A sense of direction doesn’t come naturally for some people. I know this, because I’m one of them.
“You really get torqued around don’t you?” my business partner, Tami, said the other day when we came out of the hotel elevator and I went the wrong way again.
“Yes,” I replied. “I really do.”
We were on a work trip at the time, and she was surprised at just how mixed up I could get. My husband, on the other hand, knows all too well.
Even though I was born in Vancouver and lived there until the age of 32, he knew I’d get lost on this trip and set up a GPS for us to use. With the addresses of where we had to go already programmed in, all I had to do was listen and follow directions. Turns out listening isn’t really my strong suit either.
There were many times when Gina — that was the nickname Tami and I gave the GPS — would give instructions, but we were gabbing away so much we’d miss the turn altogether. And then we’d hear her say “re-calculating” and she’d sweetly put us back in the right direction.
I think Gina got fed up with us one morning because she stopped talking altogether. My partner had to poke her several times to wake her up, and by then we had gone in the wrong direction such a distance that we were late for an appointment. We tried to pay more attention to her on our trip after that, but managed to still get lost a few more times. We also forgot to charge her battery on another occasion.
But apart from those mishaps having her assistance was incredible and I can’t believe I’ve lived this long without it. She certainly would have come in handy when I was a Vancouver cabbie 25 years ago.
At the time I thought driving a taxi would teach me a sense of direction. What it taught me was how to read maps and ask my passengers which direction Northeast was. It also taught me that working two full time jobs at the same time wasn’t a good idea — especially since one of my jobs required me to stay awake and be alert behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.
My cab driving days lasted six months, and luckily no one was permanently lost or hurt under my care. I look back on those days of exhaustion and I’m so grateful for that. Now when I get in a cab I ask the driver if they know where we’re going, and talk to them the entire time so they don’t nod off like I used to. And now that I’ll be carrying this GPS around in my purse, I’ll be able to help them out with directions if they ever need them.
If only I could get Gina to direct me through life and tell me the turns to take to reach my desired destination. I’d promise to listen to her instructions, stay awake for the trip and keep her charged up so she’d never lose power.