My directionally challenged child was the only person I ever knew who could get lost going around the block. Of course I was young back then and hadn’t really met enough of the general population to know that there are really lots of people with this affliction.
Customers would call for directions to our business. In general if it was a guy calling, I would ask which direction he would be coming from and give directions using north, east, or south turn designations. But when a lady called I had discovered that once I knew where they were coming from they had more success with a simple right or left directional.
The most directionally challenged customer I ever had call me slowly wrote down the directions and went over them just to make sure she had everything right. I assured her she had it perfect.
About 30 minutes later she called back. This is our actual conversation:
“Where do I turn again after I exit the freeway?” she sounded distraught.
“After you exit the freeway, take the third left.”
“But how will I know which one is the third one?” she wailed nearly in tears.
“When you come off the freeway you will pass a corner, do not turn there, it is the first left and it puts you back on the freeway. You will go one block and there will be another corner, do not turn at that one either that is the second corner. At the end of that block is the next corner. It is the third corner, turn left there.”
I spoke slowly and sincerely, remembering my daughter as a little girl. I hoped I came across as caring and not condescending.
The customer arrived and thanked me for being so sweet and explaining it so clearly. She was genuinely thrilled to have gotten there, she hadn’t had to call me again and she hadn’t gotten lost.