Friday, October 23, 2009

Would the real J Peterman please stand up?

     “You most likely know it as Myanmar, but it will always be Burma to me." ~ John O'Hurley as J Peterman, Seinfeld

      I recently had the pleasure, after moving to a new city, to temp for The J Peterman Company. For any of you who remember the classic TV sitcom Seinfeld, J Peterman was Elaine's eccentric boss for several seasons. That person was merely a character, initially created without any input from the actual man, but later done with permission. I got to work for the real deal.

      The real J Peterman, or John as he's known around the small office of about 30 staff members in Lexington, Kentucky, does not seem half as crazy as the one on television. Though I had little interaction with the man himself, mostly a warm handshake and a "Hi, I'm John" everyone I briefly worked with knew and talked about him, and his lovely wife, Audrey, could not have been more welcome and kind. It is definitely one of the nicest companies I’ve ever worked for. The items that they sell are on the odd end, as you'd expect, but I can attest that the quality is fantastic and I would love to own almost everything they sell.

      I'm not writing a commercial for The J Peterman Company. I not on their payroll, and no one in the company even is aware that I am writing this article. The company's reputation, products, and especially the truly unique Owner's Manual catalogue speak for themselves. But it's not every day that you come across an icon known from the television set and see who the real life man that inspired him is. I didn't seek out this temp job, nor do anything just for the purpose of working there or to write this article, but it was one of life's pleasant surprises to be there for a short time, and I thank J Peterman very much for the opportunity.

      “If you haven’t stayed in touch with your dreams, the good news is that it’s never too late to reclaim them.” ~ The Real J. Peterman

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