Sunday, November 8, 2015

technical writing

Have you ever purchased a product, some assembly required?  In the case of the curio cabinet we put together today, the "some" was a little misleading.  The same could not be said for the step-by-steps.  They couldn't mislead when there was no obvious direction to start with!  Oh, the pieces were labeled.  (But not correctly.  Bag of parts 10 and bag of parts 11 were  mis-packaged, but we figured it out!)  We had the right number of each required piece.  Unfortunately, the top and the bottom of each piece was not labeled, and could be placed either direction--until it came time to assemble the piece four steps down the line.  Then it made a difference.  Twice we had to take the whole thing apart, turn things right side up, and begin again.  Just as we were celebrating the fact that we could attach the doors, we discovered the hinges were upside down, and the hinge pin did little good when it fell out.  Take off the top half.  Take off the spacer shelf.  Take up the bottom half.  Switch the bottom half.  Swear.  Replace the spacer shelf.  Doesn't fit.  Swear.  Replace the spacer shelf.  Doesn't fit.  Swear louder.  Flip the spacer shelf.  Fits.  Replace the top half.  Swear.  Replace the top piece.  Fits.  Put on the doors.  Swear in jubilation.  Move to the desired location.  Forget to plug in before placing.  Swear.  Swear.  Swear.  I will never put another piece of furniture together.  I swear!  And I understand completely why the "author" of the directions chooses to remain anonymous!  With computers, had I a name, I could find him/her, and it wouldn't be pretty!

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