Will Need To Ease Your Way Out Of That One

, , , | Learning | November 7, 2017

(I am preparing to sit the theory test for my learner’s permit.)

Employee: “Would you like to sit the test in electronic or paper format?”

Me: “Whatever’s easier.”

Mum: *gives me a weird look*

Employee: “They are both the same test.”

Me: *confused* “Yeah, I know.”

Employee: *pauses* “I’ll set up a computer for you.”

(I didn’t realise what I had said wrong until after I got home. I was meaning to ask for whatever made her job easier!)

Driving Away The Anxiety

, , , , | Hopeless | September 16, 2017

I witnessed the death of a close family member in a car accident when I was younger. Because of this, I feel pretty insecure when driving and have an overall anxiety when being in a car. This also led to me failing my practical driving test several times, which only made my anxiety stronger.

One week before my last driving test, another close family member died in a car accident. This hit me hard, and I could barely cope with my emotions. My anxiety was so strong I could not even stand near a car without freaking out internally, let alone sit in a car or drive myself. I called my driving instructor and told him what had happened. He was really kind, and managed to reschedule my driving test for two weeks.

On the day of my driving test, I still was not able to cope with the death of my family member, and my anxiety was still pretty strong. I met with my driving instructor before the driving test, and he told me that he had spoken to the examiner. He told him about the death of my family member and my anxiety. He also agreed with him that they wanted to be silent throughout my driving test so that I could better cope with my insecurity and better concentrate. I did not recognize it while driving, but this helped a lot.

My anxiety hit me pretty strong during the driving test, and I had a feeling of internal panic most of the time. I could not look somewhere else, only on the streets and mirrors as I was supposed to do. When I panicked a lot internally, I managed to look to my driving instructor, only to see him smiling at me. I still was really insecure, but it helped me so much and I was able to drive at least a bit more relaxed. I think his smile made more of a difference than he realized.

I passed the driving test that day, but only with the help of my driving instructor who gave me a feeling of security in my situation of anxiety. I gave him a hug after the driving test, but could not find any words to thank him. We drove back to the driving school to sort out the last paperwork. He hugged me one last time and I left. I wish I had been able to thank him in a better way. He helped me a lot and he deserved some words of gratitude. I hope I can see him again in the future. I am glad that I got to know him.

Driving Out The Cheating

| Sweden | Right | February 17, 2017

(I work at a driving school as a receptionist. The Transport Agency issues driving licenses in Sweden.)

Me: “Hello, thank you for calling [School].”

Caller: “Hello, I need to know if your school also allows cheating?”

Me: “Cheating, miss? We definitely don’t allow our students to cheat on our tests as that would be a danger in traffic.”

Caller: “Well, I heard you hand out CDs with the theoretical test!”

Me: *realising she’s talking about a course CD that includes a mock test to prepare for the real one* “Oh! I can assure you we don’t hand out the answers or even the real test to our students. Our study material just includes a mock test with questions similar to the real test to prepare them.”

Caller: “But that is cheating! I heard schools even cheat by letting the students drive around the area where the actual driving test is taken!”

Me: *kinda confused at this point* “Well, it helps them prepare for the real test if they know the area so our teachers usually have them drive there, but I assure you that is perfectly fine. It’s usually good for the students to get in some practice to—”

Caller: “Like I said, you allow cheating! It’s cheating to check out the area beforehand and it’s cheating to look at test questions!”

Me: “Ma’am, I promise the Transport Agency allows driving schools to practice driving in the same area as the tests are taken and to hold mock tests. It is not cheating and is in fact part of the reason that driving schools exist.”

Caller: “Well, I didn’t do any of those cheating things. How am I supposed to feel safe if schools allow students to practice their driving?!”

Me: *sort of stunned at this point* “The whole point of a driving school is to practice driving in preparation of the test. As we want our students to pass, we make them practice in the same area as the test and take similar questions as the test, but I assure you that it’s not an exact copy and only intended for education purposes.”

Caller: “Just like I said, cheating! You allow your students to cheat or I would have done those things! I’m going to report you to report you to the Transport Agency!” *click*

Time To Ditch Grandma

| Gresham, OR, USA | Learning | April 25, 2016

(I am 15 and am taking a driver’s ed course so I will be able to get my license when I turn 16. We are sitting in class one day and watching a video about skidding on icy roads. One car had just slid into a ditched but is otherwise unharmed. Then another car comes up behind it.)

Me: “That looks like my grandma’s car.”

Drivers Ed Instructor: “Well, Grandma’s going into a ditch.”

(Sure enough, the car that resembled my grandmother’s slid into the ditch and the rest of the class burst out laughing.)

A Good Instructor Keeps You On Your Toes

| The Netherlands | Friendly | March 24, 2016

(My driving instructor is prone to very dry humor. I make a comment on how small the gas pedal is on this particular brand of car compared to others.)

Me: “How do your students who have large feet drive this thing without pressing two pedals at once?”

Driving Instructor: *deadpan* “I chop off their toes. I have a saw in the trunk for that.”

Me: “You’re sadistic!”

Driving Instructor: “Nah, I’m just convenient.”

(Cue a ten minute conversation on how well people can live with severed toes.)

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