But I digress...already. One line in and I'm already digressing. Oh..looks like I'm doing it again. Bear with me, it looks like it might be one of those posts.
So, I borrowed a colleague's Sat Nav for my little expedition across London today. I've not used one before so was a little unsure as to what to expect from the tinny little voice that would be my companion for the journey.
It was not what I had imagined.
Although, to be fair, I think my expectations were a little high.
You see, I am comfortable with a map. Give me a map, plonk me in the passenger seat and I can get you anywhere. I know where we are at any given time and can tell you what to expect around the next bend or what station we should be passing. Trouble is, I'm the same when I'm driving. I constantly need to be sure I'm on the right road so everytime I stop at a set of traffic lights I have to check the map to be sure I'm doing OK. Yep, there's the railway bridge. Excellent, there's Avenue Road on my left. Three roads to go before I have to turn right. Good stuff. I had expected the Sat Nav to do something similar. I expected that at every junction it would tell me "Straight on. Don't turn here, you've two more roads to go".
It doesn't. And I had to relinquish control and all knowledge of where I was to this machine. My teeth were clenched and my hands were gripping the wheel. It was stressful.
The other problem is that I am a hopeless judge of distances. An inch? No problem. A yard? Easy. Any bigger than that? Not a clue.
So the Sat Nav comes up with these little gems
"Turn left 500 yards". This being London, there are any number of left turns before the one the Sat Nav is indicating. Which one does she mean? How far is 500 yards for pity sake?
This is followed by "Turn left 200 yards". That's no better. Then we get "Turn left". What? Now? Oh, that's 200 yards. OK. My distance reckoning improved no end by the end of the journey.
Then the one that periodically scared me to death.
I'd be travelling on a fairly straight road and she would announce "Turn right" What?? Now?? But there isn't a right turn, what are you talking about woman?? And then she'd calmly continue with "2 miles". Why do I need to know I have to turn right in 2 miles? Tell me when I'm 500 yards away. I can do 500 yards now.
Then we get to the point where I have to turn left into the road I've programmed in. Except the road has been dug up and there's this great big hole which I am obviously not going to turn left into. And because I haven't programmed in a house number, she kindly tells me "You've reached your destination" and that's that. She isn't going to help me any longer and I'm left to my own devices. Drat.
But I got there, the homecheck went well and we're keeping everything crossed.
And the return journey? I relaxed and let the lady do her stuff. Far less stressful.