Thursday, June 4, 2009

Resolving trust issues with the Devil Woman

Today I went to meet a friend for lunch at a place I’ve been to before, but not for quite a while. I knew the general route to get there, but put the address into my GPS anyway. I immediately noticed that it was sending me a different way that I had planned. So, I started to follow the instructions, then saw a “construction ahead” sign and backed out. I set off in another direction only to be told to make a U-turn and head back where I’d just come from. Finally, I gave in and went where the arrow on the screen was directing me and there it was right in front of me.

For some reason, I have this problem trusting my GPS. It’s a computer and I guess I’m in that generation between the ones that grew up in a pre-computer world and the group that has never known a world without computers. Computers were being introduced to the world as I was growing up and I guess I fall somewhere in the middle. I see both positive and negatives to computers. I know there was once a time we lived without them, but I know that they can also make our lives much more convenient. For the most part, I am thankful for them, but still have a slight bit of reservation when it comes to putting my complete faith in the hands of a little chip.

Shortly after we bought our Garmin, we took a trip to Wisconsin. We were thrilled to discover the feature that lets you search for specific businesses. The kids were getting hungry and Taco Bell was the first request. We followed the instructions of the GPS which did eventually get us to the nearest Taco Bell, but via a long winding road through a residential subdivision (when in reality it was right down the street), which added a few more minutes onto the trip. As we arrived at Taco Bell after a scenic detour, my husband mumbled under his breath, “Ok, Devil Woman, we’re here.” And that name stuck.

The Devil Woman has helped to get us to many places, but also added frustration when I’ve relied on her completely and then she couldn’t find a satellite signal, directed us into a massive traffic jam or a recently constructed road didn’t register.

So, on my way home from lunch, I turned on the GPS and decided I would trust it to get me home, no matter what route it suggested. I shaved off 8 minutes from my trip there and got home safe and sound. I guess the Devil Woman knows what she’s talking about after all.

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