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Have I already complained about people who don't follow directions? I feel like I have. It's something that annoys me to no end, so I wouldn't be at all surprised if I'd already ranted about it. Here's the thing: I don't always follow directiond either. Especially if I've done something 100 times, but it's been a while, I tend to think I can do it by memory. But when it doesn't work the first time, instead of flipping out, I go back and find my directions and follow them to the letter and 99.9% of the time, things work fine. It's just that I'll have forgotten a step somewhere. What really bugs me is when people yell for help the instant something doesn't work instead of trying for 5 minutes to figure out why something didn't do what it was supposed to. And then when I go to help, they tell me they didn't even do half of the instructions and the parts the did do were out of order. What the hell? How am I supposed to help with that? Of course it doesn't work when you don't do it right. Then I follow the instructions and *gasp* it works perfectly. Somehow that makes me a demigod. Let me assure you that there's nothing supernatual about my ability to fix most of the problems that arise in this manner. It's simply called following established instructions. Most of us learned that simple task in kindergarten.
Try to put yourself in my shoes on this one. In fact, let's literally do that. Imagine that I wrote down instructions for putting on and tying your shoes (which is much more difficult to explain clearly than you might think for what is a relatively simple task) and you're supposed to follow them. You'd call me for help and I'd come down to find two shoes with the soles duct taped together and your hand stuck inside one of them. I mean, good grief, just follow the printed instructions I left you and everything will turn out okay, I promise.

Them: "I can't tie my shoes on my feet."
Me: "Okay... What part's not working?"
Them: "I'm not sure, I glued the soles to my face, and then I couldn't get my feet into them, so I swallowed the laces."
Me: "Why? Where does it say to do that?"
Them: "I don't remember. I thought we had to do that last time to get it to work."
Me: "Well that just doesn't make any sense at all. Here, look, slip your feet into the opening of the shoe underneath the tongue. Pull the laces tight, tie a knot, then tie a bow."
Them: "Yeah, I tried that and it didn't work."
Me: "Um, obviously that's not what you did or I wouldn't be here. It worked perfectly when I did exactly what I'm supposed to do, so just follow the prescribed steps in the specified order and it will work perfectly every time."
Them: "Okay, you're going to have to write that down for me."
Me: "I already did. In fact, it's the instructions I just followed to demonstrate."

Related pet peeve: When people won't admit to making mistakes which they obviosuly made. Everyone makes mistakes, it's really no big deal. And it helps everyone out to know how something arrived in the state its in to either prevent it from occuring again or correct the failure. In the shoes-glued-to-your-face example, telling me you didn't glue shoes to your face doesn't really help me figure out what went wrong. Obviously shoes are glue to your face and you obviously did it. You're can't save face (no pun intended) when I already think you're a moron. "If you didn't glue shoes to your face, how did they get there?" "I don't know, it was like that when I got here." Riiiight...

About me

  • I'm Rev. Adam
  • From Oakton, Virginia, United States
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