Other duties asinine: 10 craziest manager requests

We’ve all gotten plenty of unrealistic or strange requests from bosses. But chances are you’ve never  been assigned these awful tasks. 

CareerBuilder, source for all wacky business news and surveys, recently compiled a list of strangest requests workers’ managers had made. And there were some awful assignments, to be sure.

Managers who just don’t get it

The top ten included:

  •  Asked employee to coach other employees on how to pass a drug test
  • Asked employee to fire a colleague and then drive them home
  • Asked for employee’s opinions of Tinder profiles
  • Asked employee to order items on personal Amazon account so boss’s spouse wouldn’t know about it
  • Asked employee to pluck a client’s unibrow for a photo shoot
  • Asked that employees “Like” his Facebook videos
  • Asked if employee would be better friends with him
  • Asked employee to find out how to obtain death certificate for her deceased ex-husband
  • Asked employee to commiserate with daughter-in-law about the death of her cat
  • Asked employee to climb on roof to see if there were any dead birds

Communication was key

The survey wasn’t all fun and games. It also asked the 3,000-plus respondents what grade they would give their boss on their performance. For the most part, managers are doing pretty OK.

The most popular response was a “B” (39%), followed by an “A” (24%).

And the more their bosses communicated with employees, the higher the grade they received.

Keep expectations realistic

Look, you’re not going to ask IT staffers to pluck anyone’s unibrow. (Please, please don’t do that.)

But there will be times when you’ll need to change up duties on them and ask them to take on new duties.

Here are four ways to make requests go over smoother:

  1. Give as much advance notice as possible. Don’t spring requests on workers at the last minute. Even if it’s possible that you’ll need them to take on something new with short notice, be sure to advise them of that possibility sooner than later.
  2. Give as much instruction as possible. Cross-training and giving workers the opportunity to pick up new skills updates can help workers be ready to pitch in when needed.
  3. Give a time frame. If you’ll need them to take over a new task for a set period of time, tell them how long you expect that to last. If it’s on a less definite timeline, tell what will bring about an end to it (example, “until we can fill that vacancy” or “until your co-worker’s able to return to work.”
  4. Give help. Always be ready to pitch in yourself to make transitions smoother.