Do you follow instructions?
  • I wonder how important people think it is to follow instructions? Do you make a habit of reading the instructions before you do something?

    For example, say you are preparing a frozen dinner, the kind you microwave. Well, sometimes they have special instructions. Heat for so many minutes, remove plastic, stir, and continue heating for so long, etc. Do you bother to follow the instructions precisely or do you just throw it in there and nuke it til it's hot?

    Even something simple, like boxed mac-n-cheese. Everyone knows how to make that. Still, it has instructions printed on the side of the box. Even though I've made it a hundred times, I still read the intructions. I guess it is just a habit but I always read the instructions before I start.

    How about when it comes to video games? Do you bother to read the instruction booklet before you play the game? Or do you just pop it in there and learn on the fly? Even if it means you end up missing something or getting killed unnecessarily?

    Some people just don't care. They seem to think they know it all. Even when there are clear instructions, they simply ignore them and do what they want. If the time was taken to put instructions on something, it usually means they should be followed.

    I've even seen people ignore medication instructions because they think they know better. Something like that could get you sick or even dead. :eek:

    So, my question is... how important are instructions to you? If you already know how to do something (or think you do), do you bother to read and follow the instructions?
  • I never read directions. I always try to figure whatever it is out before I will even think about looking at the instructions. I don't know why but thats just how I am.

    I don't disregard medication instructions though, I figure they are important enough to pay attention to, lol.
  • Gaming instructions? Nah! Waste of paper. It's more fun playing the game not knowing what you can do & when you do get something it's an "Oooooo" factor.

    Paint - errrrr does what it says on the tin. It's paint, you paint with it not use it for coffee whitener.

    Medication - I like to know the side effects of what I'm taking due to my job. I can't use machinery if I'm likely to fall asleep from it.

    D.I.Y. flat pack stuff - never but I do have a good understanding of German & Japanese from the instructions of many time looking for Pin C that has to slot into hole F. I've put up many of these flat pack things to know that there all 99% the same no matter what you buy. But saying that, the last time I bought a cabinet it turned out to be a coffee table????

    Microwave food - errrr frozen full power for 8mins, Chilled 5mins medium/full power and thats for everything!!!
  • Great thread Charge.

    I guess I am somewere in the middle.
    By nature I don't read instructions at all, I never been one of them "paint-by-numbers" personalities.
    But since that strategy has backfired numerous times I am nowadays willing to go through the instructions for things that have the potential of blowing up in my face. Bookshlefs with one shelf inside out, charcoal-crispy microwave dinners and shrunken clothes are all examples of non exsisting instruction reading.

    When it comes to other stuff, like cooking, I don't follow instructions even though I read them. I get a better result improvising most of the dish.

    And finally, when it comes to games, and finding directions, and getting dressed (read buying fashionable clothes) and such I follow my heart and instincts. Those are the ones I list rather instictively but in any matter, if I feel I have an idea of what to do I will go with my own mind rather than following instructions.
  • Interesting thread you have here Chris, especially considering men don't usually ask for directions.:p

    Do I follow directions? Yes. I figure the directions were written for a reason and as long as I am the ignorant one, I should probably take into consideration what directions request. However, I do have a few exceptions.

    In games, I will just slip the game in and do the old trial and error type thing with how to play. I mostly do this in fighting games though simply because they have such elaborate combos that I don't feel like looking up. As far as other games though, in my opinion it can't be too hard. I mean, up with almost always mean up and down will almost always mean down, as will side to side.

    In cooking, I used to not follow directions simply because I had a really old microwave which would have to microwave for 5 minutes to get the same result that I might get by microwaving for 1 minute now. Now, I follow instructions much more closely. Even if it comes to stir, recover, heat, stir again, let sit for x amount of time...for reasons already stated in my first paragraph.

    Medication instructions I follow down to a T. I'm very cautious with medicene simply because I don't want to overdose. When I was really awfully sick a few weeks back I had some cough syrup that was supposed to be taken once every 8 hours. So, once every eight hours (unless I was sleeping) I took the exact amount everytime. Medication for me has always been about following instructions. Once again, I'm ignorant when it comes to meds and as long as that's true, I had best trust what the more experienced have to say.

    What I don't understand is that people whom don't follow instructions have to have their mistakes pasted on a bottle in disclaimers. Like, the whole thing about blow drying your hair while sleeping.:eek:
  • With work i have to follow instructions to the letter or i get the sack. We have SOP's (Standard Operating Procedures) for every job that we do and these have to be followed.
    You would be suprised how many people dont even bother to read the instructions on their medication label, When i used to work at Salters Pharmacy we had a lady who was coming in every week complaining of fatigue and drowsiness - it was only when we sat her down and went through all her meds with her that we found she was taking her sleeping tablets in the morning!
    Its really important - not just to read the dose of the medication but the cautions too. These (in the UK) are printed onto the label that we stick onto the box.

    The best one is metronidazole - an antibiotic - usually given by the dentist and is one of two antibiotics that you CANNOT drink alcohol with.

    Patient Information Leaflets are the worst inventions ever. These are the leaflets inside the box that tell you what it is for, who made it and the side effects and stuff. You always get little old ladies who read these and then get every side effect going just because they read the leaflets. I think people can be too informed!!

    With most other things i just get in with it. Games i just take them out the box and play! - The only time i read them is if we buy them and then go out for lunch while shopping or in the car on the way home i may have a flick through.

    Microwave meals!!?? Nuke them - It really cant make them taste anyworse! - Maybe reading cooking instructions would halt the Janey Related Cooking mishaps.........
  • Looks like I'm in the minority here as i tend to have a quick skim of the instructions before playing games. I like to know which button does what when I first start and have a bit of an idea about certain items that may be of importance in the game.

    When it comes to cooking the frozen/ microwaveable meals i usually check the instructions to be sure of how long they should take. I'd just as soon not give them too much time and make the chicken about the same consistency as a car tire. :p
  • As with most things in life, one formula doesn't cover off everything. Do you need to read up on defrosting food? You can probably wing it. Plug in a game and start playing right away? I'm sure we're all pretty ccompetent in that area, although I also like to give game instruction a quick view mostly to scan out the controls. When we get meds from the drug store they always go over the main points before letting you purchase them but as we get older and wiser? we tend to get less able to take direction from others. Good to read those instructions. Also because memory isn't quite as reliable as cold hard facts. Reading instructions for some things can also save you time. I decided to start putting together our first barbeque straight out of the box. Got halfway into it and had disassemble and rebuild. Would've done it in one shot if had been following directions.
  • First off I rarely if ever eat microwavable meals, I would sooner eat the box it came in. Probably tastes better and quicker too!
    Games I always read the instructions, first I put the game in watch the intro movie then read the instructions, front to back.
    Mechanical stuff I wing it, the instructions are there and only get looked at if something isn't right.
    I'm rarely on meds so those I follow somewhat closely, I mean if it is an hour before I am supposed to take a dose and I want to go to bed I'll just take it. My Buckley's (cough medicine) I just take a good swig from the bottle.