Many job descriptions conclude with the catchall requirement that employees must perform “other duties as required.” But are some of your supervisors expanding that definition to ridiculous extremes?
A recent survey by our sister newsletter, Administrative Professional Today (www.AdminProToday.com), unveiled some of the craziest real-life tasks that bosses have asked their administrative assistants to do.
Note: Such nonwork-related duties are certain to annoy employees, which will hurt retention. At worst, they could create safety hazards and legal claims. Encourage supervisors to keep employees strictly focused on business-related work that furthers the company’s—not the boss’s—goals.
Top 15 bizarre requests
Here are the top 15 “other duties as required” supplied by readers. For a complete list, visit www.BusinessManagementDaily.com/FreeReport.
1. Open his sandwich every day to make sure no tomatoes were on it.
2. Throw a surprise party for an up-and-coming vice president’s dog.
3. Moonlight as a seamstress because the boss split his suit pants when he bent over his desk.
4. Drive a forklift and pick up some large boxes in the warehouse located in the back of the office.
5. Drop off his pet’s stool sample at the vet. The boss left the container on her desk while she was having lunch.
6. Call around for a used toilet to replace a broken one in one of the boss’s rental houses.
7. Type, proof and correct the homework of the boss’s son.
8. Take a Johnny Mathis album cover to a tailor to find material that matched Johnny’s jacket.
9. Order lots of alcohol for the company Christmas party, so the boss could see what everyone acted like when they were drunk and learn “what kind of people they really are.”
10. Look around the office for “anything suspicious looking,” after someone had called in a bomb threat.
11. Ride an elephant in a Shrine Temple fundraising circus, while the boss took pictures.
12. Stuff tissue between the boss’s upper lip and teeth, after he’d Superglued a chipped-off piece of his front tooth back on.
13. Check the boss’s pencils daily to be sure they were sharp enough. If they weren’t, the admin was to sharpen them, but only to the correct size for the boss’s hand.
14. 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.
15. Spray the boss’s balding head with sunscreen.
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