Off-the-road rage / Rabia fuera de la carretera

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

TO BEGIN WITH, I’M FINE. I took my driving exam (road test) today and I did phenomenally. I was confident, relaxed, comfortable, and I knew throughout that I was doing a great job. The examiner, on the other hand, was one of those excrutiatingly unpleasant sorts. To add to it, she was absolutely panicked about catching Covid. I understand it would be a stressful job to have during these times, riding around in a confined space with all different people. But, I am diligently careful. She flew into rages if she thought anyone got too close to her (within 10 feet, masked, on the pavement). We had to sign her document with our own pen in mid-air without allowing the side of our hand to touch the paper.

There were three other students from my driving school being tested that day — three of us on an automatic transmission and one on manual. The other three were taking the exam for their third to fifth time. I was the third to go and had the impression the two before me failed again. The weather was drizzly; Marbella was mobbed with cars and pedestrians. Not a great day for an exam.

I had a nice visit with the last guy in our group (before his fifth attempt). I commisserated and gave him a pep talk. He spoke little Spanish (being Russian/Latvian/Swedish and working for an international Swedish/English company) and the examiner made no attempt to ease his stress. We were given the list of requirements for the day of the exam. We needed to, of course, wear a mask when we arrived. But we needed also to have a new and individually sealed mask that would be opened and worn when the examiner instructed. I picked up a mask yesterday from the autoschool. The final guy picked one up at the pharmacy. The examiner didn’t like the looks of the one from the pharmacy (too flimsy, she said), despite the fact that the requirement was simply a new and still-individually packaged mask. Our instructor had to convince her it was OK — although she never told the student he could use it before she drove away with the one before us.

Before the second driver left, we were required to identify what was under the hood (bonnet). The second driver fell apart when she was required to find the button to pop the hood. It took her a while but she finally remembered. I think this was her fourth exam. Where’s the coolant? Where’s the brake fluid? I had been holding my mobile in my hand about to put it in my bag, and she said it had better be turned off (it was). I suppose she was afraid I was going to cheat and look up the answer — in plain sight.

After they left, my new friend was panic-stricken and said he was tempted to just go home and forget it. I was the voice of reason (although I was the voice of instability myself a few days ago). It helped when I told him I, too, had been ready to walk away last week. We had a good visit, but when I got out of the car and the examiner snapped at him because he couldn’t understand that she wanted him to get in the car, I could see the distress on his face.

Anyway, I’ll know tomorrow if what she didn’t like was enough for her to fail me. I hope it’s good news, but at least I found my self-confidence — and self-respect. I did a great job, no matter what that jerk thought.

Afterwards, San Geraldo picked me up and we stopped at McDonald’s for a late lunch. And we enjoyed every bite!

By the way, I need to come up with more nasty words to describe people, which aren’t based on sexual identity. Asshole works, I suppose. Today’s examiner was an unkind asshole.

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PARA EMPEZAR, ESTOY BIEN. HOY hice mi examen practico de conducir hoy y lo hice fenomenal. Estaba seguro, relajado, cómodo, y supe desde el principio que estaba haciendo un gran trabajo. La examinadora, por otro lado, era uno de esas personas desagradables. Para agregarlo, estaba absolutamente aterrorizada por atrapar a Covid. Entiendo que sería un trabajo estresante tener durante estos tiempos, andar en un espacio confinado con personas diferentes. Pero, soy diligentemente cuidadosa y ella se enfurecía si pensaba que alguien se acercaba demasiado a ella (a menos de 10 pies, enmascarada, en la acera). Tuvimos que firmar su documento con nuestro propio bolígrafo en el aire sin permitir que el lado de nuestra mano tocara el papel.

Había otros tres estudiantes de mi autoescuela que estaban siendo evaluados: Tres de nosotros con transmisión automática y uno con transmisión manual. Los otros tres estaban tomando el examen por tercera o quinta vez. Fui el tercero en irme y tuve la impresión de que los dos antes que yo fallaron nuevamente. El clima estaba lluvioso; Marbella estaba atestada de coches y peatones. No es un gran día para un examen.

Tuve una buena visita con el último tipo de nuestro grupo (antes de su quinto intento). Me encargué y le di una charla de ánimo. Hablaba poco español (siendo ruso/letón/sueco y trabajaba para una empresa internacional sueca/inglesa) y el examinador no hizo ningún intento por aliviar su estrés. Nos dieron la lista de requisitos para el día del examen. Por supuesto, necesitábamos usar una máscarilla cuando llegáramos. Pero también necesitábamos tener una máscarilla nueva y sellada individualmente que se abriera y se usara cuando el examinador lo indicara. Ayer recogí una máscarilla de la autoescuela. El último chico recogió uno en la farmacia. Al examinador no le gustó el aspecto de la de la farmacia (demasiado endeble, dijo), a pesar de que el requisito era simplemente una mascarilla nueva y empaquetada individualmente. Nuestro instructor tuvo que convencerla de que estaba bien, aunque nunca le dijo al estudiante que podía usarlo antes de que se fueran, dejándonos allí parados.

Antes de que se fuera la segunda conductora, se nos pidió que identificaramos lo que había debajo del capó. La segunda conductora se vino abajo cuando se le pidió que encontrara el botón para abrir el capó. Le tomó un tiempo pero finalmente lo recordó. Creo que este fue su cuarto examen. ¿Dónde está el refrigerante? ¿Dónde está el líquido de frenos? Tenía mi móvil en la mano a punto de ponerlo en mi bolso, y ella dijo que era mejor que lo apagaran (lo estaba) inmediatamente. Supongo que tenía miedo de que yo hiciera trampa y buscara la respuesta — a plena vista.

Después de que se fueron, mi nuevo amigo entró en pánico y dijo que estaba tentado de irse a casa y olvidarlo. Yo era la voz de la razón (aunque yo mismo era la voz de la inestabilidad hace unos días). Ayudó que le dije que yo también estaba lista para marcharme la semana pasada. Tuvimos una buena visita, pero cuando salí del coche y el examinador le gritó porque no podía entender que ella quería que él entrara en el auto, pude ver la angustia en su rostro. De todos modos, sabré mañana si lo que no le gustó fue suficiente para fallarme. Espero que sean buenas noticias, pero al menos encontré la confianza en mí mismo y el respeto por mí mismo. Hice un gran trabajo, sin importar lo que pensara ese idiota.

Después, San Geraldo me recogió y nos detuvimos en McDonald’s para almorzar tarde. ¡Y disfrutamos cada bocado!

Por cierto, necesito encontrar palabras más desagradables para describir a las personas, que no se basan en la identidad sexual. El gilipollas funciona, supongo. La examinadora de hoy fue un gilipollas cruel.

• I arrived early, so took a walk up the hill.
• Llegué temprano, así que di un paseo cuesta arriba.
• The walk back down.
• La caminata de regreso.
• The glamorous wait. No benches. No toilets. No water. Two hours.
• La espera glamorosa. Sin bancos. No hay baños. No hay agua. Dos horas.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

42 thoughts on “Off-the-road rage / Rabia fuera de la carretera”

  1. Bully. Beast. Meany. Brute. Tyrant. Obnoxious. Loathsome. Vile. Twit. Cretin. Fiend. Wretch. And then there are all those Yiddish words…

    But OMG! What a day! So good that you had someone you could help which probably was a good thing to distract you from your own concerns. Perhaps your instructor, with all his corrections last week, was actually inadvertently prepping you for the type of examiner you dealt with yesterday. Good grief. It’s a wonder anyone passes the exam. She ought to be reported…as if that would do any good. Sigh. Here’s crossing my fingers that you passed.

    1. Mary:
      Thanks! I used cretin today. Like everyone else I’ve spoken to, the examiner said, much of it depends on the examiner. Nuf said. There’s always next week.

    1. David:
      I can’t remember the last time I was at a McDonald’s. It was good!

  2. Scoot, it doesn’t matter if you passed or not. You win! That cu…uh, lady is still alive and you didn’t punch her in the throat, or stab her with your pen. You didn’t even call her a cunty douchebag (that’s probably just me). Plus you helped someone else. Saint Scoot. Has quite the ring, doesn’t it? You remained a gentleman and got your reward! I’m so proud of you! Now I have a massive craving for a McRib. They’re probably in their discontinued for the present stage.

    1. Deedles:
      I even thanked the jerk for her time. She was awful. Ah, well. If at first you don’t… (Oh how I hate that saying). The poor guy I gave moral support to also failed… as did the woman before him. I don’t know about the first guy that day.

  3. No offense, but what the deal with with the attitude of the driver ed teachers? Even if one does well and answers all the questions, sounds like if they don’t like you, or you stroke their ego, they won’t pass you. I would probably never get a license there then, because I would have told one of them to go fuck themselves by now, and just rode around on one of those burros.

    Mickey’s D? I haven’t been to one of those in two years now.I sometimes miss their fries.

    1. Mistress Borghese:
      Hoping for a good examiner was necessary when I got my license in NYC, too. Here, it’s a known fact. Yeah, I’m tempted to tell her to go fuck herself. We hadn’t been to a Mickey D’s in ages either. Julia Child actually said they had the best French fries.

  4. Here’s hoping for a passing grade, and the use of non-gender specific curse words. I’m sure, however, that I would have resorted to every vile profanity I could think of… cuz that’s me!

    1. Bob:
      I’ve been provided with lots of non-gender-specific words — some of them curse words… which is what I was hoping for.

  5. Now THAT sounded like a very stressful couple of hours!
    Some people can be SO miserable.

    1. Jim:
      Amazingly, I was calm and in control the entire time. While I drove, I KNEW I was acing the exam. But I didn’t take into account the awful person who was rating me. Will try again next week and hope for a more pleasant examiner.

  6. What an unhappy person she must be and so very talented at spreading her wealth of misery. Glad you realized that you don’t have to accept what she has on offer! Funny (not) about the face mask issue – when I got my licence last year the only person not wearing a mask was the person approving the paperwork! Of course it was early days, then.

    1. Wilma:
      She was definitely paranoid about Covid safety issues, which I take very seriously. But she was also very abusive. She yelled at every single one of us about something before we got in the car. Oh, I went to throw my bag and jacket on the floor of the back seat and she screamed… SCREAMED … NO NO NO!!! I put them in the trunk/boot. A simple “Put them in the boot, please” would have sufficed.

  7. How about “doofus”? Plural can either be “doofi” or “doofusi”?

    In truth, I’d have reacted in the same manner as Mistress Borghese and be riding around on a burro too!

    1. Tundra Bunny:
      Doofus is much too kind. Yeah, if it weren’t for San Geraldo, I’d consider riding around on a burro.

  8. OMG!!! if this exam took place in Canada, you would be on the radio, TV and all over the internet. Your driving exam story is exactly what Canadian media is looking for. You would be the victim du Jour, harassed by the evil bureaucrat. Was there any sexual context to this and BINGO you would receive multi $$$ compensation only in Canada. Today the CDN PM Justin Trudeau offered an apology to Italian Fascists who supported Mussolini in Canada hoping for his victory and called it an injustice. I knew you would be great at your driving exam, your years of experience taught your something. But you have the soul of the poet no wonder you were nervous about it especially with cruella in charge. Good for you to offering kind support words to the poor fellow who was so nervous. Now you can drive with confidence.

    1. Laurent:
      Sometimes, it really isn’t a good idea to take on City Hall. SG said that when he took his exam 4 years ago, his instructor said he just hoped they didn’t get a certain woman in the department as the examiner. He said she was unpleasant, superior, haughty, and she loved to fail people for things that only she saw — and the schools can’t risk filing complaints. SG wonders if that’s who I got. I wouldn’t be surprised. Better luck next time.

  9. Why are they making you wait for your result? ‘Normally’ in the countries I’ve known, you get to know immediately after you do your test. Sounds like she’s really making you suffer. Is it normal in Spain to get your results much later than after the test?

    1. Karen:
      My sense was that, had I passed, I would have been told immediately, which is usually the case here. SG was immediately informed. However, officially, you go online the next day to get your results.

  10. I’m sure you will pass. I took the French test with one other, a younger woman. She had tried and failed before. She went first (while I had to wait alone in a parking lot, no bench, no facilities) and she failed again. I was very nervous about that, but I did fine and passed (they let us know on the spot).

    1. Walt the Fourth:
      There’s always next week. Thankfully, my instructor said when he called that I had done an excellent job, but she’s the one with the power.

  11. That sounds terrible! Why are driving tests always so miserable? I mean, I’m sure being an instructor is a terrible job, but why take it out on the people you’re testing? Sheesh.

    I hope the results go your way! Sometimes they’re so unpredictable. Here in England I’m told it’s normal to fail for very minor things. Which is one reason I haven’t tried to get a driver’s license.

    1. Steve:
      Some people just like the power. Apparently the reason she failed me were for issues both the instructor and I are sure I didn’t do. Oh well. Maybe I’ll have someone decent next time.

    1. wickedhamster:
      I really just wanted something vulgar. “Thou roguish ill-nurtured haggard” is great but much to highbrow. Dumbfuck, shithead are more up my alley.

      1. wickedhamster:
        I like it, but I’m thinking in terms of 4-letter ones for this situation.

      2. Elin:
        I know some (I won’t repeat them here). But I’m sure you can teach me better ones! Next time we’re together. (I can probably teach you some English and Spanish ones you don’t already know.)

      1. Urspo:
        As an example, you say it sounds groovy as opposed to bad-ass.

      2. wickedhamster:
        You and Urspo are much to highbrow for the likes of me.

    1. Urspo:
      Sorry. Much too highbrow. It doesn’t have the crude, raw, vicious, gutter-punch I’m looking for.

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