If you are living and have ears, you probably know that Taylor Swift came out with a new album a couple of weeks ago. I will admit that right after work the day it came out, I drove to Target, hurried into the music section, and picked up my Deluxe version of the album 1989. I think every female (and some males) I saw walking around in Target was making the same purchase. 

Anyways, for as good as the music is on the album (lots of more important music people say its good, this is not just something I am saying), there has been so much more talk about how Taylor has gone about the release, and I think we can learn from her on how to handle people and our jobs and LIFE. Cause T.Swift is so knowledgeable. 

Appreciate People. 

Taylor held what she called “secret sessions” for her fans before the release date. She invited fans she follows on instagram, twitter, tumblr, etc, to her house and let them hear the album before it came out. She didn’t view these people as “fans” or “nobodies” -these were people who she knew would enjoy the experience, and she welcomed them into her home, and treated them as people. She told them how much she appreciates them and did something for them. She also has been sending her fans presents from her travels. WHAT?! Who does that. Awesome. 

Make people COOKIES.  

She also made these fans cookies and other treats for the listening party. Everyone loves treats. Dustin would agree with this. 

Don’t care what people say about you—SHAKE IT OFF. 

Taylor started in country music, and now she has switched over to the more mainstream “pop” category. She didn’t care what people thought about this, she felt that was where she is in life, and she was like, listen people, I’m gunna do what I want to do, so DEAL WITH IT. And if someone came back and said something rude, she just said “I’m just gunna shake, shake, shake”. 

Be good at what you love. 

Taylor loves song writing, and she is good at it. What do you love to do? Whatever it is, be good at it. Take the time to learn something new or fun and enjoy it. Don’t be miserable in your life, but be good at life, doing something you love. 

Be true to yourself.

If you watch or read any video or article Taylor is in, you’ll see she is kind of awkward. She doesn’t put on a show or try to act in any other way then who she is. I am convinced that if I met Taylor Swift in real life, we would probably do some weird dance while jamming to some tunes in the car. I am the queen of weird car dancing. She tries to stay normal and true to herself, and I think she will continue to through out her career. 

She also gets the attention of a lot of other celebrities, but this might be my favorite:

So, take a lesson from T.Swift today! She knows what she’s doing. 

I’m following Zac’s lead from the other day, and I want to tell you a story about customer service.

Over the weekend, I went out to dinner with some friends to celebrate my birthday.  We went to a restaurant in OKC called Whiskey Cake.  I think there are only two locations, one in Plano, Texas, and this relatively new one in the city.  I dined at the one in Plano a few years ago, and all I remembered was the amazing whiskey cake they had for dessert.

As I was planning this dinner, I thought, “Hey! Let’s try Whiskey Cake in OKC.”  

I got about 10 people to join me.  I figured the place would be crowded on a Saturday night, so I decided to call ahead on Friday afternoon to make a reservation.  I thought that was plenty of notice, but apparently not so much.

First, a hostess answers the phone.  I tell her I want to make a reservation for 7 pm for about 10 people.  In an annoyed tone, she puts me on hold for a few minutes.   Then, a guy gets on the phone, and it is obvious he has no idea what the situation is or why I am on the phone.  I explain myself again to him, and all he has to say is, “We are only available for a 5 pm or 9 pm reservation.”

A little shocked, I then go back and forth with him trying to sort through our options…can we put two tables together? Does it help if it is 8 vs. 10 people?  Is there anything we can do to make this happen?  Not one time did he say anything along the lines of, “I apologize,” “Let me see what I can do,” “Maybe try calling ahead sooner next time.” 

Look, I completely understand if you are booked, and there is absolutely nothing that can be done to accommodate me.  I’m not mad about that.  I was a little shocked that they were willing to let the business of 10 people disappear so easily.  

I talked it over with my friends, and we decided that 9 pm would still work for us despite their phone manners.  I called the restaurant back to tell them, and I have no idea if I was talking to the same girl or not, but she most certainly had an unwarranted attitude with me.  She took my information, but it was just not a pleasant experience.

Upon arriving the next night, one of my friends was the first there.  She checked in with the hostess desk and was abruptly told she would not be seated until at least eight people arrived.  I walked in and told her about my experience on the phone as she told me how they were also rude to her when she asked about the table.  A minute later, I received a text to let me know our table was ready.  I approached the desk and was greeted with nothing but smiles and politeness…weird.  

After all that, we ended up having a lovely meal.  Whiskey Cake has no microwaves or freezers in their kitchen, as everything is made fresh.  They even have a garden out front to grow their own spices and herbs and do their best to only get ingredients from within a 100 mile radius.

The food was amazing, and the whiskey cake was even better.  I took some of mine home, and I may or may not have eaten the rest for breakfast the next morning. 

Our waiter was also exceptional, which was a nice surprise.  Overall, we had a very pleasant experience, but I won’t forget about the way I was treated on the phone.  And I probably won’t hesitate to tell others about my experience either.

This makes me think of my position here at Old Hat.  As a client representative, I am the connection between our clients and our work.  A client could LOVE the poster or video created for them, but if I am rude or difficult to work with, I bet they will remember that more.

Unfortunately for Whiskey Cake, if anyone ever asks my opinion on it, I’m going to say, “The food is amazing! The hostesses were rude to me though…”

I can feel things starting to slow down around the Old Hat headquarters. Basketball is beginning and the last of those print materials and videos seem to be nearing completion. As this time of the year approaches, I really like to do some thinking towards the year ahead. So, I'm taking some time over the next few weeks to start setting goals for next year. I learned a long time ago that goals should be S.M.A.R.T.: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. This link explains the process involved of setting goals this way in even more detail. I'm going to keep this in mind as I start thinking about what I'd like to accomplish next year. Personally, it's also helpful for me to get feedback and to share my goals with at least one person. Doing so helps my accountability. Over the past year, we've all been setting work-related goals, writing them on cards, and putting them on our office bulletin board. We set initial goals in January and then revised or set new goals in June. It will be interesting to see which goals were accomplished this year.

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