Left hand drive and being a new starter

I’m in Lake Garda for a few days, soaking up the sun and reading some books. In an ill advised moment of bravado I decided that I’d brave the Italian roads rather than get a taxi to and from the airport. That was an error of the highest magnitude.

I have never driven in a country where the vehicles are left hand drive or where you drive on the right hand side of the road. I’m not sure how I have got to this point in my life without doing it, but it has never come up.

I have never sworn as often or as loudly (or creatively) as I did this morning, whilst I was winding my way through small Italian villages, expertly maneuvering the car with the all the grace of a drunk and severely traumatised elephant.

I ‘kissed’ the kerb three times and the only saving grace was that I avoided any damage that the rental company would be concerned about.

In many ways joining a new organisation is like the trip I have taken today. You know what you need to do and you know that your skills should be transferable, but everything is that little bit different and harder than you would like. You have to relearn something that you feel should come naturally. You are launched back into conscious incompetence.

  • The environment contains similar component parts to where you were, but still feels alien
  • There is frustration in not being able to operate as effectively before
  • Whilst you are in that period of trying to adapt you have a far greater risk of mistakes than in previous environments
  • Making good judgement calls is harder, because your points of reference are all unfamiliar
  • Unless someone else is made aware that you are new at this they are unlikely to adequately compensate for your issues. They just keep driving/working the way they always have.

I’m hoping the return journey is less eventful. I’m hoping I’m better. I’m hoping I swear less. If I do swear I hope it doesn’t involve badgers this time, I’m not sure why it did last time.

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