Monday, May 23, 2016

When Directions Don’t Follow

The other day, my dishwasher didn’t drain all the way.

I got out the instructions that came with it. (Felt pretty proud of myself that I still had them.) It contained directions on how to change the filter, complete with a diagram.

After suctioning out the gross water with a turkey baster (yuck), I took a look.

The bottom of my dishwasher looked nothing like the diagram. Was I crazy? Stupid?


(Well, not because of this.)

That diagram, in the instruction booklet for my specific dishwasher, was not of my dishwasher.

And those directions about a filter? Turns out my dishwasher doesn’t even have a filter.

There is a special place in hell for the person who threw those directions together.

Today, I had to figure out how to transfer recordings of an interview from an app on my phone to my computer. The instructions from the app mentioned email (files too big), Dropbox (after setting that all up, files too big) and using iTunes (that didn’t work at all, was stymied at the first damn step).

As I, with increasing despondency, dutifully went through the trouble-shooting directions for iTunes, I saw a bit of software I had originally downloaded onto my computer when I got the app a couple years ago. (I don’t use it much.)

It synced the app to my computer beautifully.

But now, when I needed it, why was there no mention, not one, in the app itself or on the company’s website, of this software?

Because that omission wasted a couple hours for me.

For people who write the directions for things: Yes, we all say we don’t read them, but for those times when we are forced to, please take care when composing them.

You are toying with people’s sanity here.

1 comment:

  1. Oy. I feel your pain. My husband and I have often said that some of those owner's manuals had to have been written by people who don't speak English as their primary language. We imagine them sitting around having a good chuckle at our expense as we tear (what remains of) our hair out.