According to a new survey released by OfficeTeam, administrative support professionals dished about the weirdest requests they’ve ever been asked. And we do mean weird.
Here are some of the most unusual responses:
“Organize a hula-hoop competition for executive staff.”
“Cut off the boss’s tie that was caught in the paper shredder.”
“Get a snake out of the women’s bathroom.”
“Call airport security to locate a lost shoe.”
“Mail a box of dirt.”
“Take samples of toilet paper from all the office bathrooms and compare them.”
With this wacky spirit in mind, we wondered what happens at the office (whether you’re on the support staff or not) when you get asked something bizarre. How can you tactfully respond?
Robert Hosking, executive director at OfficeTeam, tells us it’s not abnormal to get an unusual request at work every now and then. “In general, it’s best to try to be helpful rather than saying something’s not in your job description. However, you should avoid doing something if it’s clearly wrong or illegal.”
If a request isn’t in your area of expertise, he suggests referring the person to someone else who is better suited to help.
And if you’re realizing you consistently receive requests that are outside of your job description, it could be time to discuss it with your boss. He points out, “It’s important to be clear about expectations and priorities. You might consider revisiting your job description with your manager to ensure your responsibilities are up-to-date and you’ll be evaluated fairly against that description when it’s review time.”