Workers Share the Most Unusual Things Bosses Asked Them To Do
Almost a quarter of workers say that their boss asks them to help out with non-work related tasks
PR Newswire

CHICAGO, April 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- What is the strangest thing your boss has asked you to do?  Spy on senior management?  Work on her daughter's science project?  How about loan him money?  Nearly one-in-four workers (23 percent) reported that their bosses have asked them to perform tasks that are not related to their jobs, according to a new CareerBuilder study. 

The national survey, which was conducted online by Harris Interactive© from February 11 to March 6, 2013, included more than 3,600 U.S. workers across industries and company sizes.  Additional results draw from a similar study conducted in November 2012 among more than 3,500 workers.  

Grading the Boss

Most workers like reporting to their current boss.  When asked to grade their boss's performance, the majority (66 percent) gave an above average rating: 

  • A – 26 percent
  • B – 40 percent
  • C – 20 percent
  • D – 9 percent
  • F – 6 percent

While many workers reported they respect their boss (64 percent), only 37 percent said that they learn from him/her.  Nearly one-third (32 percent) feel they are smarter than their boss*.

Above and Beyond

When it comes to day to day projects, some workers feel assignments from the boss fall outside of their job description.  Workers provided the following real-life examples of the most unusual requests they received from their bosses:

  1. Boss asked employee to be prepared to delete all emails and computer files at a moment's notice*
  2. Boss asked employee to be a surrogate mother for her - more than once*
  3. Boss asked employee to spy on senior management
  4. Boss asked employee to buy a rifle for him, and he would reimburse the employee
  5. Boss asked employee if she knew of anyone who could "hook him up" with illegal substances
  6. Boss asked employee to go online and post false good comments about him*
  7. Boss asked employee to come up with a science fair project for her daughter
  8. Boss asked employee to fire his (the boss's) brother
  9. Boss asked employee to lend him $400 for a down payment on a car
  10. Boss asked employee to remove her stitches*
  11. Boss asked employee to be better friends with him
  12. Boss asked employee to scour an abandoned office building for furniture and supplies they could use
  13. Boss asked employee to bail another coworker out of jail*
  14. Boss asked employee to clip her dog's nails
  15. Boss asked employee to help plan her wedding*

"The study shows the majority of workers have a good relationship with their bosses, where they feel supported and valued," said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder.  "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."

*CareerBuilder and Harris Interactive November 2012 survey of more than 3,500 U.S. workers.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder among 3,690 workers (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between February 11 and March 6, 2013 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 3,690 one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.61 percentage points.  Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About CareerBuilder®

CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset - their people. Its online career site,®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 50 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world's top employers, providing resources for everything from talent and compensation intelligence to employment branding and recruitment support. More than 10,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder's proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit

Media Contact
Jennifer Grasz

SOURCE CareerBuilder