Our world is one of wonder. Of technology, of magnificent works of engineering. So, when you hop in your car and ask the SatNav for directions to a place no more than 25 miles away, you expect it to work, right? Wrong. Or maybe just wrong when I try to use it.
Picture the scene: I’m at work, South East of Glasgow. I’m asked to drop off some packages in North Glasgow. Fine. Easy. I get in the car after packing the boot with the parcels I need to deliver and punch in the address to the Satellite Navigation system, one that I use regularly.
Bear in mind that it’s 3.30pm on a Friday afternoon. As a result, the traffic is pretty heavy. Finding myself in a daydream about Finding Nemo of all things, I end up missing the turning I’m meant to take. No matter, I think, the SatNav will reroute. Boy oh boy was I incorrect. For about 30 seconds the system thinks it knows where it needs to go, but after some consideration it starts to doubt itself.
No worries, I know how to get north of Glasgow from here, even if it’s not the quickest route.
If only I could go back in time and scream at my Friday afternoon self: “But Rachel, the traffic!” Unfortunately, however, that’s not possible (yet). So, I start to embark upon a journey across Glasgow that may just become my Friday afternoon Everest. Joining the M8 and heading towards Bishopbriggs I’m met with the slowest moving traffic I’ve ever experienced. It’s a carpark, Glasgow’s biggest carpark. In fact, the only reason I know it isn’t a carpark is because it’s free.
It’s at this point, upon joining the M8 carpark, that I realise my petrol light is on. I cast my mind back to just an hour ago when I was first asked to start my journey. “I have no petrol” I said in the confidence that petrol money would be offered. It was.
Now, back in my car, in the present, at a standstill, with the petrol light not just on, but firmly on – I wonder what has possessed me to forget this very important task. The task of fuelling the vehicle in which I am traveling.
It’ll be fine, I tell myself, but I can’t escape the crazy eyes reflecting back at me from the rear-view mirror.
Trying to keep my mind off the petrol issue, I crank up the volume of the music and keep my eyes fixed on the road instead of on my miserable looking fuel gauge. At this point, the gods of Satellite Navigation have shone down on me and the system is working again and highlighting my albeit, very slow, route. Or so I thought.
5 minutes later
You really could not make this up. You couldn’t. I’m telling you, people would not believe this story. The SatNav has tricked me into thinking it was working and then made me perform an intricate set of left and right turns which put me back on the M8 going the opposite direction from the one I’ve just come from. I just did an accidental U-turn.
To top it all off, I need to pee.
So, just to recap. I have no petrol. I am currently wasting the one or two drops that I have left, sitting at a standstill on the M8 going the wrong direction from where I am meant to be. And I need the toilet.
20 minutes later
Honestly, I cannot believe I’m saying this, but I’ve made it to Bishopbriggs where I’ve found an enormous ASDA petrol station. Praise the Lord, Hallelujah. My bladder is fit to burst, I’ve just drove up and down a 1 mile stretch of the M8 like a crazy person and my petrol tank is bound to be as dry as a British sense of humour. But here I am.
You tried to crack me world. But on this Friday afternoon, which I have spent the majority of my time on the M8, I am triumphant. I won. You tried to break me, but I came back swinging.
2 hours later
I’ve just been sent a picture of one of the parcels I was meant to take to Bishopbriggs, which is still in the reception at work.
A 21st Century victory won against all odds, ruined by an idiotic oversight. You can’t win them all I guess.