We all know them, the special wishes of our dear managers. And by that I don't mean the favourite type of chocolate that you have hidden at your desk for your executive. No, I mean the requests that come out of nowhere. The wishes and requirements that we receive from time to time and usually don't expect. Because they come in special situations, namely when you do not expect them.
Here is an example, which I once experienced myself a few years ago. One morning a former boss called me at the office asking me to stop Lufthansa flight 132 from Berlin to Munich, he was still in the lounge and was just leaving. Oh boy, I thought to myself. If I could actually do something like that, I probably wouldn't be working here anymore. Of course, I did everything in my power to stop this plane, but in the end it didn't help. The flight was gone and my executive mad.
I'm sure you also have an anecdote or two at hand when you think of these almost impossible requests from our managers. Some are hilarious, some just cheeky. I still laugh loudly at the wonderful scene of the movie "The devil wears Prada". A movie that every assistant in the world has surely seen several times. Do you remember the sequence where boss Miranda, played by Meryl Streep, is stuck in Miami because the weather has changed? She called it a "little breeze", but in reality, there was a hurricane level 5 in the background and assistant Andy should now bring her boss back to New York. No planes available, airports were closed. Wonderful! Many of you know these and similar situations. And it happens quite often that our managers believe that we have such a good connection to everybody that we can just turn the sun on and off.
But how do you feel about such requests? Do you feel challenged or humiliated?
I have always set limits, right from the start. I allowed a few requests and declined others. My bosses quickly noticed that, and I was really blessed to have managers who did not take advantage in this respect. And I appreciated that very much.
In the end, of course, everyone decides for themselves what to do and what not to do and how to deal with such situations.
And the next time you have such an unpleasant task in front of you, think of the Prada movie, smile and stand above things with confidence. This will work for sure.