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Other duties as assigned

  1. Sep 3, 2015 #1

    D H

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    "Perform other duties as assigned" is the last item in every job description I've had. This thread is about the strange "other duties" people have been asked to perform.

    To get the ball rolling, in addition to my normal R&D and engineering duties, I've
    • Cleaned out an airplane hangar filled with years of accumulated junk.
    • Helped move equipment out of an office made unoccupiable by hurricane Ike. (The "other duties as assigned" performed by the company president at that time involved turning his living room and kitchen into an impromptu office for the three months while the office building was unusable).
    • Establishing a startup's drug testing program.


    What "other duties" have you been asked to do?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 3, 2015 #2

    Borek

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    Sleeping in the office after move, and before we hired a security firm.
     
  4. Sep 3, 2015 #3

    DEvens

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    I worked in a lab where we used small open sources. These were basically similar to what you find in a smoke detector, though about 10 times as intense. And mounted on a similar kind of background material. For purposes of putting them in an experiment, these included some that were mounted on little chunks of plastic about the size of a grain of rice. Once, one got dropped on the floor. Not by me. I arrived in the lab the first day they were searching for it. My "other duties as required" included helping to survey the lab for a lost source.

    My first real job after university was at a fairly small "start up" company. We had one big room for an office. That included the three guys who shared ownership. The company was growing, hiring more people, usually 1 or 2 per week. So nearly every Thursday (first day of the pay-week) there would be new people to fit into the office. So we had the ritual Thursday afternoon furniture move. I learned such "transferable skills" as how to move a filing cabinet without damaging the floor.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
  5. Sep 3, 2015 #4

    davenn

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    that's a hard act to follow LOL
     
  6. Sep 3, 2015 #5

    e.bar.goum

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    Stand around the lab looking busy when VIPs were visiting. Felt like an animal in a zoo ...:DD
     
  7. Sep 3, 2015 #6

    Evo

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    Being required to attend baseball games and attend beach parties, these were for a Fortune 50 company, one of the largest in the world. My manager would come to me each month with a schedule of events I needed to attend, races, fashion shows, charitable cocktail parties. I spent most of my time at events at large fashionable hotel parties. They were legitimate, I was there to solicit legitimate business. No hanky panky.
     
  8. Sep 3, 2015 #7

    Drakkith

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    Picking weeds and grass out of the cracks in the concrete in front of missile storage structures on a Friday night in the dark while it was raining. We were supposed to leave early that night too... :sorry:
     
  9. Sep 4, 2015 #8

    Student100

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    That sounds like every day in the military.
     
  10. Sep 4, 2015 #9

    Drakkith

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    Well, it doesn't rain every day...
     
  11. Sep 4, 2015 #10

    DEvens

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    Heh. I don't remember where I read this story. But the idea behind it is that the people in the military need tasks to fill their time. The tasks themselves are not of primary importance. If there is nothing useful to do then the sergeant will invent tasks. Otherwise the soldiers are idle and that causes them to get up to mischief.

    So one of the details was to mow the grass. But at this particular military base the summers were hot and dry. So after a couple weeks there was no grass, only hard packed dirt. No, it does not rain every day.

    So the soldiers were sent to mow the dirt.
     
  12. Sep 7, 2015 #11

    Dr Transport

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    Clean up after a co-worker was fired for time card fraud.
     
  13. Sep 7, 2015 #12

    berkeman

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    In preparation for our company moving to a different location, I got assigned to go through the chemical cabinet to pick out what we want to keep/move, and what we want to hire a company to dispose of. Some of the stuff in our cabinet is over 15 years old... o0)

    SC300F.jpg
     
  14. Sep 7, 2015 #13

    Drakkith

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    Just like the grape jelly in my fridge! At this point I've decided to let it sit there until it reaches sentience.
     
  15. Sep 7, 2015 #14

    berkeman

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    Nah, donate it to your local biology department... :wideeyed:
     
  16. Sep 7, 2015 #15

    Drakkith

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    I'm afraid to touch it...
     
  17. Sep 7, 2015 #16

    OmCheeto

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    Scraping the year old, petrified lube oil from the bilge, with a putty knife.
    That was when I realized where the "petty", in the "petty officer" title, came from.......

    rewind two years:

    Peer; "Oh, you're a petty officer. Good. We task you with watching these 3 criminals, while they do manual labor". (Aircraft carriers are so freakin' huge, they have criminals, and A JAIL! Go figure.)
    Criminal #1; "I have to go pee".
    Petty Officer 3rd class Omcheeto; "Very well then. Can't have you peeing your pants. Be off!"
    repeat two more times, and wait an hour for the boss to show up.
    Peer; "Where are the criminals"?
    Petty Officer 3rd class Omcheeto; "They went pee".
    Peer; :oldsurprised: :headbang: :oldgrumpy: :oldmad:

    I didn't get that job assigned again.
    Hello! I was only 9 months out of High School! What the hell did I know of the bladder capacity of criminals......:oldeyes:
     
  18. Sep 7, 2015 #17

    dlgoff

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    this recollection inspired by OmCheeto
    On the first night of Army basic training I was woken by some commotion. Still half asleep, the duty officer shoved a loaded M14 in my face and while pointing to the man in the next bunk said, "That guy tried to go AWOL. Guard him for the rest of the night and shoot him if he moves.", then walked away. I hadn't even been trained on the M14 yet. :olduhh:
     
  19. Sep 8, 2015 #18

    lisab

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    On that theme: clean out years of accumulated chemicals from our lab.

    One bottle was marked 1967. First I thought, oh that has to be the lot number or something...surely it can't be the year! Nope, it was the year. The building was built in 1969 so it must have come from the lab we had before this one.

    Lab personnel at my work are *all* packrats.
     
  20. Sep 8, 2015 #19

    Dembadon

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    • Clean up the carcasses of dead mice that died on the pad-shapped traps with a sticky substance on them. They'd been there for over a year rotting. Probably about 10-15 total
    • Take pictures of every single motor control center bucket and their contents: about 800 different breakers, starters/contactors, and thermal overload units
    • "Weekly check-in meeting" with my boss, which usually involved him pontificating about politics and his personal life for 15 minutes. I gave updates on my project(s) during the final 5 minutes
    • Various areas around the plant: Shovel mud off of pathways after heavy rains heavy rains to avoid slips/trips/falls and citations from MSHA inspectors
     
  21. Sep 10, 2015 #20

    BobG

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    I teach some orbital mechanics classes (since I work in satellite operations). So, one day, some of the non-satellite folks came rushing to my office, saying they had a problem that needed some mathematical expertise and figured I'd be the one to go to since there's a lot of math in the classes I teach.

    That was actually pretty exciting. I was eagerly anticipating what this problem could be and wondering if I could solve it with my trusty TI-86. Hopefully it wasn't something really difficult, like calculating the circumference an ellipse or something.

    I follow them into one of the classrooms where they're installing a new projector and screen. What they want to know is:

    The instructions recommend there be at least a 30 degree angle between the wall holding the screen and the viewer. It was about 15 feet from the center of the screen and the wall and about 12 feet from the edge of the screen to the wall. How close can the desks on the edge of the classroom be to the wall holding the screen?

    Me: Seriously? <sigh> Tan(30) * 18 is about 10 feet.

    And then I walked back to my office, thinking, "That was a fun 5 seconds of my life. They couldn't just stand by the wall and see how close they could get and still read the screen? Oh, yeah, that's right. The instructions said..."

    And there is a good reason for the instructions to say that, since you could be building a lecture hall with fixed desks/tables/etc, with the all of the furniture fixed in place before the screen and projector are ever mounted. But if you can move the desks wherever the hell you want to...
     
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