My girlfriend is an attractive 18 year old who has just started a new job at a call center.

It is her second day and her boss told her to go grab him a biscuit for breakfast.

It seems like he was testing her to see if she would do it and I feel that's demeaning and inappropriate. She doesn't want to get fired on her second day so she complied.

Are requests of this nature relatively normal for a new employee? Or is this something she should be pushing back on?

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    There's a lot of context missing here: what is her job (secretary, assistant, call center tech), how was it said, and so on. – HorusKol Sep 24 '18 at 13:58
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    Put on hold. Whether it's normal depends on information you haven't provided. Note that even if you do, whether it's normal for that particular job isn't all that relevant: her boss has asked her to do it. Bosses are often abnormal. Consider focusing on a more practical goal such as how she can get out of breakfast duty or how she can figure out whether it's really a part of her job or not. – Lilienthal Sep 24 '18 at 14:06
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    It would only be a concern if it started to look like grooming or other harassment. At this point the boss just wants a biscuit. – Kilisi Sep 24 '18 at 14:10
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    What does being attractive has to do with being asked to get a biscuit? – Dan Sep 24 '18 at 18:05
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    We really need a location for this. In the US, asking an employee to perform non-work functions (such as fetching the manager coffee or food) is not appropriate. – jcmack Sep 24 '18 at 21:42

I'm not saying I necessarily agree with it but it's not uncommon for managers/senior managers have lower-rung employees run errands for them and this doesn't just apply to the "newest" staff member either.

Over the years I've been asked to do everything from "go grab breakfast" to "my girlfriend's car has broken down, I need you to 'drive' it back while I tow it".

Generally the more "useful" your time becomes to the company the less you get sent out on trivial errands, simply because the impact on the company in terms of losing that time of you working becomes bigger but in my experience it doesn't usually go away completely.

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    Should note that having employees do little 'personal' favors like this can be seen as fraud, since this is not normal business practice and the expense is not a valid business expense. Scott Pruitt former head of the EPA got into hot water for having government employees run personal errands, which in the government space is not allowed. – Bill Leeper Sep 24 '18 at 15:58
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    @JoeStrazzere Yep, I've encountered it at pretty much every company I've been an employee at. I'm located in the UK for reference. – motosubatsu Sep 24 '18 at 16:16
  • @BillLeeper Oh definitely there are certain environments where this is a big no-no and can get the person sending someone out in trouble. – motosubatsu Sep 25 '18 at 8:27

Are requests of this nature relatively normal for a new employee?

Of course it depends on your locale and culture, as well as the specific job, but in my part of the world, unless "getting breakfast for the boss" is part of the job description, such a request would not be normal at all.

If the role were "personal assistant" it might be different. But in most US jobs, the days of "Get me a cup of coffee, will ya' honey?" have been over for quite a while now. It would be quite odd for a call center worker to be asked to do that, based on my experience with both call center workers and their managers.

It's worrisome that a new young woman was asked to fetch the biscuits. She might consider asking around to see if this happened to any new young men.

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    I would ask around to see if this manager does this in general for call center personel. If other managers do it. – Martin York Sep 24 '18 at 22:00

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