Making an Ass Out of You and Umption

Yesterday, I told you to stop asking so many damn questions.  Today, I’m going to tell you to ask questions.  I like to mix it up like that.

Still not as funny as the sign that reads, "Natural family planning.  Enter in rear."
It's like a weird Andy Warhol painting.

You see, sometimes the boss just isn’t clear.  Take, for example, my boss.

Yesterday, he asked me to gather all the information I could find about possums.  Naturally, my first stop was Wikipedia, where I learned that a possum was a “small to medium-sized arboreal marsupial species native to AustraliaNew Guinea, and Sulawesi“.

Information duly gathered, I handed a pile of reference material to my boss.  A few minutes later, my boss storms into the room and demands, “What the hell is this?”

“What do you mean?  You wanted information about possums.”

“The episode is set in Virginia.  How the fuck is [Main Character] going to run over an Australian marsupial?”

See, I had just assumed when my boss asked for information about possums, he wanted information about possums.  Turns out, possums and opossums are two different things.

Why does he look so angry?
Awesome opossum!
This one's not as cute.
Oawesome possum.

He wanted the latter.  Or maybe the former.  I’m still kinda confused about the whole thing.

Sometimes, you gotta ask for a clarification.  The trick is, knowing when those times are.

If you ever figure out how to do that, let me know.

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6 Responses

  1. yeah like the other day I was told to go and pick up an actor and bring him to set. Which I did. And then the director yelled at me that I had brought the actor to set too early. I don’t know what question I was meant to ask during that course of events except “what the hell am I doing working for lame-ass no-brain director.

  2. oh the ironies.

    I recall one time on set, the coordinator asked me to do something, but given my limited vision of the goings on at that moment on the set, what she asked was completely screwed up.

    So I didn’t do what she asked but what I thought was the right thing.

    She got pissed. And made the classic statement to all PA’s, “I don’t pay you to think!”

    I paused for a moment, not angry, and replied, “okay, I will never ever think again”. Then smiled at her.

    She paused, then said, “you know that’s not what I meant”.

    Then I replied, “ahh, see it cuts both ways”.

    We are great friends to this day. LOL

  3. I appreciate the post about asking questions after one about not asking questions…

    as for the right time to do each? Depends purely on situations. Better to ask a question than do something wrong… but even BETTER to pay attention the first time someone teaches you something than to have to ask repeatedly.

    People will tolerate you asking questions while you’re learning a job. They’ll appreciate you asking questions about proper protocol. What they don’t like – asking questions about things they’ve previously told you or taught you.

    Best advice I’ve gotten about asking questions in Hollywood is (if you can) to ask laterally. If you’re a PA and don’t know what to do, asking assistants or other PAs is the way to go. Only ask up if you can’t get the answer anywhere else first.

    At least, that general rule has seemed to work for me.

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