So I am kind of being lazy but im just trying to do exactly what I am supposed to. I was hired to do, and I quote, "mow the lawn, trim with a weed eater, and rake debrees". I was asked by a manager, who is not my boss because I was hired directly by the company, to water the lawn. I declined and have not been. She told me that if she hired me that I would have been fired for not doing all lawn maintanence as in my description, but my contract is very short and says nothing more than my three tasks. Should I just start watering or stick to my contract?

  • Does this manager have any authority to give you tasks? And often you can be asked to do things that aren't necessarily exactly what is on your job description but can be assumed to be reasonably related.
    – Jane S
    Jun 28, 2015 at 1:22
  • How would lawn-watering affect your job? Is it a matter of working more hours? If lawn-watering had been included in the contract to begin with, would it have affected your willingness to take the job (or might you have asked for more pay or other benefits)?
    – ruakh
    Jun 28, 2015 at 1:32
  • The manager has no authority over me and my job description doesn't say to do all lawn maintenence it just says mow, weed eat, rake. If it had said water I would have wanted paid more, but it doesn't, so should I do it anyways. Jun 28, 2015 at 1:55
  • And if you do turn this down, even if you aren't fired, you can guarantee you won't be getting a good reference from this employer in the future.
    – David K
    Jun 29, 2015 at 12:40
  • Could you elaborate on the nature of your contract? Were you asked to just do those three tasks once and your job is over? Or is it you work there anyway and your time is to be spent doing those three tasks? If the latter than I agree with everyone else, because you're doing work for them anyway... Unless you don't feel properly trained to water lawns or something. If the former, then you would have a point as you're being asked to do extra work, having already completed the work you've agreed to do.
    – komodosp
    Jun 30, 2015 at 10:06

3 Answers 3


You aren't being asked to do anything illegal or completely outside the bounds of the type of work you are doing so I would suggest that it's completely reasonable to tell you to do that as well.

For example, I'm a software developer. My job description never mentioned anything about configuring database servers, but I do it because it's related to what I am doing, and it's something I can do. The fact that it helps me do my job is a bonus but not necessarily a reason.

I would say that normally a job description is a guideline of the type of work you will be asked to do, not a finite set.

  • 3
    Amen! My job description never mentioned forcing myself daily to perform painfully mundane smalltalk or listen to country music in the office, but by God, I get it done! Jun 29, 2015 at 18:43

Insisting on doing only a specific set of tasks is a good way to get fired and replaced with someone more flexible. Your job is what the boss says it is, within reason.


Ask yourself: What good are you to the company, if they hired you to look after the lawn, but they have to find someone else to water it? The company's choices are: Let the grass die. Ask someone else whose job responsibilities have nothing to do with the grass to do it (I'd be more than willing to water the grass all day long as long as my manager knows why I can't handle the tasks that I should handle). Hire someone.

Long term, they have to hire someone. And that person will probably have all your other responsibilities on his list too, and then your job is gone. It's alright to say "I'm paid for X hours, and I'm not working more". But saying "this is not in my job description, find someone else", that's a sure way to get fired quickly.

BTW. Most people have "any other tasks as required by the business" in their job description.

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