RTFM, another side of the acronym


So today I was on the phone with tech support at a certain marine electronics company (it probably could have been many). After a while, the gravelly voice at the other end and I developed a certain rapport. That’s when I happened to ask about a certain confusion in the product manual, and that’s probably why he gave me a truly honest answer. I’m paraphrasing here, but the gist was:

Man, I haven’t read any of this company’s manuals in over fifteen years. First they develop the specs in xxx (a country) and then the software gets written in yyy (another country), and finally the manual goes together in zzz. In the end it’s not worth a damn! I just push buttons on the unit until I know how it works.”

I got quite a chuckle out of that, and now you know the other side of that old saw, RTFM.

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

2 Responses

  1. Eliboat says:

    My favorite thing about calling electronics tech support is that the first question asked is always, “Have you turned the power to the unit off and then on again?” I know there are some twits out there, but I would like to think that at least 85% of the people calling had gone through that process more than a few times before picking up the phone.

  2. Hey,
    Being a marine support company turn the power on and off again is quite a valid point you wont believe how many problems (espc with pc based nav systems) are solved with “turn it off and on again”

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