Skip Nav
How Getting a Second Job Actually Lowered My Stress Level
Power Your Happy Q & A
How Susan Tynan's Custom-Framing Obsession Turned Into a Booming Business
In Her Shoes
These High School Best Friends Are Actually Living Out Your Dream Life as Co-Boss Ladies

I'm Asking: What Does Grunt Work Mean to You?

I'm Asking: What Does Grunt Work Mean to You?

There are certain responsibilities in every job which the person holding the position considers to be grunt work. This is one situation where the meaning is in the eye of the beholder — one woman's trash is another woman's treasure, if you will.

Something you might deem a waste of time might be a dream come true for someone else. What aspects of your job would you call grunt work?


Join The Conversation
gigill gigill 8 years
I have to constantly take out the recycling, unload the dishwasher, deliver the mail and re-direct emails. YAWN.
aistea311 aistea311 8 years
Filing. It is my least favorite. That and making labels. I love mailing stuff though! Whenever people dread working the stamp machine, I jump at the chance!
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I do all my own "grunt work" too...I feel guilty if I don't. Most of the time, it involves making media and autoclaving garbage. Not exactly glamorous, but it has to get done.
Le-Luxe Le-Luxe 8 years
Grunt work= doing things for people who are just too dang lazy to do it themselves!! And boy have I paid my dues...
suyen suyen 8 years
I'm an admin so I do lots of copying, filing, etc. One thing I don't like though is doing minutes. lol. I don't mind doing grunt work since I love the people I work with.
LadyAngel89 LadyAngel89 8 years
I'm a tech at a very small company.. so i get all work, including grunt work and work no one else wants. The price you pay for a little job security.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Walking into my boss's office to hand him the pitcher of water that's on the table five feet away from where he's sitting at his desk. Oh, and "helping him organize his desk," which means him handing me things he wants thrown away even though he's got a trash can under his side of the desk as well. :OY:
gemsera gemsera 8 years
I work in a paperless office supporting engineers, so no filing, no mail, none of that sort of work. The worst I get asked to do is drop a package down to the mail room. Before that I had an (albeit hopeless) assistant who did thankfully all my grunt work. That said, I enjoy it, when I worked for burger king in my youth I loved all the cleaning and dishes etc, I was one of the hardest workers :D
nancita nancita 8 years
I don't really mind copying and filing, but I don't have to do much of that. To me, grunt work is sorting through the millions of emails I get every week. :)
tee0206 tee0206 8 years
When I worked in the office, my director occasionally treated me as her assistant. I'd have to copy, proofread, scan, etc. I now have a remote job, so I think she's given those tasks to someone else.
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 8 years
cleaning glassware. omigod it's like doing dishes all day! Except then the real dishes are waiting for me at home!
valancyjane valancyjane 8 years
I have to respond to all the people who write in with submissions to our publications - even though 90% of them are worthless. If I don't they write back all "did you get my e-mail"? And sometimes they do it even if I do write to them. I always put it off for so long that by the time I get to it it's a mammoth job. It's just cutting and pasting a form letter, but I hate it.
lizs lizs 8 years
For my web design/communication position, even the grunt work seems to require a degree and a few weeks of training. I don't get to hand off many tasks, but I secretly dream of having the courage to auto-reply to 90% my emails (politely). I answer the same silly questions all day long! We do have an awesome contractor on the team now who handles some of the repetitive silliness - lots of customer service and a tiny bit of design.
millarci millarci 8 years
FILING! I hate it. It drives me nuts when I have to do it. It's like being shot with a tranquilizer gun.
dcfashionista dcfashionista 8 years
I am a temp so I do lots of grunt work. I mostly hate opening, sorting and logging in the mail.
SDTransplant SDTransplant 8 years
When I first started at my current job and before my job description was fully fleshed out (I became temp-to-hire), I had to do my share of grunt work including making copies, filing, archiving, answering phones, and some of the other things other people have already mentioned. But I think the worst was when I had to help the office assistant with the archival process and we had to deal with old, filthy, dusty, and sometimes questionably damp boxes full of paperwork in the basement. I was always afraid that a cockroach or some other creature would jump out at us!
rabidmoon rabidmoon 8 years
I see my own "grunt work" as part of my job, and that's fine, because I know my boss pays me, and employs me, for my ideas and creativity... What I would call "grunt work" now is when a lazy or inept person cannot bother to properly read or respond to an email they receive, and thus forwards it to me in an email with one word: "thoughts?" I have been sorely tempted to respond with the truth. :P Luckily these days the idea of "grunt work" is shared by all, its a small company, we all essentially "own" our success or failure, so its relative. Once upon a time, I had a horrid job in Austin where the grumpy and biased old biddy boss used to say "Make the coffee, will you?" Master's degree, and I was making coffee. Dried-up old witch, I hope she is still there. :P
Ryot Ryot 8 years
Data entry, photocopying, and reformatting a doc to my (ex- as of today, yay!) boss's forever changing requirements. But I'm out of there, yay! The new job will probably have grunt work eventually, but for now it sure feels like heaven.
chicagojlo chicagojlo 8 years
I'm a temp so I usually get the grunt work. It involves archiving stuff into boxes, making copies for meetings, typing up people's notes for them. I've not been asked to make coffee yet but nobody really drinks it here! Then again on my birthday they gave me a lovely card, and I seem to remember there being a gift although I forget what it was...and this was the only job I could actually get so I should be grateful really. Problem is in my last job (in another country and another industry) I was managing a team and had a secretary of my own!
RosaDilia RosaDilia 8 years
Same here. I do my own copying and filing and I usually do it on Fridays which is mostly the slowest day in my office. It keeps me busy until 4pm.
sweetpeabrina sweetpeabrina 8 years
Making copies. I hate making copies! My school was supposed to hire a paraprofessional for my grade level to do the "grunt" work. They did hire someone but she just helped the math department then got hired on as a math teacher. I haven't heard anything about it since.
lawchick lawchick 8 years
I do most of my own copying, mailing, etc, even though I have a secretary. There are only a couple of things I REALLY hate doing, so I hand those off to her. It's mostly making phone calls to hostile people, like a client who owes us money.
94-Year-Old Woman Working at McDonald's
Reasons to Get to Work Early
Jobs With Less Demand in 2016
Is a Second Job Worth It?
From Our Partners
Latest Career & Finance
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds