Oh my. Went for my hour’s assessment in an artic today. They are spiffy. It’s like the flight deck of the Enterprise in the cab. Big computer to run everything, an air sprung seat that weighs you then sets itself to your weight, half gears (where if you change up and it’s a bit much for the engine, or hit a hill and start to lose momentum you just flick a switch, dip the clutch and you’re away again). Even cruise control, you just flick it on and the engine carry’s on without driver input. This leaves you free to rest your foot and play on your laptop (or something). The downside is it’s weird as hell to drive. It’s massive for a start. It’s like taking Wales for a joyride. Then the aforementioned air sprung seat, which is doubtless the last word in comfort, bounces you up and down like a yo-yo making your foot bob up and down on the accelerator. Weird, and not a little nerve wracking. Then there’s the location of the training place; Manchester for a start, (I had a minor panic attack trying to find the damn place, the flashback to my abortive attempt to become a despatch rider round there was only too vivid.) and in a yard with a normal sized gate at right angles to a titchy little back street, to boot. Just being in the cab with the guy driving it out of there put years on me.
I had a go at a driving, (in more or less a straight line) pulling over and setting off again, a U turn (you start driving more or less at your own trailer. So weird) and a quick reverse in the yard. The reverse seems easy enough.
Long and short of which is; I’ve signed up for 20 hours driving and a test. Starting the 9th of March, test on Friday the 13th.
The panic thing in the title, is I then had to pay for it. £809. That leaves me with about £1,000 available credit. Or to put it another way: about another three tests, if I fail the first time. Then I’m out of credit. God knows what happens then. Selling my bottom around town when the fleet is in, I suppose.
So, no pressure there then. As those new aerodynamic, allegedly tree hugging, planet saving Marks and Sparks trailers proclaim, "because there is no plan B". This has to work. I have to pass within available credit. I have to get a job and earn vast amounts of money. And it all has to happen within the next few months.
If this was just me I wouldn’t worry. Run up the credit then let them try and take from me what I don’t have. However, the card I have been running up is in Wendy’s name. She would take it amiss if she were brought to book for it. She’s like that. When (not if) I do get a job out of this I expect to be working a 60 hour week, so I will soon be able to extricate us from the mountain of pooh beneath which I am currently burying us. But right now it’s looking decidedly like a gamble. If I pass and get work, it will all be worth it. If I can’t pass, or pass and then can’t find work… .
Have to try and get a franchise in the rapidly expanding selling-crack-to-schoolkids market. Woe onto Bucky.
PS one moment of cheer today; some numpty doing telephone sales. He was trying to sell me BT broadband. The joy of it was I was only looking at it the other day so I was up on my facts. He asked me who my IP was, said AOL, he asked if I was on a contract and when it ran out would I be interested in changing to BT? The joy was this gave me the opportunity to say "No. The line here is crap so I can’t download any faster, AOL is cheaper than BT and has unlimited downloads. Why would I want to pay more for less?" He said "Oh, goodbye then" and hung up! That was lovely. The amount of unsolicited calls we’ve had and you have to be really assertive/ downright rude or hang up to get rid of them. He gave up and went crying for mummy. MWAHAHAHA