As a PA, I try to be pleasant and accommodating. This used to extend to occasionally using my own credit card for production purposes, on the assumption that I would be reimbursed. No longer.
I was on a show, a real show, with an actual budget. I was told to order sandwiches for the whole crew. Since the coordinator was out at the time, I didn’t have access to the production’s credit card. So, I just placed the order and used my card to hold it. We’d use petty cash to pay for the order when we actually picked up.
But, as it turned out, there was some sort of Jewish holiday at the time (I don’t remember which one, sorry), and a number of producers weren’t allowed to eat bread that day. Why this information was not put to use before I placed the order, I have no idea.
So, I called the sandwich place to cancel. The owner, with an angry and neigh-indecipherable accent, informed me he’d already made the sandwiches. Whether I picked them up or not, he’d be charging me.
I told the coordinator about the situation, and he assured me, “Don’t worry. We’ll take care of it.”
And then he immediately proceeded to… not. I asked and asked for my money (several hundred dollars), and he kept saying he’d get it from the accountant. He had to get permissions from people and things of that sort.
Now, bear in mind, this was a network show. Only a few days earlier, they’d spent $500 on flowers. They didn’t actually need $500 worth of flowers; they needed $50 worth of flowers, but couldn’t decide what color the contestant would like.
So, clearly they had money to burn. I, on the other hand, had just been charged more money than I earn in a week for sandwiches that nobody ate.
I continued to bug the coordinator until I wrapped for the season. I called the office every couple of days, and eventually, he just stopped returning my calls.
Let this be a lesson for you PAs. Never, under any circumstances, use your own money (or credit card), and expect the production to pay you back.