Dear Miss Manners: I have a GPS navigator in my car, which I use when I am going to an unfamiliar location. If I have a passenger who claims to know the way, I usually rely on the passenger rather than the GPS, though sometimes this has proved to be a mistake. But when traveling to a place that is unfamiliar to both of us, I use the GPS.
Now it has happened on several occasions, and with different passengers, that while the final destination may be unfamiliar, during some portion of the route, such as getting out of the city or passing through a nearby community, the passenger has argued with the GPS navigator by calling it stupid, asking me why I bought it in the first place, or telling me to throw it out the window.
One person actually sulked for an hour because I took the GPS directions instead of his. Another person told me he would rather get lost than rely on a silly box with a simulated voice.
If I am a passenger in someone else’s car, I don’t give directions unless I am asked. I feel that most drivers have their favorite ways to travel, and it is not up to me to question their decisions. I would like to know how to respond to people who develop adversarial relationships with my GPS navigator.
First of all, can I just say that I love his closing line? Makes me want to create some kind of “best questions” widget. Also, I love Miss Manners:
No etiquette query has yet come to Miss Manners from the GPS lady herself, but with the number of people who love or hate her, it’s probably only a matter of time. All that cursing and courting she must endure, while only trying to do her job, must be hard to bear.
As captain of the vehicle, it is your duty to defend her. Miss Manners suggests a gentle: “Please don’t be too rough on her. She’s had a difficult day. We’ll humor her and let her have her way.”