Monday, 1 October 2012

Manual Woes

There is nothing I dislike more than having to read a manual. It's probably not that big a deal, but when this issue comes up, it's a biggie for me.  Most times, I don't have to read any manuals unless it becomes absolutely necessary--at which point, I become thoroughly traumatized.

Hubby and I have devised a system (of sorts) over the years--Hubby does the assembling and fixing. When needed, I read these folded bits of paper or booklets with the instructions and important information in sixteen different languages. Sometimes the assembling instructions are quite detailed, but stated in an unique mode of English that defies interpretation, especially if the article is made in some place like Outer Bhurkistan. And conversely, there are the English instructions and information that are quite sparing in words, leaving you to fill in the blanks.

The worse is when the instructions comes in pictures, sometimes hand-drawn.  I know, I know--it's suppose to supersede sixteen translations when pictures are assume to be universal. Hubby has a fantastic grasp of what is needed to be done as he can imagine which part fits where. However, I can never figure out the pictures, no matter which way I turn the diagram.

The one and only time I didn't mind reading the manual was when we were assembling my desk.  This project had a perfect manual. The instructions clearly showed every nut, bolt, screw and washer included. Each piece and part was labeled clearly. The desk was packaged to be assembled in sections that had to be done in a specific order. It was a "dream" project and one that went smoothly and frazzled-free.  Best of all, the instructions were written in clear, concise and real English. To this day, I'm still using the desk which has held up well.  But I digress.

Manuals were never part of my genetic setup. I'm the type of person who likes to watch how various stuff is put together and then do it. My brain does not absorb the printed words or pictures of a do-it-yourself manual. I always figured the good Lord did not put me on this Earth to nut-n-bolt stuff unless it was something edible. And in that situation, I can out-perform anyone.

But it's not just popping the pieces together in the how-to section. It's the other part of the manual that explains the what-for's, why-for's and where-for's. I really don't need to scare myself knowing these things, since the only time I'll dive for the manual is when something goes terribly wrong. And hopefully, Troubleshooting will give me the answer or the 1-800 number for Customer Assistance. For now, I'll just stack all these booklets and bits of paper together and file them under "M" for manuals.

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