No ID, No Idea, Part 21

| Right | May 26, 2015

(The company that I work has recently switched to an ‘ID All’ policy. We gave all customers more than a two weeks’ notice in several ways (handouts, print outs at the bottom of the receipt, and warning every customer that makes a tobacco purchase that they will have to provide a photo ID starting on a certain date.) Despite our best to make the transition a smooth one, there are many customers, particularly regulars, who are not too happy with this. It has now been more than a month since the policy has been in place and people are still complaining. The gentleman appears to be in his late forties. I also am very petite and have always looked much younger than I am.)

Me: “Hello, sir, how are you doing today?”

Him: “Fine. Gimme [Brand cigarettes].”

Me: *grabbing that brand* “Okay, will that be all?”

Him: “Of course that’s all!”

Me: “All right, could I please see your ID?”

Him: “Are you f***ing kidding me? I’m old enough to be your grandfather!”

(I’m used to this type of reaction from our customers around his age and patiently start to explain our new policy. There are multiple signs all over the place stating that we ID all, as well as a stack of pamphlets right in front of him explaining the policy. All the while he is hurling abuse at me.)

Him: “How old do you have to be to buy cigarettes?”

Me: “PA requires you to be 18, though some states are 19.”

Him: “Well, I’m obviously older than that! Are you even old enough to be selling those things?”

Me: “There is no age requirement to sell tobacco products, although [Company] does require you to be 16 to work here. I am, however, 18, so I could legally purchase this with proper identification.”

Him: “There’s no f****** way you’re 18. When’s your birthdate?”

(I’ve had this question asked many times by customers who don’t believe I’m old enough to work at the store, so I usually just give it to them.)

Him: “Seriously? I thought you were like 12!”

Me: “So, you were willing to harass a 12 year old over a policy that I have no control over, which has been in effect for 6 weeks, and which had a further 2 weeks notice given to all customers, despite the fact that there is ample signage everywhere, including right next to [Brand cigarettes he wanted to purchase] which states that we require identification from EVERYONE, all the while causing a disturbance and holding up all of the customers in line behind you, simply because you refuse to show your ID? Which if I do not ask for and see I will lose my job and be required to pay a fine, and all of this because you’re offended that I asked for your ID? I know that you are over 18. Everyone here can clearly see that you are over 18! Now can I please just see your ID? If not I cannot and will not sell you the cigarettes, and I will help the person behind you, who has been patiently waiting the entire time you’ve been causing this ruckus!”

(He meekly hands over his ID and pay for his cigarettes without saying another word. The next person in line steps up as he’s putting his change back into his wallet. This customer has his ID already out.)

Customer #2: *pleasantly* “Hello there! How are you doing today?”

Me: “I’m doing pretty good; thanks for asking! What can I get for you today?”

Customer #2: “I would like two boxes of [Brand], please. And of course you can have my ID!”

(The first customer left as quickly as possible, but not before glaring at Customer #2.)


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