a day in my shoes, gail gastelu, the tea house times, tea industry jobs
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January 2014 Posts

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A Day in My Shoes
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Episode 14, Part 2 - A Day in MY Shoes - Gail Gastelu, The Tea House Times

Monday, January 20th 2014 @ 7:29 AM

A Day in My Shoes – Episode 14, Part 2 - Gail Gastelu, Publisher/Editor in Chief, The Tea House Times

 

 

 

 


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Welcome to A Day in My Shoes – a blog and sometimes vlog as The Tea House Times publisher, Gail Gastelu, puts herself in another person’s shoes for the day – going behind the scenes in the tea industry!  If you are just joining us, go to the Archived entries in the left column to catch up - beginning with January 2013.  OR

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EPISODE 14, Part 2 – A DAY IN MY SHOES – GAIL GASTELU   
(Click here for Part 1 - )

Hello Tea Friends, Gail here, This is Episode 14, Part 2. Last week we focused on the background of The Tea House Times and related services.  Many people have asked me to turn this series around temporarily and discuss what my own job is like for a change.  I will not be showing you photos of The Tea House Times office since we are in the middle of moving some things and there are a lot of boxes everywhere as we finish moving another desk in. Besides that, all there is to see are desktops full of papers and ongoing projects, not as interesting as our previous visits to tearooms and tea suppliers.   So, here we go….a day in MY shoes.  This might be a little easier than usual since I do not need to learn someone else’s job along the way.  Serving tables in the tea room last year was exhausting….I think I like my own shoes a little bit better.

Most people in the tea industry are kind, honest, caring and work very hard to share the benefits of enjoying tea. So, my job IS very enjoyable, so much so that I find myself drawn to working more than relaxing, but that also comes with the territory of owning your own business.  There is always something to do and I work long hours.

A big portion of my job includes visiting tea rooms and reviewing and writing about their afternoon tea service. We also receive a lot of books and products for review.  So many, in fact, that they are often lined up waiting their turn for months since The Tea House Times is published bi-monthly with a maximum of 8-10 books and products reviewed per issue.

So, you might be wondering, what do I do when a tea room or a product sent to me for review does not live up to my expectations or the quality expected by my audience? Well, I am honest. I do not print a negative review. If there is something positive to accentuate, I will try to do that. Otherwise, I advise the tea room or a product company that I will not be running their review but would give them time to work on quality control and resubmit the product at a future time, or visit a tea room at a later date.  Yes, I have refused to print a review of several tea rooms.

As for products, I have actually saved quite a few businesses from huge product recalls when I have tested their products before market and found some quality issues that might have been problematic if they had gone further.  Several products have been modified after my review.  I know this sounds funny, but it is so very true.  Another thing many people know about me is that I am a bit of a perfectionist.  The slightest problem shouts out to me and rarely gets by…. I enjoy testing products and providing feedback.

Gosh, I think I could write a book here. How will I ever keep this Episode brief??  Hmmm….I will try to share some of the day-to-day that is more interesting, but some tasks are tedious as with any job.

In general, I adhere to a pretty strict schedule.  It is very necessary to have deadlines in place for everything. For receiving products and books for review, tea room reviews, interviews, and compilation of all articles, communications with writers and other contributors, advertising materials, and other pieces that need to come together prior to layout of each issue of The Tea House Times. In addition, TeaCourse.com is updated weekly, so deadlines are followed for this as well. We also have monthly teleconferences with our students who are enrolled at TeaEtiquetteCertified.com

Every Monday we try to send out an e-news blast to all of our customers whether they are simply interested in tea or own a tea business.  Our e-news informs the latest happenings here at The Tea House Times as well as tea industry news that would be of interest to all. Speaking of news…..this is a huge – sometimes boring and tedious task – as hundreds of news releases pass by my desk daily, sometimes through the mail, but mostly by email.  It may sound harsh but I give each one a few seconds of my time. If the headline does not call out to me, it is deleted.  Some news I will save to read more deeply for my own knowledge.  Other, most pertinent news for our readers will be posted to The Tea House Times website news feeds and also shared via the Monday email.  We recently added an additional tea news feed we call TEA SCOOP – a feed of pre-screened news around the web.  This is updated as often as there is news enough to share. 

Trying to keep these posts less than ten minutes, so I will close out this week’s portion of Episode 14 with this message:  I have read so much news about tea that you can be sure the news that hits our feed is positive, good, and worth sharing.  So, if you are not already aware, you can use our feeds elsewhere - go ahead and grab an RSS feed to our tea news and use it on your own website to share with your audience as well. Instructions may be found in the left column of the home page at theteahousetimes.com   I hope you are enjoying Hot Tea Month.  It certainly has been a banner month for tea news, product launches and positive messaging about tea.  This episode will continue next week!!  Have a great day!

 

 

Please visit the following websites published and founded by me through The Tea House Times, LLC:

http://www.theteahousetimes.com

http://www.teabureau.com

http://www.teacourse.com

http://www.teaindustrywhoswho.com

http://www.afternoontearecipes.com

http://www.teaspeakersbureau.com

http://www.customtrainingsite.com

http://www.teaetiquettecertified.com

 

 

 

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