Customer Assault

by admin on February 18, 2010

I’ve worked for a local convenience store/gas station for 2 years now and there has always been some awesomely mean customers but recently they’ve gotten a lot worse.

In September 2008, my company instituted a new ID policy for alcohol/tobacco purchases. Everyone, no matter how old, EVERYONE must have a drivers license/non-drivers id from the DMV. Every purchase, every time. No exceptions. This is mostly to cover all of our butts and I understand the motivation behind it.

Since this policy began, I have been called names, sworn at, and had beer and cigarettes thrown at me and coworkers on multiple occasions.

I was recently called the C-word…basically the worst thing you can call a woman. Simply because he couldn’t buy beer without ID. Never mind the fact none of his THREE companions had any either.

One of my coworkers was also ASSAULTED by another customer. He actually walked behind the counter and SLAPPED her in the face when she refused the sale.

Just a word to the wise: if you want to buy something that needs an ID, just bring it. It’s not worth being arrested for assaulting someone with a beer bottle.   1102-08

And then there’s assault with deadly money….

I work at a convenience store for my part time.  Simple etiquette is so over looked all the time.  The best to me is when customers throw their money on the counter.  I do not throw it to them or on the counter.  A lot of times I tell them I’m not that kind of woman.   0406-09

{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

PrincessSimmi February 18, 2010 at 6:33 am

Wow. Just… Wow. People actually do this? The mind boggles.

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Harry February 18, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Wait a minute. You mean if a senior citizen wants to purchase alcohol or tobacco, they must show ID? That’s just plain silly. No wonder some people get upset. I would personally shop somewhere else.

As far as the assault, I assume the police were called and the man charged, right?

Not sure what you mean by the “assault with a beer bottle”.

Where I live, you get “carded” if you look under 25. Doesn’t cause any problems.

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L.A. Lady February 18, 2010 at 3:02 pm

You also see the same behavior at bars. Laws for the purchase of alcohol and tobacco have been around for decades, so showing ID shouldn’t be a new concept for anyone.

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HonorH February 18, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Henry–being upset or feeling inconvenienced is one thing. Being rude to the clerk for doing her job? Inexcusable. Unfortunately, too many people seem to be convinced that the clerk makes all the rules and sets store policy, and therefore, if there’s any problem at all, real or perceived, take it out on the clerk.

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Claddagh Lass February 18, 2010 at 8:17 pm

That’s scary!

Being annoyed because you don’t have your ID is one thing. Taking it out on the clerk and verbally abusing and/or harming him/her is completely inexcusable.

“assault with a beer bottle” I’ve been told is often described as being struck with one. Being hit with a glass bottle can really do a lot of physical damage to a human body if it connects in the right way.

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Jo Whitaker February 18, 2010 at 11:34 pm

“Wait a minute. You mean if a senior citizen wants to purchase alcohol or tobacco, they must show ID? …..”
Sometimes older people get carded to show they haven’t loaned their ID to their younger companion. OK, that probably wouldn’t apply to a 60-year old. But I looked 30 at 19. Asking me for ID might have kept me from lending my ID to my 17-year old friend.

Also, the rules are the rules. The corporate office has to write rules that apply to every one all the time, to cover the company for that 1 shift at that one store where the clerk is visually-handicapped or mentally-handicapped and can’t estimate the customers’ ages. Showing your drivers licence shouldn’t be a big deal to anyone.

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Fox February 19, 2010 at 12:16 am

Harry, “assault with a beer bottle” is clear from the context of her story – she means throwing it at someone. (Though you could also achieve “assault with a beer bottle” by hitting someone with one.)

And your first reaction to hearing about these abusive customers is to do the EXACT SAME THING they are doing and take umbrage at the STORE’S policy? Seriously? It is NOT this woman’s fault, and even if she had any control over it, verbal and physical abuse are nowhere near the ballpark of the appropriate way of expressing your opinion on the policy. (And way to throw in that line about calling the police, like you’re suggesting she’s lying or exaggerating. The line for assault is much, much lower than most people think, and the fact that she doesn’t call the cops every single time a customer is belligerent doesn’t mean no assaults have ever taken place. And yes, throwing cigarettes in someone’s face IS assault, legally speaking.)

Besides, where do you draw the line? I’m sure there are plenty of under-21s who look older than 25, especially men. Instead of forcing the clerk to make a SUBJECTIVE determination which the customer could argue with, here she can simply say she has to card EVERYONE, no exceptions, and the customers can either take it or leave it.

If you’re DRIVING to a GAS STATION to purchase booze, you are required by law to have your driver’s license on you, so I really do not see what the big deal is with this policy. I think it’s very sad that you hear about convenience store employees, who are probably doing that job out of necessity, being abused and harassed by customers and your first response is to side with the “upset” assailants.

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Harry February 19, 2010 at 12:48 pm

My problem is this … “Everyone, no matter how old, EVERYONE must have a drivers license/non-drivers id. Every purchase, every time.” This is insane. You are going to get people upset. This blanket policy applied to someone who is 70 years old is ridiculous.

Fox … you don’t have to DRIVE to a gas station. One might live in the area and walk to it.

Jo … “Sometimes older people get carded to show they haven’t loaned their ID to their younger companion” … sorry, never heard of this in my life.

Also … ” Showing your drivers license shouldn’t be a big deal to anyone.” I am a senior. I would be outraged at proving that I am over 19.

Yes, I realize it’s a corporate policy, but it is stupid and short sighted.

I guess we will agree to disagree.

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Vicki Cole August 24, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Harry – the problem is, if the store doesn’t card EVERYONE, even those who might obviously be old enough, they open themselves to an age discrimination lawsuit by their YOUNGER customers – who could quite legitimately claim there was bias towards them because of their young age. It’s much easier all the way around to have a no exceptions policy that covers everyone. I doubt the seniors are the ones that are being abusive!

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L.A. Lady February 19, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Harry,
some places have laws that require them to card everyone trying to make a purchase of alcohol and/or tobacco. I live in a neighborhood that requires all bars to car each and every person who enters the establishment to be checked for ID. That is the law, not an arbitrary rule made up by some company. I work for a club that has to do this, and yes I’ve had to card a 75 year old woman last night.
If you don’t like the law, complain to the city council, not take out your frustration with the bouncer/cashier/whatever.
And showing your ID only takes two seconds, so I don’t see what the problem is.

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Amber February 19, 2010 at 3:44 pm

I once worked in a location that required that all IDs be checked before the sell of alcohol. We had to write down the birthdates of the people purchasing next to the beer order. If someone was caught with a ticket that had beer purchases on it but was dateless, depending on how well the owners liked you it could mean your job. This policy was put in place to make sure that the staff got into the habit of NEVER letting anyone by based on looks. Seniors are obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people came in looking like they were in their mid-thirties but ended up being 19 or 20 when I carded them.

This also prevented stings from being fruitful, as the cops in my town often sent in kids dressed up as older customers to bust the business.

But still, some customers saw a policy that was about training the staff from being bamboozled as a personal affront. Most seniors took it in stride, figuring it was the higher-ups being “stupid” (not stupid–thorough). Some laughed and joked as they handed over their cards. Some ladies fluffed their hair. And some people were downright scary. I’ll never forget the man I carded who immediately went into a flying rage. A seventy-ish old man, and he swore a blue-streak at me, calling me every bad name you can call a woman and more as his wife looked on in shock. He then asked me to get the manager, and when I did the man continued his tirade until the manager told him to get out of the store or be carried out.

To her credit, the wife apologized to me profusely as she left.

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Alexis February 20, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Usually, the people who get hostile and abusive aren’t old enough to buy what they’re looking for. Giving those people alchohol would be a bad idea even if they were old enough.

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Katie February 20, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Hi! I’m the woman who submitted the first entry up there. First of all, I’m glad I no longer work there, it was not a fun place. Just thought I would clear up a few things. Yes, the police were called on the man who slapped my coworker. Took them almost half an hour to get there and another customer stayed and restrained the man until they did. He was banned and charged with assault.

Another comment on the policy. The problem most people had was the fact that we had ID scanners on all the registers. The number of scans had to match the number of purchases. If they didn’t, you were in huge trouble. A lot of older customers felt we were stealing their information instead of just verifying the id. Not that our 20 year old registers could manage that! The one real positive of the scanner was it would weed out fake ids, because the barcode wouldn’t scan.

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Nekoro February 20, 2010 at 8:11 pm

@Harry – Outraged? Really? I can see annoyed, but being outraged at the reasonable request to show ID, to me, indicates a real anger management problem.

Also, I personally can use makeup to appear at least 50. I’m 25, and my looks haven’t changed much since high school. At 17 I could have done the same. Going off of looks is simply not good enough anymore, and a blanket policy to card everyone is simplest, least discriminatory, and in the end, the best thing to do.

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Fanboy Wife February 20, 2010 at 11:33 pm

I don’t see how harassing or assaulting the employees is going to help make the customers’ shopping experiences easier. If they don’t like the policy for buying alcohol and cigarettes, then they shouldn’t purchase them at that establishment. It’s not like the cashiers make up the rules; they are trying to do their jobs. Yes, showing an ID is an inconvenience, but so is driving to the store, finding a parking space, walking through the store, standing in line, and paying for the purchases.

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Amava February 21, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Harry, I totally agree with you that the policy is ridiculous if it implies carding a senior citizen for buying beer or cigs – and of course it would annoy people. That is still no reason to become rude and violent towards the store employee, though. But I am sure you do not condone that, either. You say that you would shop somewhere else, and that is a whole different reaction then becoming violent: what you do is the correct example of what people *should* do if they don’t like a store’s policy. Either that, or politely taking it up with the store owner.

The fact that so many people resort to rudeness and violence towards store employees or other people in general when they are annoyed or inconvenienced, baffles me and scares me a lot. I just can’t wrap my mind around that.

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bonzombiekitty February 22, 2010 at 9:54 am

While the policy sounds ridiculous on the surface, it does actually make sense for the store. They can get severe fines for selling alcohol or tobacco to underage people. So going by looks alone is iffy, as person can look 30ish, but be 20. There’s going to be a gray area. Sure, there are people who are obviously over 21 and carding them is silly, but the problem becomes where do you draw the line? There’s a lot of store that have signs that will say they card anyone who looks under 25, but what does over 25 look like? There’s no clear criteria for that.

Rather than trying to deal with the murkiness of “well, I thought that person looked like he/she was obviously over 21” it’s far easier to just simply remove the guesswork from the equation.

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JenAnn February 24, 2010 at 2:29 pm

I understand both sides on this argument. Of course, you should never be abusive, but I see nothing wrong with expressing dislike of a policy and explaining your frustration with it as long as it’s done with civility and self-control. The obvious thing to do if you don’t like a store’s ID-checking policy (or any other objectionable policy) is to express your view and then walk out and take your business elsewhere. It’s really your most effective way to make your point. I do think it’s absurd to insist on ID-ing someone who is clearly a senior citizen, or even someone like myself and my husband who are in our 40’s/50’s. There is really no chance either of us could be taken for under 21 if you have any use of your eyeballs. I realize there is some issue as to where to draw the line, but is common sense and judgement gone? I’ve seen signs up at stores stating they will ask for ID from anyone who appears to be under 40 or 35 or 30…..I’ve seen several variations. These seem like sensible lines to draw. The idea of ID-ing an elderly person is just annoying, at least if you think the use of common sense should still be a factor in today’s world.

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Carol February 26, 2010 at 7:22 pm

Okay, one could set an arbitrary age to forgo carding customers.

I can only imagine the outrage and ill will that would ensue as two women the same age come in to buy alcohol: one is rung up immediately, and the other is carded because “she looks younger.” The first is apt to be mighty peeved. In the long run, it would be more diplomatic to card everyone.

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Heather March 3, 2010 at 5:05 pm

ADDENDUM: The original poster added a comment explaining that her convenience store’s cash registers were equipped with ID scanners, and that the cashier had to physically swipe an ID card to complete a transaction for alcohol or cigarettes. According to the process, she couldn’t ring up a sale for these items without scanning the buyer’s ID card, whether the buyer appeared to be 27 or 72.

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BeBe April 12, 2010 at 10:26 am

I apologize to all cashiers. I did not realize that it was poor manners to lay(not toss) my money on the counter instead of handing it to the cashier. I will attempt to do better.

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Skoffin April 15, 2010 at 9:36 am

I see the objection to the store policy to be ridiculous itself, I see nothing wrong with a store protecting itself from being scammed or fined. If you have a problem with that you should simply leave and leave out this being ‘outraged’ nonsense. Feeling annoyed or inconvenienced is fine, but being outraged over something so minor is simply absurd.

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livvy April 26, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Sometimes corporate “CYA” is crazy, but it’s no reason to blame the people who will get fired if they don’t carry it out.

That said, I failed in that regard once…I was at a supermarket trying to buy a bottle of wine. I was in my early 20’s, and I believe that I had accidentally left my driver’s license at home. I’d recently returned from a trip, and happened to still have my passport in my purse. When I realized I didn’t have my driver’s license, I thought, “no problem, I have my passport.” What followed was about a 10 minute argument, first with the cashier, and then with the supermarket manager about how a passport is legal, INTERNATIONALLY accepted ID, etc. Despite my logic, the manager insisted that “we only accept state ID.” I was very angry, and said something snotty on my way out. I suppose I shouldn’t have been so miffed, but in those pre-scanner days, I chalked the decision up to idiocy, not policy.

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Former Clerk May 7, 2010 at 2:00 pm

As a former clerk I ran into this issue a lot. We had a very strict policy on this as well, no matter the age, we had to card. Sadly the store was right infront of a very large but very rundown trailer park in southern Georgia, so that kinda sets the scene of the type of costumers I got. The only lucky thing is most were regulars who understood the rules and came ready, ID card out by the time they got to the register, a second look to confirm the date and punch it in the register and they happily leave with their drink of choice. A lot of people would joke with me that I had to check because they looked so young, and everyone was still happy.

Yet I still had the people who would argue for several minutes about how dumb it was, and I just had to smile and use the magic “Company Policy” words, which it was. Some even had the ID in they’re wallet, just didn’t want to get it out. And if they were obviously over 25 and I could see it fine in the wallet I didn’t even make them take it out of the sleeve, just show me the date and picture in the wallet. I’m a male so I don’t know if they were slightly more lenient on males, I saw them give some of my female co-workers harder time but I never had major problems. Like it was mentioned before the people that seemed to give me the most problems were people I didn’t think were old enough anyway, and people that were already drunk. We were within walking distance of said trailer park so we’d get the drunks fairly often. We were not allowed to sell to drunk people, but that rule was broken often as long as they weren’t driving, and weren’t falling down drunk. But they always gave me the most trouble when they didn’t have their ID, which didn’t bother me much because I had Company Policy rule and Already Drunk rule.

I was only threatened once that I was going to get beaten up, and one of the County Deputies had just pulled into the parking lot anyway so that diffused rather quickly when I gave him a “Uh, help?” kinda look when he got out of his car. They came in often because other than the trailer park nothing was around. Giving free fountain drinks to the cops had its perks.

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Sam May 25, 2010 at 9:37 pm

This one is mainly directed to those that have the viewpoint of Harry.
We know sometimes policies suck, trust us, if you think it sucks and it isnt the grand opening, WE’VE HEARD IT 100 TIMES, if you dont have anything nice to say just keep it to yourself.
Having worked in customer service in places from grocery stores, clothing shops, the DMV since I was 16 (now mid 20s) I as well as everyone else I have worked with or known in those professions take crap from someone daily (DMV) to weekly (grocery stores). Honestly, please, if you dont like what we have to say, whining or venting is not going to change anything, dont even tell us that “our policy is stupid” or “you should accept my ID”, the fact is – WE DON’T CARE. No one is going to say “well, its okay, you made a fuss, i’ll make a special exception for you!”. We don’t have the power to change policy, especially not government policy. I dont want to make your life harder, I’m not IDing you to frustrate you, please just be understanding.
There is nothing we can do about it, nothing. We are not management, unless it says “Manager” on our name tag stop bringing this stuff up, especially if we use the “government policy” or “its our policy” line. We arent going to break it for you and lose our job, the fine for the store in Canada is $5000 for selling tobacco to minors, do you think the store is going to keep you after that? You’re frustration at not bring able to purchase tobacco or alcohal at that moment or the stress it takes to get your ID out is not worth losing our job over, repect that.
Trust us, we’ve heard it enough or delt with it ourselves. We know sometimes store policy’s suck. But sometimes you just need to grow up and deal with it or simply say ‘nevermind’, don’t even grumble to us while you take out your ID, just smile and/or hand it to us, dont make our job any harder than it needs to be or make us feel stupid for keeping our jobs.

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Simply Susan July 1, 2010 at 2:27 am

Agreed with Sam 100%

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iodine July 3, 2010 at 4:48 pm

my brother and i were taking in a ballgame and when i went to the snackbar he asked me to get him a beer because he didnt have his ID with him. i said don’t be silly, he’s 55, they won’t card you. but i went for the beer, they carded me. i am 67! AND we were with the senior citizen group — special section, closed snack bar to special section people, imagine the gray hair there.
rules are rules the 14-year-old looking server said to me.
i had to giggle

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TheBardess July 3, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Iodine, you have exactly the right attitude! 🙂

Harry, you need to relax a little bit. “Outraged?” Seriously???

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Michelle July 7, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Seriously? There are people outraged by showing their ID?

This is your legal identification, people. Harry, et all, this is the legal document by which you are certified to drive a car, buy booze, buy cigarettes, and work in this country. This isn’t your underwear, your porn collection, or your secret memoirs. This is a simple rule of our society.

And as far as the OP goes, good on you for sticking to policy. Is it a stupid policy? Maybe, but it’s one that only screws people if you break it, and you’d just get shitcanned for some stranger. I love it when people ask you and beg you to bend the rules for them. I used to work in a convenience store, and guys would beg me to look the other way and I was like, “Sure. You gonna support me when I lose my job because my boss glances at this spot on the tape?” Your job, shitty as it was, had a paycheck attached and that’s far more valuable than some stranger’s inconvenience over their addiction of choice.

You need a license to function in society, and proof of ID to buy things. People need to get with the program and stop being assholes to people just doing their jobs. I mean, if a clerk is a snot to me, sure, they deserve my derision, but if they’re just doing their job… Seriously folks. Grow up.

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badkitty August 13, 2010 at 9:41 am

To all the folks who are saying that senior citizens obviously look old enough and shouldn’t be carded: ever heard of theatrical makeup? I had, and so did most of my friends in high-school. In Drama we were taught to create many effects that would pass close scrutiny, including old age. 75 is actually a lot easier to fake than 35, so more and more stores are catching on and carding everyone. Just because you’ve never heard of something doesn’t mean it’s not happening all the time… especially if you don’t work in a store that sells these items.

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Sharon August 17, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Michelle, girl, you rule!!!!!!!!!

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Lenera August 18, 2010 at 2:23 am

I can’t blame the company for that particular policy. In fact, IMHO, I think more companies should implement it. The reason? Then people will stop screaming about “discrimination” when they are carded because they look to be below a certain age. If you’re carding *everyone,* there’s no discrimination, now, is there?
And to the people who have no ID, I only hope they didn’t drive to the convenience store. It is illegal to drive without a license on your person. In the US, doing so can result in a hefty fine if you’re caught. Just to note.

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essie August 21, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Lenera, you’ve hit it on the button. Making EVERYONE show ID prevents the “well, you made an exception for that other guy!” grievances. In the state of Georgia (US), it’s a state law. The store can lose its license if caught making exceptions. Furthermore, don’t even try to argue, bribe, or cajole the cashier into selling you aocolhol after legal hours. you see, the cash registers are (connected to) highly sophisticated computers that note the time of the purchase. Even if the clerk WANTED to let you buy it, the register won’t ring up the purchase.

BTW, this hits especially close to home for me right now. My brother, who worked in a 24-hour grocery store, had to escort out a belligerent customer one night last month, for trying to buy alcohol after hours. How belligerent? My brother had a heart attackand died at the hospital less than an hour later.

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Michelle Prieur September 12, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Amen, Sam. I think the point of this post was that the customer seriously crossed the line. The debate about showing ID is really irrelevant. I’ve worked in customer service in just about every area, and I got so sick of customers whining and arguing about things that weren’t my fault. If you don’t like it, don’t shop there.

While working the drive thru at McDonald’s when I was a teenager, I had a customer pull up. We talked face to face, there was no intercom. He was ranting that he couldn’t see the menu while he ordered. I let him go on and on. Finally, when his “Well s**t, well s**t” got to be enough, I finally said, “Sir, could you please not talk that way?” He SPIT IN MY FACE AND DROVE OFF. Thankfully didn’t get in my face, just on my arm. By the time I realized what had happened, he was gone. SPIT on me and drove off. Everyone I’ve told this to said they would have jerked him out of his truck and stomped on him. Unfortunately he was man enough to spit on me, but not man enough to stick around and see what I was going to do about it. Never worked fast food again, never.

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PO'd reader November 11, 2010 at 1:04 am

Used to work in a convience store too and my coworker was more than twice my age and people would tell me they didn’t need id because my coworker knew them. Most of the time they would tell me in spanish and my spanish still isn’t that great. My response was do I look like her? No then thats why I need I id I don’t know you. Piss them off but I got two months suspension basically for a supposed sale to a minor. Boss who was watching everyone didn’t catch them and they weren’t brought in just told some cops that they got the beer from that store. It was a small store with only 4 of us working there and the other cashier was lazier than lazy so they needed me back.

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Kat November 25, 2010 at 11:14 am

I’m coming in this a little late, sorry.

That being said, I used to work at Wal-Mart, and after they got hit with a huge fine for selling tobacco to minors (the cashier who made the mistake was not only fired, but led out of the stores by the police) the decided that the best way to do away with that was to put in a “card all” policy and make tobacco products only available in two check stands. Was that a problem? You bet! We had people throwing fits like yo wouldn’t believe because, not only were they “inconvenienced” by showing something you really should have on you at all times (suppose you get hit by a car, no one would know who you were if you didn’t carry an ID) but they had to go “all the way down there!?” to get their smokes. But it worked. After a few months most people automatically got into the tobacco line with their IDs out. Yeah, people still had fits, but no one else was fired because of being in a hurry after having to run to the back check out (where the tobacco was) and make up for the impatience of the rest of the people standing in line.

Anyway, my point is, we can’t help it if we are told we have to see ID. People would have fits about having to show ID with a credit card that they themselves have written “See ID” on, but that’s another rant.

Oh, also, in my state, it’s the law to check ID on all alcohol purchases because some people have so many DUIs that they are not allowed to buy alcohol any more, and it shows on their license. Or it’s a commercial ID, and again, they are not allowed to buy alcohol with it because that implies that they may be drinking on the job.

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Clair Seulement March 25, 2011 at 1:25 pm

I know this post is ancient but for the benefit of the archive–I completely share Harry’s viewpoint. Expressing your outrage at the rules–which Harry advocated in the form of refusing to patronize this establishment, not in the form of being rude or behaving violently–is tantamount to presenting a viewpoint that could possibly contribute to a future change of rules (it’s not like we’re talking about the laws of gravity here). This company has computerized themselves into the position of enraging their customer base–one could also argue that it’s rude to treat people like children or criminals without first giving them a chance to earn those distinctions. We in this country have become completely hysterical that someone, somewhere might have an unauthorized good time–I’d rather the odd 20-year-old who manages to obtain and apply realistic-enough-looking senior citizen makeup get away with drinking his Budweiser than have innocent cashiers routinely get punched in the face .

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Enna April 27, 2011 at 10:01 am

Hmm with Harry we don’t if he would kick up a fuss or just leave the alcohol on the counter and walk out. The rules are there for a reason: to protect minors from alcohol abuse as well as to stop the comapny getting finned/sacking employees.

The reason why the company has chosen their computireised scanners isn’t to enrage the customers deliberatly. The OP mentions that such machines weeed out fake IDs. Imagine if someone underage used a fake ID to get alcohol – depending on the “look” of the fake a really good fake could fool a vetran salesperson. Aslo if someone who is old enough to use alcohol and has fake ID that is a crime – the shop doesn’t want to support fraudsters.

By ID-ing everyone, all customers are treated the same and it’s not being ageist or sterotypical. Maybe if some underage people didn’t attempt to buy alcohol in the first place then salespeople wouldn’t have to ID anyone or at least not ID people who are 70+. It’s been mentioned that people can look 10+ years older than they really are. It can be a very subjective thing. Also one poster has said she could make herself look twice her age (25 yrs older) whats to stop some deteremind minor dressing up like a 70 year old?

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lkb April 27, 2011 at 10:47 am

@ Michelle:
“shitcanned”.

Is this really appropriate language for an etiquette site?

(Sorry, I know this is very late. I only just now saw this post.)

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Clair Seulement April 27, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Enna I see your point but I still feel strongly about this–the law itself is age-discriminatory *by design*, so avoiding age-ism is not a justifiable reason to treat regular customers whom you know by sight, and law-abiding middle-aged and elderly people trying to spend their hard-earned money, like criminals. Also while we don’t know what Harry would do, my point was that I don’t think he’d be unjustified in being annoyed (as opposed to being actively rude). We’re not talking about murder here, we’re talking about the odd individual getting away with buying beer. Where I live there are signs posted that anyone looking 30 or under will be carded, which is fine. I personally think that any teen who was able to pull off looking 50 should win a beer prize. I would be irritated if I happened not to be carrying ID (I don’t live in a fascist country, after all, no matter how “practical” it may be to always have your papers on you) and went into a store in which I was a regular customer only to be told my money was no good because some kids partied a few times. And yes I know these are dangerous substances that people are being carded for, but they are equally as dangerous for people to whom the gov’t. has issued proof of having seen their 21st birthday. It is *still* very hard to buy beer, many states in the US have gone to extensive lengths to eliminate fake IDs; what we’re talking about here is trying to absolutely at all times prevent the possibility of something illegal ever happening, to what end?

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Nikki July 26, 2011 at 3:48 pm

In my state it is illegal to purchase or comsume alcohol without a valid ID on you. It doesn’t matter if you are 21 or 91, if you don’t have a state issued (or military ID) on you it is illegal to posses alcohol. When I worked as a bartender I carded everyone unless they were carded at the door by the bouncer (noone under 21 was allowed in this particular establishment), if I got caught we could have lost our license, both of us receive a hefty fine, and I would never be able to work anywhere that served alcohol.

Is not carding an elderly person because you obviously know they’re old enough to consume worth the risk of them not having an ID and you loosing your livelyhood?

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Jennifer August 21, 2011 at 7:49 am

My comment is towards Harry. I have worked as a cashier for more years than I care to think about. My first cashiering job I was told to ID EVERYBODY because some people look older than they are or younger than they are. Also because, and this was stressed at all my jobs, is that someone who is 60 could be buying beer for their underage grandchild. If that child were to get seriously injured, i.e. drunk driving, and they found out that our store did not check their ID we would be fined and lose our liquor license. As everyone probably knows for small shops that is a huge amount of money and to lose the license would equal the death of that store. I would also get fired and possibly face criminal charges. So, yeah I carded EVERYONE no matter their age.

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Taya October 13, 2011 at 9:10 pm

I agree that people should show thier id, but what about this…Okay my husband didn’t have his id to buy tobacco so the clerk didn’t sell it to him ok fine even though he looks ways older than 21 but anyway that is ok…i understand that but what i dont understand is when I dropped him off back home cam back to the store the clerk still wouldn’t sell me the tobacco even though I had my id…..And it was a new traction and I am by myself and she could clearly see that. So i don’t understand that….. help me please to understand!
As far assalting somebody ..that’s not right over some tobacco…but I have to say it is annoying!

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Mike October 18, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Sorry, but have to agree with most. This is just a stupid policy. There is not justification for an assult, however the Corporate head office should be held liable for injuries suffered due to this stupidity. If a man who is 60 wants to by cigarettes and you refuse because he doesn’t have ID, do deserve to be called an idiot, because that’s what you are. I went into a store once and they asked me for ID, I am 40 and frankly look older. She took my license and was about to swipe it through an electronic reader attached to the register. I quickly yelled STOP. Told her there is no way in heck she is going to record my electronic information in her computer. She, being intellegent and customer friendly, handed the license back, and rang up the cigarettes without stealing my information. THAT is what should be done, and if head office has a problem, let them fire you, take the severance pay, and go work at another store (they are always hiring).

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Mike October 18, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Sorry, but have to disagree with the majority. This is just a stupid policy. There is no justification for an assult, however the Corporate head office should be held liable for injuries suffered due to this stupidity. If a man who is 60 wants to by cigarettes and you refuse because he doesn’t have ID, you do deserve to be called an idiot, because that’s what you are. I went into a store once and they asked me for ID, I am 40 and frankly look older. She took my license and was about to swipe it through an electronic reader attached to the register. I quickly yelled STOP. Told her there is no way in heck she is going to record my electronic information in her computer. She, being intellegent and customer friendly, handed the license back, and rang up the cigarettes without stealing my information. THAT is what should be done, and if head office has a problem, let them fire you, take the severance pay, and go work at another store (they are always hiring).

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Kimi November 3, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Hi Mike and Clair Seulement,

Just a question. A young person should leave what might otherwise be a good job because other people are inconvenienced by the rules of that job, or even by state law? Really? And to Clair, how do you feel about fourteen year olds in makeup drinking? And ten year olds? Do they still deserve a beer prize? The consequences of underage drinking can be quite horrific, isn’t stopping that worth a little inconvenience on our part? It’s not like most people will die without their cigarettes and beer.

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Kate January 20, 2012 at 12:10 am

At Mike – seriously? You expect clerks to break with store policy to suit you even if that gets them fired? In my company, if you were fired because you broke store policy you would have been subject to disciplinary process and therefore not recieved any serverance, you’d just find yourself with no job and no reference. And you might say they’re always hiring, but it’s a tough economy out there – if your clerk has two kids at home and needs her wages just to cover her bills, do you think she’s going to risk that job to keep you happy? They say ‘the customer isn’t always right but there is no money to be had in proving them wrong’ and that may be the case, but your clerk has just as many rights as you, and there is no reason they should have to put themselves in trouble just to convinience you. If I’d been that clerk, I’d have told you ‘no swipe, no cigarettes’ – if you don’t like store policy, you can spend elsewhere, but don’t expect me to bend the rules just to keep you happy. The compnay wouldnt have brought the rule in if that thought it would lose serious amounts of business.

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Sugaryfun March 3, 2012 at 2:38 am

Whether the store policy is right or wrong obviously customers should never assault a staff member over it!

If you dislike a company policy you need to tell the store’s management (maybe via email or a complaint letter). Just berating a customer service person about it will do no good. When I worked in retail I constantly had customers complaining about things that were totally beyond my control. It’s not up to the sales people so give them a break!

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tulefogg September 1, 2012 at 2:03 am

When the government makes rules and we follow them like sheep something is drastically wrong. Will we eventually be made to show our ID’s when we buy books, buy gas or purchase food. Does no one question why this is happening? What is the purpose of a 90 year old showing an ID? Certainly someone in their 30’s could look 21 or younger that is true but someone who fought in the Korean War, Vietnam War or WWII. Come one now. Lets get serious. One by one we are giving up our rights and not even questioning why this is happening. Personally, I find it offensive to show my ID for absolutely no reason at all. When asked for my ID I have two opinions one to show it (which I seldom do) and the other to refuse to show it and shop elsewhere which I normally do. I show my ID to Police, and in order to vote and many in many other situations that make sense but showing my ID to buy a bottle of wine is a bit ridiculous . I notice many stores do not ask for ID and if/when they do guess I will stop drinking. Sometimes we have to stand our ground and say NO unless there is a logical reason .

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Vicki Cole August 24, 2014 at 3:50 pm

So because YOU want to have the right to buy alcohol without showing an ID (and I’d love to know where you go that you CAN buy it without an ID – I’d like to report that establishment), you’re fine with an employee losing his/her job or, even worse, a store being shut down or losing their liquor/tobacco license because they’ve sold to minors? You’re a selfish pig – and I hope you DON’T stop drinking and wind up drinking yourself to death.

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EchoGirl February 25, 2013 at 12:03 am

As several have said, one of the big problems with the OP’s scenario is that the cashiers are being yelled at for enforcing a rule that they didn’t make. Have I come across a few rules I didn’t like? Sure. But I also know that the people enforcing them, nine times out of ten at least, aren’t responsible for creating them and could get in serious trouble if they allowed them to be broken. Most recently I was in a public library and a woman was trying to sort something out involving her kid (I didn’t catch that part of the incident, so I can only speculate as to what), and the librarian kindly explained that it was the library system’s policy that the patron (in this case the kid, who appeared to be elementary-school age) needed a photo ID. The mother WENT OFF on the librarian, yelling all this stuff about her daughter’s school not issuing IDs and the policy being stupid and biased and this and that. I was tempted to (but didn’t) yell: “Lady, she didn’t pull that rule out of her butt! She can’t ignore the rules because you don’t like them!”

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Heather March 25, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Wow, this is the most “live” archive discussion I’ve ever found! So I will comment. I’ve actually sent in a story to Miss Jeanne about this issue in general and hope that it will bear fruitful discussion at some point.

To all of you who are outraged and feel your liberty threatened by having to show a cashier your ID, or feel that that’s being “treated like a criminal,” most of you are MISSING THE POINT by expressing your outrage about the policy itself without making a point of saying “but that is no reason to treat a cashier rudely.” You’ve heard from the cashiers in this discussion: if they break the rules they lose their jobs. It is NOT COURTEOUS to treat someone rudely or with anger for doing their job, for following a policy they did not choose, and for not wanting to lose their job. It is also USELESS. Do you really think that at the end of the day that cashier goes to her manager and says “This older man was really mad today about being carded” and then the manager goes to the boss and then the boss goes to corporate and corporate decides to change their policy? You kidding? If you want to make a difference, get online and write a bad review.

If you think it’s the government’s fault, protest to the government. If you think it’s the company’s fault, write to the company. If you think it’s the cashier’s fault, “think” is the wrong word to use about what you are doing with your brain.

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