Myle Enterprise is an events business focusing on adult social events, which also provides emcee and blogging services. A major part of our event services is in the event organising side, which is planning, management and sourcing for vendors or venue but we also provide simple decorations.
Simple decorations are like cake cutting table set up, balloons, streamers and small decorative items like decorated candle holders. We do not provide lavish decorations like chandeliers or event equipments like LED screen, tables and chairs. We have vendors that we work with to provide that.
In the past, we have done simple decorations for some of our events. Our owner has personal experience working in a team to provide decoration for a ballroom event back in 1999 and moved on to supervising decoration set ups from there onwards. Our owner’s experience in event planning is more extensive where she has personal experience planning and being involved in private events for about 25 years, whereas her experience in dinners and public events is over 15 years.
During the first few events after our business set up, we provided simple decoration and venue set up along with our event planning service. There was one venue which had their VIP room totally empty apart from tables and chairs because their restaurant were newly renovated and they did not manage to set up their VIP room in time for the event. Our owner managed to set up curtains and decorations in the room on her own within 1.5 hours. The VIP room was not too big and could fit about 2 big round tables with walking space. Some of the decorations items were prepared before the set up. With events, the preparation for the decoration and set up of the venue can take time. Sourcing for decoration items and raw materials as well the preparation of the items will require a lot of time with also some driving around to find the materials or time to source online. If you have to flip a room from a lunch reception to a dinner reception, it requires the event team to work very fast as there is limited time. For events, time plays an important part especially during the event and it is crucial that you keep moving to get the event flowing.
We are going to touch on one event in the past which we organised and included simple decoration. We hired event crews and an event manager to let them handle the decoration, set up of the venue and provide event services. These event crews were part-timers but we chose and hired them because they have experience in events. There were others that applied for the position but we turned them down because they did not have events experience and since this event had a short time frame for us to prepare, we wanted people who have experience so there is less hand-holding required. We have worked before with the event manager and previously he could lead an events team well, which was why we paid him a higher wage as compared to the others who were event crews.
In fact, the event manager and event crews were paid higher wages as compared to the market value. We know the market rate because we keep ourselves updated with knowledge about events. Our owner herself sometimes volunteers for events or have previously worked for event jobs that is below her expertise just to get a feel of the events field at that moment. In the past, she has worked alongside with her event teams/volunteers for her events and even walked with them throughout the whole event when she could have just sat down comfortably at home and let them do all the work. We do not have such a big ego that we think working alongside our hired crews are such a no, no and we wanted to pay them a wage that was higher than the rest because we believe that employees should be paid well according to their experiences plus to appreciate their time. Unfortunately, we are wrong.
We met some of the most uncapable, disrespectful and terrible employees from this team. The manager who previously did well could not even deliver his responsibilities well. Of course there were other employees we have encountered in the past which made mistakes or were not too good in the past but we could still accept it as long as the event turned out fine. Some crews who were volunteers for our events and were not paid in monetary term but in kind performed even better than those who were paid, and paid well in this case. It is not like our owner cannot lead, which she has lead teams throughout her younger years especially for events and even achieved an award for the best society under her leadership in United Kingdom. It seems like it does not pay to be kind, generous or friendly to employees. Perhaps we should hold a whip and be real strict with them.
We will just give you an example of how screwed up this team was. Take a look at this picture of a ribbon curtain they made.
This is just one part of how they screwed up. We gave instruction to the event manager to source and purchase the raw materials for the event items and decorations. At the same time, we met one of the event crews and gave instructions to her to take some raw materials which we already had to the venue and we showed her the sample picture of a ribbon curtain. It was a ribbon curtain with ribbons neatly in a row and all the ribbons are of the same length, making the ribbon curtain end up in a straight line at the bottom. We also taught her how to make the ribbon curtain by stringing a ribbon we had over a string. We also gave her instruction on the colour arrangement and where it shall be hung up. She was to take these instructions and knowledge, then convey to the other team members. This leaves us with one more team member, which is another event crew and she was given the instruction to go to the venue and liaise with the venue’s manager for the set up of the tables and chairs at the venue. It was actually a very efficient way of letting the team do their job, with each member having something to deal with.
This team was already briefed the night before on what they were supposed to do and we even took a walk around the whole event venue to familiarise ourselves with the venue. We even detected some parts of the venue which needed cleaning or fixing before the event. These people even dare to lie and said that they did not know their job responsibilities when there was a problem. Why would we want to waste our time for the briefing and to allocate the job responsibilities, if they cannot get it into their thick head what they are supposed to do. We definitely do not want to work with unreliable and untrustworthy people.
They took about 4 hours to make this simple decoration and mind you, there were 3 of them. In these 4 hours, they kept messaging us to ask questions such as whether they can change the colours arrangements and many more questions. If it was a complicated event or decoration without prior instructions, we understand the need to clarify. This was a simple decoration. It was clearly stated to them that they were to create the first few ribbons and then snap a picture, send to us and if it looks fine, then they can carry on and finish up the ribbon curtain without needing to refer to us anymore. They cannot even understand and follow simple instructions. We do not like to micro-manage and we do not like people to micro-manage us as well. We are experts in events and we would actually prefer our customers to trust us to know what to do without needing to breathe down our necks with too many instructions. This is how we treat our employees as well – we give them freedom to work as long as they produce the results we want. This team might not be experts in decoration, which is why they were given a long period of time to set up the venue and also to be at the event to render their event services. They were paid for their time to be at the venue for set up before the event and of course they were paid for their time during the event. We even paid them allowances for their meals, which was definitely a sufficient amount to have a decent filling meal. The owner can set up this venue in a shorter time with better results than these team of 3 combined. This is why experience matters, our dear customers and why we are worth being paid for.
With these dim-wit employees’ constant messaging, they do not understand that they were intruding into our owner’s time. Due to the short period of event preparation prior to the event day, no designers were available to create the customised streamers for the customer. Our owner have to step in and create the personalised and customised streamers for the host of this event, who was our customer. It was really a rush and we could not string the streamers in time for the event and it needed to be done during the event, which the host was not happy about. The streamers were put up during the event because we want to deliver what we said we will do but it was put up late. We took responsibility for this and we did not charge our customer for the streamers. We do not simply blame other people, although our time was intruded unnecessarily and if it is our fault that we cannot deliver the streamers in time for the event, we admit it. This is how we do our business – with accountability and responsibility. This is what we expect people who will be working with us to be as well, be it vendors, venues or crews. Once we are involved in an event or project together, we are working towards the same goal and we need to co-operate as a team even though we are from different businesses or companies. We are a single business entity on our own which we do not need to report to anyone because our owner is the sole register owner and we are not interested to have any partners in our business. However, when it comes to situations like these especially for events, it involves different businesses and companies coming together to make the event a success. An example of a very simple event, there’s the event organiser, the venue, the caterer, the waiters/servers and even the cleaner plays a part in the event. Once one party does not deliver or cause trouble, it affects the whole team.
As for this event, our owner went to the venue and saw many mistakes made by the team, which we quickly recitified as the host was already there with some guests. Some of the decorations were not even up and the layout was slightly different from what the team was told. They were sent the layout plan to follow which they failed miserably. Some of the mistakes they made were common sense such as removing tables and chairs that were not needed from the area. Common sense is not so common after all. We quickly rectified what needed to be fixed and get the event going. We are very disappointed with the event team especially the event manager who were specifically told to lead the team as part of his job responsibility. The customer was not happy and she did not want to pay the remaining amount she owed us leading to one long, unnecessary court case which the judge ruled in our favour and ordered the customer to pay up. She is a Penang politician, Pulau Tikus area. Talk about being irresponsible and not paying up. We dare to state this here for it was an open court case, so the public can attend and know. Besides, if she dare to do it, then why would she be worried to let anyone else know. Our owner has a law degree and a diploma in computer science, we are not uneducated, so do not bully us. For our part towards the customer, everything was done and delivered to her except for the streamers, which was late, so she did not have any substantial reason not to pay up. We rectified the mistakes made during the event as fast as we possibly could and we saw many happy, smiling faces of the guests at the event. No one died during the event and feedback from the guests were they enjoyed themselves, so this is already good enough for a birthday party.
Do not even get us started on how absurd the other members behave and how one of them did not even admit her mistake, then dare to argue with us. We had a meeting after the event with the team and have no respect as well as to who hired her and went to claim her money from our customer for herself with the other crew, which in the end comes out from our business through the payment received from the customer. We deducted that amount the customer paid to the crews from the final payment. If the customer can pay the event crews, that means she thinks the event was alright, so why does she not pay our business? Illogical, isn’t it, unless she wants to skimp and run away from paying. She should not even intrude into our business matters. We do not think these crews and event manager deserved their pay because they caused more trouble than delivering what they were supposed to do. Nevertheless, they were paid. There were other parties involved such as the venue which provided food late with no staff stationed at the event area as promised and the other event vendor which arrived late from outstation which caused this trouble to us. When it came to trouble, they all disappeared and did not even bother to fight alongside ourselves to get what is owed (they only bothered about themselves) and stand up for what was right. We are angry and disappointed.
We need to protect our business; to protect Myle Enterprise. We grow colder, we grow meaner and we get better at becoming a boss where we must learn to be bossier. We do not see a difference between being a leader and being a boss. A boss needs to lead and a leader will need to be the boss, if not he/she will be walked all over. Kindness and being too nice does not pay when it comes to business, we have learnt. Not speaking from just this one experience but throughout the years. Our empathy has its limits. We are eliminating what we do not want and reducing as much of manpower as we can. We prefer not to handle any manpower unless it is necessary. While event planning is still our main expertise, we are now ready to go more into decoration as we can now do it with no extra manpower, or as little as possible. We are now selling our decoration in our online store at www.myleenterprise.com/shop.
Just to show you a sample of what we can do, this is a picture of what our owner can do on her own which she achieved within 1 hour of set up. Of course, we need to factor in the time taken to source and purchase the raw materials as well as the travelling time which took more than 1 hour to reach the venue.