This afternoon I went into a Starbucks, as I have been know to do on occasion. As I was getting near the entrance, I saw a group of guys sitting at one of the outside tables, and a woman standing with them. As I inconspicuously eavesdropped, it became apparent that she was lost, and the guys, that is, ALL the guys at the same time, were trying to give her directions.
I could see the usual gestures that accompany direction-giving… arm waving, pointing, thumbs pointing to the back, etc. And I could hear the usual phrases that accompany direction-giving… “You’ll need to….”, “You’re gonna hafta make a U-ey (u-turn)…” “You’re gonna wanna __________”
(“You’re gonna wanna” is a great starter phrase when giving directions.)
Anyway, I’ve come to believe over the years that directions should not be given by a group. Directions should be given by ONE PERSON. It’s just too confusing otherwise. As I watched the direction-giving episode take place, it seemed to me that the direction-giving guys were all pointing in opposite directions, and saying contradictory things, and actually getting into a heated argument about the various “You’re gonna wanna’s.”
So just a word of advice – if you’re in a group, and a confused stranger comes up and asks for directions, appoint a spokesperson (just take a few minutes and have a simple vote, perhaps by secret folded ballot), and let that spokesperson give the directions. If the spokesperson is wrong, others in the group can, ONE AT A TIME, offer alternatives.
Am I a control freak or what???