My dream job has been outsourced.
And whether or not Karen Jacobson knows it, the Australian native has ruined the career that should have been mine.
You see, she is the original voice that speaks to people on the GPS.
She is the woman who tells my husband where to turn when driving, and she’s the voice to which he actually listens.
I can tell him where to go until I’m blue in the face, and he remains deaf to my words. But let the GPS girl tell him to turn left, and he’s the first one pulling into the turn lane. On the first warning.
Case in point, not long ago we were traveling somewhere new to him, but somewhere I had been before. Granted, only once, but still I believed myself to be at least familiar with the route. I knew to turn at the red brick farmhouse with the demolished car parked in the front yard. Then I knew to follow that road to the alpaca farm, where we would need to turn right.
After that, it was a little fuzzy but I assured him that when I saw the next landmark, I would know it.
He was frustrated with me for my lack of solid direction. I was irritated with him for his lack of trust.
Before the divorce lawyer was called, he whipped out the GPS and was instantly soothed by the calming voice of Karen Jacobson. She would know what to do, he assured me.
I was not soothed.
In fact, I tried to talk over her. Found out that can’t be done. Karen is headstrong enough that regardless of what I say, she will repeat her direction until that’s all any of us can hear.
All in that sickeningly sweet tone she uses. Being a woman, I know that’s fake. I sense the anger in her voice.
I finally decided that if you can’t beat her, join her. And if you can’t join her, harrass her.
We drove a few miles in silence. Karen told my husband to make a left turn.
Sure enough, there was the red brick farmhouse with the car in the yard. “See?” I asked. “Who would have guessed I might be right?” That was just to prove my point.
A few miles later Karen insisted we turn right. Yeah, just at that alpaca farm.
I was feeling pretty smug, and the “told you so” was pretty sweet.
Then we took some turns I didn’t remember. I said no, but Karen was insistent. My husband never hesitated — he followed Karen. My blood boiled.
Supposedly Karen took 50 hours to record her voice on GPS devices, but I couldn’t help but wonder if that was really enough to navigate the backroads of northwest Ohio? She lives in Australia, for heaven's sake. How can I trust this across-the-sea hussy? Especially one who thinks she knows it all.
Thankfully for Karen Jacobson, and my husband, we did arrive at our destination. Surprisingly to me, we had to do no backtracking and did not appear to get lost.
So I’m thinking I can still offer my services as a GPS voice, but with a different angle.
My soothing voice is the one that will direct you across the countryside by landmarks. Karen Jacobson can take you on a trip following only route numbers, but I can point out the area landmarks.
Sure, it might take me more than 50 hours to record because it will be much more intense than Karen’s elementary directions. Mine will give history of every area. Mine will be the color commentary that I enjoy when I drive. Mine will point out the pretty flower gardens or the odd-colored shutters on a house.
Mine will point out the round barns, and the solar panels hiding towards the back of a field. My guiding voice will tell you to turn by the split-rail fence, and to keep straight on that road until you come to the river that always floods.
Of course, if anyone paints their house, mows their grass or moves the big rocks in their yard, my GPS voice will be rendered useless. And in that case, you might want to keep Karen Jacobson on retainer.
Just like my husband does.