Tuesday, April 14, 2009

You Can't Get There From Here

I know that I'm a technophobe and slow to warm up to new electronic gadgets, but seriously, I do not have the right personality or temperament to use a GPS. Yesterday, in addition to printing out Map Quest directions to the colleges we wanted to visited in Boston, we also took Katie's GPS. I was all for this, because the last time I went to Boston (armed only with Map Quest) I got completely turned around and it's a miracle I'm not still circling around the labyrinthine streets there.

Being technology challenged and not at all familiar with the working of the GPS, I asked Katie to put the address of the first college into the GPS. She had a little trouble at first, but eventually she found it. And off we went. All was fine until we got to the turn off for Rt. 93. I always take Rt. 93 when I go to Boston AND the Map Quest directions (which I was using as a backup) said to take Rt. 93. The GPS did NOT like it when I decided to ignore it's advice and take Rt. 93. It told me it was "recalculating" and sent me back the way it wanted me to go. This was very difficult for me. I am a serious control freak and don't like ceding control to anyone, let alone an inanimate object! But, I ignored my feelings of discomfort and decided to abandon Map Quest in favor of technological advancement. What a mistake. When we finally ended up at our destination, I just knew we were not in the right place. We were in a residential cityish area, NOT downtown Boston. So, I'm starting to get a bit flustered, but I stay calm (sort of) and pull into a YMCA and consult a Boston street map that I also happen to have (backup to the Map Quest backup to the GPS). I can't make heads or tails of it so I go into the Y and ask for directions. Imagine my surprise when the lady behind the desk tells me I am NOT, in fact, even in Boston! I'm in the outskirts of Boston in an area called Brighton! Perfect! That's just great! Now I'm completely ready to abandon the GPS and rely solely on (mostly) trusty Map Quest, but I don't have Map Quest directions from Brighton to Boston. OK, deep breaths. Stay calm. The nice lady gives me directions and off I go. When I get to the car, I ask Katie what address EXACTLY did she put in the GPS. She shows me. WHAT!!! There were three different options for 73 Tremont St. in Boston - all with different zip codes. She just choose the first one! Seriously! She didn't think to ask me which one, or question the fact that there were three choices? It was at this point that I started using lots of colorful language and a loud voice. Not pretty at all. We eventually did make it to our intended destination, but not without a few more "recalculations" from the GPS (and a few more colorful outbursts from me). Never again! I can not blindly follow directions given by an electronic device. Especially one programmed by someone other myself. So from now on, Geoff will be taking Katie to any college visits in Boston. Recalculate that!

Image from Google Images

73 comments:

Lucky Wife/Bookaholic said...

We have a GPS whom we call teresa, we think she is a blonde bimbo. She has been very helpful and had led us astray. I have found it is best to have an idea where you are going (or a map) before completely surrendering yourself to the GPS

My New 30 said...

I'm with you Pam and if I had a GPS, which I do not, (but I love gadgets so I would be willing to give a try) it would be use only with both a MapQuest backup AND an actual map! I'm a bit of a control freak too. :)

Mary

Tammy Howard said...

I am the opposite of a control freak, and this sounds like a nightmare to me, too. I like the passenger seat. My husband is always the one in charge of directions, and when I'm traveling solo, I'm usually a nervous wreck.

That being said - once you got there, did the visit go well? Or is that another story for another day?

Pam said...

Bookaholic - Blonde Bimbo, LOL! I'm going to refer to ours a "Soulless Sally" from now on.

30 - Definitely have a backup - preferably more than one.

Tammy - I'm with you. Let hubby be in charge. As for the visit, it went well in the sense that Katie now realizes that she wants to attend a school with a proper campus and lots of school spirit and sense of community. She liked this school and Boston, but this is just not the right environment for her.

Alex the Girl said...

Our family vacations always ended with us getting lost, my mom chewing out my dad, my dad blaming my mom, lots and LOTS of turning around, and finally ending up in some strange place spending the night in some odd motel. GPS? No way, not me, not ever!

I am seriously fearing the college word right now. Fortunately, our daughter wants to attend the local one for her freshman year. Gives us a bit more time.

kel said...

I am awful with directions. I have to use landmarks to get somewhere.. I don't know street names or exits... I'm a mess.

Pam said...

Alex - Your family vacations sound like our family vacations! GPS would be great if it worked perfectly and if I trusted it. An extra year to figure out the whole college thing sounds great!

kel - I like landmarks, too. Not too helpful when you're in an unfamiliar area, however. Btw, one of my all time favorite books is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn as well (read this on your profile) and we are both the Girl in the "black framed" glasses. I have a very similar pair.

Anita said...

Pam, we are kindred spirits, google maps is my friend, I really need a phone with wifi and this option!!! I have a new car and it has a GPS, which I still don't trust. I print out my google map and with the GPS I manage to get there. I have enjoyed the point of interest function, looking for places to eat etc.
I had to laugh, because I would have uttered many an unkind word to my daughter if she had done the same thing...LOL.

Debbie said...

I don't have a GPS for two reasons. The first is that I am too cheap.
The second is that I am just like you. Who does that machine think it is telling me where to go? I'll show it where to go. Yes, it would not be pretty.

Stereos and Souffles said...

I get lost going in a circle, so I always print directions, but GPS, not so much.
New site looks good! Get yourself some Krylon spray paint and get to work on that bench :-)
Otherwise, I might have to travel with paint brush in hand to RI using MapQuest.

P.S. I was born in Warwick, lived in Cranston, but only until I was 2. Haven't been back.

Crystal said...

We have GPS as well. The "RECALCULATING" can get very irritating. I prefer to have the British male voice talking to me, my husband like the American English female voice : ) I just can't get mad at my "Colin Firth" voiced gadget!! I am glad you made it inspite of the recalculations!!!!

Pam said...

Anita - Great idea to get a phone with a Google Maps option. That might have been helpful yesterday. Too bad I hate electronic gadgets!

Debbie - I hear you about taking orders. Not my strong suit. I'm much better at giving orders!

Stereos - Painting my bench is a perfect reason for a long overdue visit to RI. When can I expect you?

Crystal - A soothing male British voice might have helped yesterday, if only slightly. I'll have to see if that is an option on Katie's GPS.

Anonymous said...

Pam....you have me laughing so hard right now. I can picture this whole trip. Ashley and I wouldn't have been talking to each other by the time we arrived at the college.

Ashley has a GPS and I actually find it quite useful.

At least you have made progress....now you know not to look at at city schools so you have eliminated one aspect of your search.

Colleen

Pam said...

Colleen - So happy I could be source of mirth for you today! I'm actually surprised Katie and I were still talking to each other. I think it helped that she had a friend along on this trip. I can only imagine what her friend thinks of Katie's lunatic mother! Oh well. Welcome to the real world!

countryfriedmama said...

As a former resident of the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I have learned not to trust technology when it comes to navigating Boston. GPS, Mapquest, Yahoo Maps are not up to the task of figuring out all of those meandering streets.

Gail said...

Pam -- I got a GPS for Christmas and while I didn't think I'd use it much I actually love it. My Dad has one that he uses all the time EXCEPT in Boston! He said it never works in the Boston because there are too many streets with the same name -- he just uses his Thomas maps.

Pam said...

Country Mama and Gail - NOW you tell me! LOL! I guess I should have known because the GPS is useless in Providence too and Providence is not nearly as complicated as Boston.

Gail - I haven't heard of Thomas maps! I'm on it!

Amber said...

Ha! You are so funny! I don't have GPS either, but I hate listening to them. Didn't know they had the 'Colin Firth' option, so I'll have to make sure I listen to that version every time. That woman drives me crazy!!

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love your blog design. My choices of pictures was the one I have, or the one you're using. Love that one!

Have a great day!

Oh ya, I do drink caffeine free usually, but we'd gone out to dinner, so I had reg. Diet Pepsi. I slept horribly that night!!

Bethany said...

I dislike those GPS systems, too. Once, I asked it to bring me to a McD's so I could get the kiddos I was watching some ice cream. We ended up in a baseball field. Gah!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I have gotten really lost with MQ.

Louise said...

Technology! Who needs it!

Louise said...

PS Like the picture!

Queenie Jeannie said...

LOL!!!! Ohmygosh, I remember this too.....you'll survive, I promise!

Melissa @ Cellulite Investigation said...

I hate that word, "recalculating." Often followed by "make the next available u-turn. So frustrating!!

Mommie Daze (Colleen) said...

My hubby just got GPS for Christmas. He play with it all the time. He even uses it when we go to the grocery store that we know exactly how to get to. The GPS is the most annoying thing ever.

sandy said...

That's hilarious! I don't have GPS, so I rely totally on my map skills. I guess that's probably a good thing!

cat said...

LOL! I though, have learned to listen to the stupid electronic device and take at least that part off my mind.

Jenny said...

Funny picture and cute post. I'm a new follower.

missy said...

oh my gosh......i am a control freak too!!!!! we got a GPS at Christmas time but have not used it.....maybe we need to just leave it in the box and return it to the store!!! :)

Tracy @ Hall of Fame Moms said...

Oh, I also am so not into the changing of technology. It changes too fast...I've never owned a gps, mp3 player, ipod, I'm fortunate I've figured out how to use Wordpress! ha! I haven't even taken the time to learn how to set up and check my voicemail msgs on my cell phone ;)

Andrea said...

Over the summer we "convoyed" with my sister to Alabama. They had a GPS and we had a map, that GPS tried to lead us way way astray, but we kept on our route with the map!!

Tsquared417 said...

We have named ours Bridget and we changed it to an English accent! :)

Joanie M said...

When I took my daughter to Pittsburgh last year to audition for college (theatre major), we used a GPS when leaving the hotel in Pittsburgh. I took us from one end of the city to the other to find the highway to get to the PA Turnpike. Up and down all these little HILLY streets, in a snowstorm! I was so happy to finally get on the turnpike, but that darn snowstorm followed us all the way to home, just outside of Philadelphia!

Cyndi said...

LOL. I feel for you! We thought our GPS's "American" voice was too harsh (recalculating!!!) so we switched to the British accent. She still tells us we're stupid when we go against her directions, but she's much more gentle about it. :o) We call her Poppy.

Kimm at Reinvented said...

Oh so funny! I have, many times, caught myself arguing with my GPS, so I completely understand your loss of control feeling. :)

Lisa said...

Your post cracked me up. We have "Gina" GPS, and she gets very irritated when I don't follow her directions, or do circles in the parking lot!

Date Girl said...

Hahah! Have you seen that episode of The Office where Michael listens to the GPS and drives into a lake, thinking the GPS knows something he doesn't? Glad you don't blindly follow technology!

Happy SITS day!

Christine said...

Oh, I'll take a map or mapquest any day over a GPS. I figure we've been doing it for years this way and I don't buy into how smart those things are. I mean, we got to the freakin' moon without one, right? :)
I know for a fact that in downtown Pittsburgh the GPS just throws up it's little electronic hands and screams in a British accent.."I GIVE UP". Yeah, they cave under pressure and I can do that all by myself.

samsstuff said...

I don't have a GPS & after bad experiences with Map Quest & it's ilk, I'm not sure that I would want to spend all that money to be led astray by a machine! None of these systems are ever completely up to date. Like you, I would take a map & if all else failed, stop to ask directions.
I love Date Girl's reference to The Office, such a funny show!
Thanks for letting us know we are not the only ones who get frustrated with technology.
Happy SITS Feature Day!

Leah Rubin said...

I know how you feel. I blogged about my marriage trying to survive 'the other woman' who is Samantha-- the voice of our GPS. I detest her. Grrrrrrr!

BTW, I'm the biggest library nerd out there-- when my friends are going shopping, I'm at the library. I call myself a repeat offender. I am looking forward to reading your book reviews.

I just finished Water For Elephants (loved it, loved it, loved it!) and am starting Amy Bloom's "Where the God of Love Hangs Out". Her "Away" was so terrific, I hope I love this one as much!

C-ya!

2busy said...

I am a mapquest queen. I even mapquest stuff across town just so I won't get lost.

gringationcancun said...

Never even seen a GPS before. How sad is that? I do love Mapquest, though!

Caroline of Salsa Pie said...

Even a GPS system can fail! We had one (which was stolen) and it would always malfunction in the DC area!

Natalie at Mommy on Fire said...

Too funny! Sometimes they are lifesavers and sometimes they work you into a paper bag you cannot get out of. Good memory though, right?!

By the way, you are one of the only people I have ever seen to quote/read Carlos Ruiz Zafon. What did you think of The Angel's Game? I also read the Shadow of the Wind and loved it.

Joann Mannix said...

The same darn thing happened to us! We were driving into New York City, (stressful enough!) and my husband just decided to randomly (I guess) pick one of the three options that popped up. We ended up in Brooklyn and not in the new, trendy part of Brooklyn, either. We had some pretty intimidating folks approaching our car at street corners, gesturing to us to roll down our windows so they could sell us the drugs of our choice. In a panic, I backtracked through the nav and realized his mistake, (which of course, wasn't his fault). We were stupid enough to not even have a back-up map. Never again.

projectddotme said...

Ugh... being FROM Boston I totally know the debacle that can ensue when a GPS wants to take you to several different addresses. Especially when the numbers go UP on Tremont, and then BACK DOWN the other side. And Brighton is just a pain altogether... not to mention when you REALLY wanted to be on BEACON HILL! Well, hope the tour of SU worked out for you guys in the end. ;-)

JoeyRes said...

The recalculating is really annoying. I'm hoping that GPS in the future will give you choices and let you pick the road you want to take. Until then, there are some little kinks but it's definitely a device that's worth learning to use.

Kristy K said...

Oh my!!! I probably would have made that same mistake... we're from a smalltown and whenever we venture to a bigger city, I get lost almost immediately. My husband got me a GPS for Christmas, but I haven't even taken it out of the box. :(

Kearsie said...

My one experience with using a GPS landed me in the middle of a cow pasture.

It's probably because I forgot to take the setting LOCAL off and change it to HWY.

Yeahhh, we saw a whole lot of cows on our vacation.

Randa @ The Bewitchin' Kitchen said...

MY GPS once led me to a farmers field, and she wanted me to drive through it straight to the mountain lol.

Herself said...

I absolutely LOVE that sign! It pretty much describes my life. Stopping by from SITS. Congrats on your day!

Katherine said...

I am totally head over heals in love with my GPS! It's really a little unhealthy! Good for you for standing up to yours and telling it what's what! I wouldn't have the nerve!

Joy said...

I keep thinking that a GPS system would be the answer to all my getting-lost problems - maybe not after all! LOL Congrats on your SITS day!

LisaDay said...

See, it wasn't the GPS' fault. I need a GPS to get me home every night.

Happy SITS day.

LisaDay

Annie @ astonesthrowfrominsanity said...

I have a love/ hate relationship with my GPS. Love it when it works. All other times, I would like to throw it out the window. :)

simplysandi said...

I'm still leery about using GPS'ssss. I have friends that swear by them. My son continues to stay "old school" and actually keeps a paper map in his car.

Happy SITS day.

Heidi said...

lol. When we visited my mum we had a gps encounter. My husband was in charge of the gps while Mum drove. Hubby spent much time using colourful language at the gps unit which got very distressed when we were in familiar places and knew better what route to take!

Young Wife said...

I am directionally challenged. I cannot tell you how often I get lost. In my own city. Stopping by from SITS.

www.thehusaileybunch.com said...

OMG! My son got his license yesterday...I soooo relate! Stopping by from SITS!
www.thehusaileybunch.com

I just got lost in the city I grew up in recently! I moved away a few years ago and it really freaked me out!

Kim Does Blogs said...

lol - I was in a cab once in London with a driver who spoke no english, had no clue where he was going and could not understand the GPS - they are evil - I like maps!

Marie said...

Maybe you "controlling" the GPS next time you'll feel a little better...Or not, I am not crazy about my GPS either so I can relate.

Rachel said...

Oh no! This makes me glad that I don't have a GPS.

Mrsbear said...

Probably a good idea not to trust the appliances, they're just waiting for their first opportunity to take over anyway. ;)

Miz Dinah said...

Heehee. Gotta love technology. Not always a timesaver!

Megan said...

LMAO!! Too funny! Yes, it's usually a good idea to make sure you have the CORRECT address programmed into the electronic devise. Haha!

mariahsmile said...

ha ha I just got a GPS for Christmas and it definately is hard to get used to!

mom2kmjx2 said...

My sister has one and loves to mess with it. she will use it to go to a place she knows but then go a different way lol. I have google maps on my phone. it got me was Weirton, WV to Virgina Beach, Va. I like my phone lol.

Barbara said...

I fought my husband on the GPS but now I can't live without it! But I feel your plight!

Added your cute button to my blog!

Mom of the Twinkies and Tot! said...

Very witty post! Loved it, and you sound a little like my mom when it comes to gadgets like that :)

Angelia Sims said...

Oh my gosh that is SOOO funny! A friend of mine wrote a post about how her GPS hates her and always takes her the out of the way to get there. She named her Evelyn. I think she is on to something. LOL.

Bea said...

Who programmed GPS's with attitude is what I want to know! Seriously, do they have to sound annoyed when they have to "recalculate" the route?

I'm with you. . .technology is great when it works, but I think there's some "evil" in them there fancy gadgets! LOL!

Just Lisa said...

I have issues with my GPS, too. It never wants me to take the freeway-- it always wants to take 37 side streets to get a half mile down the freeway!

Melanie said...

ha ha ha. Preach it sister! My mom has a navigation system in her car and when we were road tripping from MN to GA I talked her into a side trip in TN which was not programed in the gps. It wasn't happy and had us going through residencial areas to get back to the freeway rather than a direct route. Plus my mom didn't really know how it worked (my dad programed it before we left). I almost elbowed her out of the drivers seat when it became clear she didn't know where she was going or what she was doing. Miraculously we made it back to the freeway and I forbid her from using it the rest of the trip. (I had my trusty map quest and regular map to get us there.)

 

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