I need a manual, too; however, I may be able to take an educated guess at some of your problems.
To get it to work (after trouble-shooting for battery issues, etc.), you simply slide the long "button" up and down. There are four settings -- all the way up is "record," then under that is "stop," then "play," and finally at the bottom is "rewind," which it does audibly. The two buttons beneath that are FF and eject (just below FF).
On the other side, there are four switches -- The top one adjusts microphone sensitivity from dictate to conference, the next one is tape speed (higher number means better quality but shorter time on tape), then the VOR on/off switch (voice-operated recording) which would start and stop the recording as you speak into it. Then below those three is simply the "on/off" switch for the whole recorder, so it doesn't accidentally get turned on in your pocket and you unintentionally record something.
On the top appear to be a few input jacks, one for a mic I guess and maybe other is for a speaker or headphones? Then there's the mystery button, that is labeled something like "# | / AFF." I have no idea what it does, but it may be to assign your counter number (counter and reset button on the front face of the machine) to a specific tape, so you can change tapes and return later to your first tape again without losing your place. Just a guess.
Here's some info I found on a seller's website - it served as the basis for some of my guesses above: http://www.martelelectronics.com/p165lp.html