Macon Chronicle-Herald - Macon, MO
  • My children might be the cause for obvious instruction manuals

  • My biggest fear as a parent is that my children will be the reason there is a need for ‘obvious’ instruction manuals.
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  • My biggest fear as a parent is that my children will be the reason there is a need for ‘obvious’ instruction manuals.
    A few months ago I became the proud new Momma to a high efficiency washing machine. I was so excited that we brought it home and hooked it up on our own. So there we are, me and my oldest son Nate, admiring our handiwork as we fired HE up for the first time.
    Of course, as EVERY person does when something new is purchased, I read the instruction manual. OK…who am I kidding? I was reading it while I was waiting for Nate to get it all hooked up since he said he had it “under control”.
    Step 1 – Open door. (Yes, it actually says that)
    Step 2- Load laundry.
    Step 3 – Close door until you hear loud click. (Who would leave it open and expect a front-load machine to hold water?)
    Step 4 – Open detergent/fabric softener door and add detergent and fabric softener according to package directions.
    Step 5 – Push detergent/fabric softener door to close. (Yes, it actually says that too)
    Step 6 – Sit there shaking your head because you are actually smart enough to know these things without being instructed to do so.
    OK OK….I added Step 6 but good grief! Is there really a need for obvious instructions?
    One thing I’d like to ask the manufacturers of this washing machine is, how on earth would a person who actually NEEDS these directions be able to read them at all since the instruction manual is packed inside the washing drum of the machine….BEHIND the closed door that they need instructions to open?! HUH??? Answer me that one!
    Finally after pondering all I learned by reading the directions Nate proclaims that it’s ‘laundry time’. WOOHOO! I am so excited. I do Steps 1-5 without having to refer back to the manual and I turn this puppy on…..and we stand there and watch. We have lift-off. The drum rolls. Oh! Hahaha….funny pun not really intended but hey I’ll take any happy accident.
    This goes on for a while and I finally say “Where does the water come in at?” Yes folks it appears that I’m dry cleaning my clothes. No H2O to be seen. So I refer to the manual which says it uses less water and I think “well it is highly efficient at using less water”.
    After several more minutes I flip back to troubleshooting and there just happens to be a “No water in the machine” column with the checklist that includes “Be sure water source is turned ON”. Really?! How could we, smart people, not know to turn on the water? Yeah, well, that’s exactly what we forgot to do.
    Page 2 of 2 - Funny thing is “turning ON the water” was nowhere in the instructions.
    Silly instructions and silly signs are everywhere! And I get a kick out of all of them.
    One billboard that makes me CRAZY is on Highway 36 just east of Cameron. It boldly says “WIN A FREE HOME!” Are they kidding? Why in heaven’s name would I want to win a free home? Who would? Never in a million years would I want to win a free home. I would much prefer to win a MILLION DOLLAR home! Who wants to win something that is already free? As my high school English teacher would say “That is redundant!” I love that word “redundant” but I really dislike that billboard.
    Another sign I find laughable is at an ATM in Moberly. First of all you have no choice but to drive up to this particular one with the ATM on the driver’s side of the car and yet there is braille. But I have accused some drivers of being blind so maybe it is necessary. Right below the braille is says “For your safety, please keep your windows rolled up while using this ATM”. HUH? Are you supposed to telepathically insert your card and tell it how much money you want and hope that the ATM magically transports the cash to pop out of your car’s A/C vents? I just don’t get that sign either.
    What I have learned by all these signs is that there is obviously a need for them. And one thing I’ve figured out about people is that people cannot be figured out. I also wonder if people really do what these instructions say? I’d love to ‘stake out’ that ATM and see the guy who leaves his window up and tries to use it. That’d be funny as hell! Sad thing is that the poor blind guy using it wouldn’t know to keep his window up and would get robbed cuz the only things in braille are the number keys and the “insert card here” part of the machine.
    I lie awake at night thinking about things like this. Actually trying to figure out how it could be possible to use an ATM behind a closed window. I mean, doesn’t everybody?
    Until next time, find YOUR Wisdom….Accidentally.
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