So after a long week of working nights, I wanted to “chill out” and relax. I had planned to be awake all night long being used to nights and have a few stiff drinks. My drink of choice is usually rum and coke. I do not drink very often – once every couple of months when I have a few extra bucks. I used to drink a lot more, but for health reasons, I have been cutting back on my drinking by quite a lot.
On this day, I did not plan on having ANY company. I planned to drink alone, watch some movies, write and listen to/play some music. It was the late afternoon (literally – not just for a nighthawk), and since the grocery store and liquor store right next to it are less than a 5 minute taxi drive, I used my smartphone to order a cab to drive me there and back. I knew what I wanted and just where it was on the store shelf and I planned to run right in and out.
The taxi arrived promptly – a nice driver. He had just driven up from where I was going and we joked about this how he was going to end up driving right back down to where he had just come from and then back again here. We chatted about the weather. All was most pleasant. He dropped me off out front of the liquor store and I went in and told him that I would be right out as – again – I knew right where I was going inside the store.
So I thought it would all be so easy. I had gone through this scenario – perhaps one hundred times over the past decade – to the same exact liquor store.
I walked in and got my “quart” of white Captain Morgan white rum and along the way, I decided to grab a “Mickie” of Fireball cinnamon wiskey as a treat. I went up to the counter and was greeted by a thin man in glasses who was very stern and dismissive to me. I put my two bottles down on the counter and said “Hello!” with a smile. He had no damn expression at all. At first, he asked me for Air Miles (which is a rewards card across Canada) which I presented to him. He did not even react to me handing him this card. He immediately then asked me for my I.D…
WTF? Okay here we go…
At first, I was flattered and I thought he would be surprised by my true age apon seeing my driver’s license…then I realized that I did NOT have my driver’s license with me as I usually do not carry it with me (a fear of being mugged which is something for another post). So I advised him that I did NOT have my I.D. with me, that I had a taxi waiting outside for me and that I have been a regular customer at the establishment for fifteen years now. This was the very first time I had even encountered this clerk and first time I had been carded in at least a decade at this same store. This liquor store is right next to the store where I had almost bought by weekly groceries for the past fifteen years.
The guy’s expression was blank, with an absolutely, lifeless, uncaring and as stiff as ever look. He was almost like “Napolean Dynamite” and he asked me if I wanted to speak to a manager. I immediately asked for one as since I had been shopping at that store for the past fifteen years, I knew there was more than one person that I could SEE from that counter that had served me many, many times over the past decade at least.
TWO managers came to the counter. BOTH whom I recognized and who had BOTH rang me in over the past month. They backed the new guy up. Saying they had to back up his “judgment” when thinking a person was under-age. Again. The legal drinking age is nineteen years old in Canada – and I will be forty years old by the end of this year. I explained this. I may look like I am in my mid-thirties but certainly not like a teenager to anyone with any sense of reality. I pointed out how they KNEW me and that I was a regular that both of the managers had served many times over the past decade or more.
They did not care. They backed up the “human pill” clerk even when I explained all of this, that I had a taxi waiting for me outside, that all of this was costing me more money. They did not care. So….I had to go back outside, get into the taxi, drive back to my building, go back into my place, get my I.D., drive back down to the store with it to prove I was in fact REALLY almost 21 years over the legal drinking age in Canada.
This is where it gets even better. I went back into the store. They had put my booze back on the shelf, so I had to backtrack and go and get it again – consting me more taxi time. At this point, I could not anymore afford the “Fireball” that I had initially planned to buy since now the taxi fare was going to be TWICE what it originally would have been.
I walked past BOTH managers who I had dealt with previously and they both ignored me. Cowards. I got to the counter again and there was a completely different, and much younger clerk who greeted me. He did not even ask me for my I.D. at all – after all of the shit I had just gone through. I showed him my I.D. anyway so that it was on camera. I grabbed my booze and got in my taxi home.
Even the taxi driver could not believe this happened to me. I know I look younger than I actually am – usually early to mid-30s – but I sure as Hell do not look like a teenager that is under nineteen. I completely understand checking people’s age if they appear to be less than thirty years old which is common practice – but you have to use your brain really and common sense.
I have worked at jobs where I sell cigarettes to people and the legal age in Canada is also the same age – nineteen. I get that this clerk was new. I had never seen him before. He should have been trained better, though apparently, the other clerk told me that he was ALWAYS asking everyone for I.D. – even older customers than I was.
I am sure he will learn….or will not last very long.
As I said, normally I would be flattered for being carded, but there comes a time when you are a certain age that you KNOW you do not look less than nineteen years old and like a teenager.
Okay. Sorry. I even told this story to a new tenant in my building on the way home. He could not believe it and even agreed I look to me at least mid-thirties in age.
Okay. I really am finished now.
My rant ends here. I am old