Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Do you have a manual for that?

"If you ever get something really expensive, you better read the manual," Jason says as I rattle off the title of this blog....

HA! He's still getting to know me a bit. He's also partially referring to my asking him if my Bodybugg is placed in the correct location on my arm. His response to my question was, "Your manual will tell you exactly where you're supposed to put it..."

"What?" I say, pretending I didn't register his answer.

My deep rooted inability to thumb through manuals for gadgets goes back about as far as my desire to take stuff apart or enhance it using my imagination, not paper instructions, to guide me.

I love electronics. Cell phones, PDAs, computers and the like. I get so excited when I pick up the new gadgets box...I remove the protective seal, take in the aroma of newness and immediately turn it on.

I can't help it. New techie things call to me. I must to give in to moving parts, power buttons and battery packs. It's my worst ADHD behavior.

Recently I purchased a new cell phone. I was hoping the thickness of the manual was due to being printed in various language options. To my dismay, the first booklet was for me to learn how to operate all of the features in the phone.

I don't have time to read this...Ok, I don't want to take time to read this. I read all day long: Emails, white papers, contracts and the like. I don't want to read about how my cell phone works. I want to see how my cell phone works.

I'm more experimental when I arrive at home in the evening. When I experiment with these types of gadgets, the ripple effect of pain is a lot smaller. It goes from me, to Jason, to tech support. If I experiment like this at work, the circle of pain can extend to my department and then the IT departments support staff and then I have to hide.

I also take great delight in taking things apart to make them bigger, better and usually faster. I started as a small child with electronics given to me by my parents. Stereos, electronic cars and my last major experiment was with a pair of roller blades I wanted to turn into racing skates when I was home one summer from college.

Was I planning on racing? No.

I wanted to do it because I could do it. After three trips to the sporting goods store for racing bearings, axles and high performance wheels, I found myself bored with all of the separate sets of instructions and diagrams, so I tossed them aside.

When the garage door to my parents house came open and my Dad walked in, I actually tried to hide the fact that I knew I needed help. "Oh, shit," said Dad at the grease and small parts scattered around his workstation...."Here we go agin."

This is how a lot of our conversations go. Dad and I share in a lot of bonding as we are very similar in some ways. In others, like paying attention to where the little parts go when you take something apart, we couldn't be more different. But it's fun. It keeps both of us giggling at each other as we explore through life.

This weekend, Dad got a new cell phone and called me on it. Instead of answering the phone, I'm digging around for the new Bluetooth unit I bought to answer it. It's somewhere near the manual I've not read yet.

I miss his call. Return his call. End up in his voice mail. As I leave a message in his voice mail, my voice mail notification 'beep' sounds in the middle of my message to him. I hang up and dial my voice mail.

This is when I take a turn for the unintelligent. I listen to my voice mail from Dad, "Yo Dani. It's Dad. I got a new cell phone and I'm trying to....Oh, there you are....Hello?"

"Hello?" I say into the Bluetooth. I then gasp at the amazement that I just tried to talk to him through a voice mail message. My phone's beeping again. It's Dad.

By now I'm howling. I explain to him what I've done and he proceeds to tell me about a new gun he purchased that a coworker took apart and couldn't return to it's original state. He had to take it to the sporting goods store to have it put back together.

I said, "So he takes stuff apart like I take stuff apart."

He laughed and said, "That's exactly what your Mother said when I told her the story. "

Sometimes, I'm just a bit too predictable.

1 comment:

fastgrrrl said...

Awesome! I'm with you, sister.