AT On: Reading The Directions

AT On: Reading The Directions

Sarah Rae Smith
Jul 30, 2008

Having had the recent opportunity to assemble a new grill (our old one has been moved 5 times, to 3 different states in 6 years and was ready for retirement!) I wondered how other people went about the process. Does your language get colorful? (Son of a blue belly biscuit eater!) Or do you start kicking anything close to you? (judo kick!) Click through the jump to tell us your thoughts on DIY assembly projects...aka, reading very small print and finding screws that don't exist while trying not to lose your cool, especially at your beloved partner who is just reading the directions as they were given.

Building things via instructions has always been an amusing sport to me. It's like when you were younger and your Grandma bought you the giant set of Legos that actually made something... a castle, a boat, a plane... that kind of stuff.
You would sit down and lay out all the pieces and slowly, with a furrowed brow trudge through the instructions page by page. In the end you usually left out a window, or only gave the draw bridge one pivot piece, but it was all about the fun of playing right?
Well what happens when you are an adult and you are attempting to assemble a product who's directions (although someone was hired to draw them very clearly) make absolutely no sense. And even though you are following them to the letter of the law, you still end up with something that is in the wrong place, or wasn't discussed as you were reading.

This was the case in "The Great Grill Building of 2008." We ran through the instructions and came up short on materials, patience and worst of all... EXTRA parts. Now my husband and I like to consider ourselves relatively competent when it comes to things like this, however the directions for this particular grill (Amana 3-Burner from Target) didn't supply enough information about the assembly. Or rather the information that was given in the instruction booklet was just plain wrong.
So the time that was spent reading the instructions from cover to cover felt wasted in the long run as we just ended up winging it instead. This worked out for the best for all of us as I couldn't tell him he was doing something wrong, and he couldn't tell me I was reading the instructions incorrectly. It now sits beautifully in our kitchen (as it's raining buckets upon buckets outside) to make it's fully functioning debut tomorrow.

When you have an assembly project at hand, do you take time to follow the instructions? Or do you flip through it once, chuck the booklet back in the box and say, "Forget that, hand me a screwdriver wife!?"

Photo by: and Craig Jewell via Flickr.

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