20 November 2006

Detroit - Such a helpful city...

Cruising into work again this morning (and yes, by cruising I mean breaking land speed records) I heard a song on the radio that reminded me of a trip I took up to the Motor City not long ago.

I was driving for a local company, hauling auto parts and was venturing up to the DaimlerChrysler plant in Detroit for the first time. I had planned it out, had plenty of time (running 1.5 hours ahead) and had printed directions right in front of me that I checked and double-checked against the city map. I was good to go.
Or so I thought. I get off the correct exit (after going up to the next exit, turning around, coming back down and flipping once again - it was a left-hand exit. I knew this, I'd been by it a hundred times on my way to the bridge to cross over to Canada.) Anyhow, I make it off the exit, following the directions. So far, so good. A little construction on the side, that's ok. We could still get through. It's still light out, I'm feeling pretty good about this. I'm still an hour ahead of where I need to be. I know better.
The road that I needed to turn on was closed for construction, as are most of the truck routes in the summer. So I continue straight, thinking I'll find a cross road that will get me there. Not being familiar with Detroit, I figure I'll get on the radio and ask. "Break 19 for local." Nothing. I'm simultaneously trying to follow directions that are no longer good, watch street signs, read my city map and NOT run over any of the hundreds of good citizens of Detroit who are wandering out in the middle of the street. It's now dusk (about 915p) and getting darker by the minute. I am down-town DE-troit and I make sure my doors are locked and my fifth-wheel puller is in easy reach in case someone tries to jump up and break my window, I'll just bean them with the puller and keep on going! Then I hear the big radios. By big radios, I mean the home base units where you have the drunkest, loudest, most obnoxious people rambling on about stupid stuff when people are trying to get bear reports(find out where the cops are) or directions (like certain female drivers who don't mind asking for them). So I turn my radio back up and listen for a minute.
We have 2 guys going at it in Radio Rambo style and 1 guy of shady background piping up on the radio. I'm getting farther down-town, and all I want is to get to the safety of the dock at the auto plant and get the hell home. So I wait for a break between the one guy yelling at the other "I'm gonna come over there with a F***** machete and chop you up!" and the other one selling crack (no joke) and say, (with all sincerity) "Pardon me, can you tell me how to get back to such and such a street?" Yes I did.
Amazingly enough, one of the Rambos said "Yea, take such and such and turn right and it'll run you right into it." So, being the gracious person I am, I said, "Thanks, carry on." And they did.
Now, being a female driver, when you get directions on the radio, you have to be careful of several things. One being strange voices out in CB Land that tell you how to get somewhere you've never been. Sometimes there are some not-so-nice people out there who will lead you to a deserted place then rob you or worse. I know, if you can't trust a psycho machete killer or a crack dealer, who can you trust?! So I always double-check against maps and usually ask again a little farther down the road, just to make sure. Usually, if you're being led astray, there's someone out there who will tell you you're being set up. They do it because we all know drivers like to argue. Hey, if they wanna argue over it, long as I get where I need to be, we're all happy.
Well, as it turned out, my psycho machete killer was right. I made it into the plant (finally-2 minutes to spare) and did my drop. Just for fun's sake, I followed one of the Chrysler drivers out because I knew they'd get me back to 75 and I could take it from there. Hey, it worked out.
Ahh, yes, another beautiful memory for Miss Behavin'... sometimes I do NOT miss driving. :)

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