C ONSUMER DOCUMENTS Warranties Product Information Written Contracts Workplace and Public Documents Other Information Technical Directions
W ARRANTY A guarantee offered by a manufacturer that a product is well made and that the manufacturer will repair or replace any defective parts (parts that fail). Usually limited by a time frame (often, one year from the date the item was purchased). Problems that occur because of accidents or are out of manager’s control are not generally covered. (Don’t expect the manufacturer to replace your alarm clock after you drop it down the stairs!) Some manufacturers and stores offer extended warranties for an additional fee which may include free repairs even if it is not a manufacturer defect.
W ARRANTY -R EADING T IPS Read the entire document Read the small text (known as “the fine print”) Pay special attention to tricky and legal wording. Bold, italicized, and words in all capitals are important and should be read very carefully
P RODUCT I NFORMATION Many things you buy are accompanied by information describing the product. Machines and electronic devices typically come with a booklet that lists the guidelines for use. They may include instructions for assembly. They may also suggest requirements such as storage temperature, voltage needed, safety precautions, and so on.
P RODUCT I NFORMATION -R EADING T IPS Thoroughly read the product information before using product. Pay special attention to safety precautions. Check for special supplies/equipment needed for use. (If you don’t put batteries in the remote you may not get much use out of the TV.)
W RITTEN C ONTRACT Legally binding agreement between people and/or businesses Is a record used by both parties to hold one another accountable for the things they have promised to do. Ex: amount of money a company has agreed to pay an employee for her work, the services one company has agreed to provide to an individual or to another company
W RITTEN C ONTRACTS -R EADING T IPS Be sure you are clear as to what you are agreeing to. Without a contract that proves the terms of an agreement you may have no proof of what was agreed to. Ex. You agreed to work at Jed’s Bike Shop for $7.50 an hour and you would receive a free bike at the end of 6 months. You work for the 6 months and ask for your free bike and the owner says, “Free bike? Are you crazy? I’m not giving you a free bike! Now get back to work!
W ORKPLACE AND P UBLIC D OCUMENTS Documents found in a workplace or produced by public agencies (such as local, state, and national governments) May use information from these kinds of documents to understand and explain situations or decisions and to solve problems. Include: employee handbooks containing rules and instructions workers must follow, manuals for using office equipment, and signs and posters informing workers or their rights and important procedures (such as what to do in the event of an injury or emergency)
W ORKPLACE AND P UBLIC D OCUMENTS -T IPS Not exactly contracts but employers can fine or fire you for not following these instructions Unless they contradict the law, you must follow them if you work for the company
O THER I NFORMATION Newspapers Magazines Television Books Movies Internet
O THER I NFORMATION -T IPS Not all information is put out there for you to learn: loads of what you read on the internet, in newspapers, and in magazines is designed to sell you something or get your support. The internet has thousands of reliable, well- researched, trustworthy information…but it’s a jungle out there! Only believe what a website says if they credit their information to a reliable source. School, library, or government websites run by educational companies like PBS or National Geographic are often trustworthy. Be aware and be careful about what you read, see, and believe.
T ECHNICAL D IRECTIONS Instruction manual or user’s guide How to’s, tutorials Instructional manual may include some of the following features Illustrations of the assembled item Tools required for the job Parts required for the job Diagram showing the sequence of the steps to be taken Safety warnings
T ECHNICAL D IRECTIONS -T IPS FOR R EADING Be patient Follow the steps one-by-one, don’t jump ahead or skip a step Don’t rely on only text or illustrations; both are usually needed to complete the task Following the steps in a thorough, deliberate manner usually takes less time than performing the steps incorrectly and then having to start over. Realize that not all instructions are perfect. Pay attention and be alert so you will notice if important details are missing.