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What is so difficult about following directions? Was this not a focus of testing in elementary school where the teacher made you sit with your hands crossed on your desk while she read a ten minute explanation of how to fill in the little bubbles and turn the pages…as if bubble filling and page turning was really that difficult. Perhaps it is our focus on speed and instant access that causes people to “skip” the introductions, bypass the instructions and dive head first into stupid.

Sometimes it is the simplest “direction”. For example, anyone that calls me…and probably you too…could hear ” I am not available to take your call…Please leave a message after the beep.” Yet how many actually leave a message? Better yet, how many proceed prior to the beep only to repeat themselves after the beep?

The irony is that the ones that don’t leave messages often get frustrated with me because I don’t return their calls. Well, how the heck am I supposed to know you called if you don’t leave a message? And more importantly, if it was not important enough for you to leave a message, then it is not important enough for me to call right back. Follow Directions!

And when I order a small (or Tall if I am in Starbucks) soy, hot chocolate with hazelnut, no whip cream and no foam, don’t get pissed at me when I return the cup that is half full with foam or that I see you mistakenly making with whole milk. Follow Directions!

If I say call me after 6:00 because I will be busy and won’t have time to focus on you until then, don’t get bothered when you call at 5:00 and I am abrupt and have no time for you. Follow Directions!

If we are driving, and you have directions which you pulled from Mapquest, Yahoo Maps, Google maps, or a local map, why do you need me to tell you where to turn? Follow the Damn Directions!

When I tell you to go north on hwy 101 and you, in your brilliance, ignore the signs directing you north instead to go south, don’t call me to ask what to do next. You should have followed my directions in the first place. Now you need to reach back into your elementary school lesson of opposites and figure that one out yourself lest you look like even more of a fool. Turn around, and resume Following Original Directions.

When you buy a chair that needs assembly, don’t try to put it together by looking at the picture. It comes with directions for a reason, pull them out, get all necessary tools (as it says) and yes, FOLLOW the DIRECTIONS…or warn me prior to sitting in that chair.

However, when you receive a lovely, touching, inspirational poem forwarded by email through a line of people you don’t know, don’t follow the directions.

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