UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH PRESTON BAILEY DIRECTOR OF FLORAL DESIGN, SANAW LEDROD
February 24, 2017
As we prepare for our next PBProtege class on March 14 and 15, I wanted you to meet once more my amazing floral genius Sanaw Ledrod that would be also teaching you all of his floral tricks.
What is your title and what do you do at PBD?
I am the Director of Floral Design which means I execute the actual floral designs for the presentation based on the renderings. At times, I create my own original designs. I create designs for centerpieces, sculptures, vases, chuppahs, floral frameworks, floral chandeliers, bouquets, and other personal flowers. I also do floral selections for the centerpieces as well as for all the floral necessities of the event when I am training people to become a florist.
How does working long hours affect your home life? Does it impact your partner, spouse, children?
I consider myself a workaholic and hard worker as rooted from my family back home in Thailand. But after many long years of working, and maybe in part due to aging, I have noticed my health is deteriorating and I’m in constant pain. Working long hours has really seemed to bother me a lot as well as take a toll on my personal life.
Is there a time you considered quitting PB designs? Why?
It is a normal feeling to say, “I want to quit,” especially when you are overworked and overstressed. That said however, this is my passion and I love what I do. I believe that this is my calling to contribute my natural born talent for the good of this company. There are times when I feel so discouraged and lose my sense of inspiration to keep going, especially when I see people who do not give their best for the good of PB. I feel as if some people only work for the money. Some workers, at times, are very intimidating, dishonest, and simply not humble enough to accept that they are just too inexperienced in their respective positions.
If you had to change one (or many things about me) what would they be?
I think you should be more sensitive to your employee’s well being and better understand their respective position because some are becoming so abusive. Most of the time you are only thinking of the grand and elaborate designs, but it is a great challenge to me and my team as it requires a lot of hours to physically create. This is also expected to be executed using a very low budget. In the end, we tend to sacrifice more since we cannot hire the adequate amount of labor to beat the deadline. I would like you to be more realistic in your labor cost and materials. Give me more time to think, to design, and to plan your presentation, which is crucial and very important. Speaking candidly, stress is really killing me physically and mentally
What was the worst moment you have ever had on the job? (Tell us why)
I have a few moments and most come about when I am under time pressure. There are a lot of additional arrangements at the last minute due to lack of vital information. When I am not informed, I cannot prepare for something. Facing technical problems due to negligence by the design team that causes delays on my production schedule is a problem. When someone who has the power to boss me around while not respect my seniority and years of experience is telling me what to do, it causes a lot of annoying distractions. This can be detrimental to our design when you are trying to beat up the time. When I am given misinformation from the client regarding their personal flowers and style of arrangement they were looking for, it’s very frustrating.
After a hard day at work, what do you really tell your best friends that drives you crazy about working for me?
I have so much passion and love for my work, it was a gift! It was a well accomplished work of art and I’m proud of it.
What is the biggest misconception you feel people have about working in this business/at this company?
They think everything comes very handy and easy, when in fact it requires a lot of hard work, perseverance, and years of experience. It’s do-able only if you have the love and passion for the art.
I have always said we are like a family, and with that comes some high emotional moments. What do you feel about our company structure (or lack thereof at times)?
It is such a wonderful feeling that I have, the sense of belonging in this company as we work as a team. Everyone has a unique way of contributing their own skills and knowledge for the success of an event. After a long period of time, I have witnessed a lot of people just come and go: some are still here, some are gone, and there are those who come back for another chance of a lifetime. I think you should pay more attention to each and everyone’s position by rank according to their duties and responsibilities so that the ones who are at lowest are not always the victims of being bullied and overworked. I also wanted to point out that those who are given a higher position should know how to respect the ability, the talent, and the seniority of those who have already contributed a lot of their life for the success of your company. Seniority must be put into full consideration.
Do you feel that you are being paid a fair salary or do you feel you deserve more?
You have always been generous to your loyal and hardworking employees, and always understand our needs. This is the place where I’m planning to retire as long as my health will allow me to struggle for more. I’m hoping that those who have worked with you for 10 or more years will receive a good retirement plan and decent bonuses if we display good work for the whole year.
If I were to give you a raise, how much would you ask for?
Maybe 5% every year in order to beat the inflation and the high cost of living.