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Convenience Store Hell: No, Your Mother Is Not Government ID


2 CONVIENHELL1From Dathus, TalesFromRetail

Another tale from a gas station attendant! This one involving identification, and lots of sarcasm!

I was running the convenience store as well as making sure people don't run off with gas. This was one of my 9PM onward shifts, and the night was going pretty well.

Young man comes in and asks for some chewing tobacco. He looks no older than 18, so I obviously ID (ID25 in Ontario, but I err on the side of caution as much as possible. I don't have $2k kicking around).

Here's what follows. Me = myself, YM = The young man in question, HM = his mother

YM: "I'd like to buy some skoal."

Me: "Sure. Can I see your ID?"

YM: "I don't have it on me."

Jason my nameMe: "Well unfortunately I can't sell it to you because I don't know how old you are."

YM: "I"m 20."

Me: "That's nice, but I can't take your word on that. I need to see your ID."

YM: "I have it in my mom's car, can I go get it?"

Me: "Absolutely!"

Now, from what he said, it sounded to me like he was going to grab his ID and come back. Boy was I wrong. Enter him with his mother.

HM: "I'd like to pay for my gas and this skoal, please."

Me: "The gas is $xx.xx, but I can't sell you the skoal because I know you're buying it for your son. I have no way of knowing how old he is, and it's against the law for me to sell it to you when you have the intent on buying it for him (absolutely true, btw)."

HM: "Well my son's 20 years old."

Me: "Well I'm 36."

HM: "Really?"

Me: As flat as possible "No. That's the point. I can tell you I'm any age, but without ID, I can't confirm it. Unless you have about two grand and a new job lying around."

At this point I'm pointing at the sign above my head which has the typical 'selling to underage folk is an up to $2000 penalty for the employee' sign.

HM pays for her gas and leaves, with a grumbling son in tow. Rest of my evening goes off without a hitch. I still don't understand how people don't understand the law about ID, when it's plastered everywhere in convenience stores.




"It's not about how old you are, it's about being able to prove to the regulators we checked. They run stings, and when they do, they act just like you. Are you an agent of the government?"


One of my employees once told me "They're not allowed to lie if you ask them their age"
I had to explain that it didn't really work like that, and that the whole purpose of the sting was to make sure the law was being upheld. The law is not "ask their age" the law is "I need to check your ID before I can sell you that, since you are not obviously over 18 or 21"


"My son's 20 years old."
That's funny, he told me he was 25. See why we have to check?


I have people try to give me their high school ID. I laughed at one kid when I handed it back saying "no way". His logic was that if he graduated in 2015 and was 18 then that makes him 21 now. Doesn't work that way kiddo.


I've had that, too. In addition to birth certificates, those ID's issued at check cashing places that are in no way valid ID, and social security cards. Now, the birth certificate, I can sort of understand. It's government issued and it has the DOB, but we still can't take it, because no photo. The others are just ridiculous

Misty Meanor

That might not even have been his mother.


Don't forget the ever-popular "Here's a photo of my ID on my phone"!

Tech Support Survivor

Stupid! Just point at the ID 25 signs and the 2k fines sign. The law is the law.

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