11 December 2014

Decision Tree

Last Saturday night, a lost person knocked on our door.
He was young and hipsterish, and clearly terrified.
I was also terrified, because it is extraordinarily difficult to wind up at my house on accident, and I was not expecting visitors.

So, let's talk about how you get to my house. Let's talk about how you get to my house ON ACCIDENT.
I live at the top of a mountain, at the end of miles of windy road, on 200 acres, surrounded by other families living on hundreds of acres. In order to get to my house specifically, you need to get to the top of this road, and then choose our family driveway, which is one of four driveway choices, all long and windy and one-laned in nature. While the gate is kept open, our driveway is obviously gated. This driveway is 1/2 mile long, only wide enough for one car. At the top of that driveway, it forks. The drive to the right is where my aunt and uncle's houses are, to the left is my parents' house, and, beyond that, mine. So you get to the top of this driveway and you turn left, and then you drive through another gate, and past my parents' house, and then through ANOTHER gate, and then, in order to keep driving to my house, you drive onto a DIRT PATH. I literally live out a dirt PATH. It is wide enough for a car, so you can drive on it, and I sometimes call it a road, but you are also jostling over redwood roots, and there are no lights.
This is literally what my road looks like. Now picture it muddy.

So this young man knocks on our door because he's driven to our house. He only stopped at our house because Quentin's car was parked out front. Otherwise, I gather, he would have continued onward, into the field below...?

He explained that he was trying to get somewhere, and he was following google maps, and was he going the right direction?
I knew exactly where he wanted to go, and it is physically close, maybe a mile, from where I live, but probably a 40 minute drive. You have to drive down our mountain road and up a separate mountain road.
Apparently google thinks you can drive through, but, no. I think if you take another driveway, there may be an old logging road that you can walk through on? I digress.
In order to leave, once he determined he was, indeed, lost, he had to back up our road, as that is the only exit. In the dark (and it was raining) he got instantly stuck in his little sedan. Stuck, on our road, right there.
I called my dad, and my uncle, to see if any of them had ideas about how to get this dude off our property. They terrified him by being grisly country men and calling him an idiot.
Young man called a tow company, but they did not have a 4-wheel-drive vehicle available to pull him out.
Quentin drove him to town, to return in the morning.
Well, Quentin drove him to the bus stop.
And then had to explain to this person how to take the bus. Like, how city buses work.
He came back in the morning, and it hadn't rained any more, and by the light of day he was able to back out and drive away, sheepishly.

What I would like to discuss is the series of decisions that led this guy to our driveway. I get that he was following his GPS, and I don't fault him for that, but at the end of the road, when he had a series of driveways to choose from, how did he choose our driveway, instead of, say, turning around, calling his friend, or choosing a different driveway? Then you get to the top and there is a fork in the road, and you turn....left? Okay. And then you DRIVE THROUGH A GATE AND PAST A HOME, and you do not think, "I am lost. Let me reevaluate."
You keep driving.
I just.
How does this happen?
I just want to talk about this decision tree.
At what point to you let your instincts override your smartphone because, hey, perhaps I do not wish to drive my honda civic into a field.
My house

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