Last week, the Other PA asked me, “Hey. Joe Buck the EP doesn’t seem to talk to me very much. You think he doesn’t like me?”
Here’s what I wanted to say back:
“No. He’s the EP. You’re a PA. You two could not be on further ends of the production spectrum. Your day-to-day job consists of worrying about keeping the kitchen stocked and making sure that the 3-hole paper is loaded correctly. His day-to-day worries include managing a fifty-million dollar budget. Fifty million dollars. Don’t take it personally that he barely acknowledges your existence. You’d rather have him say nothing to you than to have him hate you. He’s very nice to everyone in the office, so give him a break if he hasn’t asked you about your career ambitions or all of your east coast siblings.”
I told the Other PA the first part of that. She followed up, “But he likes you. He’s always talking to you.”
Therein lies the special responsibilities of the First PA in the office. “First PA” isn’t a crew position. The “First PA” certainly doesn’t get paid more than any of the other PAs. The “First PA” is literally the first PA to be hired in the office. I sometimes feel that the higher-ups only have the capacity to know one PA, so it inevitably falls on the First PA to be the liaison between those higher-ups and the rest of the PAs.
I’ve worked with First PAs who thought that this distinction somehow made them better than the rest of the PAs. That’s completely bogus.
All Office PAs are created equal… except for the poli-hires.