DY: In Just a Few Words (#45)
I know where ALL of the medical facilities are.
Recently, I went to a celebration of life for a family member. It was just what such a celebration should be - upbeat and with a lot of good humor featuring anecdotes from his life.
The celebration was held in a funeral home in another city, one that is a distance from where we live. The service was followed by a luncheon for guests at a local country club. I didn’t have a clue as to the location of the luncheon. I needed directions. A smart, up-to-date person would get the name of the country club, plug it into GPS and be on their way. But an antique techno-phobe like me would always rather ask a local attendee for directions. Never trust technology when a real person is available.
And, so it was, that after the service I went to the parking lot to look for help. Bingo. Parked right next to me was a very nice gentleman who looked like he could give me an assist. Excuse me, my friend, but I know we are all invited for lunch at a local country club. I have come a great distance from Cleveland and was wondering if you would mind if we followed you since we don’t know where we’re going.
He said that would be just fine, and I was thrilled to know I could depend on a reliable local resource instead of some inanimate person in a cloud routing me who knows where. I was reminded at the time of an old joke about someone who went into a gas station and asked directions to a local site. If you continue your current heading, it will be 27,000 miles around the earth. If you turn around, it’s less than a mile down the street on the left.
So off we went. I was completely confident I had made the right choice to depend on the kindness of a stranger over something as new and untested as GPS. I don’t know about you, but I think GPS is a Russian device to gather information about where I go. I don’t want to give them a thing.
Down the street we went, the local gentleman leading the way - as only a local gentleman can - and me following very closely lest we get separated by a stoplight. Were that to happen, I would be forced to go back to the funeral home parking lot in search of another kind soul. By the time I might get there, the parking lot would be empty. And, then I would be forced against my better judgment to use an unreliable GPS. Not me. No smart person would do that.
We drove down the street a little way when we came to a really large hospital and its medical campus. I followed my leader into its huge parking lot, passing by any number of health and wellness facilities when we finally exited quite a distance later on an entirely new street. I could only conclude this was a short-cut to avoid traffic.
We proceeded a short way when his signal came on indicating he would be turning in somewhere immediately ahead. Great, we were arriving at the country club.
Well, not quite. He had actually turned into an urgent care facility. He got out of his car and came over to me. It seems I made a wrong turn out of the hospital lot. I should have turned right, not left. We need to turn around and go back in the other direction.
Had we continued to go straight, our destination would have been 27,000 miles in the wrong direction. By turning around, it was just down the street less than a mile on the left.
When we got to the country club, the electric power was out. I mention this because our late family member spent his entire adult life working for a large electric utility. It wasn’t long before the lights were back on. Several attendees speculated that the departed guest was still in charge of all things electric.
At any rate, he was a good man who got a good sendoff. And, we had a good lunch. And, I made a new friend.
The lesson to be learned from all this is that when you are lost and confused, go to the nearest urgent care center. Your GPS won’t help.
DY: In Just a Few Words is a blog that comes out when something needs to be said or every Tuesday - whichever comes first. Davis Young is a communications professional who adds 50+ years of experience and perspective to issues of the day. His emphasis in DY: In Just a Few Words will be humor (a touch of sarcasm here, a pinch of facetiousness there...). Once in a while, he will touch on something a bit more serious - but hopefully not too deep or depressing.
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