Thursday, January 18, 2007

Can you tell me how to get...

Raise your hand if you’ve ever got up off your couch, grabbed your keys, went into your garage, got into your car, backed out onto the road and started driving the car and only then though about exactly where the heck the place you wanted to go actually WAS!

Somehow or the other, I've been branded as the "direction" genie at my store, and three or four times a day someone either transfers a call or brings a phone up and says "You know the area, give this person directions."

I'm not opposed to trying to help someone, but most of the time it is either tourists or newcomers who have no clue as to the street names or even the major roads. I'm like "We're the store near the Interstate off-ramp," and they're like "How do I get there?"

I'm thinking to myself — did you transport in via spaceship or something?

This one today took the cake. A supervisor came running up with the phone and said "This guy is driving and wants to know how to get here!" Sweet mother!

I grab the phone and he starts yelling at me about how hard it is to find a Wal-Mart. I can't hear him at all because he's got such a bad connection, but he keeps yelling anyway. As it turns out, he's miles away, like on the other side of town and completely on the other side of the county. And doesn't even know what road he's on. I love Canadian tourists.

When he finally tells me what road he's on, I'm like "Sir, there should be a Wal-Mart coming up on your right in about two minutes. Big green sign. Parking lot full of cars. Gas station out front. Do you see it?"

He gets all happy, says he sees it, and hangs up. Doesn't even bother to thank me. I hope all four tires go flat.

Or the woman who called thirty minutes later and kept insisting that the road I drive down every day isn't actually called what I told her it was called.

"Ma'am, there's a Walgreens on one corner, a Home Depot across from that, a BP gas station on the other corner and the Sprint repair building on the other corner. Turn between the Walgreens and the Home Depot; stay in the right lane and go until you can't go any more. Turn right and you'll see the Wal-Mart. Big square building. Big blue sign. 600 cars out front. Lots of people." Directions don't get much clearer.

She's like "What is the name of the road?" I tell her. She goes "That's not the right road." I'm like "That's the road that you need to take. That's how I get here." She's "not sure that's right." And then she tells me that she just passed a Walgreens but it didn't have a Home Depot by it, so my directions must be wrong.

I'm losing patience, because I've been on the phone with her for about five minutes now, and the line is starting to back up, and I'm arguing with her over something she should have done with MapQuest or Google Maps and before she ever left the house.

First of all, how many Walgreens in town? At least 20 (but it seems like 50). How many Home Depots? At least five. But none on this specific road (which you claimed you were driving on) and RIGHT ACROSS THE ROAD from a Walgreens.

She doesn't deserve to shop at Wal-Mart. And that's saying something. If she ever found the store, I hope everything she bought breaks, and all her food spoils.


Dustin said...

I too am the directions guru at my store. It is the bane of my existance.

Corwin Brence said...

I really enjoy how you place the godly threats at the ends of your rants ("I hope everything she bought breaks, and all her food spoils."). It reminds me somewhat of Terry Pratchett's "Small Gods"...

Anonymous said...

OMG direction guru is my second title at the dog groomers that I work for. You think tourists are bad you should try giving directions to people who have lived in the area their whole lives. There are major land marks that there are only one of in town (like the library. They don't know where that is either!) that I use to tell folks how to get to the shop and for some reason locals still can't find the damn place, and it's not like we live in a sprawling metropolis or somethin'. Geesh! Some peoples kids!

Chunes said...

My favorite is when customers ask me how to get to the nearest Target store.

But, I thank the gods almost every day there's a Lowe's right next door. Our plumbing section is pathetic and our hardware department isn't much better. If there's something a customer needs that we don't sell, I direct 'em over there. ;)

grundes said...

Walmart should sell their own GPS navigators that would have a big button that shows you the path to the closest Walmart...
And perhaps the cunning device should plot any route through a Walmart. After all, no matter where you go in life, you can always pick up something useful on your way!

Anonymous said...

Don't give them any big ideas, they may just make them that way.