No matter how careful, how prepared, or how independent you are, sooner or later everyone needs help. I’m driving a truck for an oil company and some of the directions are turn left on the dirt road next to the old stump (I always wonder if the “old stump” is still there). So I end up lost and asking for help.
Since I drive in south Texas along the boarder most of the time I have to be careful of whom I ask for directions. One rancher tried to stop the wrong person and someone shot up his truck. Luckily he was okay. So I’m always thinking of my own safety when asking directions. When I’m out on the oil fields I’ll look for someone with a company truck or driving an 18-wheeler. Generally that’s pretty safe, as long as the truck isn’t stolen. I also always leave myself an escape route. I either stop by someone and stay in the truck, or stop someone headed the other way. I leave the truck in gear, so if I am talking to the wrong person I can just drive away.
So how does that work in the real world? Like at a gas station? First look for someone like you. If you are on vacation, ask someone else that is on vacation for help. You don’t want to tell the local gang leader that you are lost. Ask people at a populated area. You want a place with multiple groups of people not just a couple people. If you see five people and they are all in the same gang, you probably don’t want to ask them.
Even at a truck stop or gas station, have an escape route. You could stay in your car and ask someone across the parking lot. If you asked the wrong person, you can easily drive away. Another technique I use is going in or out of a store. Ask someone at the doorway of a crowded store. If something feels wrong, just go back into the store.
Try stopping at one of the big gas stations with lot of trucks. My dad was a trucker and looks a little ruff, but would give the shirt off his back to help someone. I’ve found that most truckers are the same way. Try asking one of them for directions. The other thing you can do at one of these gas stations is ask the person at the counter. I’ve found that most of the attendants don’t know, but someone standing in line will overhear and offer help.