I love Say Yes to the Dress. It is tacky, lovely, and occasionally very sweet. It is the perfect I-cannot-brain-today material. And I believe it is a must-watch for anyone wanting to know how to conduct themselves in a professional manner.
1. Ask for help: If there’s one lesson I’ve learned from the show, it’s that you should always ask for help. The consultants are always running up against moms with strong opinions, brides who don’t know what they want, and just plain rude people. What do they do? They ask for help! They call a manager! They admit they need help. Remember Claudia? She didn’t work out because she never asked for help.
2. There is no “I” in team: What? The Kleinfeld consultants work as a team. Related to number 1, they know that no sale is done just one their own.
3. A good manager lets their employee shine: If you manage anyone in any capacity, listen up: a good manager hears and supports their employee. Notice how the managers are not upset to be asked for help? That’s because they know they are there to make their employees shine. When you become a manager, your job ceases to be about you and becomes about someone else.
4. Always ask the price: Okay, this doesn’t apply everywhere. Sometimes price isn’t involved, but ALWAYS ASK. Not sure of certain instruction on a project? Ask. Don’t just assume you can figure it out. So many consultant appointments get derailed when they don’t know the price. So ask!
6. It’s not what you do, it’s how you connect: Camille is my favorite. Her makeup and hair are nowhere close to Cosmo approved, but she does it anyway. And she still sells dresses. Because she knows how to connect with other people. The alternative phrasing of this is that succeeding in business is about people liking you. I know that’s frustrating and bullshit, but kiss a little ass. It’ll take you places.
5. If it’s a shitty workplace, get the hell out: I am always impressed by how happy the bridal consultants are to be working at Kleinfeld’s. The job sounds pretty hideous: sell white dresses to bridezillas! But everyone seems pretty happy. I assume it’s because they work in a good environment. So if your office sucks, try to get out if you can.
6. Mistakes happen, move on: Do you think the consultants sell a dress at every single appointment? Do you think they don’t annoy the parents? You’re going to make a typo, you’re going to call the wrong person, you’re going to piss off a client: it’s not the end of the world. Move on.
8. Find ways to make work fun: Okay, not every person you work with is going to be as awesome as Camille, but you know those ladies try on the dresses when everyone’s left. Letting off steam is good!
9. It’s not about the glory: I think I could enjoy a job at Kleinfeld’s. You’re surrounded by people doing something that makes them happy and you have a good team. Sure, it’s not writing philosophy or being a high-powered executive, but it’s a job that pays the rent and that doesn’t suck your soul, and that’s pretty damn good.
10. Pnina is awesome: People love her dresses! She’s a bridal mogul. And she’s so tiny and demure, but she kicks ass and has a business that people will fly from across the country to take part in. Be a badass like Pnina.