This Transaction Has Gone Up In Smoke

| Kent, England, UK | Working | November 6, 2013

(I am 21 years old. I look my age, but do sometimes get asked for ID for tobacco. I am queuing in the shop with my cigarettes in my hand. The cashier looks to be in her 60s.)

Me: “Hi, can I just get a lighter please?”

Cashier: “Certainly, but do you have any ID I can see?”

Me: “Oh, I guess I’ve left it behind. Never mind, I guess I’ll manage without.”

(The cashier gestures at the cigarettes I’m holding.)

Cashier: “If you can’t prove your age, I’ll need to take those.”

Me: “…pardon?”

Cashier: “You didn’t show me any ID.”

Me: “Yes, and I understand why you can’t sell to me, but I’m not going to give you my cigarettes.”

Cashier: “But you didn’t show me ID!”

(I’m sympathetic, because I’ve worked in retail, and I think that she may just not be aware of the law.)

Me: “If I’m attempting to buy products from you, and you have reason to believe that I’m underage, then you are within your right to refuse sale. But you can’t take my property from me, even if you believe I’m too young to have such items.”

Cashier: “You need ID to buy cigarettes!”

Me: *giving up* “…goodbye.”

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