If You Can Read This, It’s No Help

True story:  The ne’er-do-well 20-something son fucks up again and finds himself back living with his mom.  Nobody is happy at this arrangement.  One day she comes home from work and he has a full dinner ready for them both.  Astonished — not once in his entire life had he prepared anything more complicated to eat than a PBJ — she is further stunned by the quality of the meal.

“When did you learn to cook?” she asks him.

He shoots her a withering look, and gestures at her shelf of cook books.  “If you can read, you can cook,” he says.

That lesson has stayed with me for a long time because over the years, I have concluded it’s So. Fucking. Wrong.  Not because I can’t read — I can, quite well — but because what’s written is usually incomplete, misleading, ambiguous, and often wrong.  Sure I can read, but other people can’t write.

The best example of this is on-line instructions.  It happened to me again on Sunday, costing me about 6 hours and a pint of rank bile.  I’ll make it brief:

I’m working for a non-profit organization about to present a gigantic show at Parker Playhouse called Rhythms of Africa.  We just got our 501(c)(3), and want to offer patrons and audience members an opportunity to provide support.

On its self-promotional website, Paypal  tells me I can install a DONATE NOW button on my facebook page.  So I create a facebook page for the non-profit, and go through the steps.  It’s quick, easy, and clear.  And it doesn’t work.

So pissed off, I call.  This is not quick, easy, and clear.  After a long while I learn that in fact while you can put the DONATE NOW button there, it won’t work without an additional application for which I will pay every time somebody donates.  Why didn’t you state that on the same page that you announced the service to begin with? I fume.  I don’t get a satisfactory answer, unless hearing some zombie tell me that I’m not the first one to complain about this is supposed to be soothing.

But wait, there’s more!  I figure I’ll go for the app because it tells me I can try it out for FREE!  And I only need it for a brief while until we get our web site built anyway.  But I get error messages from PayPal: somehow, without ever having made so much as a single transaction, I’ve exceeded the site’s “Send” limits.  So I call again…..

…..Only to learn that there’s a way around the DONATE NOW button’s limitations if I select the link option instead of the button option.  MORE information that isn’t provided on-site where people go to learn how to do this.  As for the error message, well, that’s mysterious but if I take a screen shot and send it to tech support blah bla urk urk ooga ooga.

So I try the link option but it has the same fucking problem as the button option: it appears as just another entry on the wall, which means it disappears down the screen as more posts appear.  I need it as a permanent part of the site.  This can’t be done!  It’s fucking worthless!

What s steaming pot of shit.  I’m still nowhere and half the day is shot.  Three people have given me three different stories, and the web site is a pack of lies.  Even though I can read, I can’t cook — turns out there’s no gas line to this oven.

Can anybody out there help me?  I have about a week.

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2 Responses to If You Can Read This, It’s No Help

  1. The Real World says:

    Nope. Nobody out here can help you.

  2. Joe Balls says:

    Can’t help you, sorry. I only use Paypal from the consumer end and it works great. Thanks for leaving the picture up for an extra day, though.

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