Picture it – cold grey morning – theory test at 8:30 with requirement to turn up at 8:15. Husband gives me lift into town and parks outside near to where he thought I was going and short walk from where I knew I have going.
At 8:08 approx
Him: ‘Are you getting out?’
Me: ‘Aren’t you going to drop me off?’
Him: ‘Yes, I’ll drive the 20 feet to the door’
Me: ‘It’s not here it’s the place on the corner but its okay the WALK will do me good.’
Him: ‘Ok then.’
Get out of car and start walking. The car goes past
Him: ‘I could have dropped you off at the bus stop.’
Me: ‘You could have dropped me off right outside the front door if you’d thought about it’
No really – Me: ‘The walk will do me good.’
So I arrive at the test centre and go in and suddenly think it’s not the right place – OH DEAR (well thoughts to that effect). There’s no signs saying Test Centre, there’s someone going through the door inside but I don’t shout to them I think its shock. I nearly walk into someone on the way out
‘Where’s the Test Centre?’. They don’t know. Not panicking, yet! Walk to the Town Hall, its shut!
Accost a couple walking past with council badges dangling from their necks – ‘Where’s Gregson House’.
‘It’s that building over there’ (WHERE I STARTED FROM) ‘it’s the JobCentre Plus’ – Plus what – the Theory Test Centre??????????????
Walked across the car park, fumbling mobile out of pocket and dialling 118118 – who then put me through (bugger the expense by this time). Automated service – I just want a person to tell me where the test centre is, is that too much to ask? Obviously. Hover in the middle of this huge car park, should I walk further or should I stop in case it’s the other way? Decisions, decisions. How am I going to say – No I didn’t pass because I didn’t take it because I didn’t know where I was going!
Nearly back to the JobCentre by now – thinking why I am going this way it’s not in there.
Turn round and march back across the car park. Accost yet another pedestrian who doesn’t know where it is but her son has just passed so she feels she should know. Well good for him and no brownie points for her! Why don’t I try the Town Hall? Why didn’t I think of that!!!!!
Panic is now setting in. Back to the Town Hall still closed. It’s now getting on for 8:22 even though I feel like I’ve been walking for hours – it’s the well known panic time warp.
Town Hall still CLOSED. Where’s my Council Tax going?
Try the next building. Fortunately there’s a security guard, possibly he’s not very big and not very secure looking, BUT who cares because after explaining that the offices only open at 9:00 he is able to tell me where to go – what I mean there is he tells me where the test centre is not $@*# off we’re closed.
I rush (can’t really run due to back problem) across the Town Hall square, across the pelican crossing after briefly checking for buses bearing down on me only briefly because by this time 8:25 the sympathy from getting hit by a bus would overshadow the fact that I didn’t know where I was going.
Into the 6th building I’d been to – see Theory Test Centre in the foyer – rush to the door to the lifts – it’s locked – what the $@*#!!!!!!
Nice security guard rushing round the corner behind me
Him: ‘Test Centre luv?’
Me: ‘Yes, I went to the wrong building’ (he doesn’t need to know how many wrong buildings.
Him: ‘It happens – take the lift and calm down.’
Get to the Test Centre offices – nice lady takes my licence off me – gives me a key to a locker for my stuff so I don’t cheat and something to read quickly as I’m only just in time. I have little idea what it said but on the basis that I wasn’t agreeing to electric shocks every time I got an answer wrong or missed a hazard I signed anyway.
Did the theory bit – very confident – but we all know that this can lead to a glaringly obvious balls up later.
Then settled down for the Hazard Perception bit – quite relaxed by now because I was going to fail – I couldn’t spot a heavily laden 30 foot trailer bearing down on my side of the road in time to click the mouse and get five points.
I got up from my chair before a lot of the others, walked out collected my things and my letter saying I’d failed the hazard perception and the number to let me out of the door downstairs. No doubt in my mind. Didn’t open it until I was in the lift, didn’t want to have hysterics in front public. ‘Congratulations, you have passed’. What, is this mine, yes it’s got my name at the top, does it just mean the Theory bit? Look at the scores for the hazards, there’s no way they add up to 44.
Got out of the lift, went to the first door, it’s the stairs, second door is some short of fire escape/cupboard, third door has a key pad, bit of a clue as I have a number. Manage to get back into the foyer – security guard coming out of his office – possibly because there’s CCTV everywhere and I’d been trying doors like a loon.
Him: ‘From the smile I take it you passed.’
Me: ‘Well, the letter says congratulations you’ve passed, but I don’t think I passed the hazard bit.’
Him: ‘I think there’s a bit of a clue in the Congratulations you’ve passed bit!’ And probably thinking ‘She could be on the road soon!!!!!’
Took it to a coffee shop and sat down, after ordering a Mocha, ‘cos apparently they don’t like you going in for a warm sit down without buying something! Looked at it properly and it clearly said ‘Congratulations you have passed’ but seeking yet more confirmation I read further and it clearly stated lower down 50 out of 50 for the theory element (yes, I know Smart Arse) and 50 out of 75 for the Hazard Perception and to cap it all suggested that I might like to ask my instructor for further information on Hazard Perception – my computer must have been talking!!!!!!!!! Wait till I get home.