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Forever 21

, , , , , | Working | October 29, 2019

(I’m at a local liquor store buying a nice bottle of wine for a family get-together. I bring my purchase up to the register. I’m 30 years old.)

Clerk: “ID please, sir.”

(I give her my driver’s license. She reads it and then hands it back to me.)

Clerk: “I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t sell this wine to you.”

Me: “Is there something wrong?”

Clerk: “You’re not 21 years old, sir.”

Me: “I know that. I’m 30 years old.”

Clerk: “Sir, you can’t buy this wine if you’re not 21.”

Me: “I understand, but again, I’m older than that, so yes, I can buy the wine.”

Clerk: “Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to leave. You are not 21 years old, so you cannot buy the wine. I am not going to risk my job selling wine to someone who isn’t 21 years old. Now get out!”

(The manager overhears the conversation and approaches us.)

Manager: “Is something wrong?”

Clerk: “This customer isn’t 21 years of age and he wants to buy this wine!”

Manager: *to me* “May I please see your ID, sir?”

(I hand my license to the manager, who studies it. He then turns to the clerk, visibly angry.)

Manager: *to the clerk* “Seriously? Again? Read the customer’s license. What year does it say he was born?”

Clerk: “[Year].”

Manager: “And that makes him how old?”

Clerk: “Uh, 30.”

Manager: “Precisely.”

Clerk: “But he’s not 21! It would be illegal to sell him wine!”

Manager: “Just go to the office and wait for me there. I’ll handle this myself. We’ll have a little talk together in a moment.”

(The clerk goes to the office. The manager hands back my driver’s license and rings up my purchase.)

Manager: “I’m very sorry about that sir. It’s her first day here, and you’re not the first person she’s pulled that stunt on.”

Me: “She actually tried that on someone else?”

Manager: “Yep. I have absolutely no clue how she came up with the idea that you have to be exactly‘ 21 to buy alcohol, especially when we have posters practically everywhere saying you have to be 21 or older, which you clearly are.”

(I paid for my wine and left the store. The clerk still works there, but I’ve only ever seen her fronting off the shelves and doing cleanup duties since then.)

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