Sorry that you had so many problems. You have to recognize that this is a free system and you are thus on your own to a certain degree. My advice for a "beginner" of OC is to first really get to understand the system before you embark on advanced functions such as rules design. Since the early 90-ties I have worked with most system on the market and I find OC by far to be the most user friendly system on the market and support you get from the user community is far better than that provided by most companies selling commercial systems.
You were lucky to get support from the most advanced and experienced users in the community. My advice is to use Gerben's excellent site and practise and try his many examples to get a better understanding of the system.
Well said Alice !