Thursday, February 18, 2010

R.T.F.M. ?

I just bought a pair of gardening gloves.
Purchases don't get much simpler than that, do they?

When I got them home, the first task was to remove the 2 stout staples holding them together – strong enough to need pliers.
Then I put my hand in, as you would, only to spike it on what turned out to be an electromagnetic anti-theft tag in the form of a strip of wire.
Next attempt came up against a wad of paper.
Not a ball of tissue paper like you find at the end of new shoes, but a many-folded sheet of A4 paper.
Covered both sides in very small print…
The instructions!
For gloves?

Actually, there were less instructions than I at first imagined, as they were repeated in F, GB, D, NL, I, E, P, DK, SF, S & N with only about 13 closely-packed lines for each.
Curious, I did actually read them, just in case I had been missing out, all my life, on how to wear gloves properly.
Well, no.
I think common sense would tell me to avoid putting gloves on very dirty hands.
To throw them away if they have holes.
Not to expect leather gloves to keep me warm if wet.
To keep them somewhere dry & at a reasonable temperature.
But thanks anyway.

There was some valuable information on their rating for abrasion, slicing, tearing, perforation, cold-convection, cold-contact & waterproofing.
But that would have been more useful on the label, than stapled inside the gloves & inaccessible until you get them home, wouldn't it?
I looked & it wasn't.

OK, this whole post, so far, has been just a cheap poke at somebody giving me a bit too much information, and of course I would rather have too much than not enough & I can't really complain about one sheet of paper, so I won't.

Really, the multi-lingual gloves instructions merely kicked me into starting a piece I have had in mind for some time, about the waste of paper in multi-lingual instruction books in general.

I have in front of me, the instructions for my Bosch electric drill.
104 pages.
The English section is 6 ½ pages total…
The rest is the same thing (presumably) in German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Greek & Turkish.

Of course, I do understand the logistical reasons for this.
I can also see that the Bosch book is printed on recycled paper & I am certain they have done their sums & that this is the cheapest solution.
But it is still a waste.
Multiplied by all the stuff being sold everywhere.

And if we all learned Esperanto?

Parting thot: "Let thy speech be short, comprehending much in a few words." - Apocrypha

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