I'm a 3rd year PhD student in a robotics lab. My advisor recently moved universities, so our new lab space doesn't have a large stockpile of supplies and equipment. As the person who does the most hardware-based stuff in the lab, I've been slowly acquiring necessary equipment and supplies for electronics work, mechanical assembly, etc, with the support of my advisor.
There most senior student in the lab is now trying to convince me to take on the role of lab manager. He indicated that in his past labs there have been graduate students who also are given the (extra, unpaid) role of lab manager. He keeps joking (?) that he will volunteer me for the position to our advisor.
It takes a lot of time to spec equipment, make purchase orders, organize tools efficiently, etc, and all the other students in the lab come to me when they need help with anything from university logistics to help using equipment. The equipment is necessary for my work, and I'm happy to help fellow students, but it's starting to take way too much time away from my work, and I certainly don't want a formal position that necessitates this responsibility. I'm giving a conference talk next week and will miss our regular lab meeting, and I'm worried that this other student will volunteer me for this position when I'm not there.
Is a PhD student also serving as an (unpaid, but official) lab manager a typical arrangement? I've never seen it in any of the labs I've worked with or observed. Research is my absolute top priority and I don't think it's useful for a PhD student to do the work of a lab manager because we're there to do research. If I do get volunteered for the "position" without my consent, will my advisor think I am an unmotivated student if I politely decline?