An interesting situation happened yesterday at work.
One of my friends is the executive assistant to the division director. Yesterday we had some cake in the employee lounge and my friend brought the division director (her boss) a piece of cake. He didn't ask her to bring it, she just did (she's an FJ ). Another director (not divison) was in the office when she brought her boss the cake. The other guy asked her to bring him a piece of cake and she gave him a look (she's an FJ ), he turned red and went and got himself a piece of cake.
Now this is the question: Given the fact that she's the executive assistant (not general administrative assistant) should she have brought the other director a piece of cake? She's worried that she should've just gotten the other guy a piece of cake as well since he asked. I don't think she had any obligation to get him a piece of cake, but I also understand the dynamics between directors and administrative assistants and how petty people can be. I also think that since the other director reacted so quickly to her initial reaction "the look" that maybe if he had waited another 10 seconds or so she may have (begrudgingly) gotten him the cake.
This whole thing isn't about cake, it's about how to respond to the nuances of the inevitable pecking order. The spurned director may or may not have thought twice about what happened. It's just that this kind of unspoken stuff happens a lot at work and it's tricky to know when to react or how to react or what to do.