Help Me Help You ‘Meet the Task’

Last week, at the Black Enterprise Minority Supplier Forum, we talked about “meeting the task.”

“Most black women have been taught to ‘meet the task’ which makes us more technically equipped,” said Bohannon.

This week I encountered some folk who haven’t been meeting the task, personally and or professionally. And this really gets my blood boiling because I’d never let myself get away with not meeting the task.

Of all the jobs I’ve ever had, I took my work seriously. If I needed to stay an extra hour or three to meet a deadline, I did that. I performed thorough research about things I had no idea about when I was a technical writer. Like the time I wrote Standard Operating Procedure Manuals for mechanics who worked on changing assembly lines of equipment in order to bake/produce thousands of Sandies in a hour! Do you know how important it is to meet the task there? Some of these mechanics had no education, so I had to write in a way that assured they’d meet their task. Because if they did not, I did not.

Or the time I had to prelim and close Multi-million dollar magazines that had to balance to the hundredth decimal perfectly, every time, or I’d have pompous managers and over-paid account executives breathing down my neck. I did that for almost three years. Do you understand how incredibly important it is to meet the task there?

I guess my struggle is understanding how to deal with people when they don’t meet the task with me. That is my biggest struggle. Sometimes I’m passive aggressive; I go behind their backs and just fix it. I figure a conversation at a later date is in order … Or NOT. Sometimes, I take the assertive approach–giving recommendations, suggestions, meanwhile speedily assessing the situation for best optimization. And sometimes, I’m aggressive, I won’t talk to you for weeks. The latter is the easiest. No confrontation, no drama.

When I was a student and now as a professional, I’ve always pushed myself to do my best. And by best, I mean whatever the job/task called for … And I know my honor system is a bit abnormal, that pushing myself as I do may not be as common or necessary for some.

Im writing this because I’ve written people off who don’t ‘meet the task.’ Issues of guilt! And I’d much rather, at this point, help them ‘meet the task’ and not do the work for them. This takes craft, huh? Let me know what you think. Help a sista out with suggestions, recommendations, books, and whatever else you’ve got.

And in case you missed it. See my Black Enterprise post.


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