Friday, May 19, 2006

Passing Through Life

Yesterday, I took two of the three tests I have to do with the motor vehicle examiner. He is seventy-nine and a bit of a curmudgeon. I didn't think he even spoke because all I heard were a few grunts when I bid him good morning.

When I was getting ready to take my test, I said "Can you hear me okay?" because the trucks in the field are loud, I was standing far away from him and he was sitting in his car while I took the test with him. He said in his scary old man movie voice, "I may be old, but I'm not deaf!!"

Uh, okay, maybe that was the wrong thing to say to the examiner two minutes prior to starting my test. I went through my pre-trip inspection by rote, not missing anything along the way. Thank God he only had me do the engine compartment and not the rest of the freakin' truck. As soon as I was done with the back of the tractor, he made me get inside to do the in cab part of the test. I pretended he wasn't there and went through everything as I learned it, paying special attention to the air brake portion of the test since anything said out of order, would result in an automatic failure.

Next, I had to do my backing. I knew I was going to ace it because the two days prior, I was a master at it. I barely had to think and I swung that trailer right into the parking lane. I did my first maneuver perfectly; smoothly back, evenly between the cones.

Second, was the crossover. I hated this one at first but then I got it down better than the others; didn't even have to make any pull ups to adjust my angle. Now I was really going to show this old codger what a girl could do! Oh my God! Where am I going? The rear of my trailer was all over the place. Oh God. Oh God. Oh shit! Pull up. Back up. Pull up again. Back. Back. Back. Back. HORN!!! He was blowing his horn at me. Shit. That's not a good sign at all. Did I hit something? Now I'm all nervous. Dammit, what does he see that I'm not seeing? I pull up again, tune him and his horn out and re-adjust my angle. There we go...back...back...back....I'm in! Whew! Holy shit. I lost a shitload of points on that one, I just know it.

Last, I had to do my ninety degree angle dock back. This one I was good at. So I concentrated, looked at the ground to get my tires in the right spot and slowly backed that pig up. I was turning around that last cone like an expert. Tandems nice and close to the corner of my turn, then smoothly back into the hole. Got out, checked to make sure I didn't kill any imaginary dock workers, got back in my truck and finished my test.

I got out, walked over to the examiners car and said, "Boy, you wouldn't know I did that crossover perfectly yesterday and this morning by looking at today's performance, would you?" In a curt tone he said, "Nope. Sure wouldn't." Ack! I must have failed. With that thought in my head, I stupidly said, "Well, you made me a little nervous," and thinking he was going to fail me for the mere reason that I dared speak to him.

I stood there as he made the little marks on his clipboard, signed here and there, jotted a note in the margin and then turned to me and said, "Well, you have a little work to do, but you passed."

With a big smile inside and a little smile on the outside, I said "Thank You" and got the hell out of there fast!

I get to see him again next week when I take my road test. Shit. I know a seventy nine year old isn't going to respond to cleavage; what the hell am I going to have to do, bring a cup of tea and some Zwieback crackers?

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