Read the Manual

53 59 4E 54 41 58 20 45 52 52 4F 52
Does obscurity equal intelligence?
Then my computer is a genius.

I phoned support
And their retort
Was, "Read the manual
As your first resort."

My computer has thirteen different manuals.
The number 53 is referred to hundreds of times
None immediately followed by 59.
I've just spent three hours leafing through manuals
Which would take a thousand to read.

I called again
But their refrain,
"Read up on this function"
Left me feeling less sane.

Apparently, I'm using a function
Of a feature
Of an application
On an interface
And an operating system
On this particular hardware configuration,
All at different release levels.
A million levels of detail
Converging on this single question:
"How can I get past this bunch of numbers and get my work done?"
Or, perhaps more important,
"What ever happened to the big picture?"

Persistence paid:
Resistance fades,
And support lets me dictate
The numbers displayed.

"Why, that looks like a bunch of hexadecimal!"
Looks like a bunch of something unspeakable to me, too.
Translation: "SYNTAX ERROR".
So how come it's still Greek to me?

So, without fail,
The endless tail
Gains one more chapter
Of detail.

OK, OK, enough: let techies know this stuff.
I see no reason, hear no rhyme,
And should be working all this time.
Why should I feel so meek because it all seems Greek?
It seems my context sprang a leak
Since being framed in technospeak
Yet, one simple picture of my world is really all I seek.

Copyright © 1996, Reg Harbeck, all rights reserved.

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