I am a professional-level employee and have become quite efficient with my work. I'm a problem solver and have become a go-to person in my department.
Three times in the past month I've been asked to simply print out email attachments (not large docs) for my boss while she is out of the office, either after hours or working from home, so they're waiting upon her return. Also, in the last few weeks, while I've had a large project in progress, she volunteered me to do a secretarial-type job for a "higher-up" person in a completely different department. This person has a staff of several people at their disposal and could have enlisted any one of them to help with that job. I balked and explained my confusion about being volunteered for this. And while the item created from the secretarial job will likely be of use for my department, I feel pretty trivialized by being asked to contribute in this way.
We don't have an administrative-type person in our department any more, I'm afraid this type of task will continue to be thrown my way. I've done them without kvetching -- but would like to nip this in the bud before I allow it to grow into something bigger.
Each time it certainly took her more time to send me emails about printing the items than it would have taken to flag the email and print it herself the next time she's in the office. I realize it's not about that.
The boss said this other person simply couldn't get to the task at hand. It was REALLY menial and took me less than 15 minutes. It felt weird to basically be "pimped out" to another deptartment because it's definitely not part of my role. Yes, it "only" took 15 minutes, but it was for a high profile person and I didn't know it would go so quickly when I was told to step in.
How can I effectively, kindly, and appropriately say no to these types of requests without burning bridges?