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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hi! Welcome to America! Now Tell Me Where to Go.

Why do we always ask for directions at gas stations? Why do we assume these guys are going to be able to tell us how to get where we need to go? I think we expect way too much of gas station employees in this regard.

Think about it. Often, at least in my experience, these employees are foreigners. This isn't even their country, and they could very well be new arrivals, and yet we, Americans, ask them for directions. I mean, put me to work at a Sunoco in Calcutta, and I'm going to be of absolutely zero use to you if you need driving/walking directions.

And even if the employees are American, why do we assume these guys know anything more than how to get back and forth from home to work? How does that qualify them to be omniscient in the way of directions?

My guess is, the assumption stems from the fact that gas station employees tend to deal with a lot of passers-by, but unless these transients are choosing to educate the gas station employees about the local thoroughfares for no clear reason... See what I'm sayin'?...

(Special thanks to the venerable Rabbi D.S.)

1 comment:

  1. Used to be, back in the day, in every gas station there was a rack with maps on it. I suppose that asking a service station attendant for directions started when folks didn't feel like buying a map and it just "stuck" that way. Though the assumption that any of those guys were hanging around studying those maps is amusing.