Nov 24, 2005

LORD OF THE FLEAS - The End of an Era

This was my first real job. I was so sad to hear that it closed; I almost felt that this legacy would keep on living. I was 17 when I started, and still in high school. I remember my first Saturday working there - it was strange, new, liberating. Every week I religiously deposited $100 in the bank from my tiny paycheck. But I had money for school and the 50% discount made me a regular customer at the store. I first started out working weekends. It was hard. On Sunday I had to go to other meetings. But it was fun being picked up from work on Friday night and going out somewhere like BBQ's. It was also nice getting visitors and seeing not so famous people. My co-workers were always sweet and since I was the baby, they took care of me. My tasks were straightening up and handling the register. After a year or so there was a job opening in the warehouse, and I said sure, why not? It was summer; I was off from school so I started working full time. So goodbye 2142 Broadway, hello 12th street & avenue A! It was not bad working there; I ordered lots of pasta from this fantastic little quaint Italian place called "La Casalinga". I worked for a husband and wife team, so I was now going to work under the husband, Jeremy Archer. Carol Archer mainly oversaw the uptown location (they also had a 9th street store location). And Jeremy spent every day in the warehouse. So now I handled all the new clothes that came in, put tags on them and created labels for them in the computer. I also managed inventory. Jeremy was a cool boss - and a workaholic. Quite an interesting individual. An Irishman by blood, but raised in England. (I think his Mother was Irish). He also spent some years living in Paris and Australia. So as you may imagine, he had this accent that you couldn't quite place - but your best guess would be English. He was into politics and he was vegan. He ate jalapeƱos all the time with his food because he believed it kept him from being sick. The job was flexible with my schedule when I started college. After deciding to spend the last year of school full time, I said goodbye…but it never quite felt like goodbye, because whenever I would visit, it kind of felt like home. But little by little all the familiar things were drifting away. Soon after I left, our UPS guy whom we befriended was transferred to another route. Also later, their bookkeeper and cousin who has worked for them for years started working as a paralegal. Things were definitely changing. So now, they have closed shop, and from what I hear they have opened a bed & breakfast. Sounds lovely…and totally different from the fashion industry. I know Jeremy was dabbling in real estate, and this must have come up as an opportunity for them to create a new business. Juggling both of the businesses would have been impossible, due to their deep involvement, and perhaps now husband and wife can work together under one roof. Sounds like a happy ending, doesn’t it? I wonder what the B&B is called, Lord of the Bed Bugs? Okay, I know – that was corny, but I couldn’t resist.

3 comments:

.:.marie.:. said...
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.:.marie.:. said...

I have an update...Lord of the Fleas still lives on. Somebody bought the business from Jeremy and kept the same name.

I also heard Jeremy still works in the warehouse helping him out. Strange. Force of habit I guess!

sugar hill harlem inn said...

Hi Marie,
This is jeremy. An Indian guy, Amit, who I used to buy from just found me through your blog which I never read before. You are so sweet! But I have to tell you my mum is English. I really don't think it matters but she would think it does! My B&B is called Sugar Hill Harlem Inn and it is so much easier than Lord of the Fleas, so I am no longer a workaholic! And I no longer read newspapers or watch TV or listen to the radio, so politics are out and now I eat meat so I am no longer a vegan. But I do still eat jalapenos and I never get sick, except I got hit by a car, but that does not count! LOTF no longer exists. The guy who bought it from me went out of business after the 1st year and I did not work for him, I was too busy starting my new business which I really like. Since early November, most of my clients have been Hurricane Sandy refugees so my place is filled right now. I have lots of free time, so I read and I write and I ride my bicycle and I swim in the Hudson and yes it is filthy, but so is the air we breathe!
Marie, thanks so much for the work you did in the warehouse, you were really great on that computer and organizing that entire inventory. As I write this I am thinking about Sylvia who you replaced and who returned when you left and the email I received from you telling me she had died from cancer. It was so shocking since I never knew she was ill and she had just had a baby. I remember going to see her on Essex St. when she was pregnant and that was the last time I saw her.
How is your crazy auntie Doris? I have not seen her for a while. Give her a big hug and kiss and tell her to come visit us in Saugerties. We can swim naked in the river together when the ice clears away!