Great “Goldilocks” blog entry and a fine job as always. How often is it that people get fired over such contradictions, especially for infractions like ordering too much food. (I mean, who doesn’t like leftovers?)
In my experience, very few people actually get fired. That includes people who deserve to be fired. I think it stems from people wanting to be nice – wanting to give the PAs the benefit of the doubt. Firing someone is an extreme situation. Not only are you depriving someone of their current job, but you’re also depriving them of unemployment insurance, which – for people in this itinerant lifestyle – is equivalent to depriving them of their next job.
Most coordinators I’ve worked for are willing to endure a bad PA, knowing that their ultimate retribution will come when a future-coordinator calls for a recommendation.
I’ve seen two people fired. One was a costume PA who just didn’t get it. I’ve never seen such a level of incompetence. She was shy and soft-spoken to an annoying degree. She was also dumb and prone to idiotic mistakes. A few weeks into production, the costume supervisor told her, “This isn’t working out. Have a nice summer.”
The second person I can think of was a technician who was fired for taking photos on set. This was beyond incompetence. This was a direct violation of the dude’s contract… not to mention common sense. (I think it was Thomas Paine who wisely said, “A penny saved is a penny earned… and DON’T GET SUED BY ONE OF THE LARGEST CORPORATIONS IN THE WORLD.”)
Two instances in a myriad of experiences with epically bad PAs. Basically, your odds are pretty good.
(Of course, this could just be my experience. Feel free to sound off in the comments with your best/worst firing stories.)