This is more of a plea for help than an instructional post - I have no idea how to appear unhelpful. I’m the person in the street that people stop to ask for directions – if they knew what little sense of direction I have, they wouldn’t bother. I still get lost in the building I’ve worked in for the past year!
The other day at the airport, a man stopped me to ask where he could find some tea. I was holding a packet of M&Ms - the ones containing peanuts, in case you were wondering. Do people who buy M&Ms invariably buy tea as well? I looked around worriedly wondering if I was dressed like I worked there. I was not. There were about 6 people in the vicinity who did work there and who probably had a better idea where the tea was kept. I kindly suggested he try speaking to one of them – he looked confused as I walked away.
This sort of thing happens to me all the time. I might be the only person wearing earphones and a scowl on a street full of people and I am always the one people approach for assistance.
What can I do to make this stop? Earphones and scowling doesn’t work! Though to be fair, my scowls are pretty ineffective in most situations – they usually just elicit laughter.
Why is this such a big problem you ask? Well, I’m a worrier. Given my poor directional skills, I worry that I’ve been unclear as to which way they should go or worse, sent them completely the wrong way. I worry that somewhere, someone has turned down a dark alley that I’ve sent them to and been mugged. These are completely irrational worries, I know, but I never claimed to be a rational person. In fact, I fully accept that the opposite is true.
Nonetheless, these are the things that keep me up at night – that somewhere, someone is lying bleeding in the street, cursing the day they ever asked for my help.