Last week, I asked NewsDash readers to share any unusual boss requests they’ve had and grade their bosses’ overall performance.
More than half (54.3%) of responding readers said they’ve had a boss ask them to do something not related to work. When asked to share unusual requests they’ve received, respondents said:
- Personally, about the weirdest it’s gotten is a request to help them move. But, oh – the stories I have heard…
- He asked me if I could babysit his 2 kids for the weekend since his regular sitter was suddenly taken ill.
- Help him clean out his basement after a flood left about three feet of water in his basement.
- To take extra paper towels from the restroom down the hall because our break room was getting low on paper towels.
- He wanted me to arrange for his vasectomy; I guess he didn’t want his wife to know he was getting one….
- My boss had me edit her college papers. Same boss would want to know what we thought of her Victoria’s Secret purchases that she had delivered to work.
- He asked me to sew a button on his dress shirt while he was wearing it. He was unmarried, couldn’t sew and it was his last clean dress shirt. Then he asked if I minded picking up his shirts from the cleaners on my lunch hour. That was in 1989.
- Feed his cats while out of town…nearly every week
- Whether I could hook them up with some weed. Nice to know they trusted me.
- While at a conference, I had my boss knock on my hotel room door and ask if he could borrow my toothbrush – he had forgotten his and didn’t want to pay for a new one since he had perfectly good one at home! Needless to say the answer was NO – yuck!!!
- I’m sorry but it’s a tie: 1a. Required to come to work on Easter afternoon between church services to type daughter’s application to Princeton while wife and daughter sat in chairs next to me watching every keystroke to make sure it was perfect (and yes this was on a real typewriter years ago) and 1b. Being ordered (not asked) to come to boss’ home by wife to get children off to school because I allowed boss to schedule early morning meeting while she would be in Europe (completely ignoring the fact I didn’t control his schedule and that I might have my own obligations). Learned a lot from that job; some of it I could have done without though.
- “Wash my car.” I didn’t because I was waiting on a media call from CNN. One week later, I received a raise.
- While on vacation her dog that was older and had some health problems died of natural causes in her living room. She called me after her son who was at home alone age 17 called her hysterical; she was going to be gone another 4 days so she asked me to go over remove the body, clean the white carpet – and take the body to the pet crematory. The biggest error -the crematory spelled his name wrong on the certificate.
- To do the driving to a coworker’s wedding that we had both been invited to so that she could drink as much as she wanted.
- We were asked to wash his truck for him. The seats were vinyl so we armoralled them up nice and slick since we knew he never wore a seatbelt. After he went around the first corner he never asked us to wash his truck again.
- not to tell his wife about an affair. thank goodness that was a long time ago.
- Make a carrot cake for a funeral she had to attend.
- Many years ago when I was just starting out in my career, I had my boss ask me to leave the room so he could tell a joke to my peers who were all men. That was before sexual harassment was required training. I was furious!
Sixty percent of readers gave their bosses above average grades (28.6% an “A” and 31.4% a “B”). Seventeen percent each of respondents gave their bosses a “C” or “D,” while nearly 6% graded their bosses with an “F.”
In the verbatim comments, responding readers mostly either shared the traits that made a boss a good boss or a bad boss. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “About bosses? Not about their idiosyncrasies? They're people - granted, some are people with god and/or Napoleon complexes, others are apparently the result of in-breeding, being born without a brain in their head, or a spine in their backbone, many have an apparent hearing defect, and still others were born with a defect that makes them think their voices are the only ones worth listening to. But mine, for the very most part, have been pretty good.”
I have been lucky to have some very good bosses.
There will always be good & bad bosses. You just have to try to make the best of it. Bad bosses usually don't last too long.
When you have had a great boss, it's difficult to later work for others that are mediocre at best.
I am fortunate in that I work for intelligent people who set a high moral standard by example. They're also fun to be around when the deadlines are not flying!I had another boss who brought his dog to work with him; every morning I had to get the dog an Egg McMuffin, so he could have the egg out of it...
About bosses? Not about their idiosyncrasies? They're people - granted, some are people with god and/or Napoleon complexes, others are apparently the result of in-breeding, being born without a brain in their head, or a spine in their backbone, many have an apparent hearing defect, and still others were born with a defect that makes them think their voices are the only ones worth listening to. But mine, for the very most part, have been pretty good.
Good ones, bad ones, they've all made me a better employee... and boss.
In a small office environment, it is possible to be friends with your boss. The best boss I ever had was generous with his time and money (shared his quarterly bonus with me as he felt he wouldn't have gotten it if I wasn't doing such a good job for him in the office while he was on the road). He made coming to work a good experience and didn't hesitate to help prepare participant enrollment kits if we were trying to do something on short notice. I haven't had a boss like that since either. Bosses I've had since that time (1998 to present) are either completely uninvolved in management of what goes on in the office with the employees or have a heavy hand and never fail to let you know they are the BOSS.
Being in the role of a boss now, I try to emulate the characteristics of those I respected. Transparency and a genuine interest in personal and professional development.
Overall poor communications and hair-trigger tempers.
There are very few really good ones out there - if you have one, be grateful!
the best boss can roll up their sleeves and pitch in or even set the tone when things are rushed - and knows how to help.
I've had some great bosses but unfortunately now have one who is totally clueless but thinks that he is a superstar. His ignorance is only out-weighed by his arrogance.
Lack leadership skills.
My current boss is a "yes" man. No backbone to stand up to his boss when she wants to do something that would be detrimental to our benefit plans. For those of you with senior executive status, please listen to your centers of expertise! Isn't that why you hired us in the first place?
NOTE: Responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not the stance of Asset International or its affiliates.