Tip #191: Useful Training Resources #2

I travel a lot, both in state and around the country. Very often, I need to drive a rental car in a strange city. My ability to get lost is probably legendary among my clients. It doesn’t matter if they send me a map or I print out a map from some internet site (I am completely map –impaired), they give me written or verbal narrative instructions, or they even actually drive ahead of me to show me the way. I STILL get lost!!

My innate lack of direction prompted a friend to mount a compass on my dashboard, so I could at least tell him what direction I was heading when I called him hysterical because I was so lost. I have literally circled Dallas and Albuquerque for hours, on separate occasions, entirely missing any and all suggested turnoffs.

When a business acquaintance showed me that his phone had GPS, I leapt at the chance to get one. Unfortunately, my cellular service provider only offers GPS on phones for emergency personnel. And my ten-year old car, which I like very much and will be keeping for a long while, thank you, did not come with a GPS the way newer models currently do.

So I was delighted to learn from my friend, Marilyn, who travels even more than I do, that I could purchase a GPS that is simple to use, easy to mount, and mobile- so I can take it with me and transfer it into any car I drive. No more hysterical tears- no more abject terror at being late or never arriving at my destination- no more cursing my destiny and my choice to drive and to travel for my work.- no more pitiful calls to my desired location for rescue!

After researching what was available, I finally decided to purchase a Garmin StreetPilot c330 GPS Navigator. It is incredibly simple to operate, easy to see and read, completely touch screen (except for the power and volume control), incredibly accurate, and has a loud and clear voice, Not only does this wonderful device tell me where and when to turn, it tells me how far I will travel before I need to turn- and then tells me just before the turn is necessary. I can also read the screen, which indicates the route, the upcoming turn, and the time I should arrive at my destination. I can enter the address- by state, city, and road. There are also five millions points of interest already programmed into the system. And the maps don’t need to be downloaded, they are already there!

In addition, I was able to get it for a very good price- less than $230! Can you tell how pleased, proud and relieved I am to now have GPS in my car???

Yes, I still frequently take the wrong turn. But now my long suffering GPS simply says (with an inaudible sigh) that it will recalculate so I know how to get back on track!
And yes, Sheri Berg did have to talk me to Bethesda Lutheran Homes and Services in Watertown just yesterday, because I couldn’t hear the GPS and didn’t know how to adjust the volume! This major informational deficiency was corrected last night by 18 year old Jake, my son Seth’s friend, who immediately showed me the volume control on the side of the GPS..

My GPS may think little of my navigational skills, but now that I know how to adjust the volume, I will no longer be bothering friends, clients, and gas station attendants when I get lost. Because I will get lost, because that’s what I do.

Next week, we will continue a discussion of useful training resources with information about an LCD projector remote with a built-in timer!!


This week, we continue a discussion of useful training resources. Please be aware that I do not sell these products, nor do I receive any commission on their sale. They are simply items that make a trainer’s life easier!

Last week’s Tip about using a GPS generated two delightful responses from Andrea and Ellen:

“Hi Deb,

I also travel a lot, not near as much as you do but 50% of the time I’m usually away from home on a business trip. I am also directionally challenged and have a great amount of gratitude to AVIS car rental for offering, GPS systems with their rental cars. The cost is generally $9.00 or so, but it is worth the cost to eliminate frustration on my part because I could not find the hotel, office, or airport. I’m not sure if other car rental companies offer GPS and this is not a plug for AVIS, but I now look forward to listening to the naviagional lady tell me that she is “recalculating”. ”

Andrea Simmons
T-Mobile USA

“I have one too and would not know what to do without it anymore. Sure beats a map in the middle of the steering wheel!”

Ellen Hierl
Education Specialist
Bethesda Lutheran Homes and Services, Inc.

Thank you, Andrea and Ellen! Yes, Avis and some of the other car rental agencies now offer the GPS system. I didn’t think to mention that myself, for the following embarrassing reason: I needed to purchase my own because I even get lost in my own city! Isn’t that pathetic?

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