Monday, December 24, 2012

An easy driving test

As the Jack Snyder sat in the all-wheel drive car with the five-star government crash-test rating, teetering back and forth on the edge of a half destroyed guardrail, he reflected how diligently following those same government guidelines got him in his current situation.
              Jack had been a motorcade driver for his command staff when he was enlisted. A DMV driving tester seemed like a cake job in comparison. A well paying, full-time position became available as soon as he was discharged, and so he took it. Looking over at the empty driver’s seat Jack glanced backwards to see his test student standing up about where she had jumped out of the car. She stood with her arms out stretched as if she were looking for something to lean on.
            “My glasses! I can’t see without them,” she screamed as tears ran down her eyes.
            Jack looked back at the driver's seat to see a thick set of horn-rimmed glasses sitting forgotten. As he started to lean towards them, the car began to creak, then gently sway forward. He quickly leaned back against the seat. The car creaked louder and teetered backwards towards the road.
            “I have them Ms. Benson, but you’ll have to work with me.”
            “What? I… AAAHHHH!!” Jack was too nervous to turn around and look now, but he was pretty sure she was crying. He had laughed when the other DMV workers told stories of the girl he was testing today. He thought they had made up stories of her almost hitting her own mother during a failed driving test. He hadn’t believed the rumors of her putting a giant hole in the testing center, and later on closing it for over a two weeks during another botched attempt. He had thoroughly dismissed the sordid gossip that she had ever caused one middle-aged tester to go into cardiac arrest.
            The reality Jack Snyder now faced told assured him that those rumors were scarily more fact than fiction. He had witnessed the woman’s own nervousness almost cause an accident three times before starting the ignition. He wondered if he could get her focused for just three or four seconds.
            “Listen, Ms. Benson. I can give you your glasses, but you need to work with me.”
            He was answered with silence. There was a loud blaring of sinuses being cleared, a cough, and then a throat being cleared.
            “This won’t go against my test scores?” She seemed to have stopped crying.
            “No, Ms. Benson, your scores will not be adversely affected. In fact, complete this next exercise and we’ll consider you having passed.”
            “Well, I’m not sure…” A loud groan from the car seemed to respond.
            “It’ll only take a moment, and you’ll finally have your license.” He was starting to go hoarse from yelling, but Jack was desperate.
            “Oh that’ll make me so happy!”
            “Everyone at the DMV will be happy as well. First, you have to help me though. Are you ready?”
            “Ok dear. What’s first?” She was facing the car with her arms out stretched, its exact shape and predicament being several feet away was apparently too much for her myopic vision to render.
            “Just walk forward until you touch the car, it’s not very far, when you do, push down for a few seconds, I’ll do the rest.”
            Surprisingly, there was only silence until the car swayed backwards slightly until it firmly stopped.
            “Now what dear?”
            “Hold it for five seconds.” Jack scooted to the driver side, shifted the car form neutral to reverse, then began backing it up ever so slightly. “Move with me Ms. Benson,” he directed. After a couple of feet, the vehicle stopped as the rail wedged behind the front tires.
            Jack climbed out, glasses in hand, then placed them on Ms. Benson.
“Before you can ask, yes, you passed. We’ll just call the rest “mechanical failure”.

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