The instructions

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Stop trying to take the easy way out. By easy way, I mean the one where you have someone else do it for you.

Nearly everything you buy these days, nearly everything you work with these days, nearly EVERYTHING has some kind of “User Guide, “User Manual,” “Setup Guide,” “Assembly Instructions,” “Directions for Use,” etc.

Seriously. Have you opened a box of anything and not found at least some documentation with directions or instructions of some sort – either right there on the paper or directions to find them online? So there is honestly no excuse for not knowing what to do, how to use it, or how to set it up.

Unfortunately, society has become a bunch of “anti-instructionists.” (Yes, I made that up, but I can’t think of anything else to call it.)

It used to be that the cliché was that men were notorious for not reading the instructions and just jumping right in to figure it out (even if it meant taking something apart multiple times to get it right). That cliché has been turned on it’s head as, apparently, all people are just too lazy to read/learn/discover/follow directions. So many people are just willing to have someone else do it for them (or, to put it more bluntly – DEMAND you do it for them).

I know I am a little bit on the unusual side, since I do in fact take time to read the documentation included with a product, or posted online. I don’t always read them AT the moment of unboxing but I do eventually get to it. It depends on the level of complexity involved. I have even read the manuals that came with my car (hey, I like knowing about all the features that I may or may not use!). So, I do go through the trouble to learn about something. Sometimes it is trial and error and sometimes it is because I actually put effort into it and did it the right way.

Work lately…work lately is a bunch of people who don’t bother to read the documentation the software owner puts out. They don’t read all the supplemental documentation we create to further assist in use of the software. Hell, they don’t even watch the video we produce to give them visual aid in using the software. Instead, they just call use and take the easy way out – they want us to do it for them.

It’s frustrating that day after day after day people call and ask the exact same questions they asked three days ago, or 24 hours ago, or 6 weeks ago. Seriously, people, it’s part of YOUR job. Learn it. Read it. Discover it. Work in it and work at it. You aren’t going to have a crutch all the damn time.

OK.

Deep breath.

I guess my rant is over.

What type of person are you? Do you read the instructions and learn or do you completely ignore them and rely on someone else to do it for you? Do you follow directions to do things correctly or do you just make it up as you go and hope for good results?

What type of person are you?

Unknown

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People at work are angry with you. Well, not really angry so much as irritated because you didn’t do a part of what you were supposed to.

I just learned that I was supposed to do part of a software configuration in the new software for a school district that just converted. It’s not a life or death issue and, yes, it is inconvenient but it isn’t something that keeps the district from doing what it is supposed to do.

The only problem is that I didn’t know I was supposed to do it.

The process is still pretty new and there are no manuals from the software company that says “Do this in this order to set up the software for district use after conversion…” so we are kind of feeling our way through the process. Stuff gets missed or falls through the cracks since we don’t know completely what needs to be done.

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.

Donald Rumsfeld

So why the heck are you irritated with me if I didn’t know I was responsible? And why the heck are you irritated with me if I didn’t know what the heck I was supposed to do if I didn’t know I was supposed to do it?

Now that I know, I am aware of it and can take care of the next time, but for now:

BITE ME.

Teams

top view photo of people near wooden table

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Transition is hard. Lots of people hate change and resist it when it happens. I am not really one for change for change’s sake and I don’t really fear it, but sometimes change just isn’t necessary. – especially when you have something that serves the purpose fine the way it is.

Software changes should make your life better (either more convenient, streamlined, or all encompassing). At the very least, it should make your life less complicated right off the top. At work, we are going in the wrong direction for ease and internal communication.

We are switching from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams. Never heard of it? Yeah, me neither until now.

I am just learning about this new software and how to use it, but so far I am not all that impressed. It seems to have taken the social media approach to business communication. Teams doesn’t integrate Outlook with it, so not only do I have to have Teams open but I also have to have a separate program open for my calendar and email. How is that really streamlining things? It’s not. At least not yet.

Guess you could say I am not feeling much like a Teams player…

**Thank you, thank you…I’ll be here all week…**

Do your job

man sitting on black leather padded chair

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The job I have is to help people with the software they use every day. I help them extract data from the software and help then fix issues when it doesn’t work correctly.

What I don’t like doing is their jobs for them.

We often get requests that are a are a regular function of their job, something they should know how to do after years of working at the job. Yes, there are those who are new to the position so I can understand asking for help at that point.

However, there are lots of people who call us on a regular basis to help them get data from the system they should have learned how to do by now. They just refuse to figure it out.

“Oh, it’s just easier if you do it.” 

“I know it is accurate when you do it.” Um, no, not necessarily. It’s your data. We don’t know if it is accurate. We just tell you what we see.

“It takes too much time to learn this stuff.”

Good grief…just freaking do your job.


Anyone else out there tired of doing someone else’s job? What is it and why do you do it?