Adventures & Insights

One man's adventures in the physical and intellectual worlds…

I’d Never Make It As A Navman.

If you’re ever in a hurry to get somewhere – do NOT ask me for directions. In the improbable event that I’m reborn as a piece of technology, Navman will not want to have a bar of me. I try to be helpful, but often find that my internal monologue forces me to complicate my direction-giving by being overly-informative. To everyone’s detriment.

Yesterday while I was waiting for my brother after work, I was approach by a woman who was in a very mild state of puzzlement. Some would say she looked lost. She was seeking the Adoptions Registry Office, which was very close to where I was standing. Unfortunately, her decision to approach me for directions wasn’t the best one she’s ever made. Things went down a little like this:

Lost Woman: “Excuse me, could you please tell me how to get to 110 George St? I’m looking for the Adoptions Registry Office.”

Me: “Oh, sure, 110 George St. Well…”

Internal Monologue: “Self, double-check the big sign on the building you’re standing in front of. Yeah, it’s 111 George St. So you know what that means? 110 George St is right across the road. Quick, tell the woman and she’ll think you’re her hero!”

Me: “… it’s right across the road, it should be that building right there.”

Internal Monologue: “Man, there are a couple of buildings on that side of the street, and she still looks confused. You’d better give her more information, so she can find the place easily!”

Me: “The thing is, there’s no door on the front of the building directly across the road. You have to take a bit of a twist and turn to get to 110 George St; it’s the building NEXT to the Premier’s Building; which is that tall one over there with the door on the front.”

Internal Monologue: “Way to go self! You really made it clear! Although hold on, she still looks confused. You’d better tell her about the Births, Deaths and Marriages Office – because she is looking for Adoptions after all, and they’re all kinda related aren’t they? Because there’s people involved and everything.”

Me: “So if you get to the front door of the Premier’s Office, you’ve gone too far. Just turn right into the alley-looking area beside the building and you’ll be in the right place. The Office of Births, Deaths and Marriages is in the same building so if you find that place, you’ll have no trouble finding the Adoptions Office.”

Internal Monologue: “Self, you are ON FIRE! She surely knows EXACTLY where to go now! Although, you should tell her that the Security Guard in the Premier’s Office will be able to help her if she gets lost. Because we would hate to know that she got lost because she wasn’t too clear about those concise directions you just gave. You should be a Navman in your next life. Think about it.”

Me: “So that’s all you need to do. Go across the road, down to the left but not too far. Then turn right into the alleyway before the Premier’s Office and look for the Office of Births, Deaths and Marriages. The Adoptions Office is right there. Of course, if you have any trouble, the Security Guy on the desk at the Premier’s Office will be able to tell you where it is.”

Internal Monologue: “Oh man, I think you just blew her mind. She looks so very confused. Why did you say all that? That’s too much information.”

Me: “I just gave her directions, like you told me to!”

Internal Monologue: “Forget what I said about you being a Navman. I’m outta here.”

Lost Woman: “Um, thanks.”

I think that by the time I was done giving her directions, she didn’t even know WHY she was going, let alone WHERE.

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4 responses to “I’d Never Make It As A Navman.

  1. bearyweather November 27, 2010 at 12:45 am

    What an endearing thought process you have. In a way, you think like a computer programmer following two rules … (kiss) keep it simple stupid and yet plan for the worst case scenario. What is great about a computer is that that kind of thinking is built in (just in case) and the user only gets what they really need, when they need it … they don’t get the entire thought process.
    Therefore, think of it this way, you have the direction thinking basics working great, you just have to refine and limit your output. Or, you could just relax and act naturally … personally, if I was lost, I would prefer the extra information .. it is warm and human. ;0)

  2. Megan November 26, 2010 at 12:00 am

    LOL
    I could just imagine a GPS saying something like that, and once you’ve gone past your destination it sheepishly adds a comment about being sorry for confusing you and maybe using a paper map would have been better.

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