Maps

folding mapAre you old enough to remember the days when to get around a city you’d never visited before you stopped at a gas station and bought a street map?   A street map mysteriously folded so that once you unfolded it, it could never be properly folded again?   Or, if you were staying longer you’d buy a Thomas guide, 300 pages of detailed maps with print so small you needed a microscope to distinguish between Lake Avenue and Lark Avenue?  Do you remember trying to drive with with the map unfurled on your lap or getting frustrated with your navigator because she kept telling you to turn left at Redwood Avenue a block after you passed it.   Since we arrived in Utah shortly before Christmas, we have depended on maps to find our way to just about everyplace (and our way home again).  Fortunately, we have a remarkable bit of technology at our disposal … GPS navigation.   It is a distinct possibility that I’ve talked more to our GPS (which, by the way, I’ve nicknamed Myrtle) than I’ve talked to my wife since we’ve been here.   Yes, it is amazing, indispensable technology.   Except when it’s not.

One of the things we’ve discovered since we moved here is that Google Maps isn’t up to date in our area.  We first found this out when we had a piece of furniture delivered.  I could see the truck periodically driving by but couldn’t catch his eye.   Part of the problem is that although our address is on W Lake Avenue, there is a greenbelt between us and the road.   To get to our front door you have to park and walk around the wronggreenbelt.   Finally the driver called me.  I could see him stopped in the parking lot of a park across the street and I was able to direct him to our house..  He said Google Maps puts us in the park.   Fortunately he was persistent … not every delivery driver is.  Sometimes deliveries arrive right on time, others we get the undeliverable text.  The other odd thing is that the location of our address seems to show up in several different places along Lake Ave.   So, when we’re home and I pull up Google maps, there’s the blue dot, right at the location of our house and there’s the address pin, .3 miles away.  Enough to confuse a tired (or lazy) delivery driver.

This became critical last week when my business credit card was expiring and the delivery of the new one didn’t happen.  I have a lot of autopays on that card so I needed to get it.   I called Citi Bank and after the usual run around with virtual customer service reps and auto-answerers, I got a real person who set up to have the card delivered by Fedex overnight.   I even got a note from Fedex that it was on the way but before the day ended I got a text that the address was wrong and the package had been returned to the depot.   Except the address was right!  And so I began trying to talk to a real person at Fedex.   Almost impossible.  Almost.   After an hour of trying, I got someone who spoke very poor English.   She kept telling me I needed to call the sender to fix the address and I kept telling her the address was right.   I finally gave up and tried to add delivery instructions on line.   The website limited instructions to 35 characters.   I did the best I could by giving them an intersection.   Then I set out to set Google maps straight using their user feedback link (you can find how to do that here).  I discovered that the street we live on is misnamed , so I suggested a change.   Google could not confirm the change of street name.    That means no change.   I also tried to reposition our address several times but it hasn’t worked even though they say they accepted my edit.  Just for the hell of it, I borrowed my wife’s iPhone and used Apple Maps.   Apple Maps correctly names the street West Lake Avenue, but cannot find our address.   Somehow, our credit card made it today … a more persistent delivery guy found the alley behind our house and left it in our patio door.   But Google maps still doesn’t know where we live and I am having a drawing table delivered this week.  It remains to be seen how many tries it will take.

mapcarLike I say, technology is great.  Except when it’s not.  Hopefully one of these days, I’ll see one of those peculiar Google Maps Cars driving through our neighborhood and all will be well.   Or maybe Google Maps will finally accept my edits (I’m going to keep pestering them).  In the meantime, if you need to send me something without delay, use USPS (they know the location of our mailbox) not UPS or Fedex.

Explore posts in the same categories: feeling older, humor

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