How to address Admin vs Personal assistant request

posted 2 months ago in Career
Post # 2
2128 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

khopenyc :  Does she have an administrative assistant? Is it part of your job description as someone working under her to take care of some additional duties overseen by her?

ETA: I read this wrong… I say “amin” in your OP and assumed you were in an administrative role also within in the company. As an administrative assistant, you probably have her travel/schedule plans more readily available and more time to share with her husband than she does. I’d just share it. She is asking for a work-related task to be shared with people who need to know

Post # 3
121 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2018

If I’m understanding correctly, you already coordinate her travel and business dinners/manage her calandar?  And she wants her husband to have access to her obligations/calendar?  


I…wouldn’t refuse that task.  I don’t think adding her husband is a “personal assistant” task.  If my boss needed someone to know her schedule, and managing her schedule was part of my job, I’d do it. ESPECIALLY since, in your words, “it’s a very simple task.”


I was the Dean of Academics at a school and I made coffee and organized events and did all sorts of things that wasn’t “in my job description” because it needed to be done and my boss asked me to do it.  

Post # 4
1396 posts
Bumble bee

This is extremely common – I do it for my boss all the time. It is a simple way for his wife to get an updated calendar of his travel/nights he will be late/dinners she might need to attend.

You should not “politely refuse” unless you don’t want this job long term.

Post # 5
2910 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

khopenyc :  

Are you too busy with other work related tasks? That’s the only way I could think of to get out of it, let her know that at the moment you’re tied up with XYZ.

My boss has asked me to do some stuff, quite often that doesn’t relate to my job, it’s nothing that I get reviewed on, if I’m actually busy with my actual job related stuff I’ll let him know that I’ll get to it when I can. If I’m not really busy, I just suck it up and do it.

I’m not sure declining a request from your boss will go over well, but good luck.

Post # 6
95 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 1995

Are some of the travel plans/dinners work-related at all or are they purely personal? 

If they are work-related, I’d probably create a schedule and send it to your boss directly, not the husband (unless the husband also works at your office). I’d say, “Here is the schedule of your travel plans/dinners, so you can send this doc to whomever needs to see it.”

If the travel plans/dinners are all personal, I’d probably ask, “Is my job description changing to include personal assistant tasks?” But ask in a polite way. 

 Edit: What kind of working relationship do you have with your boss? How you handle it will probably depend on if the two of you are on good terms or not.


Post # 7
9573 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

I’m an executive assistant and I was unaware I should not be fetching coffee. I love fetching coffee, it’s easy and I get paid a shit ton to do it. 

I often joke that half the reason they hired me was my knowledge of the Starbucks secret menu. 

ETA: I would say be like Nike and just do it. 

Post # 8
2215 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Oh boy. OK, normally I am all about setting good precedents and reasonable expectations, but in this specific case-I don’t think now is the time to dig your heels in over what she might request down the road.


This doesn’t seem an unreasonable request to me, I can’t imagine doing it will be so cumbersome you can’t do your other tasks, and there is no good way to explain to her that you don’t want to do this for her as it might encourage her to exploit you down the road.


If she does abuse her position down the road, worry about it then. Don’t feel you have to head her off over this.

Post # 9
1453 posts
Bumble bee

I have an admin and she is one of the best in our office. Want to know why we sing her praises and give her a big bonus at Christmas time? BC she makes my life and the lives of the others she is assigned to amazingly easier by helping out with the little things like this when she can. Sure it’s technically not in her job description, but when she, for example, offers to grab me lunch when I’m slammed at the office and cannot leave for even 5 min to eat, she essentially is assisting me with my work, which is what she is employed to do. 

Post # 10
126 posts
Blushing bee

In the time you spent asking the bee what you should do about it, you could have already done it.

Post # 11
588 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

Funny, I didn’t think you could refuse to do something your boss asked you to do, unless it was illegal or something you found immoral. Certainly not because you feel like  you are too good to do it.

Interested to see how this works out for you.

Post # 12
2512 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

OP, I hope you don’t bring this up to your boss!  I don’t know of anyone that has ever gotten ahead on their career path by only sticking to the job description.  I started out at the very low woman on the totem pole right out of college and now help run the company.  I had to do countless number of tasks during the years (including picking up kids from school, coordinating personal travel etc.).  I’m not saying these tasks got me ahead (I hope my brains did! lol) but I think it proved that I was willing to go the extra mile and help out when necessary.   

Post # 13
2561 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I agree with PP’s, I would say this is a pretty common admin task. A friend of mine is an executive assistant and she is constantly fetching lunches, coffees, ordering items for her boss, etc. Basically, anything to make his life easier. He is a CEO who virtually works 24/7, so nothing is really personal lol. 

I think her request is completely reasonable. 

Post # 14
2041 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

Unless your boss is asking you to do something demeaning, illegal, immoral, or so far out of your assigned duties that it can only be seen as a deliberate put-down, I don’t see any rationale to refuse her request. You will only be seen as someone who tries to shirk duties and a complainer rather than a team player.

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