Friday, September 08, 2006

Instructional Stuff

I went to the office breakroom to get a fresh cup o' ice (my morning chew treat) and a cup of hot water for my pack of instant oatmeal (regularity has become important to me as I age) and noticed that the beverage vending machine has a pictorial to explain how to use the machine. There's a little hand putting a little coin into the little slot. The next photo is of a little finger punching the little button. The last photo shows a can of soda in the "pick up your beverage" area of the machine. What'll we do if the pictures get damaged?

I don't recall ever learning from pictorial or written instruction how to buy a soda (or any other item) from a vending machine. I'm pretty sure I saw someone else do it at some point and just copied their behavior.

All shampoo bottles list instructions to lather... rinse... repeat. The words aren't complicated, but one must be able to read the words to understand the instructions. Generally one has had at least a couple of shampoos before learning to read, so I would imagine anyone buying shampoo doesn't need to be told how to wash their hair.

If we go to a grocery store and look at a photo illustrating any food package the words, "serving suggestion" will be in fine print somewhere near the bottom of the photo. Now, I'm not saying I'm brilliant, but even as a child I didn't expect the package content to look exactly like the photo on the box. Why do our manufacturers have the need to let us know that the photo is a serving suggestion? Are there hoardes of people ready to initiate lawsuits if the piece of parsley in the photo isn't included in the box? A can of corned beef hash usually shows a sunny side up egg sitting happily on the plate with it's partner, corned beef hash. Happy toast with a perfect square of butter sit to the side, opposite to a big ole glass of orange juice. Serving suggestions. Who is the world actually expects the egg, the juice and the toast to all appear after opening the can?

Guys may not be familiar, but most chicks have seen the pages and pages of instructions (usually written in English, Spanish and French) that come with a simple box of tampons. There's also a detailed drawing included showing a sidecut of a woman's body and the parts of her anatomy that are involved during a "happy period" (I hate that f***ing commercial). If we follow the drawing the insertion should be simple. Just in case the drawing doesn't suffice, there are the tri-lingual instructions as backup. If I were the one to write the instuctions the box would say - "plug it up". That's it. That's all.

Times when instructions would be really helpful to me are the times I find that they're not included in the packaging. My first husband (why oh why god, why!!!?) needed instructions explaining that due to his very short attention span and minimal intelligence he would tend to forget that he had a wife and children, and that he couldn't be expected to come home on a regular basis. Oh, and his package theme song should have been, "Liar, liar, pants on fire."

It would have been great to get directions for evil ex-boyfriend "W" explaining his need to control everyone around him and his crazy jealousy.

Imagine going for a job and reading the instructions for your boss - insecure and tends to take credit for work subordinates do. Would have saved me sonme heartache in the past. (my current boss is GREAT - he doesn't need instructions so no one needs to forward this article to anyone)

I would love to see what instructions for handling me might be. Any ideas besides 'handle with care'?


Dawn (webmiztris) said...

the most annoying thing to me are the car commercials where they show a car going down the road and in fine print at the bottom of the screen it says, "Do Not Attempt - Professional Driver" WTF? So they want us to buy the car....but not drive it???

Fairmaiden327 said...

Jali, when I read your blog I feel v v immature, ha ha. Great points all around. TGIF.

mist1 said...

I never know how many times to repeat the shampoo process. I wish they would be more specific. i.e. lather, rinse, repeat (1x). I have spent hours in the shower.

DrM2B said...

LOL.....good to see a sistah has my back on the coCo PuFfs thing!!......hahahahaha.....I am sooo not gonna stop callin his ass that!

Molicious said...

I'm amazed about how many hazardous warnings there on products now. Like the paint I bought last weekend. It actually said on the can that I shouldn't drink it. I mean really, who would be stupid enough to drink paint?

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heartinsanfrancisco said...

Plug it up. LOL!!

Actually, when I was a child, I wondered where the nice juicy strawberries were when my mother opened a new box of Corn Flakes. After all, they were in the picture on the front. I couldn't believe they would trick a little kid like that.

You're so right that people should come with instructions. At least we'd have a chance to think about the effort required and decide not to get involved.

Do you think we could have had the same first husband? Mine couldn't even be bothered to take me to the hospital when I was in labor. Twice. (Stupid me.) Great kids, though. Go figure.

~Macarena~ said...

I too wanted fruity cereal. Now, they make cereal that way, and it's gross!

I was 28 when I started using tampons. I was grateful for the instructions. Without them, I wouldn't have pushed the tampon up far enough. It was three years before I felt it was okay to throw out the instruction booklet. Also, I used o.b., which, unlike lesser brands, didn't scream out warnings about TSS. The booklet is written in my favorite colors and it was very comforting.

Instructions for handling you:
Prepare to laugh.

Trebuchet said...

Oh, you've reminded me of an encounter with a box of condoms I must write about. The inspiration that comes from Jali's house! Hell yeah!