Friday, July 22, 2011

Miss Information tells people where to go.

Miss Information cannot give coherent directions. At work, when she is asked how to get to the building next door, she points, stammers and hopes they find it themselves.

This week lots of people seem to need directions. On Wednesday there was a man who was looking for a specific address for a gem show. He'd come to the library because it was in the same district as the address. Unfortunately, the library is in the northern quadrant and the place he needed to go is in the south--about as far as you can get while still in the same district. Miss Information stammered and pointed at the location on Google Maps.

"Hm," said the man. "How do I get there by public transit?"

Miss Information asked him where he wanted to start from.

"It doesn't matter," said the man.

Seems like that's the attitude that got him lost in the first place, but whatever. Miss Information asked if he would like directions from here. The man said that would be fine.

Miss Information found the Google maps transit directions and printed him out a copy and talked it through with him.

"Oh," said the man. "I don't live near here. Can't I get directions from my house?"

Sigh. Miss Information asked him where he lived. He did not want to say. Miss Information finally got it narrowed down to an intersection, an intersection where there happens to be a very nice library that could have helped the man. She printed out new directions starting at the library.

Eventually he went away...somewhere.

On Thursday a woman wanted to know how to get to a specific address north of the city. She had a piece of paper with the information written out. The name of the street had no vowels in it. The woman had the postal code, which was wrong, but it was close enough for Google maps to find the area and then they could take a stab at the correct street name.

"I need to get there on public transit," said the woman.

Miss Information loves Google maps. She asked the woman where she lived. The woman did not want to say. C'mon, people! Miss Information is not going to break into your house! Just a little hint is enough.

The woman chose a nearby subway station. Great. Miss Information found the directions. She offered to print them out. No, the woman, who was wearing winter gloves on possibly the hottest day in history, declined. She would write out the instructions.

They were:
Take Outer Region bus 23 to...

"Wait," the woman said. "You mean the Suburban Transit right?"

"No. The Outer Region transit."

"You mean Big City transit? I can't get there on Big City Transit."

Miss Information explained that she's no transit expert but that Google recommended this route. Outer Region Transit is a different bus company but it would get her where she was going.

The woman thanked Miss Information and began to leave.

"But wait!" said Miss Information. "There's more."

At this point the woman started getting hostile. She was probably hot. She had the bus number. She did not need any more information. Thank you.

Miss Information got a bit huffy herself and insisted the woman needed to know where to get off the bus, other wise she'd just be riding around in the boonies all night.

The woman didn't really want that pesky little detail but rolled her eyes and wrote down the bus stop, clearly just to appease Miss Information.

Getting bad directions and arguing with Miss Information are just two of the millions of reasons people in this town need their libraries.


At 4:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I give someone directions at the library I always watch the news later to make sure they haven't been reported missing.

At 8:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good comment Anonymous!


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