The ba­sis of trust

Along the Trail

The Victoria Standard - - Commentary - CHUCK THOMPSON

We had de­cided to take a trip. It was time to put away the snow shovel, bags of salt and warm ashes for the drive­way. We de­cided to go to Vir­ginia as we are mild Civil War Buffs and ad­mir­ers of the mu­sic of the Ap­palachian re­gion. So, Vir­ginia it was. We changed the kitty lit­ter, called home care for Socks, and headed out.

When we touched down in Rich­mond, I got out the trusty map and started to plot our trip to the down­town core and our mo­tel. It was then that I re­al­ized that no one else in this large air­port was us­ing maps. I felt like Lewis and Clarke look­ing for the West Coast. All our fel­low tourists were stream­ing by us­ing their cell phones or GPS to get to wher­ever they were go­ing.

Time to be­come a mod­ern guy, I rea­soned, ig­nor­ing my spotty his­tory with gad­gets... any kind of gad­gets. So, when we picked up our rental car, I proudly asked for and re­ceived a GPS, the track­ing de­vise that you in­stall in your car and a fe­male voice they call Siri guides you flaw­lessly along. Or so I thought. De­spite the re­cent story of tourists get­ting lost on the High­land road fol­low­ing Siri, I put that down to in­ex­pe­ri­ence. It didn’t dawn on me that I was just as in­ex­pe­ri­enced.

As we left the air­port, we tried Siri to see if she could be trusted. She led me to the mo­tel as well as any blood hound. I thought “this trip is go­ing to be great: a new car, good roads, and Siri on my dash giv­ing me re­as­sur­ance”. Life was good.

Day two, we toured around and Siri was on our side. What an im­prove­ment over a crin­kled map or wob­bly compass.

But our re­la­tion­ship be­gan to sour as we swung out of Rich­mond and headed to Vir­ginia Beach.

She seemed hes­i­tant in her di­rec­tions, and I was be­gin­ning to won­der if we had de­vel­oped a fickle re­la­tion­ship. I was not so sure any­more.

Ev­ery­thing came to a head when we left the beach area and tried to get South on sec­ondary roads. Siri was hav­ing none of it. Sud­denly, we were five wide in heavy, rum­bling, fast traf­fic and ex­its. Where we wanted to go flashed by with no help from Siri. She had aban­doned us in our hour of need. No mat­ter how we tried to coax her, she kept lead­ing us back to the In­ter-state: un­der bridges, into tun­nels, cars zip­ping back and forth, 130km/h, bumper to bumper, white knuck­les, sweaty palms, a death grip on the wheel. Ma­clen­nan’s Cross felt so far away.

In des­per­a­tion, I swung right and ducked onto an off-ramp. A quick chat with some men chew­ing on a burger con­firmed what we had sus­pected: Siri was tak­ing us back to Rich­mond, whether we wanted to or not. I was dev­as­tated. Here was some­one, or some­thing, I had trusted and she was giv­ing me the shaft. I thought I was back dat­ing in high school.

Siri and I broke up for good the next day when I pulled in to the mo­tel where we were stay­ing and she said “When pos­si­ble, make a U-turn!”

The ba­sis of any re­la­tion­ship is trust: be it your per­sonal re­la­tion­ships, your work, your faith, what­ever. Trust lost is trust gone. Siri and I are through. And for once, it is not my fault.

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