Our second au pair had a lot of driving experience back in her Eastern European country. She’d been driving for 3 years, almost every day. Sounded great. This, along with her other great qualities, lead us to match with her.
Zoom ahead three months, as we settle her into the Toyota to go out for a driving evaluation. I didn’t know you could ride the clutch on an automatic, or gnash the gears even. When she turned right, we fishtailed. On dry pavement.
Wow, she did not know how to handle our car.
Honey, what kind of car did you drive back in the old country? I asked.
Oh, I didn’t drive a car, she replied. I drove a tractor.
I kid you not.
We hired a driving instructor from Sears. $300 later, she was good to go, and was one of our best au pairs ever. Thank goodness she was anxious to learn.
MAmom suggested several questions (in the comments on the post about US Driver’s Licenses) for assessing an au pair’s driving experience. I wish I’d thought to ask our au pairs these questions, since we might also have identified the au pair who was so scared to drive that she often pulled over to the shoulder mid-trip just to steady her nerves. I added to MAmom’s list– what more do you suggest?
Questions for Assessing an Au Pair’s Driving
- What kind of cars have you driven?
- What is the furthest distance you have ever driven?
- What kind of bad weather have you driven in? (snow? heavy rain?)
- Have you ever used a GPS?
- When you need to figure out how to drive to somewhere, how do you get directions?
- Have you ever gotten lost while driving? If so, what did you do?
- Have you ever been on a road trip with a friend?
- What is your best driving habit?
- What is your worst driving habit?
- How is driving at nighttime different from driving during the daytime?
What other questions would you ask to assess an Au Pair’s driving skill?
Tractor Girl from merfam