Were you the kid at school who enjoyed playing chicken in the road, or perhaps you were the one who role played the Operation board game with a plug socket? Do you, by rare circumstance, get a rush from putting your life on the line?
Then perhaps you’d consider doing it daily in exchange for the particular currency of survival tokens we call British Pound Sterling. Welcome to the life (and near death) experiences of a driving instructor! To become a driving instructor is to become a guardian of those inexperienced juvenile drivers known for their exhibition of suicidal tendencies at junctions and slip roads.
In the early stages of learning to drive the fledgling learner is a vulnerable and suggestible kind of specimen prone to lemming-esque behaviour whereby they imitate the immediate trajectory of the vehicle in front. This can lead to a whole host of dangerous situations of which you have the (un)fortunate responsibility of preventing! But hey – at least that means there are ample opportunities to earn the ‘lifesaver’ title; albeit, even if the incentive is fairly strong given that one of those lives will be your own.
Reaping the rewards (slim pickings!)
But let’s not dawn on the negatives too much, there are also perks to constantly being on the move handsfree: you are essentially being chauffeured around all day long without having to lay a finger on the steering wheel, or gears (though you may have to swiftly snap out of this bourgeois pipe dream to extend a firm foot onto the brake pedal at any moment’s notice) which leaves you with complete freedom to use your hands for all manner of compelling pastimes: scratch your head, crack your fingers or even pick your nose; the options are endless (as long as you keep your eyes on the road, and mind on the ever impending prospect of doom).
Looking back on the bright side, being able to dictate exactly where your driver takes you can be taken advantage of between lessons. Need to drop a usb off at your nephew’s, send a birthday card and pick up a parcel by 5pm? What’s that you’re a driving instructor? No problem! Why not do it all in one round trip and get a chippy on the way back, too? Oh and earn money whilst you’re at it? Cool. Oh, but don’t forget you have to pay for the fuel, lest to forget gearbox replacements after your supposedly test-standard model-pupil takes it upon themselves to force the car into first gear whilst travelling full whack down a dual carriage way.
There are redeeming aspects of the job like being a person’s soul benefactor of driving ability and principle overseer of their safety and others’ …even long after you cease to be present. A lot of satisfaction can be gained from this knowledge; especially when you consider the joy of observing a pupil’s development from start to finish and seeing the expression of delight upon their face once they past their test. It’s not all doom and gloom!