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Tired of running boss's personal errands

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Question: I work for a business owner as a bookkeeper and assistant office manager. I also am referred to by others as the business owner's secretary.

I don't have a problem with having so many roles at the office, but I do have a problem with all of the personal and family errands I'm sent on. I take members of the family shopping and pick kids up at school. I adore the family but I get so behind on my work at the office.

I have brought this to my boss's attention many times, but I feel like I am just making excuses for not finishing work on time. I also feel like this is holding me back professionally, as I have not received a raise in more than two years and I don't feel very productive. I know what I could do if I were allowed to.

My boss has told me that he trusts me so much and that's why I'm the one sent to help with personal matters. Fine, but I'm tired of watching all of the other employees excel and receive raises and bonuses.

What should I do?  -- Ann


Your job title now becomes "Personal Assistant" which I would dearly love to be. These personal errands certainly break up your day from the mudane office responsiblities.

Since you so uncomfortable with doing these requests, I suggest that you have one final discussion with your boss and carefully explain your reasons for not liking or wanting to do these errands. If you cannot agree on a reasonable solution, then you should make your decision - Put up with it or leave. But, I strongly suggest that you look out there at "Personal Assistant" positions. In some areas, the positions pay "extremely well". Experience is on your side.

If I were in this situation I would realy take a look at what my needs are and what action I need to take. If I were to remain there, then I would just have to accept what I am receiving or not receiving. If I want things to change I am the only one that can do that. That may entail going to my supervisor and letting him know of your decision to find employment elsewhere. What exactly is your functional job description. I am a State employee and they have exact functions fo your job so these type of things do not occure. As for the private sector this can probably be a sticky situation. If I were to consult with my supervisor, I would also make sure I had all that I do documented. Exact dates and the time it takes to perform these tasks, etc. The rest is up to you. What do you want to do for yourself?

Bookkeepers and office managers are in demand. So are personal assistants. I would investigate other opportunities and get another job doing one or the other. You shouldn't be doing both, especially not having received a raise in two years (you should already have asked for one). It may sound harsh, but the only person who can improve your work life is you. Good luck!

Dear Ann,

Document/outline everything that you do for your boss and give it to him. The written word is often a more effective form of communication than verbal. Also, when your boss request you to "run errands" point out your first responsibility to the organization is the bookkeeper. I would also suggest reviewing your offer letter (if you have one) for more clarity on your job description. One more thing, if your boss insist that you continue running his personal errands, ask to be compensation. Your time is valuable and money is time. You stated that you wore several hats and don't mind. That's fine. Just be clear on what you will do and will not. Do not feel obligated to continue these personal errand, your kindness will grow tired and resentment will follow. Be honest and professional at all time. If your orgainzation values you as an employee, help them communciate it.

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