A middle-aged women looked up from her adding machine in disbelief.
The young man at the desk behind her glanced up from his telephone conversation, blinked and started.
From the back of the room a typist called out, "I voted for you last time but it didn't work.
"Well, do it again!" shouted Frank Wolf, as he finished a whirlwind handshaking tour of Equitable Trust Company's offices at Tysons Corner.
Frank R. Wolf, 41, Arlington attorney, father of five, devout Republican, baby-food lobbyist and underdog, is on the campaign trail -- again.
He looks like a youthful Ed Sullivan and is the GOP's answer to incumbent Rep. Joseph Fisher (D-Va.) of Northern Virginia's 10th Congressional District; which includes Arlington, northern Fairfax County and Loudoun County.
Fisher was elected in 1974, in a stunning upset of Republican Joel T. Broyhill, who had served in Congress 22 years. Fisher has been a thorn in the Republicans' side ever since.
Wolf, who lost a 1978 bid for Fisher's congressional seat, has never held elective office. But he says he has not given up, and this time he is using a simple campaign strategy: meet more people.
"I've set sort of a personal goal of meeting 1,000 people a day," Wolf said as he waited for the Equitable elevator to take him to the fourth floor.
One floor up in the Tysons Corner high-rise, it was more of the same as Wolf whisked through the offices.
"Hi, I'm Frank Wolf and I'm running for Congress," Wolf said over and over as he shook hands and bestowed a campaign pamphlet on each employe.
While the candidate worked the employes, Dave Cash, Wolf's driver and a student at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, scurried around the room leaving the pamphlets on on vacant desks.
"You weren't at home today when I came by your house so I had to come here," Wolf joked, as a busy secretary accepted the campaign literature and grinned.
One secretary blocked the doorway to her office and asked Wolf who had given him permission to go through the building. When he explained the president of the company had okayed his visit, the secretary remained dubious.
"Democrat or Republican?" she asked.
"Republican," Wolf answered.
"Well, that's better," she said with a smile, and took a handful of booklets.
As a photographer lined up pictures of Wolf working a secretarial pool, one woman voiced strong objection to being photographed.
"I don't want to be in any picture with him," she said, pointing toward the rear of the room at Wolf. "I'm voting for Joe Fisher."
Wolf says he understands Fisher supporters are everywhere, but he plans to tell the voters how strongly Fisher has supported President Carter. He hopes such close identification with a president who is scoring so low in the public-opinion polls will cause Fisher to go down in a defeat.
"Oh, I meet people who say they are going to vote for Fisher," acknowledges Wolf. But I try to tell them something about Fisher's voting record . . . and if that doesn't change their minds, well -- I just like meeting people."
Wolf has been meeting people since last fall, when he entered the hotly contested race for the Republican nomination. Wolf spent $100,000 to defeat state Del. Martin H. Perper and Falls Church Mayor Harold L. Miller and become his party's choice.
To date, Wolf has raised $170,000 in campaign funds -- including money already spent on his bid in the primaries.
Gus Hubal, a member of Wolf's campaign staff, says most of the money has come from about 2,000 individual supporters.
A glance at Wolf's contribution file, however, shows the political arms of many major corporations and several right-wing groups are anxious to help Wolf get to Washington.
Eleven major oil companies have contributed to the Wolf campaign so far, as have Ford and General Motors. Several utility companies, including Washington Gas Light, Florida Power and Light and Texas Power and Light want Wolf on the Hill, as do members of the Northern Virginia Gas Retailers Association, the National Rifle Association and television evangelist Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority.
In addition to making rounds in Tysons Corner's many office buildings, Wolf has been seen pressing the flesh on Saturday mornings at the community garbage-collection site in McLean, at supermarkets and at Metro bus stops. He also has been canvassing neighborhoods.
Seated at a table in the McLean's Roy Rogers restaurant, Wolf took a noon break from storming through high-rise offices and talked about the second and most important phase of his campaign.
"It tough, running against an incumbent," Wolf said between bites of hamburger. Then he recited a litany of complaints commonly heard from those who challenge an incumbent, especially resentment of franking privileges and campaign activities disguised as congressional duties.
In a switch from his tactics of two years ago, when Wolf was accused of dirty politics and running a "smear" campaign against Fisher, this time Wolf has adopted as his unofficial slogan. "Fisher is a nice guy, but . . ."
"Joe Fisher, is a nice guy, no question about that," Wolf admits. "But he is in the mainstream of the present (Democratic) Congress.
"Look at his record. He just didn't represent the philosophy of this area. I think I'm in tune with our voters," Wolf says.
Wolf does not hesitate to question the sincerity of Fisher's stand on certain issues.
"A lot of people ask me about schools," Wolf says. "Well, I tell them that federal aid to impacted schools has never been lower, and it consistently dropped while Joe Fisher was in office."
When it is mentioned that Fisher testified before a House Budget subcommittee in favor of increasing federal impact aid (to schools where many students have parents who work for the government), Wolf replies, "Well, he's not really an advocate. Anyone can testify."
While Wolf says he is confident that he will overcome great odds to beat the popular Fisher and eventually help "turn things around" in the country, he is cautious on the question of Ronald Reagan.
"I didn't support any particular candidate in the primaries," Wolf says nervously when he is asked if he had to switch his allegiance after Reagan was nominated. Wolf says he was "too busy" with his own primary campaign last year to support a presidential candidate actively.
When he is asked about Reagan, Wolf talks about George Bush:
"I think the ticket is good, strong ticket -- very balanced."
Will Reagan's candidacy help Wolf get elected in Northern Virginia?
"I don't know," Wolf says. "I find a lot of support for the Reagan-Bush ticket, so I do think the ticket will do well in Northern Virginia.
"I don't know what the coat-tail effects will be," Wolf says. "I'm not counting on tremendous coat-tail support."
Wolf is widely viewed as a very conservation Republican. He supports the antiabortion movement and opposes the Equal Rights Amendment -- two controversail positions espoused in the party's national platform. But the mention of that platform elicits no enthusiastic personal endorsement from him.
"You know how platforms are," he says. "It's like this hamburger. I don't really want it, but I promised I'd meet you here and that's what I'm doing."
Wolf says the first piece of legislation he would introduce in the House would be a constitutional amendment restricting each senator and representative to a combined total of 12 years in office. When elected officials stay on the Hill too long, he says, they become stale and ineffective.
"I think the government has lost its direction," Wolf adds. "We need a change.
"If the Republicans sweep Congress this year, then don't do a good job, at least we'll get new Democrats in the next election.
"Even that would be an improvement."