Something I neglected to mention in yesterday’s post— There must be, unfortunately, a limit to a PA’s kindness. Certain departments (I’m just gonna come right out and say it’s usually costumes) like to take advantage of friendly production assistants, if you’re not careful.
For instance, sometimes mail gets delivered to the production office, rather than the department it’s intended for. You call them up and say, “This is Anonymous in the production office. We received a package for you.”
They go, “Oh, we’re suuuuper busy right now. Could you be a doll and bring it up to us?” You, being a nice guy-or-girl, take that box right on upstairs.
Then, it happens again the next week, and again you helpfully bring them their box. But they’ve also got something to go back to the mail room. Could you be a peach and run on over there?
Pretty soon, they’re asking you to run to set, the writers’ office, Starbucks. Basically, you’re doing PA work for two departments.
You need to set boundaries early. One easy out is to say, “Let me just check with [Production Coordinator Name], first.” This keeps him in on the loop on who’s trying to steal his PAs.
Another option is to say, “I’ll get right on that,” and then… don’t. As Jared pointed out the other day, your responsibility is to the coordinator. What’s the costume supervisor going to do? Call your boss and say, “Hey! Anonymous is doing a terrible job ignoring you and working for me!”
On the flip side, don’t be a dick. At this stage in your career, you don’t know where you’re going to end up. Maybe you discover you like the camera department, but if you make an AC come to the office every time they get a box of lens cleaner, that crew isn’t going to want to hire you in the future.