Also in the very early hours of the morning

Sent in by Mark from a driving school in Derbyshire
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Me: At the next roundabout we will be turning right, so take the second exit.

Pupil: How do you know the second exit is a right turn?

Me: If the exit is past 12 o’clock, then it is classed as a right turn and we handle it that way.

Pupil: Oh, ok… so in the afternoon it’s a right hand turn?

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Australian Walking Holiday

Sent in by Sam, from an intensive driving school covering most of the UK.
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I’d just picked up a new pupil for an assessment for an intensive course. She was very bubbly and enthusiastic but had clearly never driven before. After talking her through the basics she started to chat away, and this is the resulting conversation.

Pupil: Oh, I hope I get better quickly! I really need to pass first time!

Me: Don’t worry, just relax, you’ll get the hang of it soon.

Pupil: I need to pass first time because I’m going to Australia in two weeks.

(The car stalls again)

Me: Ok, handbrake on.. I’m not sure you’ll be able to pass in that time, but don’t worry, we can schedule you in for a course and test when you get home.

Pupil: No! I need to pass BEFORE I go, because we’ve booked a driving holiday!

Me: Right… who are you going with?

Pupil: My boyfriend.

Me: Ok, good – so he can drive, can he?

Pupil: No, we were hoping that once I’d had an assessment lesson, you could give him one too.

Me: … Right. How long have you known that you were going to drive around Australia?

Pupil: We’ve been saving up for it for about two years!

Me: And it only ocurred to you to learn to drive TWO WEEKS before you leave?!

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Filed under First Lesson, Intensive Course

Don’t Panic

Sent in by Dave, from a driving school in Nottingham
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My pupil and I were on a normal lesson, driving down a relatively narrow road. In the distance I saw a lorry approaching quite quickly; a new experience for my pupil.

Me: OK, what could we do to reduce risk in this situation?

Pupil: Sh*t! Cover my eyes and try not to panic!

It could have been worse – that first exclamation mark could have been a comma.

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Leaving it a bit late

This was sent in by Will from his driving school in Huddersfield
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I’ve had two of these phone calls, and both times I was left with sheer wonder at the thought process.

Time of call – Saturday at 9.20am

Caller – Hi, do you do driving lessons in Huddersfield?

Me - Yes I do, how can I help you?

Caller - I have a test booked and wanted to get a lesson in before hand.

Me - I’m sure I can help you do that. What I usually do with new pupils is take them out and give them an assessment. If I felt their driving was good enough to give them the keys and let them drive alone in my car, then I would be happy for them to take their test; in other words I only let people take their test in my car if I think they are ready.

Caller - That seems fair, are you free Saturday morning?

Me - Next Saturday?

Caller - This Saturday.

Me - If you mean today, then no; I’m already booked up, but I might be able to fit you in next week.

Caller - Oh… is there no way you can do today?

Me - Sorry, no. Is there any other time you would like this week?

Caller - No, I really need the lesson today; my test is at 11 o’ clock.

Me - Your test is at 11am this morning and you’ve waited until now to book a lesson before your test?

Caller - Yes.

I called him back the next day to see how he fared with other instructors he rang. As it turned out  – surprisingly! – he couldn’t take his test due to lack of a car. I then got a call from him again, about a month later. The conversation was remarkably similar to the first.

Some people never learn!

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Filed under Driving Test, Phone Call

He didn’t count(y) on how many test centres Kent has

This was sent in by Amanda from a driving school in Folkestone, Kent
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I used to work for a driving school – not as an instructor, but answering the phones. I really hope this guy isn’t out on the roads – if so, I’m staying inside.

Me: Good afternoon, can I help you?

Customer: Yeah, I wonder if you can help me, what it is, yeah, is that I need a driving test. Do you do driving tests?

Me: We do driving lessons, to prepare you for your test…

Customer: Nah nah nah. Driving tests.

Me: We give driving lessons that lead to a driving test, is that what you mean?

Customer: Yeah. I’ve got my test booked on Saturday.

Me: Ah. In that case then I don’t think we can help. Our instructors are usually booked up at least a week in advance, and very rarely can do just a test at such short notice. Especially not on a Saturday, I’m sorry.

Customer: Can you see about cancellations?”

Me: I will, but the odds of an instructor in the area you’ve booked your test having a pupil cancel at the exact time you’ve booked your test are not in your favour, I’m afraid…

Customer: Can you just check, yeah?

Me: Ok, whereabouts is your test booked?

Customer: In Kent.

Me: Where in Kent?

Customer: I don’t know!

Me: You’ve got a test booked on Saturday and you don’t know where?

Customer: Can you find out for me?

Me: No, I’m afraid I don’t have access to that sort of information.

Customer: Well, it’s in Kent.

Me: I can’t help you if you don’t know where your test is booked.

Customer: Does it matter? It’s in Kent!

Me: Look, if you’re going to take your test on Saturday, you need to know where it is.

Customer: This is f***ing ridiculous!

Me: Yes, it is. Do you actually know how big Kent is?

Customer: Er….

Me: It’s a county -  about three or four times the size of London.

Customer: … Oh. I’ll call back.

He didn’t.

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Filed under Driving Test, Phone Call