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I Told You Already

Do you ever get this from your boss–

“Did you do the this-and-that?”

“This is the first I’ve heard about it.”

“I told you to do it, already!”

It’s surprising how often this happens. Now, I know I have a bad memory, but realistically, which is more likely? You told me to do something and I specifically, consciously ignored your request, or you simply meant to ask me and didn’t get around to saying it out loud?

The worst case, for me, was a time I was shooting on location. My boss came out of the house, looked around the yard, and demanded, “Where’s the hole?”

I thought he was kidding, like, “Somebody put dirt in my hole!”

Everyone, not just us PAs, but everyone, asked, “What the hell are you talking about?”

“I said, ‘Go get the shovel and dig a hole.'”

No one remembered him saying that, but he persisted. He definitely told us. He remembers telling us. He told us, and he just doesn’t understand why we ignored him.

It must have something to do with being a producer, or a boss in general, that you just forget that you’re fallible. I don’t know how else you can believe that you’re right and a half dozen other people are wrong.

How many times can you witness mass hysteria before you have to wonder if there’s something wrong with you?

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4 Responses

  1. Or it could be a physiological problem. My mother, due to medical reasons, is not getting enough oxygen some times, which has an interesting side effect of sometimes she imagines doing things, and she intends to do them, but doesn’t actually do them. Her memory however, is picking up that thought, and transmitting it into the completed box, so that she thinks she’s actually done it already. Once I figured out what it was it was easy enough to adjust medications to compensate. That said, it could be just a mental exhaustion, vitamin deficiency thing. That can also sometimes create the same effect.

  2. I’m glad my boss is the opposite. He’ll tell me to do something, and I’ll do it, and show him the results, and he’ll grunt and put it on the big pile of other stuff I’ve done for him in the past few months. Then six months later he’ll come back and tell me to do it again. It ends up making me look super-efficient. 😉

  3. I think this behavior is not attributable to a “position”, per se, but rather to the personality of the particular boss. You get assholes who think they are infallible in the position of authority, but you just as often get a reasonable person, who would retreat with “I am pretty sure that I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s possible that I didn’t”. In my profession – which admittedly provides for a more stable long-term boss relationship than yours – the latter greatly outnumber the former.

    (apologies for posting it twice – I did not realize that I was logged in in a different manner)

  4. I think this behavior is not attributable to a “position”, per se, but rather to the personality of the particular boss. You get assholes who think they are infallible in the position of authority, but you just as often get a reasonable person, who would retreat with “I am pretty sure that I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s possible that I didn’t”. In my profession – which admittedly provides for a more stable long-term boss relationship than yours – the latter greatly outnumber the former.

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