i shoulda gotten that gig back when, damn it

one of the jobs i applied for several times before landing my current role almost fifteen years ago was “technical writer”…

…which i will fully admit i am not terribly aware of the definition of up to this day, but i’ve always assumed it was writing instruction manuals or something. and man, could subaru have used my help!

so, the other day i was taxed with programming the garage door opener on one. if you look in the manual, in the index section in the back, there’s no listing for it. but i KNEW it was there because we’d done it before, and if i remembered correctly, it wasn’t a very long-winded process. i dug through the manual and found the listing, and went through the three steps. easy breezy. then i did it again for the second door. easy again, but when we went to test the first one it didn’t work. so i programmed the first one again, but now the second one didn’t work.

this was all being done because an older friend of the family had just had her door motors replaced and so now they weren’t working anymore. i noticed there was a note saying if there were problems getting the thing to continuously work the openers might have a “rolling codes” setup, which i’m assuming means the code switches periodically so people can’t use a scanner to capture it and take over the door.

(watch the bit of 2000 cinematic fun that is gone in 60 seconds for more info)

so i went through the extra steps to program for a “rolling code” and the first one worked again, but not the second. we used this as the ‘experiment’, because if the first continued to work then my theory was the extra steps were needed, so we gave it a week.

the following week she had me program her ford, which went seamlessly, and required no extra steps, but we just chalked it up to it being a totally different vehicle.

then we started in on the subaru but i turned to the wrong page in the manual and ended up on the “how to erase all codes” section which taught you how to blank the memory in case you were selling the vehicle. there was one step. and it was the FIRST step in the “how to program” section. you then flip through and find out there’s a “how to edit” section, which is what you use to a second or third code, or to change a preexisting code. this is NOT mentioned in the initial “how to program” or i woulda known every time i was doing that step one i was erasing everything else!

see, if I had written the manual, that would have been the first thing mentioned, damn it!

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