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Last week, I wrote a post titled Let Me Get Back to You.
Reader Sam (an assistant production supervisor, so you should listen to him)1 wrote in–
From the title, I thought this article was going to be about the best practice of not explaining too much on the phone when someone offers you work, and you aren’t simply available.
What I mean is, when a POC calls and asks, “Can you work Saturday?,” you should never say “Well, I’ve got this concert, I’m going to, let me see if I can sell my ticket, or well, I don’t know, it’s an awesome concert… is this for just one day of work?”
Because you will sound like you don’t really want or need the job. It will sound like it’s not that great of an opportunity to you. Remember, you are a PA, and there are thousands of people in this town who would kill to get this call.
So what you do is you say, “Let me get back to you. I just need to make a call.” Don’t be specific. Let them assume whatever commitments you are rearranging are SUPER important. Then get off the phone, weigh the options, make the calls you need to make. Then call the coordinator back to say either “I’m available” or “I’m sorry, I’m not available. I really wish I was, I would love to work for you. Thank you so much for keeping me in mind!”
It’s an industry of workaholics who have missed a LOT of concerts/birthdays/soccer games/bar mitzvahs and who think if you really give a shit about your career, you will too. So don’t insult their lifestyle choices by letting them know work isn’t the most important thing to you. Even if it isn’t (and let’s be real, it shouldn’t be).
But just keep that shit to yourself.
I think Sam2 would agree when I say this advice applies well after you have taken the job. Don’t ask for the night off to go to a show, or take a whole day to go to Disneyland. No one else is doing that shit. Unless your parents died or you’re getting married, don’t take time off for personal stuff.
The exception is, of course, doctor appointments. Everyone knows you can’t go to the doctor on the weekend, so they’ll be understanding.
Now, if you schedule a doctor’s appointment on the same evening as that big concert, who’s going to know?