Somewhere, somehow, we as a society have forgotten how to think for ourselves.
Instruction manuals were created to inform the consumer how the inventor intended the item to be utilized and how to accomplish that task. Over time, a product that becomes widely used no longer depends on a manual to explain its purpose. It’s just known. A good example of this would be the more popular form of transportation, the automobile.
Nobody reads automobile manuals. Everyone knows how to operate one. Now, that isn’t to say everyone can operate one safely or effectively, but if you place someone in a car and give them the keys, they’re sure to be able to figure out how to make the car work. The radio is in the right spot, the steering wheel is always in the same location. Turn signals are on the side of the steering column. Standard, standard, standard features. Nobody reaches for the manual.
Computers HAVE NOT YET REACHED THAT LEVEL OF WIDE KNOWLEDGE. And the problem is that there ISN”T a manual. Why, after all, would a computer company ship a manual that would have to be as thick as a phone book to convey how the invented item is to be used? That would be cost prohibitive, especially when the very computer that is being purchased is an information portal to the world which contains all and every manual one could ever think of.
So why is it then that people who own or use computers don’t rely on their computer to help them solve problems with their computer?
Nobody calls Ford to ask them how to operate a cigarette lighter, only to repair it. Nobody calls Mercedes to ask them how to make the car go forward, they only call to have the transmission fixed.
Since the PC was introduced, there has always been a manual. Every operating system has a manual. Every piece of software has a manual. EVERYTHING IS EXPLAINED IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER. Whether it’s through a help file or through the discoveries of the computer power user, the problems you are experiencing if you are experiencing them are a product of someone’s design, which means you are not the only person who has encountered a given issue.
When something isn’t operating as it should, or as you expect it, you have to first determine if the way you’re accustomed to is in fact the way it was designed to work, then you have to come to terms with the way it was designed and modify your habits. If you are already using it the way it was designed and you have a problem, you’re probably not the first. Get off your ass and look it up. The computer is only as smart as the person sitting in front of it.
There are a few codes we have in the computer industry:
ID10T: an id10t error, if you haven’t figured it out by now, is an IDIOT error.
PEBKAC: Person exists between keyboard and computer
RTFM: Read the F*&$ing manual.
If you are in a business where your job depends on your knowledge of the computer you use to do your job and you strive for excellence, then you have a responsibility first to yourself to improve your knowledge so you can do a better job for your employer and perhaps break away from the mundane, repetitive existence that you have found yourself stuck in.
You can’t become what you need to be by remaining what you are.