Monday, May 04, 2009

Exiled, and Nigel

I had hoped that our experience with the unflushed toilets would be the only "adventure" we would have in attempting to sell our house. I had hoped that seven minutes would be the least amount of advance notice we would ever receive. I was wrong.

Twice in the last week, people have come to see our house with zero warning. None at all. The first time, we were all at home and a realtor showed up out of the blue with her clients in tow.

On our way out of the house (and you better believe I checked the toilets), I grabbed the camera and took this picture of us waiting outside until the strangers were done looking at our house. Miriam is holding a bunch of miniature My Little Ponies that she ran back in to grab even after the realtor had gone inside.

The second time was just this afternoon. We were eating lunch. Magdalena was wearing only a diaper and had blueberries smeared all across her face. Miriam's coloring books were spread across the front room. Our house smelled like potstickers - delicious, but perhaps not very sale-inducing. Still, when you're trying to sell your house and a realtor knocks at your door (with no advance notice, let me say again) with prospective buyers wanting to come inside, what am I going to say? That's right: come on in!

In other news, we have a GPS now. It was a graduation gift from Jeremy's parents and we have decided to call it Nigel. That way, all the shifty Tucson car thieves will not be alerted to its valuable resale presence in our vehicle's glove compartment when I tell Jeremy to "put Nigel away."

I know I'm a couple of years behind the times in blogging about zany GPS mishaps (see here), but I'll just share our experience of this morning. Our church meeting today was held in a chapel across town for a special occasion and so I looked up the address online, had Jeremy plug it into Nigel, and we were on our way. We figured it would take us about 25 minutes to get there.

One HOUR later, we pulled into our final destination, after calling a friend of mine and asking her for directions. In Nigel's defense, it wasn't his fault. The directions I looked up showed an address and map.

I've been to this chapel once before, and looking at the map confirmed that it was the one I was looking for. I never imagined that the street address given in the listing would not correspond to the map picture, and be completely incorrect. By following Nigel's (impeccably pronounced, British-accented) directions, we ended up in the wrong place.

The worst part is that even though Nigel's directions seemed increasingly suspicious to me as we continued in a very scenic drive across town, I kept telling myself (and Jeremy kept telling me): TRUST THE GPS. It is technology. It knows the city. It knows where it's going. Trust it. At one point, I questioned Nigel's directions out loud, and he repeated the same directions again, oddly, as if to chastise me.

At another point, long after we should have arrived at the church building, we passed through a remote intersection into one of the more far-flung areas of Tucson and Jeremy told me that Nigel said to "continue six miles..." I just about screeched to a halt right there in the middle of the road. It turns out Jeremy was just kidding (Nigel said to continue one mile), but it also turns out that Nigel was wrong. Because we were wrong. Because the internet was wrong.

Otherwise, we love the GPS. But today, we learned our lesson that a computer is only as smart as the information you put into it.


JackJen said...

Might I suggest never leaving the GPS in your car. Even your locked car. Personal experience.

Also, the minute you shared Nigel's name, I KNEW you were using the British voice. HA! We used the British voice as well (before our GPS was rudely thieved out of our locked car) and I called him Allastair.

Liz Johnson said...

Ours totally speaks in a British accent as well. The American voice sounded too much like Sarah Palin and it made me want to run over all of the pedestrians. Somehow I didn't think that defense would hold up in court.

Why do realtors think that they can come any time!? Do they not realize that people are more likely to buy a clean house, and thus they are more likely to receive a commission if they show a clean house?! For the love!

Jeanerbee said...

I hate having to show a house. Oh, and we've had lots of crazy GPS stories... do you ever watch The Office? There is a hysterical episode when Michael drives into a pond because the GPS insisted he turn RIGHT eventhough there was no road there...

EmmySue said...

I am sorry for your home viewing experiences... but at least you are having them. After a week on the market, we keep looking out the window and hovering over our phones just to make sure the sign IS up and our phone IS on. UGH! Silence! We are living on eggshells and not a single soul has appreciated it. Oh well! How long was it until you had your first viewing?
GPS sounds fun. I'll have to take your word on it for now. Still living the "no paycheck" life... and parents aren't half as generous. Oh well! Enjoy!

Jill said...

Oh, how I prayed we wouldn't be caught off guard when showing our house. Thankfully our prayers worked.
Our GPS is Maggie (it's a Magellan). In the year and a half that she's been a part of our family we have learned that Maggie's directions aren't always the best. I ALWAYS look up on mapquest where we are going, even when using Maggie. It's important. Sometimes she tells us to go west ALL THE WAY AROUND a beltloop when just going east would have saved us an hour of drive time. I have tried to make it a practice to look at Maggie's overall route before believing anything she says.
I guess some things you just have to learn the hard way.

Natchel said...

The best GPS experience I have is when we were driving to Rocky Point with Nate's family, following the directions of my FIL's new GPS, Betty. We were cruisin down the interstate when she suddenly told us to turn left. Turn left?? How do you urn left on the freeway? She was very adamant about the left turn however, and when we ignored her and passed the supposed turn, she kept trying to recalculate and have us flip a U-turn!
I figure people have gotten along just fine without Bettys or Nigels for centuries. It makes me a little nervous to blindly follow a little computer who, I assume, knows how to get me there.
And now I sound like a fuddy duddy complaining about young whipper snappers loud rock and roll.

Mikael said...

You are doing a good job opening your doors to buyers/strangers. I think that my house would never sell because all they would smell were all the poopy diapers laying around waiting to be thrown away, spilled milk on the floor, unflushed toilets!, and my burnt food. You are doing much better!!!

Susanne said...

Andrew's GPS is Lola. Her voice annoys me, but, thankfully, she is pretty handy on some trips. I liked reading everyone's GPS's name.

Wow about having no warning on the house.

Kristen said...

I have never heard of naming a GPS. Appears that it is very common. I always laugh at her mispronunciations: Tiggard for Tigard, TOO-all-AT-in Valley Highway, etc.


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