Ralf Weiser's Blog – Shake Up Your Snow Globe! ©

Stop doing, shake your globe, ponder, dream, start reaching your full potential – live on purpose and do it with a smile!

Men and manuals

I have to admit that I am probably the stereotypical man when it comes to reading manuals before using or assembling anything:  Men read them by a vast majority only when absolutely nothing else works anymore.  That is so much different with women and I have observed this with painstaking detail.  Even if the manual is read, it must actually be read and understood, which is another caveat my testosterone laden gender on average is not so great at either.

Take my riding mower for instance.  I did not like the high idling speed and I found the governor rod that was held in place with this little clamp that connected to a spindle going towards the inside of the engine.  I cranked up the engine and then whipped out the good old Allen-wrench and before I could even think clearly the engine raced off to light speed.  Oh my, I thought and switched off the engine as fast as I could.  It turned out that I had not been fast enough.

Once I put the little governor linkage back in place I started up the engine and the darn thing would no longer hold any speed and instead race off into Formula 1 speed range.  Later that night I downloaded the engine manual and there it was in plain simple English:  “Never, ever do this with the engine running as you may damage the governor fly weights.”

Then I downloaded the engine repair manual (since I did not want to do any more damage) and a week later I proved the manual right.  The fly weights had literally flown off their little shaft.  I believe that this is not the reason Nothing that another 110 Dollars later plus shipping as well as another 2-3 weeks in garage in the midst of winter could not fix.

By contrast I observed how something like this can work completely differently.  While my mother-in-law was in the hospital for her cancer treatment, one night the liquid infusion pump gave up its ghost and another one had to be rolled in.  The really nice veteran nurse grabbed another one and tried starting it.  The liquid would just not start flowing.  She called in another nurse and before I knew what happened they had the operating manual out.  One nurse read the troubleshooting steps aloud, step-by-step.  In less than 5 minutes this darn thing was working properly and I sat down in utter amazement.  I had offered my help and had been thinking about how to disassemble part of this pump.  In hindsight I must admit that they had not asked for my “help”.

Lesson learned?  Maybe.  I pick my battles so much smarter now.  It is a matter of pride and also liking the adventure just to see what happens.  How does this work for you?


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