As Administrative Professionals Week (April 19-25) approached, we couldn’t help but wonder what crazy things bosses have asked admins to do. So we asked readers of our Admin Pro Forum to tell us about the most unusual or bizarre thing their boss ever asked them to do.
Here are some of the best “other duties as required.”
Open his sandwich every day to make sure no tomatoes were on it.
Throw a surprise party for an up-and-coming vice president’s dog.
Moonlight as a seamstress because the boss split his suit pants when he bent over his desk.
Drive a forklift and pick up some large boxes in the warehouse located in the back of the office.
Drop off his pet’s stool sample at the vet. He left the container on my desk while I was having lunch.
Walk the dog and pick up what was left behind.
Call around for a used toilet to replace a broken one in one of my boss’s rental houses.
Type, proof and correct the homework of my boss’s son.
Take a Johnny Mathis album cover to a tailor to find material that matched Johnny’s jacket.
Look for “anything suspicious looking,” after someone had called in a bomb threat.
Order lots of alcohol for the company Christmas party, so he could see what everyone acted like when they were drunk and learn “what kind of people they really are.”
Ride an elephant in a Shrine Temple fundraising circus while my boss took pictures.
Stuff tissue between his upper lip and teeth after he’d Superglued a chipped-off piece of his front tooth back on.
Check his pencils daily to be sure they were sharp enough. If they weren’t, I was to sharpen them, but only to the correct size for his hand. If he deemed the pencil too small, he would give it back to me and nastily tell me to save it for my children. (I was not married and had no children.)
Send fake rejection letters from universities to his daughter—as a joke.
Go to the hardware store to buy a power drill and screws, nuts and bolts. Then take them to his home and help his wife put together a bookshelf.
Make a dinner reservation at a restaurant in Italy (boss was in Italy, and I was in the United States).
Clean the bugs off the ficas plants.
Spray the boss’s balding head with sunscreen.
And just to show how far the profession has come, we include this one:
Back in the day, “ A vice president would walk out of his office and, without a word, set an empty glass on my desk. That meant he wanted a glass of water. And the kitchenette was right next to his office!”
Tip: Read even more bizarre requests at The Strikes Again!