The company I work for has been taken over by a much larger corporation and they are doing performance ratings on us. Nerve wrecking for me, because I am standing in for the financial manager who is starting her chemotherapy treatments Monday and I am not an accounting wiz.

I managed to get time off to go to the traffic licensing office to renew my driver’s license. It was very busy but I have been to others which are more hectic so I sit and wait my turn. All the staff are black. I can see the eye testing going on from where I am waiting. The woman doing the testing spoon feeds every black person she helps. Even getting up from her desk going around and then showing the person step by step several times how it works and then giving them a passing grade.

Each white person she tests she fails and sends them to get a form from an optician.

Finally my turn, I greet her friendly and she grunts, “Place your forehead against the top and your chin here”.
To my horror I realize that they have changed the way the test is done. Previously you had to indicate the position of the checkered board.
I look into the viewer and she says “use leva when S is up or left or right or down” .
I take the joystick and all I see is an “E”, “I see an E not and S?”
I exclaimed – “do I point to the open side of the E?” she is on her phone and talking to the examiner next to her. “Tell me what to do” I say (… silence no response for about 2 minutes ….)
“Wait … I will start a new test” she barks at me.
I found that you have to pull the joystick extremely hard for it to register.

“You fail on your right eye”, I asked her to allow me to do it again and I tried again, I found I had to lean my forehead (without her noticing) slightly back to be able to see the lights checking your peripheral vision. She failed me again.

I was extremely annoyed and running out of time. I rushed at a dangerous speed to the mall. The lady at Spec-savers informed me that they were fully booked and no one was available to help me. I understood they have “the buy one get one free” promotion which makes them very popular this time of year. She suggested I go to Torga Optical. I run a block and arrive at Torga Optical they do the test but inform me if I pass the test and they supply the completed purple form that I have to pay R150. I was unhappy but had to continue to get this over and done with.

The shop was empty except for the staff and extremely quiet. An assistant that did not know how to set the viewer on the testing contraption tested my eyes and gave the printout to an Indian lady who was introduced to me as the optician. She said that I had less than 40% vision in my right eye and that I would have to get glasses for driving. I got a feeling she was pushing me too hard to get glasses so I told her I would get back to her.

I ran back to Spec-savers and made and appointment for the weekend, perspiration now dripping from my forehead.
I went for the appointment over the weekend and they tested my eyes, announced that I did not need glasses for driving and gave me the completed purple form. There was NO CHARGE and they gave me a R60 credit for my next purchase.

I had to take off work again to complete the process. All because there are racists which hate white people in SA.