I work part-time at an independent bookstore with two storefronts in the same town as the publicity and events manager. The storefront where I work is often quite distracting, but I do my best to do the job while also being the cash wrap/gift wrap/shipment person.

I left my previous job doing tech support because I don't enjoy the high pressure, immediate fix nature of it, but I do enjoy teaching people new things (to those who want to learn).

As the current publicity manager, I'm responsible for a lot of technical/editorial things (website design, advertisement design, writing press releases) that my co-workers can't or don't want to do.

When my boss asks me to do personal, technical things for her, I feel like she's exploiting me. They don't have to do with the business (e.g filling out forms so she can attend a political convention), and when I've tried to explain to her "how" to do things, she's said she either doesn't understand or wasn't listening. She was supposedly excited to hire me because of my technical background, but she won't give me the time or environment necessary to do business-related technical things, like updating the website.

I was paid +$3/hr more in my last job doing technical stuff; is it right to ask for more money if my boss wants me to do personal, technical support, or would I be better off just asking for a raise in general, and the chance to do my best work in a different, less distracting environment? She doesn't seem to think it's worth a full-time job (or changing storefronts/days when I work to avoid all the distractions), but I might be amenable to doing publicity as an independent contractor, but I don't know if she would see that as beneficial.

  • So get another employer? I don't get your question, it is uninteresting work that you don't enjoy, ok. Have you talked to her about that? Can you not leave for some reason (i.e. you know her/friend, personal investment, etc.)? I would say to start applying for bigger opportunities or corporate positions as those could expand your skills (which this position is obviously not doing). PS - I did NOT down vote this. Though it needs to be redefined/clarified.
    – G.T.D.
    Commented Jul 2, 2016 at 20:45
  • Don't flatter yourself entry level support is very cheap. Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 14:56
  • Right now it is kind of unclear what you want. Do you want to avoid doing any tech support? Do you want to limit it to a reasonable (to you) amount? Do you want more money? More respect from your boss? Please clarify what your goal is.
    – sleske
    Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 8:27
  • @ИвоНедев define "very cheap," please. Especially for someone (my boss) who is so technologically illiterate that she can't even search Google if I'm not there.
    – Azurite
    Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 20:00
  • @Azurite What i meant is friends of mine, doing full time tech support are doing minimum wage. Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 20:01

2 Answers 2


That would depend on whether or not you want to keep your job and relationship with your boss. Bosses asking for little things or even coworkers asking is not unusual at all. You have a useful skillset.

If you don't want to do it you can basically either feign ignorance or kick up a fuss. Or get a job elsewhere where they don't know you have these skills.

My strategy is just to feign ignorance "I have no idea on those gadgets, I just do computers, sorry.". But this is best done the first time rather than later on.

It also depends on your seniority, juniors are pretty much expected to do whatever they're told to do within reason.

  • 6
    "My strategy is just to feign ignorance" . . . pretty much a requirement for any technical person surrounded by non-technical people in today's world.
    – user34320
    Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 6:49
  • Unfortunately it's way too late for that, especially given she was so excited to hire someone who used to work for a well-known tech company. I've only heard that second-hand, though.
    – Azurite
    Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 20:29

Is your boss the owner of the company? If she's not the owner, then by making you do work that is paid for by the company's owner, but only serves her, she is stealing from the company's owner.

If she is the sole owner, then having the company pay for your work will reduce profit and therefore tax liability, so she is stealing company taxes from the tax office. Also, to be able to pay for your work the company would have had to pay her salary or dividends, on which she would have had to pay tax.

  • Valid and valuable information. Do you have any recommendations on actions that can be taken in this scenario?
    – Anketam
    Commented Jul 2, 2016 at 20:09
  • 2
    So report her to the IRS for tax evasion?
    – paparazzo
    Commented Jul 2, 2016 at 20:48
  • 6
    "... so she is stealing company taxes from the tax office." Sorry, but that's ridiculous. Are you saying corporations have a legal obligation to maximize their tax liability? Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 20:20
  • @Resigned: I see no evidence of anything not being reported properly and accurately. Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 18:29
  • 1
    While this is true, it is not really a concern for the employee. That's up to the owners (if there are any others) and the tax office to judge. Plus, if she uses her iPhone for work, it may well be work-related.
    – sleske
    Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 8:28

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