Do you read Product Manuals? I mean, when you purchase something new, are you more likely to just try to figure it out as you go along, or will you sit down and read the Manual before even attempting to use the product?
I’m a Manual kind of girl…..usually. I might not read every single sentence, but I do start at the beginning of the Manual and look over every page. I did that with the Toaster Oven, and the Nutri-Bullet, and the Slow Cooker we purchased. When we got a new Washer and Dryer, I read the Manual for both appliances and even made notes on how to use each cycle in the best way. But when we bought an Elliptical Machine, I asked my husband to read the Manual and just tell me the things I need to know.
I was thinking about this the other day, wondering why I read some Manuals and why I don’t read others, and I decided it’s just a matter of interest in the product. Cooking isn’t something that I especially love (in fact, if I never cooked anything again, I would probably be just fine), but I knew the Toaster Oven, Nutri-Bullet, and Slow Cooker would make my life easier, so was interested in learning about them.
The Elliptical? I know the exercise is good for me, but it’s not something I especially relish doing every day. So Rick can read that Manual and just share the knowledge he gets from it.
Cars. I’m not a “car girl.” I can’t recognize one from another unless I see the car emblem, and sometimes not even then. I have no interest in car shows or car magazines or car innovations. To me, a car gets me to where I want to go. I’ve been driving the same car for 14 years. It got me to where I wanted to go, it got decent mileage, and I was fine with that. But last month I finally needed to get a new car.
We went to Car Max and got a new-to-me, 2016 Buick Encore. When we got home, we parked the car in the garage, and I went back to working on my designs. My husband, Rick, who is a car guy, couldn’t believe that I wasn’t out in the garage, checking out the car, and reading the Manual. I told him I know how to drive a car, and I’d figure out all the rest later.
Two weeks later I drove the car by myself for the first time. I was on my way to our son’s house, 3 hours away. About 45 minutes into the drive I stopped at a McDonald’s to get something to drink. I turned the car off, but the radio kept playing. Hmmm… I looked at all of the dials and experimented with them, but couldn’t figure out how to turn off the radio. After a few minutes, I decided the battery wouldn’t run down in just the few minutes it would take me to buy something to drink, so I would just have to leave it on. When I opened the car door, the radio automatically turned off. I thought of that Manual.
About halfway into the drive, I received a text on my phone. When I am driving, I don’t text so I was prepared to ignore it. But within a few seconds, I saw the text message appear on a control screen right there on my dashboard! What? How did that happen? And what was I supposed to do with it?
Then when I was on my way home, I had to stop for gas. Where was my gas tank? On the right side or left? I had to stop the car and get out to look for it. Right side. Okay, so I pulled into the station with the pumps on the right side of the car. Then I started looking for the gas cover release button. I couldn’t find it. I even got the Manual out of the glove box and started looking up Gas Cover Release. Nothing. There was nothing about a Gas Cover Release. So I had to call Rick and ask. You know, the husband who had encouraged me to read the Manual. He was gracious and told me that my car doesn’t have a Gas Cover Release button, that I just have to push in on the gas cover a bit, and it will pop open automatically. Okay. So I was able to get gas.
On the rest of the drive home, I thought about that Manual and how I should really – probably – read it. That’s been a few weeks now, but I still haven’t read it. I’ve learned a few things by trial and error. And truthfully, that’s probably how I will learn things. Unless Rick reads the Manual and tells me what I need to know.
What about you? Do you read Manuals?