Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Mock the wife

I don't remember exactly how it came about. I was talking about a lesson I did, and Bren reckoned she'd be good at bay parking, but possibly not as good at parallel parking.

Next thing you know, we're on out way to the test centre. She's driving the car I teach in, and I'm doing a full blown mock test on her.

Now some people you can't teach. I can't teach Bren to drive the way I'd teach my pupils. She already has her own ideas, and the interpersonal dynamic makes it impossible. But the mock is a different ballgame. I'm not trying to teach her anything. I'm just putting her through a set-piece course, playing the role of examiner the best I can, and marking her driving according to the same criteria I'd use on anyone else.

I tend to use the same route (more or less) for each pupil, and I've been doing this job long enough now to know what criteria the examiners use.

Bren was surprised to find she had butterflies in her stomach as we prepared to set off. Nerves did cause her to do certain things differently to how she'd normally do them to some extent, although she never made any directly serious errors.

She did fail the mock test though, because she wasn't checking her blind spot before moving off. She moved off safely each time, but the examiners, at least as far as I'm aware would mark each missed check as a minor fault, and because the same minor fault kept occurring, it became a serious fault.

She also found that the parallel park she thought she'd be OK with was a little more tricky than she anticipated.

This was the cause of much hilarity!

Because she was able to get herself close to and parallel to the kerb with a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, she only got minor faults for this bit, and to be fair, it was a tricky manoevre, because of a parked car on the opposite side of the road limiting the space available, and because a car came, and she felt rushed.

She's not a bad driver by any means. I think the vast majority of drivers, if forced to retake their tests, would fail unless they took a couple of lessons first to get rid of their bad habits.

1 comment:

Pete said...

I passed my car test in 1991 if I remember rightly. I am really confident that I would fail if I took now. I'd be disappointed if I didn't! Nothing like third world lane swerving and drifting to upset an examiner. They even have a verb here, to gak, which means to sit on the white line straddling 2 lanes and thus 'bag' both of them. This technique is extensively used by Bangkok taxi drivers to ensure they get the fastest moving lane.