Saturday, November 19, 2016

Read the Instructions

You cannot buy anything now that doesn’t have a set of instructions. Tiny print and diagrams and warnings are written in at least twelve different tongues to make your purchase even more pleasant.
Of course it doesn’t.
Much like those contracts agreements we skip to download and upgrade, we tend to put the telephone book size instructions to the side and forge ahead blindly forward.
After the first or second failure of succeeding to conquer whatever the appliance or tool or whatever has to obscure our accomplishment, we turn to our friends. With vague advice, a few more tries increase the frustration before searching the Internet. More false truisms or voodoo spells and finally you dust off the original instructions.
I appreciate the instruction manual. I have written several. The idea of taking a simple task and breaking it down to the commonest evaluator for the simplest mind to understand is difficult.
How to plug the electronic gizmo in are at least two pages. Take extension power cord (figure A) out of the box. Take off that little wire thingy and stretch the length of the cord straight. (What do you do with the little wire thingy is up to you). Find a nearby electrical reciprocal and plug the end with the metal plugs in. Whoo! Too complicated? The electrical cord has two ends. One with a pair of metal strips or tongs or blades and sometimes with a little round pole underneath so you need a three-way receptor or need to get an adapter.
You get my idea. That is why there are ‘help lines’.
This may have started in school when we asked the teacher should we use a #2 pencil and double space our answers and use upper and lower case cursive writing? What about using a pen?
Recently I had a simple job of replacing a set of blinds in the window. It had been several years since I’d done this task but it didn’t seem to hard. As I recalled it was a little measuring, a few screws, sliding in and locking the blinds and bingo it worked. Not so fast buckaroo.
The NEW blinds are held in an entirely different manner than I remembered.  There are no hanging cords that raise and lower the blinds because some kids might hang themselves on them. They supposedly snap in 1,2,3 and everything is done.
Except when you look at the diagrams and see a placement for a hanger where it says in Section 3 do not place the hanger in the area of where it told you to place the X mark. Why didn’t they make the ‘do not’ in bold type?
I had a similar occurrence with changing a blade on a circular saw. I’d had this saw for many years and had lost the original instructions but YouTube had a cool video that I thought answered all my questions. Then it didn’t work.
Solution? I bought another circular saw.

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