Hissy Fit

I need directions for my directions

Have you ever been traveling through a small Southern town and stopped to ask for directions? You know the kind of town I'm talking about- a crossroad, a flashing light and a gas station. You pull over and ask where's the nearest Wal-mart and the story begins. "Well lets see, you go on down yonder a ways and take a loo-e. Follow that road til you pass old man Brown's place and take a right. Then you wanna get into the furthest left lane and turn. Go on down that road and y'all'll see the Wal-mart directly." These may seem like poor directions, but I guarantee you'll find the Wal-mart. Besides I'd take directions like these over any manufacturer's directions any day.

Have you ever tried to read the instruction manual on an iPod? First of all, I promise it is written in English, but why is it that it tells you everything except how to get the darn iPod to work? Why is it that directions have to be so hard to understand? Why can't the iPod's directions have a table of contents that read something like this:

Chapter 1. How to turn the darn thing on; Chapter 2. The only stuff you really need to know to get music to play; Chapter 3. Extra stuff that the really zealous iPod user might want to know; Chapter 4. Things your kids can tell you about the iPod without having to read these directions; and Chapter 5. How to turn the darn thing off. Now, is that so hard?
I'm here to tell you right now, don't even try to understand your owner's manual for your car. It's amazing. I'm was sitting in the driver's seat trying to figure out how to turn the windshield wipers on and there is no windshield wipers in the manual's index. I tax my brain thinking, "What else would they call windshield wipers?" Unfortunately, the windshield remains wiperless as the rain beats down. Did you know that a woman invented the windshield wipers? Unfortunately she did not write the man-ual too.

I happen to also have a GPS Navigational system in my car. I give up. Heck, I had to go back to the dealer just to figure out how to set a radio station, much less try to figure out how to get my car to tell me how to get to Pooler, GA. But here's my question. If it can tell me how to get to Pooler, why can't it tell me how to work it? It's worse than the VCR and the DVD player that are still flashing 12:00.

Have you noticed that every piece of furniture that Wal-mart, Staples and Target sell come in a box. I'm not talking about a great big, huge box. It's small and flat (and tremendously heavy). You look at it and wonder how your new desk is inside that flat box. Well, maybe it's because it's in a thousand pieces waiting for me and my husband to get out the directions and put it together. Ok. We did that... once. Now my husband says I can't buy any furniture that comes in a box. Furniture has to come to our house or office fully assembled. I guess that's a good rule of thumb anyway.

Lastly, I consider myself pretty computer savvy, but there has been a time or two that I have been so desperate I have perused my cursor to the top of the screen to the friendly and hopeful word HELP. It sits at the end of the toolbar as a last option, and if you've ever used it, you know why it is the last resort.

I type in what I deem is the keyword of my problem and a list a mile long appears. I scroll down and click on what I think most resembles my problem and help is on the way. Well, not exactly. A very detailed and involved set of instructions appear that take you on a tour into the bowels of the computer. As I read through it I realize I will never remember it all, so I actually begin to do what it is telling me to do.

What? Where did the help window go? It disappeared. Oh, they can't be open at the same time. No worries, back to search the help window and this time I'll print out the instructions and then follow them. But that's why I'm in help-mode. My computer is not talking to my printer,therefore, no instructions are going to come marching out of the printer that is giving the computer the silent treatment. Everything's fine.

As long as I have my cell phone nearby, I can call my 11 year-old to walk me through. I wonder how I can set her up in speed dial. Guess I better get out the directions.

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