Which way is North??


Weeks went by and working was still, how does one say? Unpleasant. Jenny hadn’t changed her work habits and I was the one who continually bailed her out.

There was the time the promotion department was giving away free gas cards in cooperation with a major gas station. We would have our roaming reporter drive the station van to various gas stations in and around the GTA (greater Toronto area) during the morning and evening rush hours. Our station announcer would let the public know where the van would be just prior to it pulling up to a designated station. One evening our roaming reporter fell ill and could not drive to a specific location for the promotion. If you could guess, who would bail Jenny out this time? If you guessed, me, you are correct. The monkey wrench thrown in was that I had no sense of direction. I’m one of those people that if there is a right or left turn to make, and the right turn is correct, I would take the left turn. This was years prior to the GPS; that was eventually made available to the public.

Jenny ran into my office at 4 p.m. breathing heavily, and said at the speed of light,

‘I need you to take the station van and go to this location to give away the free gas cards.’

‘What?’ I said, knowing that the word ‘what’ had become a staple in my vocabulary since Jenny became my boss.

‘Laura is sick and can’t make it, you will have to drive the van and give away these gas cards’, she blurted out putting the keys to the van and gas cards on my desk.

‘But I don’t know the area’, I said.

Just then the mail guy Kevin walked by. Jenny spun around, grabbed his arm and said,

‘Kevin, tell Paula how to get to this location. You know the city. Thanks.’ And then she ran off in a different direction.

Kevin and I stared at each other for a second.

‘What’s her problem?’ he said pointing towards the hallway.

‘I think she’s over her head, but that’s neither here nor there, I need to know how to get to this location’, I said pointing to the address on a small piece of paper.

Kevin took the small piece of paper in his hand and fumbled looking for his glasses.

‘I can’t read this!’ he said frustrated.

‘It’s okay, I’ll read it for you’ I said feeling sorry for the guy. Kevin was the oldest employee at the station. He knew everything and everyone. He had survived years of takeovers, new owners, staff changes and much more. You either liked him or you didn’t, there was no in between. I loved him! I thought he was extremely funny especially on Fridays when I would say to him,

‘Hey Kevin, thank god it’s Friday’!

He would reply without skipping a beat,

‘yeah, well fuckin’ Monday is just around the corner’.

I read the address off and he began to quickly tell me how to get to the location. I read back the directions to him,

‘yeah, that’s right, good luck!’ he said hastily exiting my office.

Somehow I didn’t think this was going to go smoothly. I was very nervous about driving the station van not to mention finding this particular location, but off I went.


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