I heard the following story second hand, but I believe it, because the director in question is a real bitch.
(For my feminist readers, please don’t interpret my use of the word “bitch” as “I can’t handle working for a woman because I’m part of the repressed, straight white male hegemony.” I’ve worked for plenty of women, most of whom were very nice and more than capable. If this director were a man, I’d call him a “dick.”)
So, this director wanted a PA to place something on the roof of the location. The AD objected that it was raining, there was no guardrail, and this was stupidly, obviously dangerous.
“That’s okay,” she replied. “PAs are replaceable.”
See what I mean? A bitch.
Now, if I was in earshot at the time, I probably would have quit and told her what I really thought about her. Aaaand, five minutes later, I would have regretted my decision, because I would have then had to find a new job.
Thankfully, I wasn’t there. The PAs who were kept much cooler heads. They simply refused to do anything for her.
Not that they told her this.
“Can I get a coffee?” would be met with, “I’m getting something for the EP, but I’ll be right back with that.” And, of course, she’d never return.
If she asked to speak with someone, a PA would grab his walkie mike and radio, “Hey, does anyone have eyes on so-and-so?” But he wouldn’t push the transmit button.
It took her a couple days, but she eventually realized that no PA would do anything for her. She was nice to the PAs for the rest of the shoot. Not that this changed anyone’s opinion of her.