Trent Ernst, Editor
There’s a lovely … well, I think it started as a post, then it got turned into a graphic, then it got turned into a video because that’s the way things work these days and video is so much more engaging than words on a page and heaven forbid that we actually have to read something and where was I?
Oh, yes. There’s a lovely story- turned-video explaining the concept of consent in the most British way possible.
The original post was by a blogger calling herself “Rockstar Dinosaur Pirate Princess,” and she compared the concept of consent to making them a cup of tea.
You say “hey, would you like a cup of tea?” and they go “omg yes, I would LOVE a cup of tea! Thank you!*” then you know they want a cup of tea.
(*Note, language has been changed to protect the sensitive eyes of the elderly.)
If you say “hey, would you like a cup of tea?” and they um and ah and say, “I’m not really sure…” then you can make them a cup of tea or not, but be aware that they might not drink it, and if they don’t drink it then – this is the important bit – don’t make them drink it. You can’t blame them for you going to the effort of making the tea on the off-chance they wanted it; you just have to deal with them not drinking it. Just because you made it doesn’t mean you are entitled to watch them drink it.
If they say “No thank you” then don’t make them tea. At all. Don’t make them tea, don’t make them drink tea, don’t get annoyed at them for not wanting tea. They just don’t want tea, ok?
The metaphor, in case you didn’t catch it, is around sex. It goes on to present other examples, but the idea is clear: if someone isn’t on-board, for tea or sex, then you shouldn’t be doing it.
At the risk of cheapening the metaphor, I’d like to draw this to the attention of Microsoft.
You know, Microsoft, the makers of such fine products as Windows 3, Windows 98, Windows XP and Windows 10, which I am using right now on this computer.
Microsoft has also made such utter drek as Windows 95, Windows ME and Windows 8.
Here’s the thing, though. With the latest version of Windows, Windows 10, they started to nag me to update. And, when it was convenient, I chose to update.
The update went smoothly. I scheduled it to do it overnight when I wasn’t faced with production the next day, and, after shaking a few bugs out of the system, it has performed marvelously.
However, today, it poured some tea down our throats.
Over in the advertising department, our ad manager hasn’t upgraded. She hasn’t had the time or the will to install Windows 10.
Or at least, she hadn’t upgraded until today, when, halfway through designing an ad, her computer shut down and restarted, saying “Installing Windows 10.”
And when the process was done? Her computer was borked. Keyboard and mouse wouldn’t work, couldn’t get it to boot.
We spent three hours wrestling with it instead of getting the paper ready. Finally, instead of fixing the computer, we just blew the dust off a computer that wasn’t being used (but had already updated to Windows 10) and had her use that. Fortunately, all our stuff is kept on a server, because if it had been stored on her computer….
So a note to all those of you who decide to do something, even something you think is nice or important or helpful for someone else. Make sure you have consent before doing it, for the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and littered with the bones of people whose last words were “I thought it was a good idea…”