Managers do have the power to ask employees to perform certain duties. But usually those duties have something to do with work.

Apparently, those requests often get a little strange, according to recent research from CareerBuilder. Nearly one in four workers (23%)  reported that their bosses asked them to do things that had no connection with their jobs — and some of the requests were, well, rather disturbing.

Here’s a listing:

  • Boss asked employee to be prepared to delete all emails and computer files at a moment’s notice
  • Boss asked employee to be a surrogate mother for her — more than once
  • Boss asked employee to spy on senior management
  • Boss asked employee to buy a rifle for him, and he would reimburse the employee
  • Boss asked employee if she knew of anyone who could “hook him up” with illegal substances
  • Boss asked employee to go online and post false good comments about him
  • Boss asked employee to come up with a science fair project for her daughter
  • Boss asked employee to fire the boss’ brother
  • Boss asked employee to lend him $400 for a down payment on a car
  • Boss asked employee to remove her stitches
  • Boss asked employee to be better friends with him
  • Boss asked employee to scour an abandoned office building for furniture and supplies they could use
  • Boss asked employee to bail another coworker out of jail
  • Boss asked employee to clip her dog’s nails, and
  • Boss asked employee to help plan her wedding.

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

Overall, bosses pull good grades

Most workers like reporting to their current boss, the research said. When asked to grade their boss’s performance, the majority (66%) gave an above average rating. The full breakdown:

A – 26%

B – 40%

C – 20%

– 9%, and

F– 6 percent

While many workers reported they respect their boss (64 percent), only 37 percent said that they learn from him/her. No surprise here: Nearly one-third (32 percent) feel they are smarter than their boss.


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