But then we went back to the class room and they announced who they had chosen for the special program they're running called FLEX. Where students go out with real drivers locally and drive those trucks with those drivers running real orders/cargo. And there's a $500 bonus on the first pay check after the 17 day training course time-period.
As a little background there have been 2 tests with 3 parts each. General Knowledge (50 questions), Air Brakes (20 questions), Combination Vehicles (15 questions). On the first test I missed 1 on the General and 1 on the Air Brakes. On the second test I missed 1 on General and 1 on the combo test. They were supposed to take the total of both tests into account. Which according to the instructor yesterday put me in second by only missing a total of 4 questions as someone had only missed 3 questions total.
So I thought I was a shoe-in for the FLEX program. Well today at the end of class the guy who handles the program came in and announced 10 names. I wasn't on the list.
A couple of the people who WERE on the list included someone who failed one of the portions of the test, and only got his permit today. A chick who never got a 100% on any of her tests, missing 6 in the General Knowledge test, and only got her permit last week. Today at the yard she was unable to do a straight-line backing. And another person I can think of also got horrible scores, barely passing all of his test questions, and barely speaks english, has trouble reading the legalese of the regulations, and doesn't grasp simple concepts like 70 hours on duty in 8 days.
On a side-note if you're thinking of getting your license thru C.R. England's school, it's 17 days long, you're off only Sundays. It's $50 up front, and $2950 for the class, which is taken out of your pay check $55/wk at a time which is matched by the company to help pay it off even faster. If you pay all up front and don't finance it thru Freedom Capitol then they'll knock $1000 off the total. If you work for them for 3 years they'll pay you back $1000. For me since I already have a CDL, but didn't go to an "approved driving school" I'm required to take the Student Refresher Course. It's $100 up front, and $500 financed at the same payment rate, $55/wk which is NOT matched by the company. It's a pretty fucked up way of doing things, but in this economy I'm willing to do a lot to get a job since I've had my CDL for almost 2 years now and not been able to find anything.
If you come to the school in SoCal expect to be treated like 10 year olds in a college class. The instructors explain things very fast and expect people to grasp things as quickly as they explain them. Then when you ask questions they talk down to you. (For instance someone didn't understand something in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations pocketbook, and the instructor responded to the question with 'Can't you read english?!' Having been sitting 2 chairs away from this person I knew for a fact that he could read and speak english well. So it was just the instructor being condescending and rude.) The instructor we get tomorrow is an ex-marine drill sargent. The few times he's come in to say something he's been short, blunt, and not at all forgiving of questions. I think I'm going to loath my time spent with him the next few days.
EDIT: Got a new instructor today for the internal policies portion of the class. He confessed that the most likely reason the people who were picked for the FLEX program were picked because they have their own cars here and could easily get to the yard any time of day without the use of the shuttle vans. So now I just think it's a bit fucked up to put hope into people's minds, making them study hard, just to not even consider them like that.