There was a knock on the door, but it sounded like it was on my next door neighbor’s door as it was muffled, so I ignored it. I even ignored it when I heard it a second time as then I was certain it was on her door, and knowing her habits, I was certain she wasn’t home and the knocking would cease shortly.
And then there came a tapping, as of someone not so gently rapping, rapping on my living room window.
So I went to the door to see what was the matter.
There was a young woman standing on my neighbor’s stoop.
“Why did you rap on my window?” I asked.
“I didn’t,” she replied. “I knocked on this window.” But she was pointing to mine.
“That’s my window,” I said, getting irritated. It was clear that she was confused as to which windows belonged to which doors. How one makes that mistake is beyond me, but she wasn’t the first person to do it.
She explained, “I’m supposed to meet my boyfriend here.”
“There’s nobody home in that house, and in any case, the woman in that house lives alone.”
We went back and forth like this for a bit until finally I asked her what I should have done at the start: what address was she looking for? The address she gave had the number of my neighbor’s house but the street was wrong. The street was the next one over. When I explained this to her, she didn’t seem the least bit embarrassed, nor did she thank me but just went on her way.
On another occasion, I was walking home when I saw a delivery person drop off a package at that same neighbor’s house without knocking, so I texted her to let her know that she had just received a delivery of what appeared to be hot food.
She texted back that she hadn’t ordered anything, but she was only a couple minutes away so she’d be there shortly.
When she arrived, she took a look at the package; there was no name or address on it, but it did have a phone number. As she didn’t have her phone with her, I called the number and when someone answered, I said:
“Hello. Did you place an order for food?”
“What? Why do you ask?”
“We’re standing here at”—I gave the address—“and we just received a delivery with your phone number on it.”
At which he explained he was at the house number on the next street over. He quickly came and thanked us and picked up his food.
So what was going on?
Most likely those folks were using GPS turn by turn directions on their phones. Now our street is a tiny street, in most other places it would be called an alley, and the next street over is only about 50 feet or so further along. What I think is happening is the turn by turn directions are telling them to turn left at the next street, and they aren’t looking at the street signs, even though our street is clearly labelled, and they see our street and mistakenly turn too soon.
People, you still need to read street signs even in this brave new world of GPS!