Survey: 10 Strangest Requests from Singapore Bosses

Would you bear your boss’s traffic offense? 40% of Singapore workers say their bosses have asked them to do tasks unrelated to their main job scopes -- with some requests bordering on the downright absurd.

By: Alythea Ho

You know how it is. You join a new job, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and eager to prove you're the best person for the job.

Then the Boss asks you to buy a cup of coffee for him. And another. And one day you wake up and realise ‘The Boss’s Personal Coffee Assistant’ has unceremoniously appeared in your job scope.

If it's of any comfort, you're in good company. Nearly 2 in 5 Singapore workers (39%) say they've received requests from their bosses that had nothing to do with their job scope. In addition, 21% of respondents say the requests were downright absurd.

Oddly enough, among those Singapore workers who reported such requests, 64% say they are still satisfied with their bosses.

We've selected ten of the weirdest requests we've received from our respondents. For more strange requests, please head to our full report here .

10 Strangest Requests from Singapore Bosses:

My boss asked me to:

1. Dress up as Batman for a client meeting
2. Swap all my pink office stationery with hers (blue) because she dislikes blue!
3. Wait in my boss’s car and look out for traffic police. His car was parked illegally at a double-yellow-line lane
4. Find a dog that does not bark
5. Do homework for my boss's children
6. Bear his traffic offense!
7. Take his shoes to all the cobblers around my office area to compare prices, just because the nearest cobbler charges $13 for mending fees
8. Book a hotel room under my name and credit card, and then lie to my boss's wife when she called the office
9. Draft my boss's appeal letter to LTA for his traffic summon. The letter was well received by the LTA folks, who let my boss off with a stern warning. I was given time-off for it.
10. Get a refund for an item he purchased three years ago!!

So who are the Bosses’ favourite ‘victims’?

If you’re a Generation X employee, chances are you're most likely to be called upon for non-work-related tasks (41%) compared to any other age group. Men are also more likely than women to report taking on tasks outside their job description, at 42 per cent and 35 per cent respectively.

In addition, you’re most likely to receive non-work-related requests if you’re working in a private SME company. And the industry you’re in makes a slight difference: bosses in the Construction industry (46%) have the least qualms about asking their subordinates to run personal errands, followed by Manufacturing (39%), and Services (38%).

If you’ve a fantastic boss who has never asked you to do something out of your job scope -- well, lucky you. Boss's Day happened just last week on 16 October. There's still time to show your appreciation, even if it means buying a cup of coffee (or two!).

The study is statistically significant, and was conducted from May to June 2013 with over 3,500 Singapore workers included in the survey. For more on this report, please head to our full report here.


How about you? Have you ever been asked by your boss to do something that's out of your job scope? Share with us in the comment box below!

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