Sunday, January 28, 2007

Where's the button that says, "I'm feeling hesitant about this."

There is a new development in my life that has started to worry me. I recently had the hard drive on my computer crash and needed a replacement. Because I am cheap and impatient I had the guy who fixed it only do a partial install and I figured I would do the rest. I brought it home and started the long process of reinstalling programs and trying to get a set up similiar to what I had before. It was during this process that my latest cause for worry reared it's head: I am a "yes man" when it comes to computers.
If you're familiar with installation procedures you'll know that you're often presented with many screens asking you what to do. These do not bother me. It's their little siblings that get on my nerves. These are the ones that are written in some sort of esoteric computer jargon (I know jack shit about computers) that tell you something and then you are presented with the options of "Ok" and "Cancel". At first I was hesitant to choose but not out of fear. I simply wanted more information. This is not usually an option or, if it is, there's more lingo that I don't understand. After some hesitation I just chose "Ok". Then another screen popped up.
More screens.
Ok. Ok. Ok.
Restart. Restart. Restart.
For the most part I didn't even know what I was agreeing to, I was just doing it because it seemed like that's what the computer wanted. If the computer was happy, I was happy. Just saying yes made everything that much easier. When I realized this I felt dirty. The computer was having it's way with me and I was just sitting there happily clicking away. Now, feeling unhappy, I timidly chose the "Cancel" option on the next one and waited to see what would happen. Another screen popped up telling me that I should have chosen "Ok" and more or less asked whether I really wanted to cancel it. Given the tone of the message it felt like one of those last chance kind of moments and I ended up taking the computer's suggestion.
After I'd consented to every single one of the computer's wishes I sat back and comtemplated what had just occured. I was this computer's bitch and not only that, I was choosing to be victimized. For all I know it had been mocking me and asking me if I was stupid and if I liked what it was doing to me in it's computer-y way and I had been agreeing with it the whole while. This bothered me because I am not a yes man in real life, nor do I just agree to things to make it easier for everyone. Quite the opposite, actually. But here I was just slutting it up for the computer all because I was ill informed.
A greater man than I could have turned that story into a witty article that drew comparisons between the situation and the lack of sex education in public schools which leads to forced sexual situations. Or perhaps a politically themed one on how the parties force you into agreeing to things that you don't want for veiled promises of what you do want. Sadly, I am not a great man so all you're getting is a hastily typed blog entry. I quickly grew bored of feeling sullied by my computer and did something else, something which absolved me of my issues and made me feel clean: I checked the standings in my hockey pool then I unplugged the machine. As it's life slowly drained away I felt more in control. It had it's way with me for a little while but, left to my whims, it was living on borrowed time. With this knowledge secure, I shut it down for the night, went to bed, and dreamed assertive dreams.

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