Friday, May 9, 2008


Some days, this word is the bane of my existence. It’s pretty much to the point where it’s the first section I go to in an instruction manual when learning about a new device, instead of the last. May as well get the POSSIBLE PROBLEMS and SOLUTIONS out of the way right off the bat…saves me a lot of time in the long run. (Hey!... Isn’t that…like, two baseball metaphors in one sentence? Okay so “long run” isn’t really a baseball expression per se, but it’s really close so I’m going to allow it.)

Now where was I, Yogi?

I know without a doubt that I would love to be the person in charge of writing the TROUBLESHOOTING section in any and all instruction manuals. It wouldn't even matter if I knew nothing about the item I was writing about, as I’m convinced that the actual writer didn’t know anything about it either.

Besides, it’s pretty upfront stuff…don’t you think?

Or maybe for some people it isn’t…and that’s why they had to write it down in the first place.

Geez. Yikes. Oy.

(At this point, I’d like to interrupt this post with an important observation: Of the three words written above, “Yikes” is the only one “WORD” does not have a problem with. It would like me to respell “Oy” with my choice of either: Of, On, Or, You or Oyo…which I have to admit I had to google to see what it was, but on a humorous note my first hit on “oyo” was Toyota…get it??…and evidently, “Geez” by itself is considered bad grammar. Geez. Right now, this page is lit with more red & green than a tacky Christmas card. I now return you to your regularly-scheduled post.)

So. As an example of the advanced degree of expertise required explaining the intricate technical subject matter in most manuals (say THAT five times fast, Jackie!), I present to you actual real-life samples taken from my very own manual.

Seriously. I am not making these up.

My comments will appear in (red), in honor of allergy-noses everywhere….and should be heard in one’s head as it is heard in mine, with the swooney-Clooney voice of my ever-present IV, da ma
n himself...Mr.Clinton Kelly...(picture this face here):

Drum roll, please:

From my iPod Home manual:

Example #1:
Symptom: Sound is distorted.
Possible Problem? Volume level is set too high.
Solution? Decrease the volume. (Oh, duh.)

Example #2:
Symptom: Sound is distorted. (Part deux. Obviously, some people were not helped by the first solution…imagine that…as he waves his hand dismissively.)
Possible Problem (#2)? Sound source is distorted. (You’ve said that already.)
Solution? If the iPod original sound source is old or of poor quality, distortion and noise are easily noticed with high-power speakers. Try a different audio source such as a music CD.(What? Are you kidding me? Do you realize you’re an iPOD-PLAYER?! CD?? Does anyone even still use CDs anymore?? Oy. I mean, yikes...)

Example #3:
Symptom: Unit/adaptor gets warm after extended play at high volume.
Possible Problem? This is normal. (That’s what it says. I swear.)
Solution? Turn unit off for awhile or lower volume. (And how exactly does lowering the volume affect how warm the unit gets? I’m thinking the advanced scientific degree this writer’s obviously gotten WAY trumps any street-knowledge of electronics I may have. I defer to you, oh Great-and-Powerful-OZ.)

Uh huh.

I’d thought I would pull out several manuals to use as examples of this unprecedented area of expertise but I think my job here is DONE.

I’ll leave you with some deep pearls of wisdom…culled from my vast, extensive experience in the specialized degree of TROUBLESHOOTING (I have assumed the Zen-position for these prolific words…pointer fingers and thumbs touched into perfect “O”s…a look of most extreme serenity superimposed over my not-usually-so-serene face...ummmmmm....):

If it dies, recharge it.
If it acts up, reboot it.
If it makes any kind of unfamiliar noise, check it for text messages

.….and finally…

If it fails to make you happy, GIVE IT UP.

Life is too short.

Anonymous said...

So true that those troubleshooting instructions can be silly at times!

Anonymous said...

So true! That's exactly what I was going to say before I even read the other comment!

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