Can I Take My Computer In There With Me?

Sometimes, a PA task requires you to go into another room and work all by yourself. Prepping wrap gifts and proofreading the script and making ID badges have all sent me to production office exile.

I could not – in a million years – dream of asking, “Can I take my computer in there with me?”

While the APOC might say, “Yes,” they’re really thinking, “Are you effing kidding me, PA? Get off your lazy ass and work faster and harder or else you won’t be working at all.” Every moment you spend “liking” or “disliking” a song on Pandora, re-adjusting your Spotify playlist, or (heaven forbid) checking your Facebook feed, then you’re absolutely NOT doing the task that was given to you. It doesn’t matter how little time it takes you to comment “LOL” on your BFF’s new pics. It’s distracting you, and you aren’t getting paid to be distracted.

Get With It

People used to work on these... and they didn't come with Facebook.

This isn’t free time. It’s your job.

If you can’t go one lonely hour without some sad substitute for human interaction, then you should get a new job.

(If your boss pre-emptively suggests you take your computer with you, then by all means. But you never ask. NEVER.)

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3 Responses to Can I Take My Computer In There With Me?

  1. Keeko says:

    I think you’re blowing this a little out of proportion. I’ve never PA’d on a show where this was a problem. I always bring my laptop into “exile” with me to listen to music while I wrap hundreds of presents or audit five seasons worth of files. I get work done faster that way. My coordinators have never had a problem with it (and I’ve had some super tight-assed bosses).

    This computer thing is such a non-issue, but I know how higher-ups always flip non-issues into huge problems because a) they’re bored, b) their cousin’s son just graduated from college, and they need a reason to replace you, c) again, they’re bored. I really wish there was a way to form a PA Union, so that no one would have to feel they need to be dehumanized for their “title” of PA. I used to check my dignity at the door, but not any more. Have some self-respect. So, you’re right TAPA, NEVER ask to bring your computer. Just bring it! Not to surf the web, just to listen to music. No one will care. And if they do, they’re not worth your time. People that piss on you for little things like that are rarely the kind that are willing to help you advance your career anyway.

  2. Set PA says:

    I agree with Keeko, I always just scoop my laptop up and exit the room. I guess my coordinator or whoever usually trusts me enough to be working alone. I get the work done they give me so it’s never been an issue. I guess it would just be kind of weird if I asked permission to bring my laptop anywhere… it’s my laptop. Besides, I see more PA’s just standing around on their phones checking FB anyways. What do I know though, I’m not in the office too much.

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