Sunday, August 28, 2011

Show Me The Way!!!

About a week or two back, I wrote a post relating a little bit about a former type of employment I had for several years and through that post, told a bit about my relationship with a whole lot of great people who work in a job that is often underestimated, frequently portrays these people in a not such a great light at times.

 That job I had was as a truckstop waitress and the people I came to know and appreciate very much were truck drivers!

Well, today I'm going to tell you a little story about one of those truck drivers.

For about 2 1/2 years, back in the early-to-mid-eighties, I was "seeing" a particular driver. Actually, it was a bit more than that as for a time I was even engaged to him but that's a story for another time -my "engagement" to that guy.

Now, because this guy lived about 120 miles from where I live, at times, with his work schedule and mine, it could be a bit tricky to find a way to actually see each other, to "go out" -have a date, so to speak, ya know.

So, sometimes if he was on a run, making a trip where he would be staying overnight at a location that was oh, maybe 90 minutes or as much as 2 hours away and if my work schedule was such when occasions like that happened, I would then drive to the town where he was being put up by the company to spend time with him there then.

Shortly after he had switched companies, he got sent to their terminal in Mechanicsburg, PA -which is about 100 miles from where I live, give or take a bit, and would be arriving there about the time that, if I left after my shift ended, I could arrive there at about the same time as he would -thus giving us a minimum then of ten hours to spend together.

So, he had given me the name and address of the particular motel were they would be putting him up and he also gave me directions then too how to get to this motel from my place of employment. (He also had given me a matchbook cover that had the name of the motel and their address and phone number on it, so I had that extra bit of information that way.)

The name of the motel escapes my memory right now, but I do remember that on the matchbook cover it said that this motel was located on the "West bank of the Susquehanna River, on Route 15 North.) Hmmm. I figured then, no problem, I can find this place because I'd driven to, through, past Harrisburg -on both sides of the good old river that runs through it, ya know, on a good many previous occasions and also, I generally have a very good sense of direction too -a talent that has always served me quite well over the years.

But when he had called and given me driving directions, he had told me to "Go across the bridge north of Harrisburg -can't remember the name of the little town there but it was some kind of "Ferry" in the name of that town -and I was to drive down along the river into Harrisburg where I would then, cross the river again, pick up Route 15 there and go north then oh, about a mile or two and I'd see the motel then easily.

And after he hung up the phone, I got to thinking about his directions. Why would I have to cross the Susquehanna river even once, much less two times, if this motel was located along the "westbank of the Susquehanna on Route 15 North" anyway?

I figured all I had to do was head down Route 322 East till I came to Route 15 -just before that first bridge he mentioned, just before that little place with the "Ferry" as part of the name, and I would exit there and go south on Rte 15 till I came to that motel. Easy peasy, right?

And just to be sure I was right, I even showed one of the other drivers I knew -from another company that I knew often routed their drivers to Harrisburg or Mechanicsburg or Carlisle -and asked him if I was right in my planned route and he agreed with me!

So, off I went and I arrived at said motel within about 10-15 minutes after my former fiance had arrived there.

He asked me if I had any problems finding the place and was stunned when I told him I'd had no problems whatsoever and what's more, that I hadn't had to cross the bridges over the old Susquehanna at all and certainly didn't have to cross two bridges to arrive at this destination.

I wish I'd had a camera so I could have taken a picture of the surprised look on his face because he couldn't figure out how on earth I had managed such a feat as that!  Another driver from the same company as my fiance's happened to be there as I explained how I'd traveled down there that evening and he agreed with me too then, telling my boyfriend that my routing was actually the better way to travel.

I thought the whole episode was downright hysterical because here was a guy who made his living driving all over the place and one would think he, of all people, would have been able to see the folly of his directions simply by looking at a road map, ya know. (I hadn't looked at any maps, but I knew just by the directions on that matchbook cover, I sure as hell didn't have to go across the bridge, drive into and through Harrisburg, go across another bridge and then, back track, going north on Rte 15 when I could take a much more direct route!

I've often wondered over the years since I broke up with that guy if he eventually bought himself some kind of garmin trucking gps set-up so he could find his way around the country when driving his big rig!

In my mind, he was definitely the kind of individual who really, really, REALLY needed -or needs (if he's still trucking today) one of those things.

And if not one of those systems, at the very least, he should buy a darned good Atlas trucker's map then and learn how to read it!

Just proves to me the old adage about men and driving directions in that rarely do they really know where the heck they are, where they are going and that they really dislike asking for directions too, don't they?


TechnoBabe said...

Good for you that you were born with the directional advantage. I was not. I was frequently lost. My kids knew how to find the way better than I did. I am so much better now though. I can't tell you how many times I would head to some function and not be able to find it. This is fun hearing about your previous jobs and antics.

terri said...

Sure sounds like your friend needed something to help him with directions! I got my hubby a GPS last year and it took him a while to figure out how to use it, but it's been very helpful in getting him to some out-of-the-way places.

Palm Springs Savant said...

Wow, that is interesting. And I learned something about you I didn't know previously. I suspect there are numerous other interesting stories lurking....

Rick Gleason said...

It's an indisputable truism ... real men do not ask for directions.

Also just as true that there are still many truckers on the road, despite all the modern conveniences, who often have little more than an old road map on hand. A lot of them relying on their CB radios and the help of others to get them to their destinations.

Amazing? Yes, but true nevertheless.