Parked outside the car dealership, waiting for it to open, some workers have already started to arrive for work, nearly an hour early, on this hot Monday morning. Like the factory I passed along the way, whose employee’s parking lot was already full – the workday starting early for many.
Also, like the transport truck driver who hailed me over to ask directions.
I had just dropped off my car keys and was walking across the normally busy multi-lane road – heading for a coffee shop. She had just pulled over to the curb with the hazard lights flashing, when I mounted the steps of the truck’s cab – grabbing hold of the big side mirror, in order to talk to her.
She had travelled over 60 miles/100 kms getting to this point, but had taken a wrong exit… looking for King Street West. With no GPS, she had only hand written directions and was now lost, with me suddenly being her sole means of getting her back on track.
Wikipedia: US Air Force GPS controller
The main problem with her written instructions, that only locals could appreciate, is that “King Street” actually goes north, south, west and east, depending where you are in the twin cities of Kitchener-Waterloo. Everyone who lives around here has been conditioned to carefully note which “King Street”… therefore, what city it is.
I suggested that I could draw a map to her destination from inside the cab. So, with permission, I scrambled around to the passenger side door to climb aboard. She was a middle age woman, and I guessed, perhaps a mom. The truck’s interior was clean and new looking with all the comforts of home … including a neat and tidy sleeping bunk – everything but a central vac! This was her home office, on wheels.
Question: when you’re given driving instructions, do you write them down or draw a map? With two opposite communication styles, it was frustrating – especially under time pressures and not wanting to get her lost again – but somehow, we made it work.
Upon leaving her, I knew she’d be OK because of how she ‘u-turned’ that big rig around right then and there – disappearing off in the right direction. It may have been early in the morning for me, but she’d been ‘up and at it’ for many hours already.
Sipping a coffee, waiting for a ride, I wondered how life must be for a working mom in such a male dominated occupation. Would I worry if this had been my wife?
Reflecting back, I had detected a split-second hesitation when I first suggested getting into her truck. Then again, there must have been something about me, and/or the daylight, that allayed any fears. I took it as a compliment … being considered trustworthy by one diminutive queen bee, among King Streets, isn’t a bad thing since she would have met all types.
“You got to keep on pushing mamma, you know they’re running late” –Doobie Brothers’ ‘Long Train Running’
Keep on trucking… a GPS, maybe?
www.fredparry.ca (June, 2013)