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Newbie Narratives: The Alcohol I.D. Tantrum


02 NEWBIEFrom spellitcorrectly, TalesFromRetail

During the height of the Recession, the only work I could find was at a chain of convenience stores. I reluctantly took the job as it was in the bad part of town.

This particular chain of stores sends you to training at the local headquarters and while there, they stressed how serious it is not to sell alcohol to people that were underage. They told us to card anyone that looked under 30 while the law only requires that you card someone that looks under 27. The law also requires you to card anyone with the person that is buying the alcohol (unless it looks like a situation of parent and child). If you didn’t follow the law, you’d be fired on the spot.

With this knowledge I set out for my first day of work. The store manager was there to help with my training and the first day was going alright until that afternoon.

Now at this chain of stores, when you range up alcohol or tobacco the POS system would have a pop-up message. You could either scan someone’s ID or skip it by saying they were over 30.

About 2 PM, two female customers came in together, go to the beer cooler, grab a cold one, and come to the counter.

From the moment they walked in, my manager told me to make sure I carded them. This was a test to see how strong my backbone would be.

Me: “Hi, did you find everything you needed?”

Customer: “Yep.”

I scan the beer and the message comes up.

Me: “I’ll need to see your ID as well as her’s.” Pointing to women with her.

Customer: “Are you serious?”

Carolanne chugMe: “Yes.”

She gets more upset saying that the women with her is her daughter and that she doesn’t have ID.

At this point, I look at my manager for confidence and the manager gives me the nod to go through with what I’m about to say next.

Me: “I’m sorry but if she doesn’t have ID, I can’t sell you the beer.”

Customer: “Are you f**cking kidding me? I come in here all the time and buy beer. Why can’t I do it now?”

Me: “I’m sorry but I can’t sell you the beer. You can come back later in the day and buy it if you like.”

Customer: “Oh I’ll be back!”

She then storms out of the store with her “daugher” (they really didn’t look all that alike).

My manager comes over and gives me a pat on the back for a job well done.

I like to tell this story whenever I see someone complain about being carded and not being sold the alcohol or tobacco. Unless it’s completely obvious that the person is just being a dick, please cut them some slack. Maybe they could be fired for selling to you and not selling is the better option instead of the losing the only job they could get.





"(they really didn’t look all that alike)"
Eh, cut 'em some slack. It can happen that a child takes way more after one parent.

"Unless it’s completely obvious that the person is just being a dick, please cut them some slack."
I am never offended when I'm asked for my ID - probably cause I know it's part of their job. Plus, I find it nice when I order a cocktail or so and am asked for ID. Shows that they at least care.


I'm 40 and look it. I could not possibly care less if you card me. You are just doing your job, and I will gladly whip out the ID and show you

Kai Lowell

I think I'll be carded forever thanks to my permanent babyface. It surprises me when I DON'T get carded.

I gotta agree with TenebrisVenator. Card *everybody*, every time. Ends all arguments, both with customers, and with state regulators.

Tech Support Survivor

It's annoying to have to fish out my license, but seriously, the cashier just does not want to be fired.


Our store had a card everyone policy just so people couldn't scream they were being discriminated against. I made a gentleman in his 70's rather irate when I insisted on his ID and told him I could not continue until I had an id to enter into the register. Another one was I had a woman who was at least in her 40's with a younger guy trying to buy tobacco. I explained that I had to card everyone, it was company policy. She was getting more and more upset saying her ID was at home and she shouldn't have to waste time getting it. Then the gentlemen with her pipped up excitedly "Honey, can can get mine out of the car. I finally turned 18, remember." She turned a funny color, told me never mind, grabbed him by the arm and left the store. Personally I could care less about their age difference or relationship, but it was apparently a sore spot for her.

Misty Meanor

Look, we got a policy to follow, so if you ain't got ID, you ain't getting your beer/smokes/whatever!


I never get carded, not even for a senior citizen discount.

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