Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Joys of Technology

Must be a week for directionally challenged freaks.

My 3:00 called 5 times for directions to my office, and kept arguing with my staff that WE had the wrong cross streets (I've been here since 1998, for crying out loud).

She shows up 10 minutes late, stomps up to the front desk, shoves a portable GPS system in my secretary's face (hasn't even signed in or introduced herself) and yells "THERE! WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT!"

My secretary can see nothing wrong with what's on the screen, and says so. So the woman starts arguing that our building isn't where it's supposed to be according to GPS.

She then claimed that obviously the building had been moved since the GPS system was set-up! I swear!

Lady, this is a multistory, 15 year old, brick and concrete medical office building. I promise you that, short of major tectonic activity, they don't move.


LPC said...

I guess this is what to expect with neurology patients?

Uro*MA said...

The DR i work for has been in the same building for 25 years... Our patients always say "well, I would not have been late, but you've moved since I was last here! (six months ago??) and I couldn't find the place, next time send me directions! (are we "moving " again? and shouldn't you know where it is now?) gotta love em!


Lipstick said...

so....have you considered going into practice with a psychiatrist?

ERP said...

What a kook. I hope she is not typical of your patient population.

DreamingTree said...

Technology at its best. I use a GPS (spatial skills aren't the greatest), and the first thing I learned was that the machine can be wrong. Just like we're taught to treat the patient, not the machine. "I'm sorry, Ms. GPS, but tele is showing you in v-fib; I need to shock you. What do you mean you feel fine? The equipment can't be wrong."

ShrinkingDoc said...

You definitely have more than your share of a$$holes. Do you ever have to fight the urge to punch one of them?

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Every day. That and strangling.

Anonymous said...

The woman depended a little too much on her GPS. I have a Garmin. It has been wrong on more than one occasion. I Google map my trip before using the Garmin when going anywhere new.

One time, I went to go visit a friend. Never been to their home before. The GPS told me I arrived at my destination. I was 5 houses down from them.

My GPS has helped me in a lot of situations too. I still think it was a good investment.

-- 5th year pharmacy student

Anonymous said...

It's like that episode of The Office where the GPS tells them to drive into a lake... and they do.

Never a shortage of stupidity...

Sabra said...

Your average GPS is somewhat off on purpose, something I think isn't common knowledge.

Some of them are also just crap. The Magellan my ex has keeps trying to send him through Ft Sam Houston, which has been closed to regular civilian traffic since 2001. It was also outdated right out of the box, without a lot of newish streets that were built within a couple of years before he bought the unit.

Mapquest isn't much better, in my experience. Fairly recently I had to call for directions to a job interview because the computer told me to take a left where I needed to take a right.

Map books may be old-school technology, but I haven't found anything more accurate yet.

Anonymous said...

I'll have to see if I can find that episode online. :)

I believe the built-in error for security reasons that were seen in older GPS systems has been done away with for the new GPS systems. (Yes, I was aware of the built-in error. My father would be proud to know that his daughter *was* listening to his little GPS lesson. :) )

I'm also gathering via internet searching that the new system won't be right on the dot due to the information stored in their databases (not every house and street number is going to be in their system - so there is some guesstimating). I'm seeing a lot of "accuracy within 2 meters" during my internet searches though. In other words, under best conditions, you usually have a reading within 2 meters of your actual location.
(Not sure if I'm allowed to post actual links in this blog. I like to give references.)

Clarifying the Googling thing, I actually look at the map under satellite view. My biggest concern is locating all the parking lots before I get somewhere. Google allows street views in many urban areas too. I used to use MapQuest, but, like you, I had some issues with it.

Eh, paper maps have their pluses and minuses. If my trusty Garmin takes an early retirement, there is a United States atlas and a map of the city I currently reside in... both sitting in my car.

Know we got side-tracked with the GPS stuff. Hope the conversation is helping you all out.

I still go with my original statement... the female patient has yet to learn about the little quirks a GPS has.

-- 5th year pharmacy intern

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