Admin. running personal errands

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Nicole

82 months ago

I have been with a company for about 4 months now. I was hired as an Admin. Assistant, my 'official title' to those outside the company ranges from "Project Manager" to "Admin chic". During the interview, I was asked if I would mind running errands such as getting lunch for the small number of employees and getting the drinks we keep in the office. I didn't mind and said so. However, since I have started work, I have taken the boss's car to the car wash many times, suits to the dry cleaner, trips to the bank to pay his house payment, spent hours on the phone tracking down information for his home remodeling project, multiple trips to pick up lunch for his wife that drops by the office after having already gone out to get lunch for everyone in the office, canceled home phone service, greeting card accounts, and made multiple calls to charities around town looking for someone to accept appliances that would also pickup. Let me clarify a few things: I don't mind running the errands for the office, getting lunch for the small number of people that work in the office so that they may continue to work uninterrupted and getting supplies, such as sodas and snacks, to keep the caffeine levels high. The things that I don't enjoy are the personal errands that have nothing to do with a functioning Office. I spend about 85% of my time paying his personal bills, and getting his car clean (in addition i am not at all comfortable driving someone else's car). I was hired as an Administrative Assistant and was under the impression that I would be handling office responsibilities. I am also aware that occasionally I probably be asked to handle things not related to the office however, the frequency of personal errands I run it starting to make me wonder what I was really hired for. Am I off base here? Should I just adjust me outlook and cope, or am I being taken advantage of? You insight is appreciated.

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Nicole

82 months ago

O Please mind the spelling/grammar errors. In my frustration and hurry to get a response I neglected to check.

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MOONSTAR in Maryville, Tennessee

82 months ago

Here are a few suggestions...instead of running the errands yourself, why not ask the people who perform the services -- dry cleaning, car washing, delivering the food, keeping in contact with the contractor who is remodeling the house, getting the vehicles detailed, office supply delivery store -- if they can deliver these items at the offices. Most companies who perform these services will...make life easy for yourself. I have been an admin for over 18 years -- trust me, there is always a shortcut to sometimes -- to allow yourself to have more time.

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In Tune in Nottingham, Maryland

82 months ago

Is any of this getting in the way of you accomplishing your primary functions in your specific job? Are you falling behind, feeling resentment or just plain fed up and need a way to say so? I strongly urge you to take it one step further and investigate to see what the true cost is in providing concierge or personal services outside of your job description. Yes, it is true, vendors will accomodate the requests at an additional cost. Prepare a job cost analysis. Show how the investment (extra money in enlisting these vendors vs. your time paid and that of all fellow employees is balanced in the true cost of you getting that lunch for everyone. If you are using your free time to support these tasks you need to find a way to recoup for that as well. Start with tracking your mileage and time spent on the errands. Use this to open communications on this topic in language most managers understand. Time and money. If it is starting to interfere with your job performance, whether you mind it or not, and it sounds as if it is, you have to make an internal honest assessment and a decision on just how far YOU will go. This may just be the thing you need to show him the true value of the concierge services you provide, "at no additional cost" simply because he feels free to use you as his personal conceirge. I also urge you to extracate yourself out of his home remodeling project, unless he is willing to compensate you for project management. A secretary/or admin is not a dumping ground for all matters private and out of the scope of your professional relationship. "At Will employment" does not mean it is an excuse for your boss to impose his personal matters into your employer/employee relationship". It all depends on how much you want to take on and how far you beleive this will take you in your career path. I have had an admin job description which included cleaning the office toilet, but it did not get me anywhere professionally. It was so the boss would not have to do it.

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Paul Anderson in Kirkland, Washington

82 months ago

Show some respect for yourself and start looking. You deserve to be treated right and if you're not the level of treatment you're seeking it's time to pass that job onto someone else that enjoys driving the boss's car to the car-wash :-)

Are you happy as an admin? Deep inside do you feel you have more potential? There are plenty of opportunities where you'll do less and make more.

I've coached hundreds of admins moving from their current position by just asking themselves if they feel worthy enough to start climbing up the ladder. Once we resolve the issue of worthiness, their income doubles. They start getting new positions, doing almost the same thing but with better titles/salaries. The corporate enviornment tends to show respect based on your pay grade - it's unfortunate but that's the way it is. You can either accept it or no longer stand for not living your life to it's full potential.

You can search some of my other blog contents for how admins can move to the next level. I'm also available to answer any questions you might have.

Good luck to you

Paul Anderson (Performance Coach)
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Patricia in Ottawa, Ontario

78 months ago

I wrote an article on my blog called "Will that be one sugar or two?" and in it I talk about things like this.

Here is the link if you would like to read it:
secretaryhelpline.blogspot.com/2008/04/will-that-be-one-sugar-or-two.html

I think it all depends on what you signed up for and if you are happy in the position otherwise.

Patricia
secretaryhelpline.blogspot.com/

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noone's fool in Norwich, New York

74 months ago

It's very simple. If you want to work, and nothing else is available, run the errands!
You're still getting paid right?
If you want a 'dream job' keep looking for something else.
In the meantime, run errands or sit home without a paycheck.
Times are tough!

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noone's fool in Norwich, New York

74 months ago

Sharon MIng is absolutely 100% correct. If you don't want the job, refer him to her, and he'll let you go.
Very simple stuff here...

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Silvia in San Antonio, Texas

73 months ago

You are certainly taken advantage of. Speak with your Boss to get things to a minumum.

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blondieward in Murrieta, California

70 months ago

I know a little about how you feel. I couldn't find a job, so I created my own as a personal assistant. At the interview, this very wealthy woman nego down my services $3 an hour. Which with my experience, is not the best wage in the world. I have to drive 3 hours a day in traffic to and from work to boot. This is a vacation rental business. I work for her 3 days a week, and have worked for her about 4 months. In order to really help her in the business, I needed to see her beach properties in person. She offered to take me to the locations (about 1 hr away),to check them out, do a look-over and restock the inventory for the maids, take me to lunch, walk the beach and harbor areas so I could see the area, then go to a nice dinner as the sunset. I said that would be fine because it was one of my days off, and i wouldn't charge her because it was a fun day. Well, turned out to be a 13 1/2 hour trip that ended at midnight and asking her to take me home. It was a day of shopping for supplies, intense cleaning, organizing, changing light bulbs, re-folding every towel and sheet set in the units. Also, calling a repair man on some repairs and making reservations on her cell phone with clients that called in. There were only 3 - 1 bedroom units to check out. We went to lunch, and then went to the first unit. We were there for 5...yes 5 hours!!!! She is totally OCD!! I feel totally taken advantage of. I need the money, but I feel she is really a user, and I really blew it telling her I wouldn't charge her. BUT I also thought it was a fun trip and would return home at the latest 6PM. What should I do???

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LMAO in Memphis, Tennessee

69 months ago

I THINK YOU SHOULD BE GLAD YOU HAVE A JOB AND STOP COMPLAINING. EITHER FIND ANOTHER JOB OR DO THE JOB YOUR PAID TO DO AND TAKE PRIDE IN IT.... TO MANY WANT
TO WORK THAT WOULD LOVE TO HAVE THESE JOBS JUST TO FEED THEIR FAMILY AND YOU CAN BET THEY WOULDNT BE ONLINE ACTING LIKE THEY WANNA GET PAID BUT NOT WORK .

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Karen S. in Brooklyn, New York

66 months ago

I'm w/ Savannah on his -- I have frowned on personal work. It's a variant of give 'em an inch & they'll take a mile".

There needs to be a separation between work and non-work, otherwise the foundation to abuse the worker is there.

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LindaM in Barrington, Illinois

66 months ago

in tune also in Savannah, Georgia said: In Tune in Maryland is correct. You need to make sure that you are not absorbing the real cost of performing these functions. You can also get some deliveries to the office but I would make sure this is ok with your boss first. If you are being paid for doing these tasks and they are not interfering with your job performance that is one matter. If,however, you just don't want to do this kind of service for someone find another job. I am doing just that. I will not run errands of a personal nature at my own expense and I also refuse to become embroiled in the family matters of my employer.
I work where I work; I do not adopt the boss and co workers as family

It is really bad when you are expected to perform these tasks at your expense, otherwise I usually do not mind.

Had a boss once who I would do such tasks and one time a client had me wait and when I returned to the office, the boss blamed me. Unbelievable.

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Lost hours in Chicago, Illinois

66 months ago

It's hard to do personal errands for an employer but in this economy you have to "hitch up your britches" and do it. I am the only person in the office whose hours have been cut - I now work 30 hours instead of 40 and was told to accomplish as much as I can in that time. I am very busy, but I do make sure I leave my desk for lunch otherwise I'll work through my one hour lunch. I've lost over $500 per month. Obviously I am looking, but have to deal with this for now and consider myself lucky to have a paycheck and insurance. So consider yourself fortunate you have a job and start looking!!!

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samantha in South Plainfield, New Jersey

61 months ago

LMAO in Memphis, Tennessee said: I THINK YOU SHOULD BE GLAD YOU HAVE A JOB AND STOP COMPLAINING. EITHER FIND ANOTHER JOB OR DO THE JOB YOUR PAID TO DO AND TAKE PRIDE IN IT.... TO MANY WANT
TO WORK THAT WOULD LOVE TO HAVE THESE JOBS JUST TO FEED THEIR FAMILY AND YOU CAN BET THEY WOULDNT BE ONLINE ACTING LIKE THEY WANNA GET PAID BUT NOT WORK .

Your really miserable in life

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ngri in Jacksonville, Florida

57 months ago

LMAO in Memphis, Tennessee said: I THINK YOU SHOULD BE GLAD YOU HAVE A JOB AND STOP COMPLAINING. EITHER FIND ANOTHER JOB OR DO THE JOB YOUR PAID TO DO AND TAKE PRIDE IN IT.... TO MANY WANT
TO WORK THAT WOULD LOVE TO HAVE THESE JOBS JUST TO FEED THEIR FAMILY AND YOU CAN BET THEY WOULDNT BE ONLINE ACTING LIKE THEY WANNA GET PAID BUT NOT WORK .

Wanting to work, and allowing yourself to be used as a doormat for a paycheck are two different things. You completely missed the point. "Personal errand girl/maid/babysitter" ISN'T the job they are being paid to do.

By your response, I would suspect you are one of those bosses who views his employees as his personal servants. A good leader and manager knows how to respect employees and boundaries.

By the way, your response is a spelling and grammatical nightmare.

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bdilly in Metairie, Louisiana

56 months ago

I am an administrative assistant at an office where I get a mix of personal and office related errands to run. My boss used to leave me the business car when he wanted these errands ran. Then he had an issue with another of his business cars and used the one for office errands for his use. Fine, no problem there. I for the temporary time being used my car. My car is 14 years old and has had a good run. I meant for this car of mine to be used only to get me to work, and home and school. Not so much for running errands about town. My car has had an issue that put it in the shop for a week. I get it back sometime today and it has cost me a good 600 dollars to repair. Now, I don't want there to be another incident that would cost me another x amount of dollars to repair my car. And I fear that running these personal/office errands would put my car at risk. Should I tell my boss that if he would like for me to do these errands that a business car would need to be available for me to do so? Or should I suck it up and use my car until I have nothing left and put myself into a financial burden to get another car?
I'm leaning more towards him letting me use the business car; but I want to hear what you think.

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Office Queen in West Palm Beach, Florida

56 months ago

No, no, no. You really need to talk to your boss and tell him that you don't mind running these errands, but he needs to have a car available to you. What's gonna happen when your car really breaks down, I doubt it very much that he will help you to get it repaired. It's good to be good, but you have to be realistic. I wish u the best. Take care.

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Ms. Davis in Phoenix, Arizona

44 months ago

I do agree that people should be thankful for having a job in this difficult market, however, I do not agree that an employee should just suck up anything that is pushed on them because these are, “tough times.”. I do feel that in all of these cases there should be a line of communication opened. Go to the boss or manager and let them know that you would like to have a meeting to discuss your current job expectations and concerns. If a boss or manager asks you to do something and you say nothing, they just figure it is okay. One can only blame themselves if they are not communicating how unhappy they are with ones current situation. In many cases, people are not even aware that they are being unreasonable. If they know they are being unreasonable, would one really want to work for someone who does not respect their workers? Discuss it with them, they at least deserve that, and you will at least know where you stand. This will certainly help to make a decision as to stay with the position or move on.

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MJO in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

42 months ago

I have worked as an admin assistant and have never been asked to take clothes to the dry cleaners or a car to a car wash? Suck it up? How about that boss is wasting the company's money by using his professional admin assistant as a personal assistant. That company must be rolling in money if they can hire a servant for their manager. Times are not hard for this company. I say move on ASAP.

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