Manual Troubles

July 4, 2018

Have you ever bought something that comes with a manual and been totally lost when you browsed the instructions because they’re too complicated, or in a different language? Yeah, me too. I’ve always worked better with visual manuals that text based manuals. In the past I’ve gotten some foreign electronics (cameras and washing machines) that didn’t provide multilingual manuals. I guess one of the most popular examples is people trying to put furniture together and not knowing why they are left with some of the parts at the end.

Although it’s only a small bugbear in my life and it doesn’t tend to affect me often, it’s still an issue when I buy something new. The only benefit of not being able to read manuals is that you feel like an absolute superhero when you actually manage to construct something half decent by yourself – at least that’s what I experience anyway. Other people in my life seem to experience the same thing because it’s always brought up on nights out or by comedians.

I remember one time when my mum had bought new bookshelves and wanted help to put them together, she handed me the provided manual and I was absolutely useless. All the parts were lettered AND numbered so when I was handing mum all the little screws and bolts I had no idea if they were the right ones or if we were placing the parts in the right places. I am pretty certain mum had to go and buy wine after because it was so stressful.

I feel like if the manual had been more visual and a bit less confusing overall. We did eventually get the furniture constructed, but it took a lot of arguing and confusing to get it sorted, but afterwards we were so proud that we managed to do it ourselves. The pay off always seems to be so much worth the effort involved, but it could all happen so much quicker.

There are plenty of other stories like this in my life.

For the longest time I had no idea if I was using the right settings on my washing machine/dryer because it was all in German with no translation in to any other language. We just kind of guessed based on other washing machines and hoped for the best (There were a lot of shrunken clothes…). I kept thinking that the easy solution would be to google how to work it, but we never did due to sheer laziness or forgetfulness.

The same happened when I bought my camera, the manuals were all in Japanese, French or German and not English so I had to play around with it a lot more before I actually managed to figure everything out. It was fine for me because I know how to work camera’s anyway, but if my mum had been handed a camera with no manual she would have been totally lost, so it’s not really user friendly to not have multilingual manuals with products.

If you’ve ever experienced something similar then please comment your stories below! I could use a good laugh.

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