This is an inspirational story and guys should learn from this dude,no knowledge is a waste,
I was 17 the first time I got behind a wheel. Then I was holidaying with an uncle who had different vehicles at his disposal.
My uncle has 6 kids, all of them knew how to drive including his last kid who is same age with me.
It was his eldest son who gave me my first lessons on driving an automatic transmission. After days of practicing around the compound, I lost focus and rammed into a fence. Fortunately, my cousin was seated beside me to step on the brakes just in time and a tragedy was averted.
The next time I drove was years after, during my NYSC days precisely. A friend made attempts to teach me how to drive a manual transmission perfectly but I took my lessons nonchalantly knowing when the time comes to get my own car, it’s going to be an automatic or nothing. Little did I know this lack of knowledge will haunt me one day.
Recently a friend sent me a job vacancy with mouthwatering benefits and one of the criteria was,
‘Applicants must know how to drive.’
I applied, got called for an aptitude test last week and scaled through. A day after, I was sent another email to come to Ogudu with a driver’s license in two days time (Friday).
Quickly, I browsed through Vconnect for driving schools around my area. The first person I called said N20k for intensive express lessons. Second said his vehicle is indisposed except I have a personal car. Third gave me a fair price and invited me over.
I met him, told him I just need to get familiar with a vehicle for a day since I already know how to drive and my lessons commenced immediately.
This guy is not a licensed instructor, just some guy with access to his friend’s vehicle, looking to make extra income.
Firstly, the 1990 Passat looked like it just survived a highway accident.
My shoes and chairs were soggy when I sat cos muddy rain water had leaked into the vehicle.
Also, when I jammed the door and forcefully returned the stiff gear to a neutral position, the guy said, “Please take it easy with the car. Its not my car abeg.” So I had to sit like a statue so I don’t upset him until he asked me to drive.
I drove in a parallel line in a secluded street until he suggested I drive to a busy road. As soon as I approached the junction linking both roads, my legs began vibrating. You see, I have this intense fear of driving alongside fast moving vehicles and this was my first time of driving in Lagos, a city of reckless drivers blind to the L sign. By the time I joined other vehicles, both hands and legs were shaking visibly. My instructor’s command of English was not helping matters.
“You are falling my hand!” He said. “Relax, get ready to cut your hand and brake. Oya trafficate. I said trafficate! Trafficate ohh! The left knob is trafficate na! This girl!”
“Please take it easy with me before we have an accident.” I pleaded.
He told me to pull over immediately.
After I caught my breath. He told me my problem is fear & controlling the steering. That was when he became a driving instructor cum psychologist.
“What is your major hobby?” He asked
“I mean what do you do for relaxation?”
“I said I write”
“Ok. Now, you are going to drive back to the junction and imagine you are writing while you drive.”
I had a WTF expression on my face.
“Ahn ahn. But what is the relationship between driving and writing?” I asked. “When I am writing I am usually absent minded in my own fantasy world. It’s as good as advising me to text and drive.”
“This girl!” He cut me in. “Okay just pretend I never said that before you kill us.”
I breathed in and began moving the vehicle again. I was driving fine until he asked if I was checking my side mirrors. I glanced at the mirror and started trembling again when I saw one fuel tanker following behind at full speed.
“Tipper oh! Tipper is coming!” I screamed.
“And so? Maintain your lane!” Guy said.
I do and told him ‘I cannot come and kill myself.’
I swerved and told him ‘I cannot come and kill myself.’
The guy laughed and said he has given up on me that when I go for my test, I should smile and flirt with my instructor that his female cousin did that four months ago and scaled through a driving test with NBC.
We were eight in number at Ogudu. Six guys and two girls including me. The other girl I wanted to use in pitching a tent with in my misfortune was not even my mate cos she came with one fine car. The place was a hotel and we all waited at the outdoor restaurant.
We sat for more than an hour before our instructors came, a man and a lady. The restaurant attendant brought a tray of hot snacks and a carton of drinks, mostly malt and cold canned beer. The lady said we should have brunch before going out for the test and she sat back to watch the boys who will be dumb enough to drink beer (first test maybe).
I didn’t go near the snacks while others ate. I was seated, smiling and waiting for the male instructor to lock eyes with me.
When he proved stubborn, I went over to where he sat to start a conversation. My trick is usually asking questions relating to their place of origin so I could trace his brother’s wife housemaid as my mother’s aunt sister.
“Good afternoon Sir” I said sweetly as he busied with a document of road traffic signs on his table.
“Afternoon. Have you eaten?” He asked in a very stern voice.
I got the message and slowly returned to my seat in humiliation.
Soon, I heard a vehicle horn outside. The instructor said all of us should go out. Outside, there was a white 18 seater manual transmission bus and he said they are going to use that to test us.
A bus of all vehicles? My legs were weak. Instructor said we should get in and each of us will take turns to drive as we move from Ogudu to Ketu Area and back.
We were scheduled in a way that the two ladies were made to drive last. All the guys scaled through their test but no one was allowed to leave the bus yet. The girl that came with her car was the second to the last, before me. She drove smoothly for two kilometres or so before she parked for me. Where I was required to drive was one kilometre. I alighted and noticed where she parked was a pothole in a hilly road. When I tried to move the vehicle, it kept stalling.
The instructor was just watching quietly. I was so frustrated after a few minutes and started shouting at no one in particular. “She should be made to take the blame! Is this where the last guy parked for her? She did it purposely so I won’t get the job. This is just wickedness!”
The girl was about defending herself when the instructor told her to calm down. He told me to return to my seat and drove us back to Ogudu to pick our bags.
I LOST THE JOB AND BEER
Knowing I no longer stood a chance of getting the job, I went over to where the remaining drinks were kept so I could pack all of it to compensate myself for the money I spent but there were nowhere to be found. I have been moody all weekend.