Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It's obvious....well no not really

My husband and I recently returned from a vacation and we got lost going to the car rental return at San Francisco Airport. The concierge at the hotel told us it was easy to get to and the route would be obvious.

We also got lost last year trying to find the car rental return at the Rome airport. That time we thought that the amount of signage in four different languages was the problem. Trying to read them and go at the speed of traffic is definitely a challenge.

This time for San Francisco I asked for the address of the car rental so I could use our GPS. The concierge said to me "but that's not the way we do it" and gave me a little card with directions. After I pushed back a little she gave me the address, unfortunately I didn't notice that she did not include the town name and GPS doesn't work with only a street name. I've also since discovered that the street address was inaccurate. In many cases the airport is not in the city that it serves so I thought that was the problem as to why I could not program it in the GPS. I've since then figured out that I could have found it by using the landmark section of the GPS. We missed our turnoff and then back tracked on the highway, started over and found the correct signs to guide us on the second try.

What does this have to do with Knitting? Well it makes me realize that what is obvious to one person isn't obvious to another when you are in unfamiliar territory. There are so many distractions to deal with that are not pertinent to your goal and we are limited by how many things can have our attention at one time. Have you ever noticed that putting key information in the subject line of an email creates questions by receivers who only read the body? Some Knitters skip over the pattern notes and  go straight to the instructions making assumptions about project construction that causes them a great deal of confusion and frustration. The way to fix this is to slow down, back track and start over from the beginning. That's the way we got to Hertz to return the car. We got off the highway, reviewed the instructions and backtracked to start afresh.

I find knitting is an allegory for almost everything in life including finding your way when you are lost.

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