So, I work as a IT Tech/Help Desk, working 1 on 1 with staff in the company I'm at.

While I was not at work, I have been assigned a extra duty that involves me having to teach a customer service class, this involves no training but standing in front of a large group of people I do not know and talk.

I have asked my boss if can I be removed from the program, as I do not feel comfortable in any way standing up in front of people, let alone having to talk. My boss laughed and told me to get over it.

I can understand extra duties related to my job but becoming a Customer Service Teacher, to me seems a bit over the top. Question: can that big of a change in duty be done?

Id like to also point out my customers are internal while every other sections are external.

  • 3
    What is your question? Jan 20, 2020 at 22:20
  • 1
    Why don't you feel comfortable? What do you mean about being laughed in the face and told to get on with it? And... how come you have work when you are off work??
    – DarkCygnus
    Jan 20, 2020 at 22:23
  • 2
    A survey of greatest fears will usually place Public Speaking at number one or two, while Death rarely cracks the top three. This means that if you are going to be a key person at a funeral, you would rather be the guy in the casket than the guy giving the eulogy. Jan 20, 2020 at 22:55
  • Is this teaching happen during business hours or after hours? Jan 21, 2020 at 0:34

3 Answers 3


Learn to do it, and do it.

Public presentation is the most valuable skill you can acquire apart from your core competency. Doing it well will increase your confidence and presence.

Ask your boss for training. Attend Dale Carnegie courses. Join Toastmasters.

Adding Customer Service Teacher to your duties seems like a pain in the anatomy, but in fact your job is handing you a golden opportunity to get uncomfortable and really learn something.

  • Downvoting as I disagree with the notion that this is a "golden opportunity" , and that OP should somehow feel lucky their job is forcing them to do something outside of their comfort zone.
    – darkside
    Jan 21, 2020 at 17:37

So the answer is it depends. In some countries, and/or if you have a very well defined employment contract, you have prescribed job duties you don't have to go outside of and there are no repercussions from not doing them.

In many countries, and especially the US with at-will employment, yes, you do what they tell you to do. There's always an "other duties as assigned" signpost in job descriptions etc. that indicates this, and even if there's not, tough, that's how it works.. If you don't want to do it you can always find a new job (at least that's what they'll tell you). You can try to talk your way out of it, but seems like that's been tried and didn't work.

The US at-will answer is to learn to do it, and do it, and add it to your resume, and leverage it for promotions/raises. If you want to do the minimum, same thing as you did yesterday, there's no reason to give you raises or promotions as your value does not increase to your employer or to others (except by dint of variation of the economy and labor market).


If you really feel that you cannot do it and it puts too much stress on you - then stand up for yourself. Request a 20 minutes meeting with your boss in advance. Sit down, share some story from the past, explain to your boss that this is a serious issue for you. They should accommodate.

That said, you can also try to look at it as an opportunity. Consider to step out of your comfort zone and give it a shot. Ask a close colleague or small group of colleagues to help with a simulation, to offer feedback and help you build confidence.

To some people, public speaking comes naturally. To others - no, but this is something that can be learnt, and after doing it a few times - you will very likely feel much more at ease and it can benefit you in all kinds of situations in the future.

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