April 22, 2009

Just In Case...

...you happen to be giving directions to someone, please keep in mind that you are probably giving that someone directions because he or she isn't familiar with that part of town. And, in that case, you should probably mention any odd-looking intersection that aren't pretty close to the standard + shape. For example, if there is an intersection which happens to be of a shape where the road into the intersection leads the driver into the right hand turn lane, and the straight/left-turn lane doesn't really seem to lead to a 'straight' option (unless you count a dirt road, which might be a driveway), but rather only a left-turn option is clear. So the driver turns right. Should the driver then call you because the driver finds him- or herself in the middle of nowhere with no helpful street signs or 'civilization: 2 miles' type signs and in a slight panic because he or she has only twenty minutes to get back to work, your response should not be "I have no idea, have you thought about turning around?". Because, truly, if you feel comfortable enough to give someone directions (after taking away their GPS system...hypothetically, of course), you ought to know everything that person might encounter. If he or she reached a traffic light and turned right, after going straight through the first traffic light, you ought to know where he or she is. You certainly shouldn't have to suggest that the driver retrace his or her steps as your first suggestion. But, say the driver does, and the driver manages to find the way back to the traffic light in question and describes it for you, again, and asks you to turn left or right, you should again be able to give a concrete answer. You should not say "I really don't have any idea where you are." This may cause the driver to become infuriated and hang up on you, causing the driver to have to fend for him- or herself in an unfamiliar part of town. You should be paying enough attention, and have been familiar enough with the route you gave the driver to know where he or she is. Really, you should. It's only nice. And, certainly, when the driver does manage to find his or her own way after ignoring your phone calls (you've already been no help, why would you be able to help now?), and then does take pity on you and answer the phone, you shouldn't demand an explanation of how the driver found his or her way. If the driver should happen to humor you, I really, truly, and with everything I have, advise against saying "Oohhh! Now I know where you were! Well, I could have told you an easier way to get back, but that works. I wish you'd been more clear." Because that might really piss the driver off.

*Disclaimer: This is a hypothetical situation. Any resemblance it has to an actual event is not accidental. Though it may seem to be loosely based an an incident that may or may not have happened on my lunch hour today due to certain instructions given to me by my husband, I can assure you that it is purely a situation of my own imagination. Thank you.


Stephanie said...

That? Was flipping hilarious. Of course, it's probably funnier when it's not your life.

Glad you finally found your way; sorry you had to learn the hard way that men can be, well? Essentially useless in practical matters. ;)

Traceytreasure said...

I'm always tempted to mess with people and give them the wrong directions. I think that's bad. Since I'm a horrible direction giver, I usually have people follow me if I'm out and going the way that they want to go. I just tell them when I'm going to turn off the road and where they should keep going.

My husband does that too, with the lyrics. He's always singing and it drives me nuts because I always have a song I want stuck in my head.