Tag Archives: following instructions

Easy as 1, 2, 3

When given a set of instructions, my OCD kicks into overdrive and I find myself reading them over and over until I have them basically memorized and then refer back every five seconds to check what I’ve read and what I should do.

This does not mean I am good with them, as you know, but it’s not for lack of preparation. I maintain that I simply lack the gene that allows for implementation.

However, it’s become apparent that many adults these days lack the preparation, the implementation and the desire to actually read the instructions that are given to them.

Some examples, you say?

I have at least three.

Four-Way Stops

This is not nuclear physics. Basically the first vehicle to arrive at a complete stop is the first vehicle allowed to leave the stop sign. 

But yet people either speed right through or sit there and appear to contemplate the angle of the sun in proportion to the trajectory of the moon before concluding they should go — a decision often influenced by the fact everyone is waving them on with one select finger or honking their horns.

I know the rules and will stand my ground with one exception: If your car is held together with bungee cords and duct tape, I will always yield to you. You clearly have nothing to lose.

Email

Hypothetically speaking, let’s say I send out an email that ends with, “I have attached the form with the deadline included. Thanks, Abby.” Please note that my name is also included in the signature at the bottom of the email and in the return email address.

I can’t tell you the number of times I get a reply along the lines of, “Hi Anny/Amy/Bob! Can you please send me the form and let me know when the deadline is?”

And…headdesk.

This shows a blatant lack of effort and respect for my time, and also that of Anny/Amy/Bob, wherever and whoever they may be. And for the love of avocados, if it instructs, “Reply back directly and do not ‘reply all.’” Do not “reply all.” In fact, do not ever “reply all.”

Ever.

Self Checkouts

Despite the fact that the machine tells you what to do step-by-step both visually and out loud, it seems “scan item,” “place item in the bag” and “insert money” is interpreted as “poke at the screen for 5 minutes,” “yell about how you can’t find the picture of the bright yellow fruit on the screen” and “try to cram wrinkled dollar bills into the slot while swearing.”

And yet these people keep returning to the self checkout lanes as if actual interaction with the cashier is too much of an inconvenience.

I suppose if nothing else, watching these people justifies the necessity of the “do not eat” warning labels on silica gel packs.

Let’s hope that they follow directions.

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