(Not) Following Instructions

I like to think I am a very independently minded person, in that I am willing to go down a different path, if I feel it will work for me. I always have been a little like that. Did what I wanted to do, despite what other people would do. I’d spend my summers reading library books, as well as playing outside with friends. From an early age, I seemed to realis that ‘a little bit of everything’ is a good thing. So I would try new things, as well as doing my favourite things. The problem with trying something new, is that you have to learn the best way to do it, and this can sometimes be where I fall a bit flat.

If I get instructions for something, I tend to skim through and try to pick the bits that I deem the most important. This is, as I have mentioned before, because I am lazy. I don’t want to spend any longer on something than necessary. I like a good ol’ quick fix. Sometimes it works. I do what ever I need done, and there are no problems. However, a lot of the time something doesn’t work. And you’d think I would have learned something over my 30 years of life, on to at least read instructions properly. But I haven’t.

I am sure that everyone has this one character flaw, that means that they do the same thing wrong over and over again. Reading instructions is mine. I seem to think I know what I need to do, before I even glance at the instructions. This seems bizarre, when I am writing it down like this, because if I knew what to do, then why have the instructions? What I think I know, and what I don’t know are two different things. As a person, living in an age where I can Google any question I have from my phone, wherever I am. Information is everywhere. And as such, I think it may make people think they know ‘it all’, when the actually know very little. And I feel this ‘knowlege bravado’ is what makes me rush through instructions and trying to learn. It is something that annoys me, because if I read things properly, it would probably take less time that having to re-read things because of inadequate skimming.

An example of this is that I recently decided to sell my old phone to a phone recycling website, so I can get a bit of cash. Great idea, right? I received a box with instructions on preparing your phone for delivery. The instructions was two sided, which I would have noticed if I had taken my time. I read one side, which showed how to wipe all the data from your mobile phone, and then send it. Which I did? What I had missed was that you also had to remove the device from your online cloud account. I only know this, because I received an email from the company telling me to remove the phone from my account. So I have had to take time tonight, after work, to find my account and remove the device as requested. And the disturbance to my evening, is no-one’s fault but my own.

So learning how to follow instructions needs to be on my to-do list. Not that anything on that list is getting done. Am I the only one who doesn’t read instructions properly?

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