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How I Found the Handbrake (aka Button Pushers vs Manual Readers)

February 12, 2011

A few years ago, my family and I went on holiday together in Australia. On the way to dinner one night, my dad remarked that he couldn’t find the handbrake in the rental car. We went over the usual spots (which was really just me asking, “It’s not there? How about there?” and him replying, “No, I checked!” over and over again). It was weird, but we moved on to a different topic. Whilst chatting I started to ask him about the unfamiliar buttons on the centre console.

“What does this one do?” I would ask whilst simultaneously pressing a button.

About four buttons into my exploration I found the handbrake. Suddenly the car was screeching and swerving and my mother and sister were screaming and swearing. When the car came to a halt, I turned to my dad and said, “Well, I found the handbrake”. This resulted in snickering from my dad and I – which then prompted more yelling from the backseat contingent and some more hee-hee-ing from us. When we had the good sense to finally stop laughing, I got given a piece of my mother and sister’s minds… especially my mother’s.

But hey. I found the handbrake!

The point I’m trying to make here is that I’m a Button Pusher. So here’s my theory…

I believe the world is made up of two types of people: the Button Pushers and the Manual Readers. Say for example that you’re alone in a room and you have to turn on an appliance. You’re unfamiliar with the appliance and there is no one around who can help you. There are buttons down the front of the machine, some of which you may recognise. Beside the machine is a manual for it. Do you read the manual or do you try and figure it out yourself?

Button Pushers figure things out by diving in and figuring things out as they go. Manual Readers, on the other hand, like to do their research before they do anything. Of course in certain situations a Bushon Pusher may actually read a manual or some instructions and in some scenarios a Manual Reader may just wing it, however, by and large, I believe we are either one or the other.

I am a Button Presser. Daughter of my dad, also a Button Presser. Much to the chagrin of my mother, a Manual Reader.

There are people who are hard to recognise as one or the other because they tend to rely so frequently on others for advice and instruction. I call them Followers. They don’t seek out information for themselves, but instead rely on what other people tell them. Sometimes they do this because they feel a bit insecure and feel that others know best. Some just feel more comfortable obtaining instruction/information from another person. Others I think are just plain slack. When push comes to shove though, Followers will fall into either one of the two categories.

It’s kind of like fight or flight with a third option for the indecisive.

I do not always react like a Button Presser. Sometimes I really like doing research. Sometimes I rely on friends or family members whom I trust and believe to be specialists in a particular area. Sometimes I plan things to within an inch of their existence (however, this is generally a result of me procrastinating to be honest). I do like figuring things out on my own though and I do love pressing buttons. It’s also how and why things like this or this end up happening.





2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 18, 2011 00:06

    I always get a nasty tinge of defeat when reaching for the manual is the only avenue left. Long live a healthy sense of exploration!!!!!!!!

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