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Putting The Beer Of God Into This Teen

, , , , | Working | December 29, 2021

In Germany, the legal drinking age for “soft” alcoholic beverages such as beer is sixteen. Also, between the ages of sixteen and eighteen, you’re allowed to visit clubs until midnight.

I had just turned sixteen. My friend and I were on our way to a club, excited to enjoy our newly gained freedom, when we decided to get a beer each. I offered to buy it while my friend waited outside and, as I’m a bit weird with social interaction sometimes, I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to try a self-serve checkout for the first time so I wouldn’t have to talk to the cashier.

Little did I know that these registers send an automated call for an employee as soon as you try to buy any alcohol while simultaneously flashing a bright red warning that I’d have to show my ID. In retrospect, this, of course, makes perfect sense, but as I hated breaking rules I would have never thought about the fact that many people try to get alcohol as a minor.

The next thing I knew, I found myself facing an angry-looking lady.

Employee: “I need to see your ID!”

No problem. I’d have needed it for the club anyway, so I started digging my pocket. This was my next mistake, as the eyeliner I had with me (you know, the important stuff a sixteen-year-old girl takes with her when she first goes clubbing) prominently poked out, which led the lady to yell at me.

Employee: “You’re stealing that eyeliner!”

By now, my anxiety had kicked in and I just wanted to get away. I have never stolen anything in my life, so being accused of this was quite horrible for me, especially as I really didn’t understand why anyone would go through the hassle of stealing a one-euro eyeliner, use it, and then just stick it in their pocket without making sure it wouldn’t fall out.

Me: “I brought this with me. See, it’s obviously used.”

I tried to show her.

Employee: “I’m going to call the police if you don’t show me a receipt.”

Me: “I bought this probably three years ago, God knows where.”

I don’t remember how I convinced her that I did, in fact, not try to steal this eyeliner. I do remember her calling me all kinds of names, including a liar and a thief. I think, in the end, she just gave up and, surprisingly, allowed me to buy my beer — not without doubting my ID to be real first and also struggling with the maths to figure out that I was indeed old enough to buy this beer, though.

Employee: “Now get out. Never come back. See this as your last warning.”

This happened more than ten years ago and I have never ever touched a self-service checkout again. Also, I still get anxious anytime I buy alcohol, even though I have never again been asked to show my ID.

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