Okay, today, I’m feeling like the stupid person. Why? Because today, I have to FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS!!
And I think this is particularly timely, given the season, because millions of folks across the world will be required to either, a) assemble a gift for someone else (usually a child or a boozy stepmother) or, b) learn to operate (and by “operate”, I mean “turn on”) a gift bestowed upon them by someone who purports to love them.
I think people who write instructions must be some of the most miserable bastards on the planet. They’re obviously smart, smart, smart. But not heading for a Pulitzer any time soon (unlike several of their college pals, who send them smug Holiday cards and chain letters referencing their “editors” and “publishers”—but I digress--although surely there is a professional awards show for Instruction Writers).
So they do what most miserable, smart people do. They create their own community of miserable people, by writing the most perverse, hard-to-follow, ostensibly simple BULLSHIT INSTRUCTIONS!!! And you become one with their misery.
14 pages that fold out from a single printed sheet, half facing one way, half facing the other. It’s difficult, at best to know which PAGE comes next. Trying to follow the numbers becomes a Sisyphean task, constantly doubling back on yourself like an Amsterdam tourist fresh from the “coffee house.”
It’s evil. Pure and unadulterated. But, I offer here a solution to all the instruction writers of the world: GET A BLOG! Take out all that frustration on cyberspace—and the half-dozen or so people who will actually read what you write.
OR, you could catch a FUCKING CLUE and maybe, just once, write something that was clear, concise and easy to follow. But where would be the fun in that?
Oh, and by the way, the illustrations don’t help. And there’s a special place in Hell reserved for those guys, too.