Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?

Who remembers the day back in the 80’s that before you did your deliveries you got out the Hagstrom county maps and plotted a course.  Usually the pages you needed were ripped out or missing only to be found in the back of the delivery truck.   This was the way we learned directions.  It was challenging and it was a great mental exercise for our brains.  Not only did it teach us to read a map but it also helped with our organizational skills, logic, reasoning, time management and efficiency.

Now, let’s press the button and move to 2010.  How do we get from point A to Point B today?  Here is a clue; its three letters.  They are GPS.  Most of my workers don’t even know what GPS stands for, they just know that you press the buttons and it gets you there.  One day I asked them what GPS stands for? A couple of noteworthy replies; “Get people somewhere”, “Go places system” and my favorite answer “Get Problems Solved”.   Just to be sure we all agree, GPS is Global Positioning Satellite.

Are we relying too much on GPS to get us places?  I recently read an article that a man drove his car through someone’s house because his GPS told him to. (see photo above) It seems this is not an isolated case and there are numerous stories of people blaming GPS systems for accidents and bad directions.  Can you really blame your GPS.  Give me a break!

Many argue that in order to use GPS you have to have the knowledge of how to work and program it and this in itself is  a great mental exercise which is suppose to make up for not learning how read a map.  I say no way!  I think map reading is an important skill that should be learned by all.    I personally love my GPS and use it quite often, but I always confirm on a map before I commit to its directions.  Many times I don’t agree with the voice commands and I have been known to curse and throw items at it.

Our crews have become accustomed to bringing their own “tom toms” or “Garmin” to work and using them. They also have become very affluent at using Google maps and printing directions.  The problem is what are they going to do if the internet goes down or the GPS signals fails? Will they know how to read a map?  Will they drive in circles before asking for directions? Will they be late for deliveries? I believe the answers to those questions are no, yes and yes.

I do miss my ripped out Hagstrom maps.  I bet if I look hard enough I might find a couple pages behind some old desk in the warehouse.  For those of you that are interested Sesame Street can be found in Clarksboro, NJ. That would be Hagstrom Gloucester County Map, Page 16, Grid N-6.  Even Big Bird could program a GPS for that!  But a real cookie monster can read a map.

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Published in: on June 24, 2010 at 4:55 pm  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. This is very cute.


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