How long have you been a driving instructor for?
I qualified in July 2013, so I’m well into my 6th year as a driving instructor.
What were you doing before that?
I’m quite a well know face around Fleetwood, as I worked in McDonalds for almost 15 years, starting as a crew member, and progressing to management. It sounds like quite a career step, but I feel that it actually prepared me really well for this job. Working with the public, and managing a team of staff develops a lot of skills which are very transferrable, not to mention the amount of people I’ve trained how to make a Big Mac, or use a till system!
What do you enjoy most about driving instructing?
It sounds really corny, but I love the fact that I am literally changing lives. To this day, I still remember my driving instructor, Ken, and that feeling of passing your driving test is one of the best. I know how much of a difference it can make to a person’s life, and I love being a part of that journey.
I particularly enjoy taking a pupil, who may be really nervous, or may find it really difficult, and watching them overcome all of that to achieve their dream. I have, at the time of writing this, helped 116 people pass their driving test, and that buzz of seeing them pass still hasn’t faded at all!
Is there anything you dislike about the job?
Well, I’d be lying if I said it was all sunshine and happiness, and, like in any job, there are a few downsides. As I’m self employed, the income is quite unreliable, and cancellations can hit hard. The general public, particularly other drivers on the road, quite often show very little patience to learner drivers, which can also be quite frustrating, and punctures, caused particularly by potholes, are an irritating side of the job. Without a doubt though, the thing I hate most is the drive back from the test centre after someone has failed a driving test. Its always an awkward drive, often with someone who is upset, or angry. I hate it, but then that is a good motivation to make sure people keep passing!
What are your interests/hobbies outside of driving instructing?
For my sins, I’m a keen Fleetwood Town fan. I hold a season ticket, so I attend all of their home games, and I try to get to as many away days as possible. I usually manage about 10 away games a season. One of the perks of being self employed is that I can organise my own diary, so all the Fleetwood games get pencilled in as soon as the fixture list is released.
I also enjoy pub quizzing. I attend a regular quiz in Fleetwood on a Sunday night (my day off), and I also host quizzes fairly regularly, usually to raise money for charities. I have 2 quizzes coming up which I’ve written, so if you’re interested in coming along, just let me know and I’ll send you some more details!