And so we come to the end of week two. It would be a long half day of parallel parking that contained a healthy dose of mental cruelty. On Thursday we learned that four of the five trainees that took the road test in Conroe FAILED! One by knocking over a cone at the very beginning of the test during the parallel park. Three of them in a move at the very end of the test within sight of the DPS office. The stop sign faux pas was because they stopped a railroad track that immediately preceded a stop sign. They evidently figured that they had already stopped for the intersection and rolled on through the stop sign. Extreme bummer.
Back on the track the Limey talked me through the P-park the first time and it ended up okay with a false start or two. Then he and the other trainees got out of the truck and let me try it solo and alone. Another couple of false starts and then a pretty lame result. Ali did pretty good on his own as did Bubba. Both have driven big rigs before so they have a better feel for the truck, where it is at all times and what you have to do to make it move the way you want. I thought Kraut did a respectable job, and Hibachi did better than I thought he would’ve but the Limey stayed in the truck with him.
After a smoke break we tried it again and I thought I did better, but the Limey was in the truck with me. A problem for almost all of us ended up being responding to a Limey command of LEFT by turning the wheel RIGHT. It’s the whole counterintuitive thing. We hear left and think we have to get the trailer to the left which means we have to turn the wheel right.
We’ll spend the time we need on P-parking next Monday and Tuesday (and maybe Wednesday if we don’t do our road test until Thursday).
In fact, for the rest of the day and throughout the night I couldn’t NOT thing about parallel parking. In fact, in the wee hours of the morning, I was awake and visualizing the parallel park. It wasn’t even clicking in my imagination so I got up, booted up my laptop, and went to google. I found only one or two good Youtubes of parallel parking, neither of which used the same technique as the Limey. At any rate, the videos showed me where the steering wheel turns need to be made and how far the wheels trailer tandem and drive wheels need to be from the back cones and the curb, respectively, when those turns are made. For the rest of the night I was at least able to visualize the process correctly. I am now looking forward to Monday.
At the end of the day, after we had all gone home, Kraut called me in a rather agitated state. On Monday morning he wanted to have a sitdown with the Limey and tell him we all wanted him to be quiet. Let us each do a trial run road test and then tell us what we did wrong. Kraut said he learns from his mistakes and didn’t much care for the Limey’s “Left. Left. Right. Not left. Right. Et cetera” instructions. Kraut said that didn’t help him learn the moves.
I said that the Limey would undoubtedly do that before the actual road test. But Kraut was adamant about wanting silence during the drives and parks from here on out. He made this point repeatedly for the next five minutes before the battery on my phone (thankfully) died. While I take his point, the Limey is an intense, supremely confident individual who does bark at you, I’m not quite as hard core on this issue but told Kraut I would support him. Depending on how Kraut handles this conversation we could end up with a pissed off trainer and who knows how that would play out over the next few days.
Should be an interesting Monday.