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Old 10-22-2013, 05:07 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 15,350,330 times
Reputation: 10248

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(Inability to comprehend compass points is a whole 'nother rant....)

So I hired someone new about a month ago; I'm a painting contractor and our jobs are all over the place but mostly in south Genesee county. This guy has a seriously hard time getting directions, reading maps, etc. He has a computer (No smartphone-GPS though), can read, and seems quite intelligent. But I'm about to let him go because of the constant drama of him getting lost, needing major hand-holding (ie I guide him in by phone which is tiresome) and not getting to work on time...or at all.

Last night I emailed him the mapquest link to the job along with very explicit step-by-step directions, thinking it would make it easier for him. It didn't. Apparently he got hopelessly lost, ended up about ten miles north, utterly confused. Never made it to work. He has lived in this county most of his life, I should add - I've been here 12 years. How he ended up where he did without really knowing where he WAS baffles me.

MY directions, verbatim (with the address redacted.)

Quote:
I-75 south to exit #108 Holly Rd.
Turn RIGHT.
First light is to Genesys, go straight.
turn LEFT at second light, Baldwin Rd.

Stay on Baldwin.
Go over freeway, past Saginaw st, past where we just finished that garage, past the fountain entrance to Del Webb. Keep going. Your next intersection in about half a mile (no stop sign) is Vassar Rd, there will probably be construction equipment or cones there. Pass Vassar Rd. In about a mile or so, you will probably see some more cones/construction equipment at ***** Rd. That's the next possible turn after Vassar. There is no stop sign, so just watch for it. Just before you get there you'll see a long wrought iron fence on your right.

If you get to Gale Rd you have gone too far. Turn around and go back about a mile, look for construction equipment, turn left on *****)

Turn RIGHT on ***** Rd. It is a dirt road and very rough. Go slow!

***** S ***** Rd will be exactly six tenths of a mile on your right. Watch for a very large rock near a driveway, like ten feet tall, on a mowed yard on your right. The road will suddenly get extremely rough. The very next driveway to your RIGHT, a couple hundred feet from the rock, is ***** S ***** Rd. The number is clearly visible. There's a little gate and an apple tree by the gate and apples all over the ground.

Turn RIGHT into driveway.

The driveway is about 400 feet long and winds around. Drive slowly until you see a house and vehicles and stop before you hit something. You are now at the job.

If you get to Ohio, you have gone too far. :O)



We seriously have zero cell phone reception on this job, so please do not call. Phone won't even ring.
Is this not very clear? He somehow ended up in a different city, ten miles north, although he swears he followed my directions. Clearly he didn't.

Since moving to the midwest I've encountered so many people who have a tough time with driving directions (and knowing where NSEW is despite living here their entire lives) and I really do not get it. People here typically cannot point south and say "Detroit is that way" or "up north is that way" despite I-75, clearly marked "north" and "south" running straight through the county.

I hate to fire someone for being a dumbass about directions, all else being good but today got on my last nerve. Is understanding directions or reading maps not a very basic skill for a 40-year-old? Am I being unreasonable? All my other guys (and gals) manage to find their way to work OK.
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Old 10-22-2013, 05:22 PM
 
10,719 posts, read 17,699,556 times
Reputation: 10193
I would say failing to arrive to work or a job site regularly is enough reason, irregardless of why he doesn't arrive.
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Old 10-22-2013, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Lafayette, LA
3,363 posts, read 2,699,267 times
Reputation: 7571
Might he be dislexic or have something similar that makes it hard for him to understand from point A to point B when it includes rights and lefts?
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Old 10-22-2013, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,918 posts, read 20,534,663 times
Reputation: 5089
I'm with you guys. It's too bad, but being on time to work is part of the job. Not being able to get there despite clear directions might well mean something else is wrong (as in direction failure is cover up for whatever he's really doing). Or it could be simpler like he just can't pay attention enough to catch the road signs or other cues (don't think you want that on the job) or is doing something that distracts him from the cues (talking on phone or such).

I mean, if you can't start with a major thing like I-75 south exit ___ and read the turn by turn instructions, then forget it. Reading an actual map comes easy to me and not to others, that I can get, but ANYONE should be able to follow turns to be made at landmarks/road names.

I don't think a GPS unit would help this guy!
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Old 10-22-2013, 05:57 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 15,350,330 times
Reputation: 10248
Quote:
Originally Posted by puginabug View Post
Might he be dislexic or have something similar that makes it hard for him to understand from point A to point B when it includes rights and lefts?
I asked him that directly (and discreetly) and he said no, he was all good.

But that's why I put LEFT and RIGHT in caps and did my best to include landmarks. I'm trying to be as helpful as possible! But I simply will not babysit someone.

Get to the job, do work, get paid. easy peasy.

Do not get to the job, do not get paid. easy peasy.
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:39 PM
 
10,522 posts, read 15,567,026 times
Reputation: 11832
Can't he use Google maps or Waze on his phone?
Let me ask you this.
IS HE A GOOD WORKER? Freaking out over $120 a decent GPS is worth vs losing a good craftsman is your true problem.
if he's a slacker aand all thumbs, it's diff story.
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:53 PM
 
3,069 posts, read 3,182,170 times
Reputation: 3680
Quote:
Originally Posted by ukrkoz View Post
Can't he use Google maps or Waze on his phone?
Let me ask you this.
IS HE A GOOD WORKER? Freaking out over $120 a decent GPS is worth vs losing a good craftsman is your true problem.
if he's a slacker aand all thumbs, it's diff story.
Agreed. Is he a good painter? could he follow a GPS if he had one?

On another point Can he read? Are you sure? there are a fair number of people who cannot read but get along fine in their field of work. I know several including the guy who keeps my lawn tractor running. He has worked for the highway department for years is very well respected by the Senior staff there but cannot read. I know for sure because I was an election judge and the other Judge I worked with asked him if he needed help with the ballot. Once he knows you he will tell you and ask you to write a phone number down for him so his wife can use it. I think he can 'pattern match to some degree but following written directions would be beyond him. And it isn't he hasn't tried I have reliable evidence that he has taken remedial reading and adult literacy classes but it just seems beyond him.

If he is good at his job and will accept the help try a low end Garmin and program the next days job in it for him. It might help keep him as a productive member of society
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:34 PM
 
Location: FLG/PHX/MKE
7,288 posts, read 13,490,578 times
Reputation: 11576
Yeah, failure to follow directions is indigenous to Midwestern people.

The reality is, something is wrong here. What, is anyone's guess. Maybe the guy is just screwing off. Maybe he's an idiot. Tell him to get his own damn $100 GPS. Most intelligent people would already have done that if they were at risk of losing a job because they couldn't read a map (which isn't too difficult either).
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:41 PM
 
32,438 posts, read 26,292,401 times
Reputation: 19035
some people are just born lost, and if the birth canal had more than one way out, they would still be lost inside.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:51 PM
 
143 posts, read 305,570 times
Reputation: 134
I'm a visual person, so I prefer maps/GPS routes to written directions. Though if I had written directions I'd probably do just fine. The only thing that really sucks about the written directions that you gave him is that if he made one wrong turn and didn't catch it right away, it may be too hard to get back on track. With a GPS you have something to tell you right away that you didn't make the right turn or didn't get off at the right exit, and it will give you directions on how to get going in the right direction.

If he's a good worker besides the problem with directions, is it possible for your business to pick up a "company GPS" for him and other workers to use? Or maybe tell him he needs to get one before you give him his next painting assignment. I just looked online at Wal Mart and they had them from about $70-$120, it wouldn't be a bad investment for him to pay for if it's going to keep him from losing his job...
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