The Sat Nav
For those who spend your time traveling to meetings, you may find parts of this familiar.
Its early in the morning, you’re sat in the car, its dark and your inputting an unknown postcode. ‘Post code not recognised’ says the satnav, you swap you’re glasses and try again, ‘calculating’ and you wait. You checked the night before, 2 hours said google maps, why is satnav now saying 3 ½ hours! You settle back and hope you make your meeting on time, the centre asked for a 9.00am start, why didn’t I push them back you ask yourself as you enter your first set of traffic lights.
A few miles down the motorway and the satnav tells you to turn left in two miles? That doesn’t look right, I should be on here for another 50 miles? Do you ignore it, afterall, I know more than a silly satnav, I went to college and everything, this doesn’t know what to do unless I tell it! I’m not having a satnav tell me what to do, I ignore it and go past the junction, I’m still annoyed at satnav 100 metres later when I come to a sudden halt behind traffic, grrrrrr……
I have time to reflect on my decision as I crawl 3 miles in twenty minutes, its ok, I’ll take the next junction…….with everyone else. I finally come of the motorway and the satnav is telling me to take the second exit, that’s the one back onto the motorway I just got off! No satnav is going to tell me what to do so I ignore it, that motorways full, this will be a breeze, and so it was for 3 miles until I hit a city centre.
Many moments later I’m on an open road back to the motorway so I can sit in traffic there instead of the city centre. Satnav says to turn off the next junction, ok, ok, I’ll listen this time, and I turn off. Now I’m on a country road but I’m moving quickly with little traffic accompanying me. I slow behind a car and there’s a little bridge, I’m curious, I drive up slowly to a short heavily bearded man who is obviously taking this role very seriously
“20p please Sir” says bearded man
“do you take contactless mate”
“It doesn’t matter, I only have a two 50 pence pieces, do you have change”
“No” says bearded man
“well just take the 50p” I reply
“Cannot do that sorry, its 20p to cross the bridge”
“I understand but I’m running late, keep the change”
“I have a 20p for change” he says
“that’s great, you can owe me the 10p”
“I don’t owe you anything sir”
“No you don’t owe me now, but if I give you 50p, and you give me 20p you can owe me the remaining 10p”
“But I’d owe you 10p Sir”
“it’s ok, please, I’d just like to get to my meeting”
“I’ll ask this car behind if he has change”
He walks to the car behind and I see them chatting and laughing, several minutes pass until the bearded man returns
“sorry he doesn’t have any change”
I mumble something
“seriously its fine, keep the 50p”
“I’ve got an idea I’ll ask the car behind the car behind”
He passes me the 20p he has and walks to the other car…….. I drive off.
As I drive off, I see him shaking his head at me and making a note, I put the 20p into my cup holder…… next to another 20p that had been there all the time! That’s another 15 minutes lost, I blame satnav and continue driving.
I eventually get to my destination, 9.10am, I try to park, a tall bearded man (Yes really) you cannot park here Sir
“Sorry I’m late for a meeting”
“Its pay and display”
“just 50p sir”
“do you take contact…..oh it doesn’t matter”
I mumble under my breath as I get my final 50p out of my wallet to walk to the machine. It’s a parking machine, I mean how complicated can they make it? It has several pages of A4 instruction in font size -10, I take my chance and put in the 50p..and wait, I press every button on the machine and after what seems like an eternity finally a ticket comes out, free fries with a happy meal? Oh wait it’s the wrong way round, I have my parking ticket.
I run to reception,
“Not this reception Sir” the lady says
“can you tell me which reception please?”
“you want the college reception”
“yes thats right, the college reception please”
“this isn’t the college reception” she says
“that’s fine, I understand, (for the love of all things …..) please could you kindly advise me where I should walk to find the college reception”
“I wouldn’t walk”
“You wouldnt walk?”
“No, it’s the next building along, would take 15 minutes it’s a fair way down” she replies
I exhale and slowly walk back to my car, my shoulders are slumped, my desire shot, I get back in my car and drive round to the next car park.
“You cannot park here Sir”
I’m not going to type my reply but needless to say a few short moments later I had the best parking space in the college, the Principal will have to go the pay and display if she turns up this morning!
I get to the correct reception and I explain I’m late
“Your meetings not until 10.30am Sir, did they not tell you they had changed it”
I spend the next hour composing myself and thinking about my morning.
My meeting happens, goes well and I relieved its all over, now for a relaxing drive home.
I enthusiastically enter my post code into the satnav and wait, 4 hours! 4 HOURS! I scream at the satnav lady several times but its no good, it remains 4 hours and I set off growling at the world.
An hour into my drive and satnav informs me to take an alternative but quicker route, I’m not going to ignore her this time, I’ll take the advice. After half an hour of open roads and bright sky’s I slow behind the car in front, I recognise this. A few moments later a short bearded man walks towards me, oh no not again as I realise it’s the same bridge.
“Hello again Sir”
“Hello again, here’s your 20 pence” I sigh
“Its 30 pence Sir”
“But it was only 20p this morning?”
“Yes but you were driving East Sir”
“What’s that got to do with it?”
“Its only 20p driving East Sir”
“It’s the same bridge?”
“Its further this way Sir, its 30 pence” he smirked!
“Further? How can it be further, its the same bridge! Look it doesnt matter, you owe me 10p from this morning” I say hopefully
“Sorry Sir I don’t owe you anything”
“But I gave you 30p this morning coming the opposite way?” I say in desperation
“Not possible Sir, its only 20p going East”
“Well I only have another 20p, here take this”
“I don’t have any change Sir”
“Its ok, you can owe me the 10p” I say confidently
“I cannot take 40p Sir, its only 30p to cross”
The man in the car behind becomes impatient and shouts “You shouldn’t try to cross the bridge if you have no money”
I shout back “I have 40p”
He replies “But it’s only 30p”
“but he owes me…..oh forget it”
I give up and drive off again.
30 minutes from home the car continuously bleeps at me, I need fuel, I’m so tempted to ignore its request, I figure this car owes me for the day I’ve had, I reluctantly pull over and get fuel. I go to the counter and offer my debit card
“Sorry Sir, our card machine is broken”
And so was I………☹️