Dear Miss Etiquette: I work at a public university, and my boss is a division head. When I was hired, my responsibilities included supervising his executive assistant, but he was laid off in 2020. My title is not related to administration.

My issue stems from being assigned tasks that I believe were often asked of administrative assistants in years past, but in the modern age (in my opinion) should not be a role. However, maybe I’m wrong about where the line is drawn between business and personal tasks at this point.


It’s things like getting flowers for one of my boss’s colleagues who has suffered a loss. sending cards or food to the family on his behalf; ordering and picking up food as his contribution to the office potluck; Sending a fruit basket to a colleague who was sick, etc. I usually do not know the person I am buying these items for, nor do I know their dietary needs or preferences. And writing a sympathy card to someone I don’t know feels difficult.

Even before his executive assistant layoff, I was often asked to do these things. I consider requests inappropriate and personal, not business related. These are things he can ask his spouse for help with, if he really can’t do it himself (which he can, he doesn’t want to). He is paying for these items from his own funds and they are directly from him, not the university or the division.


The job description didn’t mention the duties I was hired for and, frankly, feels s*xist in nature: he’s not asking any of his male employees to help in those areas.

#find #tasks #inappropriate #boss

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