“Genius is the ability to reduce the complicated to the simple.” — C.W. Ceram
Am I the only one who has trouble comprehending instructions for Do-it-Yourself projects?
You know the ones I’m talking about — bookcases, drawers, office chairs, kids toys, and so forth.
It was hard enough when instruction manuals went on for pages detailing how to assemble stuff. Elaborate written instructions accompanied 3-D drawings telling a buyer which screw went into which hole. They never were as easy as the box promised, but they were doable.
(I still shudder remembering the fire truck I assembled at the Eleventh Hour for little Domer one Christmas!)
But I guess “technical writers,” who earn an average of 50-grand a year in the U.S., decided they can no longer convey step-by-step instructions using words. Now they give you pictures only.
Fun, especially when you see their line drawings.
A while back, I bought a spare desk but omitted the final step. I figured a sliding shelf for a computer keyboard wasn’t a necessity since I use a laptop. But the desk is a tad high, so I changed my mind.
After the Easter Egg hunt for parts and hardware, I opened the instructions (a skinny, one-page piece of paper with chicken tracks running across it). They seemed to indicate I was to insert A with screw number 4 into C while bypassing B, but don’t worry, we’ll get back to B after Step 6 (if I still had fingernails and hadn’t pulled out all my hair!)
Who knew you had to be ambidextrous to put together a simple desk? At one point, I was practically standing on my head, trying to force a teeny screw into an opening with something called an L-shaped tool. Seconds later, I realized I’d put the entire thing on backward and had to start all over again.
Domer, bless his heart, likes challenges of this sort. In fact, he’s so good at them that he’d have finished in ten minutes what took me the better part of an hour.
Even Darling Doggie Dallas grew weary of watching (and listening to!) me grumble and drifted off to sleep.
I ask you: Shouldn’t a person making 50-grand a year be able to write clearly and concisely so the rest of us can understand directions, without having to hop aboard the Struggle Bus?