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[5] Escaping From Alphabet Soup Confusion
Illustration: A waitress, holding a tray, ready to serve you ... IF you can manage to find her restaurant.
Have you ever been frustrated by "alphabet soup" confusion?

Suppose you're hungry. And maybe you just want to get something to eat right now (as opposed to going out to buy groceries and bringing them home and cooking them). Or maybe you want to go out to dinner with a good friend on short notice. Or maybe you're traveling through an unfamiliar area.

Maybe you don't have any particular type of place in mind ... maybe you're just really hungry.

What if you're diabetic (like 25.8 million Americans), or pre-diabetic (like an additional 79 million of us), and you HAVE to get something to eat NOW.

NOTE: The above are 2010 diabetes statistics. Those numbers are undoubtedly even higher now.

If you are diabetic, waiting too long to eat could put you into a COMA.

And if there's nobody around to help bring you out of that coma, you could DIE!

For the moment, let's set aside the "disability" issue and think about how people have traditionally searched for something they need.

Most people have been taught to look in a yellow pages directory. Phone companies have been telling us to do it that way almost since the telephone was invented. That's all they knew.

So we checked the Index of a SMALL TOWN phone directory from a place we'd visited recently.

The entire book, white and yellow pages, is about 3/4" thick. The pages are small, maybe 7" x 10".

And in this small-town directory, which covers several counties with a total population of about 40,000, the yellow part is 266 pages.

And the Index of the yellow part of that directory is 6 pages of tiny print in 3 columns.

And in the Index of that tiny book, we found over 25 categories of places where someone in that area might get something to eat. We never would have thought of some of them:

• "Bakers",
• "Coffee,
• "Espresso and Tea - retail",
• "Delicatessens",
• "Foods - Carry Out",
• "Gourmet Shops",
• "Health & Diet Food Products - retail",
• "Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts - retail",
• "Night Clubs",
• "Pizza - Retail",
• "Restaurants" (with about 15 subcategories),
• "Taverns",
• "Tea Rooms"

There may have been a few categories that we missed, but our eyes were getting tired after an hour of reading all that tiny print in the Index.

In a large metropolitan area, there are substantially more places to go, and even more search categories to sift through. And you might have to search through hundreds – or thousands – of pages to find a place to eat that might be suitable for your needs.

And you still don't know where they are relative to where you are.

Or which — if any — will be sufficiently barrier-free to meet your particular special needs.

Please continue ...
Next: The Resource Group Concept

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