I was in a weekly conference call the other day. We’re rolling out Windows 7 in June across the enterprise (that’s the plan, anyway) and so many of the in-house applications my team supports are going to need to be reinstalled, but their installers are outdated and often non-functional.
So, I took it upon myself to write a generic installer that I could configure with XML. Since most of our existing installers were .vbs files, I used that initially. But a case was made for a UI, and so I implemented it in .NET using the same schema and granted it a user interface.
Though the software was still under development and prone to change, it was pretty stable and worked better than anything else we had, and so instead of fixing the existing .vbs installers, people just starting configuring the app installer I made for use with these additional applications.
The thing is, how to actually do that was kind of passed around by word of mouth. I had a pretty XML schema diagram that Visual Studio spit out, but I think my team members either didn’t know about it or couldn’t understand it. In addition, they were configuring applications in different ways, and this provided an inconsistent experience for the user.
So a member of the team, a business analyst who’s been working on this Windows 7 project (making sure our supported applications actually work in that environment), asked me if I could give a presentation regarding how to go about configuring the app installer, and I agreed.
Then she asked me to set up a meeting for it, and I balked.
Not because I don’t know how to set up a meeting, or that I find it a particularly onerous task, but because I realised that I was being “tasked” by someone. It’s a technique of manipulation and dominance. So I gently pushed it back, and she coyly jumped on me, asking why I wouldn’t just schedule the meeting for Friday at 1pm?
“I don’t appreciate being tasked” was my reply.
Then the meeting organizer (another peer of mine) saw fit to order me to do it, and rather than raise a big stink about it in the tail end of this meeting I accepted the tasking.
In my subsequent research to make sure I’d used the term “tasking” properly in that context, I found that I couldn’t find it anywhere. I imagine it’s from a book that I’ve read. I expected to find this filed under “techniques for psychological manipulation” somewhere, but I haven’t had any luck.
Is anyone else familiar with this term? Can someone provide a reference to it for me?