Study reveals outrageous tasks bosses give their staff

What’s the most outrageous thing your boss has ever asked you to do?

Cleaning toilets, teaching English to foreign colleagues and wearing revealing or indecent clothes to model in are just some of the items featured on the top 50 list of unexpected tasks.

Researchers found requests from the boss sometimes go from the sublime to the ridiculous – one unlucky respondent revealed they were asked to follow another member of staff who left work, as the boss suspected that rather than being ill, he was off to the pub.

The research, conducted by working animal charity SPANA, also found that when it comes to baby making, colleagues are expected to pick up the slack. One respondent told how they were asked to work overtime to allow another colleague to nip home and make love – as his partner was at the fertile point in her month.

One in 10 people say they currently work in a job where they are asked to carry out bizarre tasks – which include parading around in underwear, watching people sleep and creating sugar cube castles. But 13 per cent of employees have been so disgruntled about the work they were being asked to do, as the tasks were too far removed from their job description, they’ve left the job.

Whilst British workers think they have it bad Jeremy Hulme, Chief Executive of working animal charity SPANA says thats nothing compared to the hard labour endured by animals overseas. He explained:

“The good news is that the majority of people do have a choice, and if a job becomes too inappropriate, difficult or stressful, they can often leave or do something about it.

“That’s the difference between working people in Britain and working animals abroad, which have no choice. 

“We need to support these working horses, donkeys, camels and other animals to improve their conditions and ensure they have the vet care they need when they are sick or injured.”

The conclusion is that if British employees feel hard done to when asked to shred paper manually they should spare a thought for animals overseas and help to support the work SPANA does to help the situation. 

Take a look at the list below and see how many of the tasks you would be happy to complete. 


1. Sweep the floors

2. Cleaning toilets

3. Clearing up rubbish

4. Feeding animals

5. Unknotting Christmas lights

6. Cuddle someone

7. Type phone contacts into a spreadsheet

8. Removing hair from hairbrushes

9. Stack books

10. Play computer games

11. Pack and stack boxes

12. Erecting fences

13. Wash people’s hair

14. Plan a wedding

15. Soak and peel the labels off bottles

16. Cut pre-made sandwiches into triangles

17. Peel the pith from satsuma segments

18. Shredding paper manually due to a broken-down shredder

19. Polish cutlery with vinegar

20. Hand grating massive bowls of cheese

21. Attaching security tags / labels to products

22. Teach English to foreign colleagues

23. Remove stitches

24. Taste testing

25. Separating security pins from tags

26. Dressing up as a cartoon character

27. Stacking coat hangers

28. Dust books with a paintbrush

29. Dress in a sandwich board in public

30. Wear fake tan and wax chest

31. Wear revealing or indecent clothes to model in

32. Packing fish

33. Do all the boss’s Christmas shopping

34. Cleaning the top of changing room mirrors

35. Stuff crackers

36. Colour separate skittles / sweets

37. Being a Sports mascot

38. Remove poo from swimming pools

39. Cleaning up road kill

40. Post false good comments about the company online

41. Fire someone, even though it wasn’t your place to do so

42. Fill donuts with jam

43. Chopping the heads off kippers

44. Write Christmas card jokes

45. Eat dog food

46. Delete all emails and files from the boss’s computer

47. Pose as a member of the opposite sex for the day

48. Spy on senior management

49. Buy underwear for the boss’s wife

50. Stand in a line pretending to queue for the sales

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