Tag: Money

Finally!

Hi and a big huzzah!

Finally passed that bloody test today. Glen, the examiner, was desperate for me to pass, I think if I’d have failed it this time he would have driven for me next go. He was telling me to relax, not panic, then when things got dodgy he was saying ‘not your fault, you’re in your lane, that was his fault’, telling me not to go to pieces as I’d not failed yet, etc.

Bless him, he really did want me to pass.

I had a few moments, pinched some of an oncoming lane for a turn when, strictly speaking, I didn’t need to, went into some situations a little too fast, and felt I was overcautious in others, but my new best-mate Glen said it was good enough. I came away with eight minor driver faults, and one of them was for taking a shunt on my reverse manoeuvre (I’d left it a bit tight and thought it was better to take a shunt, and the consequent driver fault, rather than possibly fail the test there and then).

I have been saying, since my last test, that I can pass it now, that I should get it this time. When I knew I’d only failed on missing a gear and pulling over on a single yellow line, I thought ‘I can do this’.

Which is all good and well until you get back in the cab. You’ve already failed eight times, an infinity of variables await you and everything is riding on the next fifty minutes as you pull out of the (infeasibly tight) corner from the test centre onto the road.

Huge gulp, massive deep breath, chi focused, and off we go.

God it is horrible. The fatalist in me is saying ‘you are never going to pass this’ while I’m so desperate to pass it. You just have to brace yourself for failure whilst trying your damnedest not to. It is truly horrible. The money you are throwing out the window, the doubt that you will ever pass and the knowledge that you’ve invested too much to be able to quit. You have to keep on trying until you pass, be it nine or ninety tests.

Then when he told me I’d passed…, really there are no words. The emotional overload of joy that is primarily inexpressible relief, it feels like this:, sort of.

Bloody hell, I’m glad that’s over.

I felt like my hands were shaking, though they weren’t, and I thought I might need surgery to remove the grin.

Sent my license off today to have the three penalty points stuck on it (couldn’t send it away before as you have to present your license to take the test) when it gets back I send it off again (with my pass certificate) and when that returns I can start looking for work.

Which reminds me, I’ll have to get a really good photocopy of my pass certificate in case they keep the original when they upgrade my  license. I think I’ll frame my certificates for in my computer room. Sad, I know, but no one else need see them, and the amount of commitment and anxiety that has gone in to achieving them, well, they will make me happy to see them there.

So, a mere £5,615 and thirteen tests later, I am a qualified articulated lorry driver. Bargain.

There’s other stuff afoot, but quite frankly I don’t care. ("If you could squeeze ‘rats ass’ into that sentence it would be perfect." To quote Niles from Frasier)

Happy/ relieved Bucky.

Later,

Buck.

PS I forgot to mention, when I told Wendy she was obviously delighted, but then admitted she had thought I was never going to pass! There’s supportiveness. She didn’t think I could do it, but encouraged me each time I failed and voiced no dissent when I then put us in another £283 of debt on the credit card by booking another test. If she had put us five grand+ in debt for something I thought she clearly couldn’t do, I don’t know if I’d have been able to do the same.

Done now, thankfully.

…and, relax.

Well bugger me! What a difference a day makes. I’ve gone from blind panic to hopeful. Yesterday I was working out our finances and finding them wanting in all but debts, today it might be a done deal.

Wendy was at the Citizens Advice today (as a volunteer) and was approached by the trainer there, (who is on the main management committee) and told to start thinking about applying for a job as several of the debt people there are leaving. There is to be a big shuffle of positions and jobs will be being advertised. A nod being as good as a wink (to a blind horse), I’d say Wendy’s in with a good chance for one of them. Then when she got home she was ‘phoned by one of the women she used to work with at another branch who told her they had jobs coming up, including her old one! Apparently they’ve not been able to find a suitable long term replacement for Wendy, as all who’ve followed her have been rubbish. Allegedly. (Who knows who reads these things, or how litigious they might be?)

So in the space of a day it’s all turned around. Yesterday I was a panic stricken having realised the credit was about to run out, today I reckon it’s just a matter of hanging in for another month or so and we’ll be solvent again. This takes the pressure off me for my driving. I reckon Wendy’s a shoe-in for one of the jobs that are coming up, so I can just relax and do my driving. Now it’s just a matter of time until I pass, (the funding is as good as in place). Whilst I would like to pass first time I don’t have to flap about it if I don’t. Then just apply for every job going. Also if Wendy does get one of these jobs I can spend a final £500 and get that ADR (hazardous goods) license, then I’ve got everything I need to be a petrol tanker driver. Artic, ADR, tanker driver, world domination. That’s the plan.

I’ve spent all night roughing out the figures for when we both have the jobs to which we aspire. Even a conservative estimate (IF we both get them) puts us debt free by the end of this year! Which would probably be the first time for me since…, well, since I could get credit. Which is when I had my first proper job after leaving school. I will be so happy on that day. I seem to be forever playing catch up on what I’ve already spent (and in the good old days; drank, smoked, or crashed).

I’ve been driving Wendy to distraction all night working it out. The debts we will pay, the savings account (savour the concept) we can open. Who knows; a cheap bike, a sax, maybe even a holiday. It would be our second proper holiday in the thirteen years we’ve been together, so probably not too soon.

Money can’t buy happiness.

Hmm, I aim to put that adage to some rigorous scientific testing. OK, I know it means that without your health riches are worthless, but after 25 years of being stony broke, having my debts paid, serious money coming in and my health would be bloody brilliant.

Well, even if it all amounts to naught, I’ve had a bloody good evening planning how great everything is going to be.

Later,

Buck.