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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tech you very much.

Excuse the Garrison Keillor moment. So cue the supposedly tech-savvy road warrior getting lost recently heading south through Amerika. It wasn’t really the GPS’s fault (even though I think it was), or Google Maps, which gave a different route than the GPS. No, it was pure operator error as I got distracted and missed the sign for the turn-off, throwing me into Tommy Boy country 20 miles away from where I *should’ve* been. But, even though I expected snarky attendant as I pulled into the only open station with people early Sunday, it was just a guy in a Browns hoodie and his little daughter behind the counter. Knowing this scene didn’t turn out well in the movie, David Spade here raises his hand to basically admit defeat and say I’m lost.

After all the tech I have access to or looked at ahead of time to plan the route, he grabs a pen and paper and quickly shows a shorter way through the county to the interstate. “Nine miles here, four there, etc.” Done. Damn if he wasn’t as accurate as the GPS. As the door closes behind me, I hear his daughter with a feel-good moment straight out of a commercial: “That was nice of you to help that man daddy.” He started to say something like “That’s what you do for strangers” or something Hallmarky – least I want to think that’s where he was headed with it – but it just hammered home to me why there’s no way our tech has yet been able to replace the need to stop and ask a local.

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