Boss ever asked you to carry her child?

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One quarter of employees receive requests from their bosses to do non work-related tasks, according to a CareerBuilder survey published yesterday.

Respondents to the survey were asked to provide real-life examples of some of the things that their bosses asked them to do, and they ranged from the dodgy to the downright uncomfortable.

Here are ten of the oddest assignments:


  1. Prepare to delete all emails and computer files at a moment’s notice
  2. Act as a surrogate mother for the boss (the employee in question was asked more than once, which begs the question – did she agree in the first instance?!)
  3. Spy on senior management
  4. Purchase a rifle for the boss (who would then reimburse the employee)
  5. Think of a science fair project for the boss’s daughter
  6. Fire the boss’s brother
  7. Scour an abandoned office building for furniture and supplies they could use
  8. Bail another co-worker out of jail
  9. Trim the boss’s dog’s nails
  10. Plan the boss’s wedding

The same study showed that two-thirds of workers awarded their bosses an above average grade (‘A’/’B’) when asked to assess them, and that almost the same percentage (64%) respected their bosses. “The study shows the majority of workers have a good relationship with their bosses, where they feel supported and valued,” Rosemary Haefner, vice-president of HR at CareerBuilder said.

However, some of the employees appear to be a little too obliging. “If your boss is asking you to do something outside of your scope of work responsibilities, it’s important to have open communications around what is appropriate,” Haefner suggested.

***The CareerBuilder survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive in February/March of this year. More than 3,600 US workers employed full-time in the private sector participated.

  • Maloath on 2013-04-12 11:25:09 AM

    I've totally been in this position. The boss has asked many times for odd requests. He once told me that an old acquiantances name crossed his mind and wanted me to find him, even though it has been over 30 years since he last saw him. He asked me to google and track him down... and I did.

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