Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Procrastinating Isn't A Good Idea.
I’m day playing on some feature. It’s Thursday.
Gaffer: "Hey, A.J. We’re going to need extra hands next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Keep that in mind."
Me: "Uh… okay… But isn’t that really the Best Boy’s decision?"
Gaffer: "Yeah, but you’re always his first call anyway. I'm just giving you a heads up."
I nod. That part is true. The Best Boy has stated before that I’m usually his first call and for as long as I’ve known him, I’ve never heard of a project he’s on that he didn’t call me for.
Gaffer: "Anyway, just keep those dates open."
The day ends, and since I’m not needed on Friday, the Best Boy says goodnight and sends me on my way without any mention of upcoming days. Then Friday comes and goes and I still hear nothing from the Best Boy. The same goes for Saturday and most of Sunday. Then, on Sunday night, just as I’m about to crawl into bed, I get a call from him asking if I’d like to work on Monday.
I tell him sure, but in my head, I’m thinking, “WTF?? You knew about this LAST WEEK and you’re just calling me now?”
Even though I’m on the top of this guy’s list, I usually try not to assume anything, so I chalk it up to the possibility that maybe, for whatever reason, he had asked someone else and that person bailed on him the night before. Whatever. I go into work on Monday anyway.
That day, during lunch, as we all sit at the table and eat our chicken, the Gaffer and Best Boy discuss their game plan for Friday, their next big day.
Gaffer: "Who do we have for extra crew that day?"
Best Boy: "I don’t know yet. I haven’t made any calls about it."
Same thing happens on Tuesday.
Gaffer: "Who do we have for Friday?"
Best Boy: "I’m not sure. I haven’t gotten around to making any calls about it yet."
Gaffer: "Who’s on the crew for Friday?"
Best Boy: "Dunno yet."
I'm off Thursday, so I don't know if the same conversation repeated itself earlier in the day, but that night I get a call from the Best Boy.
“Hey A.J. You available for tomorrow?”
I’m actually already booked, so I turn it down.
Friday morning, I get another call from him.
“Hey A.J. Do you know of anyone who’s available to work today? I'm having a hard time filling the spots.”
I tell him I’ll see what I can do, but that short of a notice this time of year? I knew what the answer was before I started making calls for him.
The funny thing is, if he had asked me when he first knew about the extra-man heavy day, he would’ve had me booked for it. And if he had come up to me the day before (and not a half hour before call) saying he was having trouble rounding out the crew, I’m pretty confident that I could’ve scrounged someone up for him.
The next time I saw him, he was complaining about how peeled they got that night since they were short a couple of guys. All I could do was sit there and hold my tongue. I felt for the rest of his crew, but not for him. As the Best Boy, he should’ve been thinking ahead and not leaving things like that down to the last minute. The others working below him depend on him to protect them as much as possible from being overworked and undermanned, and instead, they got a horrible night that burned them. All because one guy didn’t make a simple phone call when he had the chance.