Thursday, October 10, 2013

Can't Get There From Here

Philomath is where I'll go....

If you were — or are — a fan of REM from the 1980s you'll understand that reference. This is actually a completely random smart phone story, inspired by our HR folks at work, who posed the question "What makes your smart phone not so smart?" on the bulletin board in the kitchen. (They periodically post entertaining questions like this at the office, and the answers can be amusing.) If you own a smart phone, I daresay you have almost certainly had the same or similar experience.

I get out on the road pretty frequently, especially to go geocaching, so I tend to rely on my phone's maps to get me to my destination. I only occasionally use the turn-by-turn navigation feature, though, because it's been known to give me the business. Witness the following account:

Ms. B. and I are heading to a wine bar in High Point. I follow the phone's directions for a ways, but I know a road less traveled, so I take it instead. Most of the time, the little woman inside the phone understands this and reroutes me accordingly, but sometimes she's more stubborn than the lost old man who refuses to stop and ask for directions. As I make my way toward High Point, she instructs me to make a U-turn and head back to Wendover Avenue East. I refuse to do this thing because I too can be stubborn. I turn onto Highway 68 South, now heading directly toward said wine bar, and phone lady is urging me to make a U-turn, head back to Wendover Avenue East, and get on Penny Road heading south. I will not.

After a few minutes, we see our destination ahead and turn into the parking lot. Lady is kind of mad at me now, repeating her directions without even pausing to breathe. I couldn't do it; I'd pass out.

We get out of the car and go inside to drink some wine as, all the while, lady in phone threatens, cajoles, and pleads for me to exit the parking lot, return to Wendover Avenue, and head to the wine bar the way she wants me to. This kind of perseverance is admirable in its way, I suppose, and I would have let her go on until I got back home except she was draining my phone battery.

My newer phone is usually less insistent when I decide to go my own way. I do prefer this, but sometimes I miss the old bitch.

1 comment:

James Robert Smith said...

I would SO love to be able to program the dialog into one of these devices.