"Am I going this direction?" The GPS couldn't seem to answer my question, so I took it back.
"Can I help you?" The gray-haired man behind the Target customer service counter looked approachable but only in a Customer Service Counter sort of way. He wore a tight smile the same way he wore his name tag - like he'd picked it up off the kitchen counter on his way in to work.
Glancing at his tag, I said, "Stan, I need to return this." I handed him the Tom Tom box and the receipt.
"Oh no, what's wrong with it?" he asked. "We don't usually take these back."
"He keeps bossing me around."
Stan looked over his black-rimmed glasses as his smile started to twitch.
"What do you mean?" he asked.
"I don't like his tone."
"I've given him two weeks, and I don't think it's going to work out."
"Ma'am, you can change the voice on a GPS."
"I realize that!"
(Do I look blonde to you?)
"Stan, I couldn't find the 'change attitude" section on the main menu."
(It's what my dad, the Marine, used to call an "attitude adjustment.")
"What exactly would you change about uh ... his attitude?"
(Stan clearly had no idea what he was stepping into here, but there was no one in line behind me, so what the heck?)
"There's this anger issue. When I miss a turn, he yells at me."
"What does he say?"
" 'Make a U-turn as soon as possible!' And he says it about 50 times. He never says 'please'."
Stan looked confused but seemed determined to plod along.
(Or, perhaps he considered this fodder for his blog.)
"Do you make U-turns?" he asked, cautiously.
"No, of course not. I never look back, and I never turn around."
"I suppose you ..."
"Stan, sometimes I know a shorter path to one of My Favorites. Sometimes I like to take the long way home. Sometimes I drive slower or miss exits, because I'm in the middle of a conversation. Sometimes I don't end up at my original destination. And I'm nearly always happier off the selected route, if you know what I mean."
"Yes ... I can imagine. Ma'am, is this the first GPS you have owned?"
"Of course not."
"Did that one have an attitude issue?"
"No, SHE had manners. She would say 'PLEASE make a U-turn whenever possible.' And she accepted the fact that I often ignored or disagreed with her instructions and would simply drive to the nearest coffee shop. He's too busy recalculating my route to enjoy a few detours!"
"What happened to her?"
"Dusty? I gave her to my son." ;)
Stan looked down at the receipt.
"Do you want another GPS?" he asked.
"I'm not opposed to the idea. But here's the deal; he doesn't have to agree with me all the time, but he does need to 'get me.' Do you have something like that here?"
Stan sighed as he completed the transaction. "Sign here; the refund will go back on your check card."
(Maybe I'll find a GPS that answers my question with, "I believe you are." Or, better yet, "As you wish." If he fetches coffee, I'll consider that a bonus.)