18 Is The Age And The I.Q.

, , , | Right | August 29, 2017

(The age limit to buy alcohol in Finland is 18. If a customer buying alcohol looks under 30 years old, we are instructed to ask for an ID. The “younger than 30 years rule” is a nationwide rule and it’s in effect pretty much everywhere. You can only use a passport, a driver’s license, or an official ID card to prove your age since these are the official Finnish IDs issued by the state. I’m a student working part-time in a supermarket as a cashier. In my store there is a sign at each register stating the alcohol law and listing the valid IDs. It’s about 8:45 pm on a very quiet summer evening and we are about 15 minutes from closing. A young man, maybe in his late teens or early 20s, comes to my register with a shopping basket full of beer.)

Me: “May I see some ID, please?”

Customer: *pats his pockets* “S***, I forgot my passport at home.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but legally I can’t sell you these without an ID.”

Customer: “Come on, I don’t look that young. I’m 22! I’m obviously over 18! Can’t you just make an exception this once since there is no-one else here?”

Me: “Sorry, but you have to have an ID. That’s the law.” *I point at the sign at the register*

Customer: “H***, I need this beer for a party and it’s too late to go home to get my ID and come back before nine!”

(In Finland it is illegal for retailers [grocery stores, etc.] to sell alcohol after nine pm [and before nine am]. After nine pm you can only buy alcohol from bars, clubs, restaurants, etc.)

Customer: “But look!” *pulls up his shirt* “I have a tattoo! That means I’m over 18!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but, first of all, you don’t need to be 18 to get a tattoo, and more importantly, a tattoo is not a valid ID. You need to have either a passport, a driver’s license, or an official ID card.”

Customer: “S***! Wait! I have my car keys with me. Look!”

Me: “Yeah, I can see them. Unfortunately they are not a valid ID either. You need either a passport, a driver’s license, or an official ID card.”

(Customers hands me his beers and starts to leave.)

Customer: “This sucks. We ran out of beer and it was already 30 minutes to nine. I was in such a hurry to get here I just grabbed my keys, credit card, and license from my bag and forgot the passport.”

Me: “…your license? Your DRIVER’S license?”

Customer: “Yeah.”

Me: “You do realise you can use your driver’s license as an ID, right?”

(The customer left very happy with his beers. I was left playing my favourite guessing game: on drugs or just very slow?)

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VOTES
  • Michael Chandra

    Whelp, happy ending and a guy who didn’t shout and abuse. =)

  • godzillahomer

    option 3: Won’t read/or can’t read the local language if the sign doesn’t have his local language on it

    • Souless night

      kind of implied he’s Finnish so I don’t see your logic.

      • godzillahomer

        nope, he has a passport, that makes me think he isn’t

        but it could also be that he’s using it for ID while in his home country

        • Beth Harvey

          in Europe nearly everyone has and carries a passport. to not have a passport is considered odd

          • godzillahomer

            good point

          • Michael Chandra

            Plus in some countries it’s even the law to carry a passport or EU Identification card on you.

          • Cathrope

            Kind of like the “Star of David” Jews had to wear in Germany during the 40’s?

          • Celoptra

            not the same thing that was Anti-Semtism

          • Cathrope

            Ok. I swear it’s getting to the point where you need ID just to be on your front porch.

          • Karl Bassett

            Some countries, like the UK, are the other extreme. You don’t need to carry your driving licence, or any ID or paperwork at all, even when driving. In the US you must carry your licence when driving. My driving licence lives in my fire safe at home with my passport. I don’t carry any ID.

          • sackes

            In Scandinavia we aren’t required to carry a passport, I don’t think it’s necessary to do that in the EU either. It is enough with a state-issued ID like your driving license or ID card.

          • Theonewhoplays

            i am from germany and i don’t even have a passport, i only carry my ID-Card(Personalausweis), why would i need a passport if i can travel around europe without one?

          • Neil Fairweather

            My German ex-boss told me that his ID card was identical to a German passport without pages for stamps and visas…

        • ShinyStar

          In States you have huge country where you can travel without passport. In Europe you cross the borders pretty often, and you basically need a passport (actually, in US you can drive a day and still be in the same state, in Europe you might cross the walls of 3-4 countries during the day drive (depending on countries and driving route).

          • godzillahomer

            true, I live in the middle of the states, it’d take me a few days to get to Mexico or Canada by car; so a passport is useless for me

          • Kali Ravel

            In Britain it’s normal to have a passport. Perhaps just because it’s easier to holiday in another country here than it would be in the US. It’s obviously not for border-crossing purposes while driving!

          • sackes

            It isn’t necessary, but convenient, because everybody can interpret a passport, compared to an ID card.

        • Jukka-Pekka Tuominen

          I also think the person was probably not Finnish. As in Finnish we don’t use the word “license” for Driver’s license. Instead we say “ajokortti” which already states that it is a driver’s license. I cannot think any other way you’d say it in Finnish.
          So there would be no need to add a line:
          “… your license? Your Driver’s License?”

          • Bizar_re

            Would “Sun kortti? AJOkortti?” make sense? Sorry, my Finnish is not the best.

          • Bizar_re

            No, sorry, replying to myself – then OP would have assumed they meant credit card, and customer already stated their credit card separately. So yes, must have been in a different language.

          • Jukka-Pekka Tuominen

            Probably that. Also one meaning for “kortti” is a post card. It would be extremely implausable that anyone would mean driver’s license when saying “kortti”. Or also that someone would understand it meaning the driver’s license.

          • Alexander Gruel

            It could also just have been added in translation (a paraphrasing) to make it more clear to the english speaking audience…

          • 4302

            They could have been in one of the Swedish speaking parts, couldn’t they?

          • Jukka-Pekka Tuominen

            For what I know the situation is also quite similar in Swedish. The word for a Driver’s License is “körkort” while if you just would say “kort” it would mean either the word short or a card (most likely a post card while a credit card is not that much off either).
            I am not a native in Swedish though. I have just learned the language while in school.

          • 4302

            Yeah, you’re not wrong. Although, in most cases “kort” is pronounced differently depending on if you mean short or a card/picture though that depends on your dialect.
            The thing is, I’ve heard a lot of people just say “kortet” about their license. That could mean either “the picture” or “the card” and in context it would only really make sense as the “driving card” which would be their license. I guess he could have meant that he grabbed a random postcard or picture but that would seem odd to me.
            I don’t know how common it is to refer to your license as “kortet” but apparently it’s a thing that happens and would fit the dialogue we’re presented with here.

        • S Busersky

          I’m an American living in the US and I have a passport that I will sometimes use as ID if I forgot my license some where. I also bartend and see people using their American passports as ID constantly, so I don’t think it’s far fetched to say that the customer was in his home country.

          • godzillahomer

            yeah, I just don’t here much about passports in my area, out in the country in the middle of the country, corn belt you could call it

        • Jazhara7

          I’m from Germany, and I had a passport ever since I was a kid, even before I ever travelled outside Europe.

          • godzillahomer

            Only been in two states, and even then, never more than like 4 hours from home

        • Neil Fairweather

          Your point is actually correct as he could easily be a Swedish speaker, but the OP is explicitly talking about Finnish passports.

        • Most people in Finland (and a lot of European countries) have passports because it’s fairly easy and cheap to travel around. It’s not like in the States where you can drive for 10 hours and still be in the same state. I’m Finnish and I got my passport when I was 7 in order to visit a neighbouring country, and I always have both a valid passport and an ID card, no matter which country I’m living in at that moment.

          • godzillahomer

            yeah, others have explained this

  • Dsru Bin

    on drugs or just very slow?

    Drunk.

    • divgradcurl

      Very hopefully not drunk, since he flat-out admitted to driving there. (And unless everyone at the party was drunk, it makes sense that they would send a sober person on the beer run…)

      • Dsru Bin

        Multiple stories here about people who have admitted to driving drunk and/or without a license, with a cop right behind them. And if he was drunk, he may not have realized that the host was bringing out the next batch of chilled beer.

      • justinagirle

        Well the customer admitted they ran out of beer and that’s why he was buying more. It’s unlikely that this guy just sat around and watched his friends drink.

        • An Oni Mouse

          I, for one, would hope a party would have more to do than alcoholism.

          • NessaTameamea

            I lost hope a long while ago since alcoholism seems to be the biggest and most important part for most people attending these parties. Maybe I went to the wrong parties, but most of the time it seemed like an excuse to drink as much as you can without being called an alcoholic, because, you know, you aren’t one if you don’t drink alone.

      • Pogla

        It’s ok, it’s Finland. They’re all either rally drivers or Formula 1

    • WonderRabbit

      Alcohol is a drug.

      • Dsru Bin

        Chocolate is a drug.

      • Neil Fairweather

        A drug is not drugs, plural.

    • Neil Fairweather

      He understands that driving is relevant (keys) so being drunk (but not drunk enough to crash the car) doesn’t explain it. I also can’t believe that anyone would be slow enough not to understand why driving licences were being mentioned the third time.

      • Dsru Bin

        Part of the “joys” of being drunk is an inability to process information.

        • Neil Fairweather

          Well, he processes the connection between driving and driving licences without processing the connection between driving licences and the fact that he’s carrying his licence with him.

          On the rare occasions I’ve been drunk enough to experience that level of confusion, I haven’t been able to stay upright, let alone respond to the questions being asked (even wrongly).

          • Dsru Bin

            Grabbing the license may be a habit, or something someone told him to do (“Hey! Don’t forget your license!”). I’ve encountered people that have approached the table asking for another cup of beer because the previous one is empty, despite holding a mostly-full one in their hand. When I pointed out that they are still holding a cup, they look at me with an uteer lack of comprehension and say, “So?”. I had to actually spell out, “You don’t need another beer because you still have a beer in your hand” before they made that connection (one guy still didn’t get it, and just assumed I somehow gave him a new cup without him noticing).

          • Neil Fairweather

            Hmm… While “this part-full cup in my hand is empty” does sound like drunk logic, I have to wonder whether I’ve somehow encountered fewer stupid people than you have.

          • Dsru Bin

            For your sake (and the sake of your sanity), I sincerely hope you have.

            (The cup wasn’t “part full”, except inasmuch as ~10% was missing from it.; it truly was nearly full)

          • Neil Fairweather

            Heh.

            Now I’m curious… Did they actually say “My cup is empty”, “I need another cup”, or “I need more beer”?

          • Dsru Bin

            “My beer is gone. Can I have another one?”

  • Drama Queen

    Wow, drunk driving much?

    • Caerus

      Nowhere in this story is stated that he was driving. He had his car key (most likely because its bundled with house keys etc) and his driver’s license (usually in wallet). You just made assumptions. Nor did the story state anything about him being drunk. Yes, he came from the party but that doesn’t automatically mean he was drunk. Maybe he came late and saw everything was already gone and decided to make late run to the shop while still sober?

      Or he was drunk driving…

      • Drama Queen

        Too true! Also, that’s MY natural state, looking for my glasses, my handbag, my purse etc (even though I have then on), so you know, glass houses, throwing stones and all that. Definitely not guilty!

    • Theonewhoplays

      they ran out of beer before nine, dude probably had a beer or two, still perfectly able to drive

      • Drama Queen

        We don’t have a lot to go on, I’ve admitted that I’ve basically jumped to the conclusion further down. So, we’re going with “not guilty”. 🙂 However, different countries have different limits. 2 bottles could be over the limit in Finland. I think it’s half a pint in Scotland, nothing in the Czech Republic, and now I have to google Finland. The last posts I commented in have definitely been an education.

  • Mushroom

    Then there was the time a friend visiting from Germany and I got booted out of a bar because he didn’t have a driver’s license. He DID have his passport but for reasons unknown they didn’t accept that.

    • steeledminer616

      May be required to be issued from the country you were in.

      • Jukka-Pekka Tuominen

        In Germany they have the same kind passport as they have in Finland: an EU Passport. I cannot understand why one wouldn’t be valid when not issued in Germany.

        • Jazhara7

          The visiting friend was from Germany. Not sure where Mushroom is from, though.

        • NessaTameamea

          This story could have happened before EU passports were issued, Mushroom didn’t state a time. What I don’t understand ist why a bar wouldn’t accept a form of ID that border controls accepted as valid. Unless maybe it was easier to travel back then without being checked by border controls?

          • Jukka-Pekka Tuominen

            That is true. The EU passports have been issued for over 10 years now, but certainly this could be an older story.

      • I’m sorry but that makes no sense. If you’re visiting from another country, why would you need a driver’s license OR passport (not sure which one you meant) from the country you’re visiting? Either one should be sufficient as legal ID, no matter where they were issued. Sounds more like the bouncer was exercising their sense of power on Mushroom and friend.

        • steeledminer616

          Because foreign identificatiin may not be acknowledged. Seems weird but to simply put (if im right, i AM just guessing) its to prevent people from claiming a fake id as simply foreign.

          • But doesn’t it take months to get a passport? I know it does in the US. And don’t you have to pass a driving test to get a license in any country? And don’t you have to pay for both? If what you’re saying is right (and I’m only guessing as well), that would mean someone who is traveling through four or five countries on one trip would need to get a passport and/or license from each of them, AND they’d have to plan months ahead, apply online (which sounds like it wouldn’t work), pass the driving test as soon as they get there…. That seems like a lot of work and expense when someone already has a perfectly good ID from their own country.

          • steeledminer616

            Nono… I’m specifically talking about alchohol, not travelling. Chances are most places aren’t familiar with the security features of foreign IDs, unless it’s a place that actively uses them. That’s why somewhere that usually gets exclusively local visitors (like a bar) might not accept foreign ID, since they would not be familiar with it and as such couldn’t identify it as legitimate or fake.

          • Okay, for use when buying alcohol does make sense.

      • Mushroom

        The point of a passport is that you’re from somewhere other than where you are now. If he doesn’t have an American passport, it’s cuz he’s not American?

        • steeledminer616

          I am not denying that. The problem is local buisinesses may not acknowledge or train their staff in foreign IDs. I know at my job where we take ID we were only shown how to identify NonForeign ID. Unless its specifically involved inforeign affairs I wouldnt be surprised if it wasnt allowef.

  • steeledminer616

    At least he was polite about it…. even if unaware.
    That said I cant help but imagine “Thatll be 5$.” “Dammit i only brought a 10.”

    • TrueZero2

      That sort of thing did happen to me. It was my turn to sell badges at the charity shop I volunteer at. £1 each, and it has to be exact change.

      One customer said that he’d buy one, but he only had a £5 note on hand. I started to tell him that if he took the badge to the counter, they’d be able to give change, but instead the guy decided to buy 5 of the same badge.

      Definitely an odd moment.

  • Bel-Shamharoth

    Or maybe he just didn’t know that a driver’s license counted as valid ID when purchasing alcohol? It’s not a totally unreasonable assumption, since alcohol and driving don’t go together very well, particularly not in the eyes of the law.

    • evandarya

      Possible, but the OP named drivers license as a valid form of ID before the guy walked off.

      • Mr. Adequate

        Nah, everyone in Finland knows that driver’s license is valid ID for just about everything except travelling abroad to a country that requires passport. Especially people around the age of 18 as they need to prove their age often.

        My guess is that this person got their driver’s license fairly recently, were very used to proving their age using the passport before that, and simply forgot in the heat of the moment. They probably would have remembered in the car on the way back to the party, then made a giant facepalm/slap, possibly causing a dangerous traffic situation.

    • Zania Sovijarvi-Spape

      The clerk told him multiple times that driver’s licence was ok. Plus, if you don’t drive much, the licence is the perfect drinking ID -I always carry mine since if I lose it, meeh, I almost never drive and can do without booze while it gets replaced. I do travel a lot, so passport stays in locked box as it must not be stolen or lost.

      • Bel-Shamharoth

        *Shrug* the dude was partying. Maybe he was just tired. I dunno, maybe he really WAS drunk. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt though.

  • Jeanette Stringer

    My guess is rushed and flustered. You don’t need to be under the influence or developmentally delayed to have a brain fart.

  • arglebargle

    Some of the comments have me wondering if people sometimes have issues with people in Europe declining passports from countries they don’t think exist like we get people in the USA rejecting drivers’ licenses from New Mexico or West Virginia because they don’t think they are states. “No such place as Burkina Faso… can’t sell you beer until you give me a real passport.”

    • Jazhara7

      From my experience, that is not a big Issue here in Europe. We are too accustomed to seeing all kinds of IDs from all over.

      Also, much of Europe has a legal drinking age of 18, so there’s a a smaller percentage of people that have a motivation to fake their IDs just to get alcohol before they are of age. Also, in some countries, like here in Germany, you can get beer and wine legally from the age of 16. Just the strong stuff like Vodka is off limits until 18.

    • Gretchen

      I have never heard of anyone having a fake ID around here, to be honest. By that I mean, I don’t know anyone and my friends don’t seem to have stories like that. Underage kids here either wait, get an older friend to buy them stuff, or just go ahead and try to bet on the cashier not asking for an ID. Only a few weeks after I turned 18 I went to buy alcohol and wasn’t carded, it’s actually pretty common, though we have similar policies here like Finland. If the person seems to be 18, we usually don’t bother.

      • Mr. Adequate

        Fake IDs used to be a thing in Finland until some decades ago, when the actual IDs were still just cardboard with a regular photo stapled or riveted to it – fairly easy to fake. They were mainly for getting in bars as I remember. Reason being that while the policies in Germany and Finland are pretty much the same on paper, adherence in Finland is much stricter. Some young-looking people get consistently carded, each and every time, until their late 20s (and now, with the “looks under 30” policy, until mid-30s)

        • Gretchen

          Oh wow, that really would be easy to fake. We have the 30s policy as well (I think the exact age is 33 that’s said on most of the signs?), and younger looking people do get carded. I don’t as much, but that is probably because I usually buy my stuff from the same place from the same cashiers. What we do have a lot, is that in nightclubs etc, they card almost everyone. I have seen the security card a man who to me looked to be around 35-40, and I am willing to bet he actually was around that age as well. But I guess that is for the best, because once you get in, bartenders don’t ask and if you managed to get in without getting carded, you are good to buy alcohol.

      • Lightning

        Fake IDs used to be really common in the UK because there wasn’t any firm rules about what was acceptable or not. I used my older brother’s birth certificate but my friends all had “European Student” Cards that they got from an advert in a magazine. They were clearly fake but shop owners and bar staff were quite happy to accept them, because they wanted our money and weren’t really fussed about our age.

        The law smartened up though so now only certain Photo IDs are acceptable, similar to the OP’s story, and the consequences of selling alcohol to a minor are really quite severe. The police even send underage people into shops and pubs now to test whether they’ll be asked for ID or not.

      • NessaTameamea

        Yeah the grocery stores here aren’t that strict, at least where I live. I bought alcohol without being asked for ID, and also bought alcohol for an underage friend who was with me at the checkout, and only I got carded.

  • Kitty

    “I need this beer for a party”
    Dude, if you NEED alcohol to enjoy any kind of party, you obviously are doing it wrong.

    • Clay

      Duh, it was a beer-themed party.

    • AussieEevee

      ^ This. So much this.

    • Have you ever met a Finnish person? We drink like crazy, why do you think the stores only sell alcohol between 9 am and 9 pm. While others say you can have fun without alcohol, Finns say you can have alcohol without fun.

    • Pogla

      You must be a hoot at cocktail parties…
      Oh wait

    • Caerus

      Have you ever been to a party where everyone else is drunk as heck and you’re the only one sober? Yes, you NEED the alcohol to enjoy that party. Also yes, I’m Finnish.

      • Kitty

        No, I have not. Because I make sure to stay away from idiots who don’t know how to handle their alcohol and not get ‘drunk as heck’.

        On a more morbid, humorous note, being the sole sober person at a party could be fun. You could record and take pics (as one is wont to do at parties) of all the drunk s*** the others are getting into. So much blackmail material and pointing out, “Dude, remember the time you were so drunk that you tried to eat the cactus and kept complaining that your ‘cereal’ was too dry?”

  • AussieEevee

    “(The customer left very happy with his beers. I was left playing my favourite guessing game: on drugs or just very slow?)”

    Why do people assume drugs or mental problems?

    It is easy enough to make that kind of brain fart.

  • Riviellan

    Ah, the ‘drugs or slow’ game!

    We have one we play: “Talking on a blue-tooth headset, or talking to themselves?”

    There’s also “On drugs/drunk or totally off their meds?”

    … I need to get out of retail…

    • Asha Leu

      There are several regulars at my store that are either genuinely insane or always come in drunk off their faces. I’ve never been able to work out which.

  • Pogla

    drugs or just very slow?
    Why not both?

  • Caerus

    As a Finn I have to state that driver’s license is actually not officially a valid ID in Finland for anything else than driving. Legally at least. That said, basically every place accepts it. If you’re travelling outside of Finland, to Estonia for example, you need an official ID (either Identity Card of Finland or Passport). It’s kind of odd because the very same institute gives all three of those.