During my annual trek to the BICSI Winter Conference in Orlando, I had the opportunity to leave the conference's host facility one night for dinner. Thankfully for everybody involved, I was a passenger, not the driver of the car that journeyed out to International Drive for the occasion. My host had a business card from the restaurant of choice; information on the card included the restaurant's physical address. Healso had a global positioning system (GPS) navigation application on his wireless phone, and GPS navigation in his rental car. With such redundant support systems, we figured the toughest chore of the evening would be choosing a dessert.
We were wrong.
Shortly after heading out, both GPS systems told us (him) to make alegal U-turn. Once we (he) did, both systems again issued the command to make a legal U-turn. Ohh-kaaaay. Then both systems proudly proclaimed we had reached our destination. Except we were in the middle of a busy street, with nary a building on our side of the roadway, and our restaurant of choice nowhere in sight.
Time out. Let's try this again. In what might have been my shrewdest act of the past several years, I pushed a few buttons on the screen stuck to the windshield and identified the restaurant by name. That surely would do it. We must have inverted a couple of numbers when we initially typed the address into the two systems, or something. Well, several U-turns later (some legal, some not), we were again informed that we had arrived at our destination. Of course, we hadn't.
After about 20 minutes, the driver said, “We're dead.” He didn't mean that our chances of eating at that restaurant had been reduced to nil. Rather, he theorized that we had in fact perished that evening, and our eternity would be spent making U-turns around International Drive in Orlando, while our industry colleagues enjoyed big, hearty meals, had plenty to drink, and reaped the other benefits of attending a BICSI conference.
We stopped at a restaurant that was not our original destination, and asked the hostess A) if she could see and hear us, and B) if she could point us in the right direction. She explained that the restaurant we were looking for had moved locations a number of months earlier, and we could drive another 10 minutes to reach it. No thanks. We'll eat here.
Because a restaurant failed to properly document an important move, it lost at least one piece of business that evening. I suspect it has lost plenty of other business for the same reason.
Let's all resolve not to condemn ourselves to a similar fate.