Just Can’t Trust ‘The Google’

Posted: July 17, 2013 in Community, Family, Humour
Tags: , , , , , , ,


I was doing some research to determine the distance between Vancouver and Jasper, to see how far it was, and what kind of drive it would be. The internet can be a handy thing at times. This was one of those times. Then a popup box came up on the webpage, asking if I wanted to chat with an attendant, and perhaps get some information quickly. I figured, ‘why not?’. It couldn’t hurt, could it?

     And so I asked this person my question: ‘How far is it from Vancouver to Jasper?’, and this anonymous person responded, ‘Well, by road, it is 798 km, but ‘as the crow flies’, it is 566 km…’

     Do I look like a crow? Does this person think a crow can type in the necessary words to ask such a question? Does this person think that I give a crap about how far it is for a crow, being as I’m a human, and I obviously need to keep to the roads, driving 798 Km when I wish it was only 566 km, like said crow could enjoy? This was a little like telling a person ‘go to your left, and climb four flights of stairs to get to the office, although you could take the elevator if I wanted you to.’

     Then this person asked me WHEN I would be proposing to make this drive. I hadn’t proposed a thing, and yet, to be polite, I told them around the beginning of August. This, as it turned out, was a big mistake. ‘What airline are you flying, and do you need a rental car?’ they asked. ‘I’m really not sure.’ I said. In fact, I really wasn’t sure of anything. I just wanted to know how long a drive this was.

    ‘Well,’ they went on, ‘August is a lovely time of year to make this journey….may I suggest we look at flight and auto packages available to you?’ Now I was getting a little upset. Did I ask for a flight? Did I ‘propose’ a rental vehicle? No and no. And yet, this person was speculating that just such a thing was what I was requesting. ‘Look,’ I replied, ‘I just want to know how long a drive it is from Vancouver and Jasper!’

     This repugnant person then asked me ‘Are you from Vancouver? I see you are possibly from Ontario by your query…surely you will need a vehicle to make te drive and a flight to get there.’ ‘No, I am not from Vancouver, and how the heck do you know I’m from Ontario?’ I really shouldn’t have asked that. ‘Well, sir…or is it madame? This is information that is provided to us when you make a request. I merely wanted to give you the opportunity to enjoy great cost savings with flights and vehicle rentals…would you perhaps also require lodging?’

     Also? ALSO?!? I didn’t want anything!

     ‘Listen carefully,’ I responded with all the patience I had left, ‘just tell me how long. Is the drive. From Vancouver. TO JASPER???’ They then asked me ‘Would you be making this drive in one, two, or three days? We have some excellent deals on various hotels, motels, and lodges which I am sure could accommodate someone as sophisticated as you, ma’am.’

     Okay. That was it. The white flag went up. I just wanted a simple answer to a simple question, and it was obvious that I was not going to get it here from this person. Not only that, but they thought I was a lady. Last time I checked, I wasn’t. I’m all man, all man. Not ma’am. What to do here? If I were a competent hacker, I’d fry this son of a sea biscuit. But I am not. Really, the only alternative I had was to close the popup , and try another site. Which I did. Or so I thought.

      I re-entered my query into Google. I chose another site. I typed in my question. Then a popup window came up and asked me if I would be travelling with my husband and/or significant other, my children, and would I need pet-friendly accommodations on my journey in August?

      I’m typing this column from my son’s computer. I think my laptop is either possessed, or has been hijacked. I’m afraid to even turn it on.

  1. You haven’t been hacked you were linked by clicking on their Google link, happens all the time…they are a travel agency who pay Google a princely sum to drum up business at the behest of curious potential travelers such as yourself Bill! BTW its a 9 hour and 15 minute drive on the pretext that big horn sheep and elk aren’t out on the roads.

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