“Lucretia McEvil….Little girl what’s your name?   Bad luck and trouble….is your claim to fame.”  Blood, Sweat, and Tears

A few months ago I named my phone GPS Lucretia McEvil.  And with good reason.  Most of the time it works pretty well but sometimes it’s positively evil.  And deceitful.  And just plain wrong.  It has happened more than once that I get conflicting information from Lucretia.  I can usually puzzle it out but sometimes it happens when I have passengers and that’s just plain embarassing.

I’ve always been proud of how I’m able to navigate my way around just about anywhere.  It’s a trait I inherited from my Dad, The Explorer.  He was that guy who always said “I’ve never been down this road.  Let’s see where it goes.”  And if you were trying to follow him somewhere you’d best keep close or he would lose you.  He did have an unerring sense of direction though and I’ve got a bit of that myself but lately I’ve been in the grasp of a disturbing trend.

Since taking the travel job a year ago I’ve come to depend on my phone GPS almost exclusively to find my meeting locations and to navigate from any given airport to my hotel and then to the meeting site.  It works pretty well most of the time but it’s leading me to a sense of dependency that I don’t like.  I’ve come to depend too much on this thing.  And lately it’s been letting me down from time to time.  Almost as if Lucretia is losing her mind.  Can a GPS suffer from Alzheimer’s?  Hmmmmm

Today was a great example.  I flew into Oklahoma City for meetings tomorrow in Wynnewood, OK and Wednesday in Stroud, OK.  Since Wynnewood is for all intents and purposes a ghost town I booked a hotel in Paul’s Valley about 8 miles away.  I’ve been more than a little concerned lately about being tethered to my GPS and I’ve been to OKC many times.  I also have a clear idea of where Paul’s Valley is in relation to OKC so I decided to navigate to the hotel without turning on the GPS.  I mean heck, I need to get to I-35 which runs down the eastern edge of Okie City and the airport is west of the city so I need to get on a highway that runs east and eventually it will lead me to I-35 which will take me to Paul’s Valley. No sweat.  Got on I-40 east, took it to I-35 south and 40 minutes later I was rolling into the parking lot of my hotel.  And then the trouble began.

I got checked in to the hotel, had a late lunch, and set off to locate the meeting site.  Plugged the address into my GPS and got underway.  I scratched my head a bit when it showed a location 15 miles west of the highway and 20 miles from the center of Wynnewood but what the heck.  Away we go in search of Chuck’s Restaurant in Wynnewood.  20 minutes later Lucretia says “You have arrived.”  And I had arrived….at a snow cone stand in Elmore City, OK.  Not exactly Chuck’s.  I pulled off the road and did a quick search on the GPS for the place by name and it told me to head 15 miles back to the highway which I did.  Just east of the highway I came across Chuck’s Country Cafe.  Eureka!  Right?  Not so fast…I parked and went in to see if this was the place.  The person on duty was just as confused but said “Yeah, this is Chuck’s.”  So off I went thinking that was the place but not quite convinced.

Once back at the hotel I fired up the computer and logged on to answer some e-mails and other assorted work stuff then launched Google and did a search for “Chuck’s restaurant of Wynnewood, OK.”  and got a result for “Kents Country Restuarant.”  Not the same.  Tried it again with different wording…same result.  Then I looked a little closer and saw that Kent’s phone number is the same one that I was given by the local contact for the company I’m meeting with.  And it’s a totally different location than Chuck’s Country Cafe.  So I called the number and the woman answering told me that it used to be Kent’s but now is Chuck’s.  Mystery solved…I think.

So tomorrow I’ll do the prudent thing.  I need to be on-site by 8:30 for meetings beginning at 9:00 so I’ll show up at Chuck’s/Kent’s at 8:00 and if it’s the wrong place I still have time to get to Chuck’s Country Cafe before the meeting starts.  And I have taken a vow to start weaning myself off the GPS as much as possible.

And the “G” in GPS?  Why, it stands for Ghastly..or God help us.  Take your pick

Damn you Lucretia!