Jenny’s Wild User Guide Tirade


!@$#%! #42! @#$%$! &^53!!

The expletives noted above are the nicest thing I can say about the user guide I read today.  An hour of my life gone.  Why? Because the user guide was incomplete.  Oh the horror of it all!

I could have used the hour in question to eat ice cream, do volunteer work, knit badly, play my guitar even more badly, plant flowers or read a sweet book.  Instead I wasted the hour wandering aimlessly around in a user guide thinking the answer I sought was hiding in there somewhere.

It all started when the “Status” of my web application document transmission was “Not Detect Four”.  Hmmmmmm.  This status left me with only questions.  I really had no idea what this status meant, so I gravitated toward the beacon of false hope:  the pretty blue user guide link.

I was giddy with delight when the user guide actually opened.  Within it I found an entire section dedicated to “Document Status”.  A detailed list of each document status and the definition of each one was neatly aligned within a gradient table.   Five different status scenarios were listed but was the status of “Not Detect Four” listed? Of course not.  Do you know why? Because some little weirdo maniac who wrote the user guide years ago intentionally left our the status of “Not Detect Four” in a sick attempt at driving everyone in the future mad.  Success.

After all these years of writing applications, creating user documentation and using applications, I believe I have completely misunderstood the true meaning of the user guide.  I was under the impression the user guide was the end all be all of an application.  This is an incorrect assumption on my part and I have corrected my internal definition of the user guide to mean a nice fluff piece about any random event occurring in space and time within the boundaries of our universe.

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