The ever-so-reliable low-tech compass for the directionally challenged (apparently, that's me)

My absolute favorite thing about work is the people I work with. I get to be around some really fantastic people every day that make the hours spent working a great deal of fun. We get a ton of work done and laugh a lot while we’re doing it.

Recently, I and two other women in my department began a regular lunch date. Initially, the idea was to get out once a month in a non-work setting to just visit together. As we talked about it, we decided to take it a step further and try out some of the different ethnic restaurants in the downtown area. There’s a ton of great food to be had downtown – the plan was fool proof. Our first food choice was Thai. My mouth was watering for days before our firsts scheduled lunch just thinking about eating a spicy beef dish – waiting was difficult!

Finally, our first lunch date occurred just before the end of April. Three days after, one of my colleagues quietly and – in an unusual twist for her – timidly approached me to say she really wanted Thai again. The third in our trio was unable to join us that day, but we went and had a good visit together. The food was a bit of a disappointment after our first visit, but I’m certain it was simply an off day. The following week, our absentee colleague wanted to return to the Thai place as well. So, off we went. Our once a month treat was turning into a once a week routine (not that the treat aspect was diminished at all)!

Last week, we talked and decided that we would try Indian next. I was nominated for the task of finding an Indian restaurant to go to that was within a reasonable walking distance. I must admit, this isn’t the type of task that I feel I excel at. I wasn’t really sure where to begin until one day I had an epiphany as I flicked through my iPhone and saw the app, Urban Spoon. Well, duh! Why wouldn’t I use my iPhone for my search – I mean, it’s not that big an exaggeration when they say, “There’s an app for that!”

UrbanSpoon gave me two options – one that was definitely out of lunch hour walking distance range and the other was just around the corner from our favorite Thai place. So, at our scheduled time this afternoon we set out on our quest for Indian food. I confidently led my colleagues down the street and around the corner just past the Thai place where we turned right. We walked all the way to the next intersection and came across a pizza place. It was then that I admitted to the ladies that perhaps I should have looked at the map on my computer rather than my iPhone.

All was not lost, though. We all agreed that we were quite happy to once again enjoy our favorite Thai place. The waitresses are so sweet and, despite it being only our fourth visit, they even remembered our previous orders. Lunch today was so good. Our level of hunger made the food that much better – it was such a relief to finally eat something – and our table got uncharacteristically quiet when the food arrived.

The walk back to the office was shorter and we knew exactly where we were going. The day was gorgeous and our lunch hour was one to lift the spirits. After a rough morning for two of us, we felt energized again to finish off the day.

On arriving back at the office, I immediately went back to the work I left off with before lunch, while unbeknownst to me one of the ladies was looking up the Indian restaurant. She announced to both of us that I had taken them in the wrong direction (that had already been established, so nothing new about that). She informed me that we should have gone left instead of right. Then she said that next time she needs directions, she would rather flip a coin than rely on me.


So, I took a quarter out of my wallet, pulled out my red marker and marked arrows on both sides of the quarter. I walked over to her desk and “flipped” the coin onto her desk. She laughed, picked it up and showed our other colleague her new “compass”.

And THAT is why I love going to work every day.