Smoking Out The Bad Instructors

, , , | Learning | May 21, 2020

I’m in driver’s ed, and my instructor is severely addicted to cigarettes. The practical portion of the course consists of hour-long driving sessions with two students and the instructor, each student driving for a half-hour.

The instructor can’t make it the full hour without a cigarette. Since he’s not allowed to smoke in the company vehicle, he insists on taking a ten-minute break when switching drivers. He’ll have us pull into a fast food place to practice parking and then tell us to go buy a snack if we want while he smokes outside. All the students are happy with this arrangement because we get the chance to buy a milkshake, but it’s not technically allowed under company rules.

One thing that the instructor teaches us that isn’t in any of the course materials is that we always have to keep the driver’s window cracked open, no matter what. He claims that it’s for safety reasons, but we all suspect it’s because he always has a cigarette in his own car and doesn’t want to marinate in the smoke.

I have a driving session one day when the weather is bad, but not bad enough to cancel. It’s 45°F (7°C) and absolutely pouring, with the rain sometimes blowing sideways. I have just gotten into the backseat, with the other student in the driver’s seat. The instructor has her go through all the normal pre-driving stuff, and then this happens.

Instructor: “All right, the only thing you’ve forgotten is to crack open the window. Go ahead and do that now.”

Student: “But it’s raining!”

Instructor: “So? I told you, it’s dangerous to drive with all the windows closed.”

Student: “I’ve literally never heard that from anyone else, ever. Everyone I know drives with all the windows closed, unless it’s a nice day, maybe.”

Instructor: “Then they’re doing it wrong! See, if you have all the windows closed and your tailpipe gets blocked, exhaust will fill the car. I knew some boys who had that happen way back when. They backed too far into a parking spot, not realizing they had the tailpipe flush against the wall, and sat in the idling car for a while. And guess what? They all died!

Student: “Um… I’m sorry to hear that, but that doesn’t seem likely to happen right now. We’re going to be driving, not idling.”

Instructor: “You have to get in the habit of being prepared! If those boys made sure to always have a window open, they’d still be alive today! Now put the window down!”

Student: “Could it at least be the one no one’s sitting next to?”

Instructor: “No, it has to be yours so you’re always aware it’s open.”

She certainly was aware it was open the whole time, since she got rained on almost constantly. And then, after we switched drivers, I went through the same thing. We were both pretty miserable by the time the lesson was over. 

Our parents weren’t exactly pleased to find their children soaking wet on one side only and shivering when they came to pick us up. On the way home, I ranted a bit to my mom about the window thing and blamed it all on the instructor’s cigarette addiction. I mentioned in passing the ten-minute cigarette break he was taking in the middle of every lesson, which my mom was very interested in.

At the next lesson, I found out that the instructor had been fired after both my mom and the other student’s mom called to complain about the breaks and him letting us get soaked and freezing because of his own weird belief that the company did not share. The new instructor was confused when several students opened the window a crack even though it was a cold day.

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You Want Driving Anxiety? This Is How You Get Driving Anxiety

, , , , | Learning | May 7, 2020

When I am taking driver’s ed classes, I have an instructor that verbally berates me and yells at my friend and me the whole two hours we are in the car with him. This instance is just one of many.

I’m driving at thirty miles an hour and my instructor has not said anything else up to this point

Instructor: “What are you doing?! Speed up to sixty! Sixty! Come on; we’re going on the highway!”

My anxiety kicks in as I accelerate.

Me: “You didn’t tell me where I was going.”

Instructor: “You should’ve known!”

Another thing he did was force my friend and me to push our seats up really close to the pedals, far enough to make it uncomfortable. The only time he ever shut up was when my female friend mentioned that she dated another female student of the instructor.

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Unfiltered Story #143671

, , , | Unfiltered | March 15, 2019

(In the UK, before you are allowed to ride a motorcycle or moped (scooter) on the road as a learner you have to complete a one-day training course called Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) )

Me: “Good morning, *********, ***** speaking”

16 year-old: “Hi there can I book a CBT for Saturday please?”

Me: Yep, no problem, what’s your name?

16 year old: gives name

Me: (goes through whole spiel of how to find us, what to wear, how he can pay, what time to turn up, approximate time we would finish) “Don’t forget to bring both parts of your driving licence with you”

16 year old: “I need a driving licence??”

Me: “-”

(This has happened on more than one occasion!)

Might End Up With Another Drive To The Hospital

, , , , | Learning | October 18, 2018

(In Massachusetts, if you are under 18 and want to get your license, you are legally required to take a driver’s education course that includes both classroom instruction and driving with an instructor in the car. My experience with the classroom instruction portion is pretty normal, and my instructor is very professional…. until I get behind the wheel with her. As I’m driving, she receives a phone call. Suddenly, she is having a loud, animated discussion in a foreign language on her cell phone. She periodically pulls away to give me directions, but then continues on her rant. Luckily, I’ve driven with my parents prior to this, so it’s not my first time on the road, but it’s still unsettling. After several minutes, the instructor finally hangs up her cell phone. She turns to me and says:)

Instructor: “I’m sorry, but I need to cut your lesson short today. I will give you priority on rescheduling and a discount, honey. We need to get back to the driving school; my idiot sister is in the hospital.”

Me: “Oh, no. I’m so sorry. I totally understand. Is she okay?”

Instructor: “She’s a moron! She told me she sprayed perfume in her vagina because it smelled bad, and now she has a very serious infection!”

(I slam on the brakes. The instructor looks at me with a surprised expression.)

Instructor: “Why did you do that? You’ve been doing perfect this whole time!”

(I take a breath.)

Me: “I’m sorry. It’s just that I feel like that’s a really personal issue. I’m only 16 and don’t have too much driving experience, and you being on the phone, and then sharing that detail with me is very inappropriate.”

Instructor: “Geez, you’re the one who asked if she was okay.”

(I asked for a different instructor to do the rest of my driving hours.)


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STOP! And Get Out

, , , , , | Learning | October 15, 2018

(I’ve just finished a driving lesson. The instructor has me drive the car to where we’ll pick up another student, and then he’ll drive me home, a short distance away. I’m in the back seat, while the instructor is in the front passenger seat, which has another set of pedals.)

Instructor: “Remember: before crossing another street, slow the car, and look to see if any others are coming. If there’s a STOP sign, stop the car entirely. Understood?”

Student: “Yes, of course.”

(He starts driving. At some point we’re about to cross a semi-big street, with a STOP sign facing us, but the car shows no signs of slowing. Just when I think the other student is going to cross without looking, the car suddenly stops. At first I think the other student has remembered to stop a bit late, but then I look at him. He glances around us for a few moments, then down at his pedals, then at the instructor, looking entirely confused.)

Student: “What just happened?”

(The instructor had used his own brake to stop the car. I walked the rest of the way.)

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