Monday, February 1, 2010

Mastering Manuals

Last week’s blog foreshadowed this week’s: frustrations in setting up new phones. COSTCO had a great deal, which Hubby bought even though it meant we increased our phones from 3 portables to 5 plus the two land lines we have. This means we now have more phones than rooms.

Now, you would think that all five phones would operate the same. You would think it, but that just ain’t so. Some of the phones have 3 soft keys under the face, others have two. On some you have to press the up/down arrows to see who called, others have a mini rod to move up or down.

Ever since the massive onslaught of technology – beginning with the VCR – my usual pattern of behavior when we have a new purchase that involves reading a manual, is wait for either of my sons to visit and let them set things up. However, ever since one of them muttered, “you have a master’s degree in teaching reading, surely you can follow simple directions in a manual,” I hesitate to scream “Help,” unless it really, really is necessary.

When Hubby unpacked the box, I suggested we take the easy way out and call a friend, who recently bought the same phone. Hubby announced his intentions to read the manual. He insisted that if his friend could decipher the manual, so could he. I didn’t bother to point out that his friend was a mechanical engineer.

I am proud to announce that Hubby actually did everything – even taught me how to see who called. He set up the phonebook, but I still can’t figure out how to enter numbers. The one job he didn’t do was reset the code for me to retrieve messages when I’m not home. “You did it with the last phone, so you can do it again.”

That page is still open on my desk. All I’ve done is make a copy of the various numbers I need to press to operate the phone from afar. My goal today is to prove to myself that my Master’s Degree was well deserved. After all, if I taught hundreds of students how to read directions, shouldn’t I be able to do the same

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