Small Irritations And Stupid Stuff
It irrationally bothers me to receive a memo “from the desk of” someone. Desks don’t write letters. People do. I suppose there might be a blurring of lines where virtual keyboards are projected onto the surface of a desk, or a computer uses an auto responder to reply to emails, but a person was ultimately responsible for the content. Totally unimportant, but it will result in my pitching the missive into the paper recycling without reading it.
Computer operating or repair manuals which are published by the manufacturer online. Your computer just stopped responding, but you have to use a computer to find the repair manual. Hmm.
I dislike really obvious warnings on products which, if you were to do them, you probably can’t read or should be removed from the gene pool anyway. I know these are a response to product liability suits, but really… My irritation about this type of warning began many years ago when a company which made tiny wooden propellers for model airplane engines went out of business after being sued because it did not provide a warning that their product might whack one on the finger as one flipped it to start the engine. I think we’re all fairly aware that we shouldn’t carry babies around in their packaging bags, that we shouldn’t be too surprised by paper cuts, that we shouldn’t eat packing peanuts, or even use our computers in the bathtub. I don’t know about that last one, if one uses a wireless remote keyboard and mouse.
There are some absolutely necessary ones, I suppose. One should never put AAA batteries in backwards and should take their child to a doctor should one become lodged in their ear or nose. I have been warned not to use noise cancelling headphones while riding a bicycle, especially at railroad crossings or ever to turn the sound too loud.
None should ever pull a plug from a wall socket by the wire, poke their computer monitor with a sharp or abrasive object, and if there are any unusual smells or sounds coming from that monitor, we should unplug it. My thought would be that pulling the plug from the socket would be permissible in this situation.
It appears that USB flash drives pose little danger to us (perhaps they forgot about the family pet or child eating it or getting it stuck in their nose or ear,) but we are never to use an optical instrument to look into the laser beam produced by our cordless mouse. And let’s not forget the most obvious warning for laptops; “Do not drop.”
On any electronic item, I dislike seeing the “Do not open. No user serviceable parts inside.” We’ll see about that, I say! Unfortunately sometimes they’re right.
This list was heavily weighted toward computers because those were the instruction pamphlets I had closest, but there many more categories. For years when I was a child, I believed that there might really be bed police who would get me if I tore off a “Do not remove under penalty of law” tag. Mail that looks much more important than it is has led me to nearly tear up two checks without ever opening the envelope, and the opposite is also true.
I feel better now. I’ll stop being cranky for a while.
Copyright © 2009, Thomas A. Blood, Ph.D.
“How to store your baby walker: First, remove baby.” - Anonymous Manufacturer
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