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Author Topic: Asking an employee to do personal work, Update pg 3  (Read 4785 times)

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CakeBeret

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Asking an employee to do personal work, Update pg 3
« on: April 10, 2011, 03:25:11 PM »
BG: I am the manager at a small business owned by a married couple. I know them very well outside work, and they are longtime family friends. We see each other frequently. Mrs. Boss in particular can be really crazy and paranoid sometimes, but she has always treated me exceptionally well overall.

DH and I have a retaining wall in our front yard that is poorly built and about to collapse. We are going to rebuild it ourselves. Mr. Boss has volunteered to come help us, as well as a few family members. We are doing the work on Tuesday, during the workday.

We have an employee, Tom, who has some experience with construction and retaining walls. Both Mr. and Mrs. Boss agree that Tom should come help us with our wall. They will pay him his usual salary while he is there, as well as gas to/from our house. Tom has helped on construction projects at Mr. and Mrs. Boss's home before. Tom has agreed to come work at our house.

I just...feel a little hinky about this. I don't want to take advantage of anyone and I don't really feel it's an appropriate use of company resources.

What do you think? Is this an ok thing to ask of an employee, or would you tell the Bosses no?
« Last Edit: April 13, 2011, 11:04:21 PM by shatzie »
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

DottyG

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Re: Asking an employee to do personal work
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2011, 03:30:11 PM »
I think that they can choose to run their company any way they want. If they want to pay him to help, it's their money.


Larrabee

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Re: Asking an employee to do personal work
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2011, 03:33:17 PM »
The only thing that concerns me is that you say he has 'some' experience.

If you didn't have this connection to Tom would you hire him for the job?

I'd be concerned that if something went wrong with the work it could get very awkward very fast.

Its nice of your bosses and Tom to offer, but I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable.

CakeBeret

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Re: Asking an employee to do personal work
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2011, 03:36:11 PM »
The only thing that concerns me is that you say he has 'some' experience.

If you didn't have this connection to Tom would you hire him for the job?

We already have the plan for what we are doing, and it's pretty straightforward. Tom will mostly be there to help with manual labor. Everyone else working on the project has enough experience that no one person will be responsible for decision-making. I like Tom a lot and wouldn't be opposed to hiring him without the work connection.
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

Larrabee

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Re: Asking an employee to do personal work
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2011, 03:41:26 PM »
The only thing that concerns me is that you say he has 'some' experience.

If you didn't have this connection to Tom would you hire him for the job?

We already have the plan for what we are doing, and it's pretty straightforward. Tom will mostly be there to help with manual labor. Everyone else working on the project has enough experience that no one person will be responsible for decision-making. I like Tom a lot and wouldn't be opposed to hiring him without the work connection.

Fair enough, then I suppose it makes sense, I wouldn't worry at all.  

Your boss might want to check up on any legal responsibilities that paying Tom for this kind of work might bring with it, just to be covered.

PaintingPastelPrincess

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Re: Asking an employee to do personal work
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2011, 03:44:20 PM »
The only thing that concerns me is that you say he has 'some' experience.

If you didn't have this connection to Tom would you hire him for the job?

We already have the plan for what we are doing, and it's pretty straightforward. Tom will mostly be there to help with manual labor. Everyone else working on the project has enough experience that no one person will be responsible for decision-making. I like Tom a lot and wouldn't be opposed to hiring him without the work connection.

Can you take Tom aside and say something like "Hey, I appreciate the offer of help on the yard project; but, I just wanted to make sure it's something you volunteered for rather than the bosses voluntolding you.  If you didn't want to, or if you had other plans, that's totally fine."

It could be that he'd like the extra money for something, too, and doesn't mind doing this type of work on the side.

CakeBeret

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Re: Asking an employee to do personal work
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2011, 03:45:50 PM »
The only thing that concerns me is that you say he has 'some' experience.

If you didn't have this connection to Tom would you hire him for the job?

We already have the plan for what we are doing, and it's pretty straightforward. Tom will mostly be there to help with manual labor. Everyone else working on the project has enough experience that no one person will be responsible for decision-making. I like Tom a lot and wouldn't be opposed to hiring him without the work connection.

Can you take Tom aside and say something like "Hey, I appreciate the offer of help on the yard project; but, I just wanted to make sure it's something you volunteered for rather than the bosses voluntolding you.  If you didn't want to, or if you had other plans, that's totally fine."

It could be that he'd like the extra money for something, too, and doesn't mind doing this type of work on the side.

It's during Tom's normal workday, so he would just be working at our house rather than working at the shop. He wouldn't get any extra money, just his usual salary.
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

PaintingPastelPrincess

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Re: Asking an employee to do personal work
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2011, 03:51:16 PM »
The only thing that concerns me is that you say he has 'some' experience.

If you didn't have this connection to Tom would you hire him for the job?

We already have the plan for what we are doing, and it's pretty straightforward. Tom will mostly be there to help with manual labor. Everyone else working on the project has enough experience that no one person will be responsible for decision-making. I like Tom a lot and wouldn't be opposed to hiring him without the work connection.

Can you take Tom aside and say something like "Hey, I appreciate the offer of help on the yard project; but, I just wanted to make sure it's something you volunteered for rather than the bosses voluntolding you.  If you didn't want to, or if you had other plans, that's totally fine."

It could be that he'd like the extra money for something, too, and doesn't mind doing this type of work on the side.

It's during Tom's normal workday, so he would just be working at our house rather than working at the shop. He wouldn't get any extra money, just his usual salary.

Does he do manual labor typically?  If so, I wouldn't be too bothered about it.  If not, I'd still pull him aside and make sure he knew that it was fine if he'd rather stick to the duties outlined in his job description.

CakeBeret

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Re: Asking an employee to do personal work
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2011, 03:52:11 PM »
Does he do manual labor typically?  If so, I wouldn't be too bothered about it.  If not, I'd still pull him aside and make sure he knew that it was fine if he'd rather stick to the duties outlined in his job description.

He does manual labor frequently, but not every day.
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

CakeBeret

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Re: Asking an employee to do personal work
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2011, 03:53:10 PM »
Thank you all for your opinions. I feel better about having Tom help out now; I was afraid that it would be abusing my position or his employment to have him help.

Thanks!

"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

Cutenoob

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Re: Asking an employee to do personal work
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2011, 04:16:08 PM »
Make sure to provide refreshments and ask if they want a pizza break or sammich break.  Any time someone does manual labor around me (movers, painters, friends helping spring clean) I always offer food and drinks.

CakeBeret

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Re: Asking an employee to do personal work
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2011, 04:39:47 PM »
Make sure to provide refreshments and ask if they want a pizza break or sammich break.  Any time someone does manual labor around me (movers, painters, friends helping spring clean) I always offer food and drinks.

We will have plenty of refreshments, and pizza and beer at the end of the day.
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

rose red

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Re: Asking an employee to do personal work
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2011, 04:47:08 PM »
I don't think it's a problem if Tom doesn't mind.  He may welcome a change and refreshments sound like a good deal on top of that.

Dorrie78

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Re: Asking an employee to do personal work
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2011, 05:26:55 PM »
Just for the other perspective, I once had a job where I was asked to do personal things for the CEO during the day (going to his house to walk his dogs, things like that). I never said it was a problem, but I quit that job very happily and never looked back. I thought it was amazingly inappropriate and was furious most of the time, even though these requests happened during the work day, so I was being paid my normal salary. I felt like that CEO completely abused his position and tried to make me into a personal assistant.

Just wanted to pass along another opinion....

Raintree

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Re: Asking an employee to do personal work
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2011, 12:50:20 AM »
Just for the other perspective, I once had a job where I was asked to do personal things for the CEO during the day (going to his house to walk his dogs, things like that). I never said it was a problem, but I quit that job very happily and never looked back. I thought it was amazingly inappropriate and was furious most of the time, even though these requests happened during the work day, so I was being paid my normal salary. I felt like that CEO completely abused his position and tried to make me into a personal assistant.

Just wanted to pass along another opinion....

I agree that it's important to find out if Tom REALLY doesn't mind, or does he just feel uncomfortable saying no? Maybe he welcomes the excuse to get out of his normal duties, in which case it's fine. Or, maybe he resents it because by taking THIS job (with whatever school/training was needed for it, if any) he was trying to get OUT of construction/manual labour.

I've also been asked to do things that weren't in my job description when it was discovered I had some other skill. However, the "some other skill" was something I had never wanted to be stuck doing ever again; I'd taken the time to train for this new skill, and I really wanted them to forget I ever knew how to do that other thing. It can be awkward to refuse, especially when it's a mom and pop operation rather than a large company with a HR department.