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  1. #1
    LBKA punkncat's Avatar
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    About work you aren't hired for, at work

    I was wondering about a tactful way to handle this, I am sure it happens to more than just me.

    I was hired on at a spot to do some specific tasks. Business has been slow the past couple of weeks and I haven't been working. I was asked to come in one afternoon and was asked after I got there to take care of some yard work, tasks that I was not hired on to do, nor IMO am I paid enough to do. To put it plainly I get paid a fairly small amount daily in cash that would not cover the yard work I was doing IF you were paying a landscaper to do it.
    To be clear, I hate yard work and do it grudgingly at my own home because it has to be done and looks nice. I don't have a problem doing physical labor, but feel that when you are hired for a job and discuss the responsibilities of said that it sort of enters a "negotiation" when you are asked to do things outside that scope. It really burns my cheeks when a business owner uses his labor to get things done on the cheap for themselves on personal projects.

    What I need advice about is HOW to breech the subject without coming off as unappreciative or just outright lose the side work for refusing to do the yard work?
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  2. #2
    Pentapointed Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    I'd flat out tell them how you feel. It doesn't sound like you owe them anything for 'carrying' you. If it jeopardizes your relationship with this employer they probably aren't worth working for.
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  3. #3
    LBKA punkncat's Avatar
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    I wouldn't say they are "carrying" me, but I will say it was a huge favor to hire me on....as you know I am an amputee. Not trying to make excuses, but no one will hire me in my field. I have been told flat out that I am too big a liability, and I can see that. I have no office skills, or anything marketable that keeps me off my feet all day or outside of physical activities, it's just what I have always done. I am not on disability, can't get any help that way at all. In essence they told me my foot would sprout back...I have not found an avenue that will allow me to afford to go back to school to learn a marketable skill and eat at the same time. So my options are a bit limited in that I really don't have a good "go to" place for another under the table job which if really what I need ATM.

    Thus why I need to be tactful about the issue.
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  4. #4
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    If it were me, I would approach the boss, and let them know that you don't mind doing the work, but you expect to be paid more for different work, while you are doing it. Then, I would just do it, if I wanted the job and money.

    These kinds of things can usually be worked out to everyone's satisfaction.

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  5. #5
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    I used to work at a boat dealership. In the spring summer and fall, it was all about boats. Fix them, sell them, deliver them, accessorize them, etc. In the winter, we did whatever we were asked to do, construction, landscaping, cleaning boats, whatever, so that we would still get paid and not have to go find a new job.

    Job description is one thing. Proving yourself to be a good worker is another. Balance it out in your mind. It is only menial if you view it as menial. Do your best work for the pay or find a new job.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  6. #6
    Warning:Annoying to jerks RaleighSport's Avatar
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    I learned a long time ago you really gotta draw your line in the sand on this one or you will get exploited constantly! If hired for a job with a job description this is much easier, if hired on with a verbal contract.. it gets messier but it's not too bad, scummy bosses however don't give a damn! My first encounter with this is while I was working a retail sales job, and an IT job, my "boss" at the retail job requested that I set up a server/website/network etc for the company.. problem I was making $10+ commissions an hour for this job.. I quoted him my hourly rate working IT and he insisted that I do it for the 10 an hour... I explained to him as politely as I could, that if he wanted my IT services he was going to have to pay the rate for my skillset and level of knowledge as well as for my investment in college for these benefits... needless to say this did not go over well, but I held my ground and didn't set up any of that.. he ended up paying 3-4 times what my rate would have been because he was so off put by the idea of paying the proper amount of money for the proper skillset that he outsourced the project.

    Oh and OP, I do landscape/gardening and am working towards being an arbhorist, if you've got those skill sets and experience there is no way in heck you should be accepting grunt pay for skilled labor. Although by the sounds of it, you're going to need to be a lot more tactful and cool headed then I am... good luck to you!
    Last edited by RaleighSport; 06-11-14 at 09:17 AM.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member GP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    Job description is one thing. Proving yourself to be a good worker is another. Balance it out in your mind. It is only menial if you view it as menial. Do your best work for the pay or find a new job.
    +1.

    I've been management for 20 years but when both maintenance guys quit without notice last month, I emptied trash cans for a couple days. Sometimes menial pays the bills.

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    It's possible your employer considers he is doing you a favor, other than already given my hiring you for specific tasks, so you could really screw this relationshiop up, and if the market is as bleak as indicated you don't want that. I would do the work and stay employed. I would not settle for less pay, but the pay is same as you were contracted for, right? I also wouldn't settle for the job rejections you have been getting, there are laws protecting you and there has to be employers who will hire you.
    "Of course you eat too much" (Looigi) There are things people say that are so true you can never forget the wisdom. I still eat too much. Without denial.
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    Only you can get a read as to what you perceive are the intentions of the business owner/manager in terms of are they taking advantage of you by having you do work that's not what you thought you were hired for ?, or are they throwing additional and "other" work your way during a slow period.

    Possibly they have good intentions on this, being aware that you otherwise have trouble finding work due to a disability.

  10. #10
    DBA
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    I used to work at a boat dealership. In the spring summer and fall, it was all about boats. Fix them, sell them, deliver them, accessorize them, etc. In the winter, we did whatever we were asked to do, construction, landscaping, cleaning boats, whatever, so that we would still get paid and not have to go find a new job.

    Job description is one thing. Proving yourself to be a good worker is another. Balance it out in your mind. It is only menial if you view it as menial. Do your best work for the pay or find a new job.
    this is accurate.

  11. #11
    Senior Member pvillemasher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by punkncat View Post

    What I need advice about is HOW to breech the subject without coming off as unappreciative or just outright lose the side work for refusing to do the yard work?
    You have a question mark at the end of the sentence, but I don't believe you are asking a question. The way I read it is that you made your mind up to push back on doing the "other" work, so I won't address the Should you or shouldn't you question.

    I would ask the boss if he thinks he's doing me a favor by paying me to do work that's not really my job. If he says yes, I would tell him he ain't doing me any favors.
    If he says he believes it's a win/win (helping him and you), or that it's just good for him, then I would tell him I refuse to do it unless it means I lose the real job.

  12. #12
    LBKA punkncat's Avatar
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    Thanks for the different views.
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  13. #13
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    If you want to address this straight forwardly, then do so.

    Schedule a time. Have your thoughts and reasoning planned out. Go in with a plan and a solution, not just a complaint or problem.

    Perhaps with the slow down at work he cannot afford to pay his landscaper and felt that maybe he was doing you a favor giving you the work at the same price you would do the other tasks for. Just a thought.

    Anyway, be the solution, not the problem if you can be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  14. #14
    Caustic Soccer Mom apclassic9's Avatar
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    "I have not found an avenue that will allow me to afford to go back to school to learn a marketable skill and eat at the same time"

    Try contacting your state's Vocational Rehabilitation agency - that's what they exist for!
    As with mud, life, too, slides by.

  15. #15
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GP View Post
    +1.

    I've been management for 20 years but when both maintenance guys quit without notice last month, I emptied trash cans for a couple days. Sometimes menial pays the bills.
    I agree, sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. That aside, I am a little surprised that anyone would quit without notice in this job market. Best guess: they already
    had new jobs lined up.
    "The People will believe what the Media tells them they believe". George Orwell.

  16. #16
    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    I worked for a very large company in the food services industry but was VP of a sister company. The owner of both companies would throw parties at his homes and would always ask everyone in management to help with the parties. That included cleaning and cooking a few hundred pounds of shrimp. This included the company CEO. I was tasked with several menial unrelated tasks in my time there and basically participated without complaint until I found a new employer.

    If your physical abilities endanger you in any way, I would explain that to your boss but participate to the extent you can. If it is a big issue for you, just do what you can and look for other options. It is always best to leave on good terms.

  17. #17
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    No matter how tactfully you approach the subject, prepare to be fired if you bring up the subject.

    My advice is do the work with a smile on your face or find employment elsewhere.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  18. #18
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdon View Post
    I worked for a very large company in the food services industry but was VP of a sister company. The owner of both companies would throw parties at his homes and would always ask everyone in management to help with the parties. That included cleaning and cooking a few hundred pounds of shrimp. This included the company CEO. I was tasked with several menial unrelated tasks in my time there and basically participated without complaint until I found a new employer.

    If your physical abilities endanger you in any way, I would explain that to your boss but participate to the extent you can. If it is a big issue for you, just do what you can and look for other options. It is always best to leave on good terms.
    Some wealthy people are so cheap. I knew of a CEO of a very US company that would have painters and other maintenance people work on his home. Not on the weekends where they could make some extra money but during company time.

    Then again I know of a very wealthy movie director that would treat the people working for him like kings.

    I am sure several people at those parties loved kissing up to the boss because they figured it would get them somewhere. The rest grinned and bared it figuring someone has to pay the kids' college tuition and the mortgage on the McMansion.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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  19. #19
    Trek 500 Kid Zinger's Avatar
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    Could be there's a temporary lack of the work you were hired for? If so there's likely to be a repeat if it happens again.....which it probably will. Might be the alternative to laying you off because they want to keep you for when your work returns.....Or it might not. Wouldn't hurt to ask how long before you're expected back to what you were hired for.

    If it alternates it's up to you. If you aren't happy doing what you aren't trained or aiming for then you might look for it elsewhere.
    Last edited by Zinger; 06-12-14 at 09:06 PM.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
    No matter how tactfully you approach the subject, prepare to be fired if you bring up the subject.

    My advice is do the work with a smile on your face or find employment elsewhere.
    Yep. Don't burn your bridges.
    "Of course you eat too much" (Looigi) There are things people say that are so true you can never forget the wisdom. I still eat too much. Without denial.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    Dude, he is hooking you up while business is slow. And unless you are making $8 an hour, you aint getting paid much less than an entry level landscaper. Suck it up.

  22. #22
    Trek 500 Kid Zinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
    Dude, he is hooking you up while business is slow. And unless you are making $8 an hour, you aint getting paid much less than an entry level landscaper. Suck it up.
    Could very well be.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member GP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trackhub View Post
    I agree, sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. That aside, I am a little surprised that anyone would quit without notice in this job market. Best guess: they already
    had new jobs lined up.
    Yes, they sided with the old manager and started looking for new jobs when I was brought in. The old manager was reassigned and is still here. I've gone to the mattresses and am using a foolproof method of getting revenge.

  24. #24
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GP View Post
    Yes, they sided with the old manager and started looking for new jobs when I was brought in. The old manager was reassigned and is still here. I've gone to the mattresses and am using a foolproof method of getting revenge.
    Is anyone else confused?

    Quote Originally Posted by GP View Post
    am using a foolproof method of getting revenge.
    Yeah that is exactly what you want to do at your job.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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  25. #25
    Senior Member GP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
    Is anyone else confused?



    Yeah that is exactly what you want to do at your job.
    We weren't making money so the company hired me 3 months ago and reassigned the existing manager to a different job but at the same location. She was close to the maintenance crew so I knew she'd fill their heads with poison and they'd start looking for other jobs.

    My revenge plan is simple - I do my job, offer my resources and go out of my way to make her program succeed. It's already working; she can't get under my skin and it's driving her crazy. By taking the high road, I'll look like a saint in the long run.

    She came in to my office while I was typing this and told me how the owners don't realize how far she's stretched out and gave me a detailed list of all the work she's doing. I volunteered to handle two things that she doesn't have time for. My total time expenditure will be about 10 minutes - well worth it to see the expression on her face.

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