Failed is a bad word. So I shall consider "not quite passed". And I am in good company. Allow me to quote Thomas Edison. I don't consider old Tom to be a failure but he is quoted as saying "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." Apart from the sentiment, famous peoples quotes are good for at least two reasons:
1. It makes me look intellectual and well read (there's a bluff, I still struggle with the advanced Janet and John books)
2. It saves me from thinking up something clever and witty to say for myself.
So, what is all this talk of not passing? Last Friday I took my part two (of three) tests to be a driving instructor and, no surprises if you have read this far, I didn't pass. But did I fail? Well yes I did, there is a big marked box on the form that says "Fail". So why did I fail? Or rather, why did I not pass? There are lots of categories on the test form that the examiner will put a mark in if you make a fault and I had seven of them although they could all have been scrubbed out and another box added entitled "Russ drove like a dick". I may be being a little hard on myself but you know the feeling when you do something stupid and you know what you are doing is stupid and you know the examiner knows that you are doing something stupid and you know that the examiner knows that you know you are doing something stupid. I know the feeling. A few little stupid mistakes that aren't worth going into here but one big mistake. One huge great doozy of a mistake that cost me a tick in the pass box.
If you know the roads around Gloucester, you may be aware of the stretch of A38 from Junction 12 of the motorway to the junction at Quedgeley where the Roundabout used to be. It is a 70 mph limit all the way to the last 600 yards or so where it drops to 30. I sailed past the 30 sign at about 45mph. Dumbass. I am generally familiar with the idiosyncrasies of these sudden changes in speed limit. In my other life I regularly sit in judgement on people that fall foul of them. I must therefore consider myself a bad person and take my punishment like a man. Sitting in the car at the end of the test the Examiner instructs me to turn the engine off:
"I'm sorry to tell you Mr Kirby you haven't succeeded" (see, even the instructor didn't call me a failure)
"Why do you think you failed"
"Because I was dick on the bypass"
"Not quite how I would have put it but...."
Anyway, a bit more revision, a bit more practice and we'll give it another go. In fact, we will give it another go at 9:30am Monday 1st March. Happy St David's Day. I hope the examiner has a good weekend.
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