5 bizarre things production assistants are really good at

April 29, 2016 - Posted by Aesthetic

1. Remembering weird details

Being a Production Assistant is all about being detail-oriented and organised. A side effect of this is that you get really good at remembering LOTS of details. About everything. Even if it’s pointless.

I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night, but I know the regular coffee order of everyone in the office and their phone extension off the top of my head. These may seem more useful than not, but I also remember the dimensions of that box I couriered last week.

While this skill doesn’t seem to translate as well to everyday life, for the most part it helps me out greatly in my day-to-day work. The less you have to rely on notes or post-its (not that I don’t love a good post-it), the more efficient you are.

2. Knowing that no task is too strange

Remember the last time you saw a girl carrying five lawn chairs over her arm in the middle of Flinders Lane? Yeah, that was me. I am fully aware of how narrow those laneways are too, and no please, no need to move out of my way. I have also seen friends of mine in the street, only to have to say “sorry, can’t chat, off to purchase 30 men’s business shirts!”

Strange requests are my forte.

Starting sentences to people in stores or on the phone with “this might be a weird question but…” is not unusual. I am used to odd looks or replies such as “sorry, you need how many?” but after a while, to me, it doesn’t even really seem that strange. I’ve learnt if you’re always nice and polite, it’s amazing how helpful people can be.



3. Taking advantage of hold music

I make a lot of phone calls, which usually means spending a fair chunk of time on hold. I actually don’t mind hold, it gives me a chance to get other stuff done. It’s amazing how much you can achieve before the elevator-music rendition of “My heart will go on” is over.

4. Unique communication methods

No-one expects you to suddenly become a stylist or a florist or an automotive expert, but sometimes you will need a basic understanding of other industries or jobs so you can manage expectations and suppliers, and so that you can communicate clearly and effectively.

The problem with this is that sometimes you don’t quite have the lingo down, and so you end up just kind of making it up as you go along. Have you ever tried to explain to someone what a flower or some foliage looks like when you’re not familiar with the botanical (or even layman’s) name for it? I have.

Expect to end up saying things like “see the pointy one off to the side in the maroon-y colour?” or explaining to your colleague that it’s the flower that looks like this *makes spirit fingers around head*.

5. Expecting the unexpected (no, really)

Need to use Pythagoras’s theorem at work? (Seriously, this did happen to me, pay attention in year 10 maths). Of course you do. Need to act like you know what a car drip tray is? Sure. You are now the Queen (or King) of Google.

No two days are the same and that’s what makes this work so interesting and rewarding. Be flexible, go with the flow, be a ‘yes’ person, and you will be just fine.