Thursday, December 8, 2016

Failures and Successes

   Last Thursday, I went to take my drivers test. (Spoiler Alert: I failed it.) I didn't have high hopes when I walked into the building. We took a number and then we were called in right away. Mom and I walked into the little room to show our papers. The guy, Gary, asked mom for our registration and insurance papers. She left them in the car and then darted back out to retrieve them. I stood awkwardly there with good ol' Gary and then mom dashed in again with a little green packet. Then she opens it and starts to dig through as she says, "I can't find our registration card!"
   Mom had just taken our car over to be inspected a day or two before. She said that our inspection dude must have forgotten to give it back to her. Fortunately, we had purchased our car in another state, and we still had the pink transfer slip that the notary gave her. That was enough to allow me to take the test.
   I took the test with a guy named Eugene. We went out to the car, I successfully operated every car feature that he asked me too. Then he joined me in the car and then gave me a long list of rules for how to (and how not to) parallel park. We drove over to the spot and I attempted to park, without success. I wasn't far enough in. I could tell as soon as I started backing up. I pulled out of the spot and he asked me if I had any questions. I said no, and left the car. That was that. I wasn't too happy with it, what was I going to do? Practice, that's what.
   On Sunday, I practiced parallel parking between traffic cones instead of cars. My dad brought some traffic cones with him from work and set them up in our driveway. I practiced for a bit until I started to get the hang of it.
   Today, I retook my test. I hadn't parallel parked since Sunday, and I didn't parallel park again until I retook my test again today. We took a number, and then we were called to go present our papers. This time, we were prepared. We handed them over and then we went and sat down again.
   Everything about the drivers license center screams depression. Everyone looks and sounds like they really regret their life choices. It isn't a very refreshing or encouraging atmosphere. When I went to take my permit test in the spring, one of my dads friends started working there. He was nice and friendly. They probably didn't break him in yet. :)
   Today, my test guy was none other than Gary, the guy who did my papers the first time. He seems the most broken of them all. So depressed in his life choices. He was very short and concise with his words, which is quite handy for a test guy. He told me precisely what I was to be doing and that was it. I parallel parked, and I felt I did pretty well. He opened his door, looked at the curb, and said, "That looks good enough." Then he looked through the windshield, sighed, and got out of the car to double check. I honestly don't know if it was really good enough, or if he was just done with life.
   I was his last test of the day, so I'm not sure if he had a hard day, or that was his natural state of being. The first time I took my test, I had the first test of the day, while Eugene was probably about as motivated as he could be. He failed me, but that was cause I did an obviously bad job.
   After I parallel parked, Gary didn't say if I completed it correctly or if I failed it. He just said to make a left turn and head towards the front of the building. I did, and then after I was out of the space, pretty sure I failed, he told me to continue to the stop sign and make a left.
   I was quite relieved I had passed that miserable part and continued to wait for at least two minutes at the stop sign waiting for a safe chance to get on the road. I pulled out on the road and let me say this now, I sped a little bit during my test. I probably went at least 3 mph over the limit a few times throughout the duration of my test. I was really trying to keep it under, but I wasn't really doing so well. I would also like to say that this was around 3:45 ish, when people are starting to get off work. So the road was pretty busy, and that was a tad stressful.
   I feel my test didn't go that bad. I was on the last stretch of road and I thought for sure he failed me. He didn't say anything to me even as we got out of the car. As we were reaching the building, he handed me back my permit and told me to get a green number and they would take care of me inside. I looked down at my permit and I saw that he had checked off the 'pass' box.
   He gestured me ahead and I opened the door for him like a true lady, and I walked in after him. Mom's eyes darted to me and I shook my head like I had failed. It was quite enjoyable to see the look on her face when I told her I actually passed.
   I got my picture taken, and then we went out to eat. So after everything, I wasn't that bad of an experience. Thank you, Gary, for both encouraging me and disappointing me in my expectations of humanity. Encouraging me for allowing me to become a licensed driver, and disappointing me for your lack on enthusiasm in life. Lesser thanks to Eugene, for pretty much nothing, but I feel he should be included for the sake of making me really want and work for my license. Last of all, a big thanks to my friends and family and everyone who's supported me along the way. Most of you mean the world to me. :)

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