On the way to work yesterday somebody asked me for directions. I hate when people ask me for directions. I know nothing about my geography. Nothing. I don’t know where Loot Street is. Or Butterball Industrial Park. Or even which way is left. So don’t ask me where somewhere is. And when I do stammer my way through some half arsed directions, don’t let your eyes glaze over. Or cut me off midway through when you realise I’m an idiot, because you stopped me.
And why even ask for directions in this day and age? Ask SatNav, Google Earth or Cortina. Don’t stop me on my bike. I know nothing and you’ve almost certainly got a device in your pocket that can tell you to the millimetre where you should be going.
So yesterday morning I was flagged down by a man in a lorry asking the way to Business Unit 5t. At least I think that’s what he was asking, since not only was he a classic low talker, but he’d also left his engine running to drown out much of what he was saying. Ironically, on the sixth attempt at asking I realised I did actually know where he wanted to go. “Oh, hang on, I actually know this one! It’s over there,” I said excitedly. “OVER THERE!” I repeated, and pointed to … well, over there.
“JUST FOLLOW THIS ROAD, TURN LEFT, AND YOU’RE THERE!”
Nothing. Blank face.
“THIS ROAD – FOLLOW IT! THEN LEFT – YOU’RE THERE!”
Maybe a flicker, maybe not. So I shouted it a fifth time. He nodded slowly, thanked me, and drove off in the opposite direction. The definitely Not Over There direction. And that’s another reason I hate giving directions. Even if against all the odds I know and tell them, they won’t listen.