Personal Owners' Manuals

I was recently part of a discussion of "personal owners' manuals". Here's mine:

My owner's manual is simple:

Give me something to build or fix, that will make everyone's life better. A home, a car, an IT architecture, a honeydew list, a family, a life together, etc.

Speak to me in plain language, and be willing to accept the same. I did not come with a mind-reading or thought-projecting module installed.

Appreciate my work. If it's good, give me hugs. If something's not right, tell me and I'll try to fix it (discussion/debate may be involved.)

Do not try to get things from me through manipulation, shouting, interruption, belittlement or lies. I will leave eventually, and may bathe you and your works in bad-vibe rays as well.

Let me get enough sleep.

The hugs. Don't forget the hugs.

(For all you guys out there:  Hugs can be replaced by the occasional "attaboy", or slap on the back.  The latter need not, I repeat need not, include a "kick me" sign with tape on it.)

However, my favorite of the bunch was this one:

Ruth Operations Manual

Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of a 1953 model Ruth. To get the most out of your machine we recommend the following simple precautions.

WARNING - Approach with caution: this is a sensitively calibrated instrument and will react badly to jolts, loud noises or sudden movements. Not suitable for children under ten.

MAINTENANCE - As only a few collectors' items remain in circulation, spare parts may not be available. For this reason it is best to let your model rest idle for long periods to recharge and prevent fatigue. Do not be alarmed by clicking, groaning and rumbling noises emanating from your Ruth, this is due to normal wear and tear. A liberal daily application of caffeine, nicotine and <illegal substance> will assist the smooth running of your machine (available from specialist stockists - it may prove necessary to obtain these lubricants overseas to comply with import restrictions in some countries).

REPAIRS - An annual overhaul is required to comply with your warranty and to extend the life of your product. Send the Ruth53 in its original packaging via Concorde business class to our workshop:

Ambassador's Suite
The Dorchester
Park Lane

If you are no longer in possession of the original packaging, enclose your model in layers of silk and cashmere to prevent damage on route.  Routine repairs will normally take 15 working days and will be charged to your credit card.

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