Would you do this for your boss?

I started a new job as a driver for an afterschool program. My job description started as “picking up kids at their schools and bringing them to our center”. (which I have a Youth Bus license specifically for). Before I even began my first day, I received my schedule in the mail. On it was a block of time that I am supposed to bring the boss/owner’s child to piano lessons after school and while she is taking her lessons, I am to do the boss/owner’s grocery shopping.

A red flag went up for me at that point. In my thinking I thought it was quite unprofessional to ask me to do her personal shopping. I started the job and as time went on I was asked to do many other personal errands for the boss/owner such as picking up her child’s prescriptions from the Hospital, taking her late library books back and paying the fee’s, making her children lunches before school, and things like that.

I have come to the point where I am going to tell her I do not want to do these things anymore. I just don’t feel it’s the job I applied for and it’s her personal stuff.

I have asked some other friends for their opinions, and they said they would do it if they were getting paid.

Am I right to be upset about this? Would you do it?

Yes, you are, and no, I wouldn’t. You’re not her personal assistant.

How much are you getting paid to do it though? I’d probably do it for the right price.

Do you get paid for the time you spend doing this personal stuff? Does it interfere with the tasks you were actually hired to do?

I guess that whether or not i would put up with this sort of thing would depend on stuff like that. If the extra stuff i had to do was pretty easy, and i was getting paid for it, then maybe i wouldn’t care too much.

There’s also the question of how high up the food chain your boss is. Does she have superiors who would be unhappy with her behaviour? Is she the person paying your wages, or are you paid by the school district, the county, or whatever? If the latter, then what she is getting you to do might constitute illegal use of company resources, for which she could be disciplined.

You need to tell us more about the hierarchy and the way your organization works.

You said “boss/owner” so I’m guessing she owns the business. It seems that you were hired as a driver/errand runner. The job itself doesn’t sound too bad, but it does sounds like she was very forthcoming about the job description when she hired you.

I guess that if I were you, I would just consider whether you are willing to run errands or not.

Now if I’ve misunderstood the situation and she is an administrator in the public school system, please turn her in. It’s abuse of public funds, IMHO.

Oops. Missed that. Sorry.

Yes, I get paid. It doesn’t interfere with the other tasks, it is just added on. I applied for the job to be a driver and was under the impression that my job is to drive the children to and from school. That was the reason I applied for the job in the first place. I am not the only employee that is asked to do these things either. She asks the teachers and coaches to do them as well. (and they are not happy about it either)

She is the owner. There are only 6 employees. The company used to be run from her home but now we are in a new building. She is the type of boss who wants to be at home while her employees run her business. She is never there at the building, and all communication is done through email. So, for example, I might come into work one day, open my email, and see she has sent me her personal grocery list.

I would have no problem buying groceries if it were for the kids in the program. But it’s for her personal household and I just don’t feel that’s a good way to run a business.

As skeptic_ev said, I’m not her personal assistant and I don’t want to be. For me it’s not about the money, it’s about working in a professional environment.

Well, this is probably the most important thing, then. If this job, as it currently stands, isn’t what you want, tell her that it needs to change or you’ll move on. I understand where you’re coming from, although i’d be careful about burning my bridges before i found another job.

Best of luck.

Your boss seems to have no sense of what is appropriate for the people hired for specific jobs. For example, if you hire someone as a teacher, it is inappropriate to expect them to run your office and do all your accounting. They’re not trained for it, and it isn’t a realistic expectation for a teaching job.

This is a really grey area in jobs these days; most jobs include “And duties as required” in your job description, and some bosses (like yours) see that as a carte blanche. The attitude seems to be “I’m paying your wages, so you do what I ask of you regardless of your job.”

I don’t subscribe to this idea, myself. If I am hired for a specific job, I expect to do that job to the best of my abilities, and I expect my boss to consult me and reach a mutual concensus if the duties expand beyond what I was hired for. Of course, this never happens, and I usually have to quit. Your boss is way over the line, dreamer. In the real world, however, they usually get away with it.

It sounds like morally, as the owner of the business, and as long as you are willing, it is ok. But if you were hired and given a false impression of what you would be doing and don’t care to run these errands then sure, sit down and have a talk with her. It may turn out what she really wanted was a personal assistant which she should probably then hire.

For me personally as long as the pay was right I’d probably do it with a smile. :slight_smile:

I hate any personal chores that I’m “expected” to do. If the ad said PERSONAL ASSISTANT, I’d be aware and I’d apply or not. I had a boss that would ask me to pick out his wife’s personal gifts, i.e., Valentine’s day, etc. Dumb fucker.

I also had a boss (in a huge corporate gig) who would ask me to get her coffee and muffins, and then send me back with the muffin if it was stale. Sorry, but I resent this type of work.

Now, if she wants to renegotiate your pay and change your job description (if you’d be willing to do the work), it could turn out good for you. I can’t imagine it pays very well to just pick up some kids and drop them off at the program.

I’d say it depends on how much you like your job. In my opinion, one of the worst things you can say is “it’s not my job”. Did you expect to sit on your butt between trips? Did you consider that in relation to your pay? (i.e. you accepted lower pay if you’d have a chance to study or play video games, etc.) After all, she’s paying you to work for her. She’s not asking you to do anything unethical or illegal. I’d say suck it up and do it, or quit.


I am the only employee at someone’s home based business. I am often asked to do personal assistant type jobs. Depending on my mood I either do them and think of how much she’s paying me or don’t do them because I get tired of the personal chores. If things get really bad I just stop doing them, I will just put the request back with her stuff to do.

I would not do her grocery shopping for any amount of money, but I also wouldn’t expect to get paid for doing nothing.
If those times you are asked to do her personal things you would otherwise be doing nothing it’s a little different. Maybe you can ask her for other business related duties to fill empty spots in your schedule. Unless she’s totally clueless she should understand you not wanting to be her personal assistant.

While I’m generally of the mindset already represented, that if you’re getting paid for your time doing these things, then it’s probably a matter of renegotiate your hours/duties or move on, it does occur to me that doing her grocery shopping on the company nickel might be pushing the envelope of what the IRS might consider a wage that can legitimately be deducted by that business.

I’ve done quite a few personal favors for both bosses, co-workers and employees over the years, but I don’t think that’s really quite the same thing.

It pays $15 an hour. I don’t think that’s too bad.

I have not thought of that. On top of the hours I do the driving at the schools, there are about 9 extra hours a week that I am driving her kids around for piano lessons, bible studies, art class, etc, which I have no personal problems with because it is driving, which I was hired to do. But there are no other kids in the program that are driven anywhere besides to and from school.

She has asked me to come in early and stay late for many of her personal errands. There is time once in a while where I wait for her kids to finish their piano lessons and in those times I have asked to not be paid and use that time for my break.

Maybe it’s my pride that makes me not want to do these things for her. But I also see her not doing her own errands, not spending time at her own business, not doing these things she should be doing for her own kids. Maybe subconsciously I want to see her do them. Maybe I have enough errands to do for my own family and don’t want to do someone else’s.

Thanks for all your opinions, I appreciate the differences.

15 bucks an hour and you’re bitching about THIS?

Sheeyet. What’s this woman’s number? :smiley:

I’d start looking for another job. It sounds like you were hired under false pretenses. To me, it crosses the line between the professional and the private. To me, “other duties as assigned” means doing other business-related projects, not picking up my boss’s frickin’ laundry. My boss has every right to ask me to call contractors, work on the copier, clean the museum, etc. She has no right to ask me to come over and help paint her kitchen.

If you don’t mind working as a personal assistant, that’s cool, but it’s not the job you were hired to do.

That’s ridiculous. Just say for example I was a shuttle driver for an auto dealership, a limo driver, or a regular school bus driver, and the owner asked me to do her grocery shopping while I was waiting for a customer. I don’t think so.

I would love my boss to hire a personal assistant. That personal assistant would not be able to take over my job unless she had a Class B license with a passenger endorsement, and a Youth Bus certificate from the CHP. And even if she did have that, she would be an experienced driver and most likely not want to be a Nanny on top of it.

Yeah, it’s not about the money for me. If you live in Southern CA I’d be happy to give you her number :slight_smile:

Bottom line, you knew that this was not your typical job before you even started it. I don’t know what kind of interview process you had. Was it extensive enough that you felt annoyed and obligated having gone through the process and so you decided to show up for your first day of work instead of just saying right then that it wasn’t for you?

In my opinion, you probably should have called her and said “this wasn’t what I signed up for - I am a driver, not a personal assistant” but only because you do not want to be a personal assistant and it isn’t about the (pretty damn good) money. (btw, I think you are making a mistake by being put out - you never know what kind of doors can open up after doing an “off the beaten path” job, but that’s just my $.02).

With all due respect, I think you are trying to make this out to be something where a boss starts taking advantage after a period of time - also more offensive I think when it’s in a more traditional setting and the “taken advantagee” is asked to do things that co-workers/peers are not for the same money. I think yours is an entirely different situation and that you should quit if it’s not for you.

Regardless, I hope it turns out well.

I’m on your side 100% in this, dreamer. It doesn’t matter how much money you’re making to do your job; if it feels like your boss is making inappropriate requests, that is entirely your call. It sounds like you are a professional driver, and as such, would like some professional respect. I can’t imagine the people saying suck it up would say the same if you were a high-powered lawyer. Just because you didn’t need a Masters degree to do your job doesn’t mean it isn’t a specialized profession, and your boss needs to respect that.