A Driving Instructor's Blog

You really do have to keep a straight face sometimes.

I keep hearing from one particular instructor that he is “ready to pack it in”, waiting for calls because “the phone has gone dead”, furious that pupils have cancelled a lesson (and that it happens all the time and they are unreliable), struggling to pay bills because “work has dried up”, and so on. But now he is claiming that he is happy doing “40 hours a week tuition Monday to Friday”. I wish he’d make his bloody mind up, because two weeks ago he was moaning about not having any work.

You hear this kind of bilge all the time at the test centre. In this particular case, even if he is doing 2 hour lessons with 15 minutes in between (so all his pupils are living within a few miles of each other), that tots up to being out of the house for at least 10 hours a day without any break whatsoever (or longer if he does have a break). Factor in pupils who do 1 or 1½ hour lessons and you can add another hour a day at least.

More to the point, assuming his pupils are happy to be told exactly when their lesson times begin (which is bound to put some of them off, and which simply doesn’t happen in this job if you want to be successful at it), having to cut lessons right on time all the time is also going to be a turn off for many of them (particularly when there are traffic problems and other hold ups). Most of this guy’s lesson time must be spent working out how to finish bang on schedule! I don’t see how you can possibly give value for money with such constraints. I mean, just imagine first of all trying to reliably fit lessons in with only 15 minutes in between them. Then imagine how tired you’d be doing so many continuous hours. It just isn’t going to happen like that.

It simply doesn’t make sense, and it would certainly explain some of the other claims you see from people about having no work and being ready to throw in the towel if it is true.

So there’s a bit of advice to any prospective instructors: you provide a service to the pupil, not the other way round.

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