I work for a small company where one of the primary investors and managing partners happens to be a national celebrity (who will go unnamed). This person also plays the role of spokesperson and advises my direct manager on direction from time to time.
He is always in a mad rush and occasionaly will ask bizarre and unusual requests and odd jobs from people as he sees them in the office. Most of them are small and quick things that I personally don't mind doing from time to time, and besides it is hard to refuse such a charismatic and powerful personality.
The other day he asked a manager to sign his name on a few letters that needed to go in the mail ASAP. The manager was on her way out the door so she asked me to do it for her real quick while she finished something else up.
I felt highly uncomfortable by this request. I am not sure if it is that I felt it ethically wrong, certainly a lot of very busy famous people have others sign their name for them on correspondence, so it wasn't an unusual request I felt. I really didn't feel comfortable doing this because if I did a poor job then I would make the spokesperson mad at me and I would end up making him look really bad. Besides, I have never forged a signature in my life, I can barely write cursive as it is so I know that I would suck if I tried anyway. A quick Google search gave hundreds of examples of his signature but I still don't think I would have done a good job.
I refused to do this basically stating the above, at which point she started whining. I continued to refuse and she completely flew off the handle at me and started yelling. I was starting to get angry so I got up and walked away from her before I started yelling back. I got back from a quick walk and she up and down apologized for her behavior but she still seemed to either resent me or maybe she was just incredibly stressed out by how much work she has to do in a given day.
I wonder if maybe I was making a mountain out of a mole hill here, is it better to succumb to a simple request that makes you uncomfortable and that you will suck at, or is it better to refuse and potentially cause a blow up or an even more uncomfortable situation?