Last year, I saw an ad in the local newspaper to be a driving instructor by Young Drivers of Canada. For those of you who don't know, Young Drivers is a franchise. It was required to show up at a information meeting. So off I went.
At the meeting, they told me that Young Driver is a franchise and their franchise name was Academy of Driving. They operate in the Surrey, New Westminster, Maple Ridge, Port Coquitlam and Ladner area. After the meeting, they ask for your personal information so that they can arrange an interview.
Sure enough, I got an interview. They told me it would be $11.95 an hour. Bob, the owner, told me that this jobs involves long hours. I thought sure, I could work long hours. Working overtime would be great.
To get your training, you need to put $500 down plus sign an agreement that you will not work for another driving instructor company for at least a period of 1 year. This is done because Young Driver instructors are sought after other driving companies and your instructing license expires within 1 year. You also have to reimburse them for the real cost of training which is another $1500.
Off I went into training. It was pretty good. Except, they seemed to want to push you through the course. Not caring that if we provided really good service.
Finally I got the car and it broke down a lot! It actually whined loudly, very loudly. People were covering their ears. I think the belt was loose but they couldn't be bothered to bring it in because they would have to pay me to bring it in. The power would go out. I sat at one time with a student and the car shut right down. I was talking to other instructors that had graduated and they were having similar problems. and they got brand new cars!
But that's not the worse of it. When Bob told me that we were to work long hours. He never told you exactly how you got paid. You get paid ONLY when you are teaching. Yes, that's right. The time between driving from one customer's house to another is paid at $0.45 an hour. They give you approximately 30 mins to hustle your butt over there.
On most days, I would be out driving for 10 hours, but be paid for 7.5 hours. The $0.45 cents/hour is neglegible for your time. I talked to several instructors who told me that they were tired everyday. Their girlfriends telling them that they didn't look very good. All in all, it was a terrible lifestyle. You felt like you were working for slave labour. So I figured, with the amount of money you make and the hours that you put in. It would really equal to about $8.00/hour. At $8.00/hour, I could work in McDonald's and NOT risk my life. For those of you don't know, the minimum wage in BC is $8.00/hour Canadian.
DO NOT give our your cellphone to them! They will call you and will NOT reimburse you. They say you can deduct the cost from your income taxes. If it's a business expense, then shouldn't we get paid more?
Furthermore, my peers and I decided to write the union. They never responded at all. Never cared. This tells you how unions take care of the bigger clients first. I even called the Labour Relations Board. Apprently this is LEGAL. For some reason, the government changed the rules to allow us to work under these conditions.
Many of the people I signed up quit work. Out of the 7 that went through the program with me, 5 left for sure. One purposely got fired so that he doesn't have to pay $1500. Several got medical leave from work. One got transfered to teach in the classroom. The classroom is so much better! You do your 8 hours and you are gone! None of this being paid 45 cents to drive a car. No rest. No lunch.
I have found that if a company advertises for Help Wanted a lot. They have a lot of turnover and thus unhappy workers.
Maple Ridge, British Columbia