie” which had just taken place. Laura spoke first: “I don’t know what came over me. Please don’t think that I do this kind of thing. I just got married. It was just that the day was so thrilling and exciting, I got carried away, but we mustn’t do this again.” ‘It was wonderful and exciting,” I managed. but we can’t have an employer-employee affair. I did that once and got burned. Let me drive you home and we’ll start from scratch tomorrow.’ Little did I know that the lust would just get more intense. Thus began a long standing affair with my space cadet. We wined and dined clients together. We traveled extensively, always in adjoining rooms. Her spouse, my live in woman, colleagues and clients all suspected, but we were never caught. The thrill intensified as the years went on. The sex became maddeningly delightful as we tried everything, everywhere. And the more successful we were in business, the more passionate our liaisons. -more- Then one day, it came to a crashing halt just as instantly as it had begun. After much thought concerning a new business opportunity, I decided to leave publishing. The effect of this move on my relationship with Laura was uppermost in my mind, but I felt nothing could reduce the passion we had for each other both professionally and personally. The affair had to continue. What I didn’t fully understand was that the aphrodisiac in our relationship was in going out and getting business together …making more money… increasing the number of pages The dinners, lunches,, trips, and sex itself were only the icing on the cake. Our foundation had crumbled. Today the space cadet is a well known publisher. Perhaps now she has her own male space cadet. The End