Not long ago, someone skirted technical support and somehow found their way to me—not hard to do, I don’t hide. When I answered the phone, the voice on the other end was irate. He held nothing back as he lambasted me mercilessly. When he finally took a breath, I responded. “While you’re not in the right department, I’ll do my best to help you if you’re willing to have a civil conversation. What is the problem you’re having?”
“I can’t hit the broad side of a barn and don’t know where you make adjustments to sight this thing in!”
“So, you haven’t sighted-in your thermal, correct?”
“No, I haven’t done a da*n thing! I can’t adjust anything.”
“Would you be open to letting me walk you through the process?”
Well, the gentleman took me up on my offer. He steadied, aimed at center mass on his target 50 yards away and fired. His shot left a searing hole in a plywood backer, leaving a heat signature evident through the thermal back on the firing line. I proceeded to walk him through the menu selections and into making the adjustments he was used to seeing from turrets, of course, this time, those changes were digital representations on a display. After a few more shots, he was dialed in and center-punching a hand-warmer.
At the end of it all, he was exceedingly grateful and the experience ended a level of intimidation that nearly ruined his purchase and thermal shooting experience before it had really begun—disappointing, right? I spent a little more time going through menu options and then navigating some quick-access menu items (short-pressing the menu button) like contrast, brightness and zoom, as well as switching between white-hot and black-hot, turning on picture-in-picture and toggling between still, video and recoil-activated-video modes. By the end of the call, he was feeling like a bit of a Pulsar thermal expert.
“Man, thanks so much for helping me. Is there a place I can go to see all of this information again in case I forget something?”
“Yes,” I said. “The manual. It came with your device and you can also download it from our website.”
“Oh, I have it right here.”
“Use that as a resource. I read directly from it to help you sight in.”
Therein lies a problem. Not a terrible one but certainly one worth mentioning. It’s easy to get excited about a new product and perhaps easier to get worked up over a perceived problem, especially when the product costs thousands of dollars and it’s your first high-tech ride into a great unknown. Unfortunately, however, this is when diving into a manual is most beneficial.
It’s worth noting, I’m just as guilty as the gentleman on the phone (by the way, he’s a Pulsar fan now) when it comes to manuals. I’m the son of a father that consistently threw caution to the wind, along with instructions, no matter if he was putting together a Big Wheel or setting up a stereo system. He just threw everything together and if it didn’t work, the troubleshooting began… still without a manual. I take the middle road. I follow instructions pretty loosely on primitive things but hit the books and internet on more complicated matters.
Are you a by-the-book manual reader or is it the first thing you toss out when you rip open a package? Tell us in the comments below.
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