Why Stores Have To ID Everyone

Our earlier post about carding senior citizens was all well and good, but here’s what life’s like from the other side of the register, according to Behind the Counter: “Nearly everyone who works a register and is faced with the prospect of selling tobacco and alcohol ought to be very, very afraid. Why? Because the federal government is watching you and will deliberately try to bust your Wal-Mart khaki-clad behind!”

Enforcement is strict, and the consequences are severe. Says the author of the blog:

A friend of mine who worked at a convenience store actually had that happen to him because he wasn’t paying attention on a holiday weekend and sold a pack of Marlboro Lights to a kid that looked 25 but was really 16. The episode cost him his job and almost $4,000 in attorney fees and fines. They don’t play.

Every single time anyone who does not look old enough to have fought at Normandy tries to buy tobacco or alcohol from me I feel an icy stab of fear grip my chest. “Is this the one? Are there agents watching? Is this a sting?” We’ve had the ID traps run at our store. Cashiers have been fired and arrested.

Read the full post, which includes details of Customer Service “Mystery Shoppers,” who swoop in like Dementors to suck the—well, not joy exactly, but whatever it is you’re supposed to be feeling when you’re at work—from your skull.

(We still think it’s foolishness to card a 74-year-old man.)

“Why are some retail places retentive about proving your age?” [Behind the Counter — and our first title for this post was, “Retail Double Agent Reveals Big Brother Conspiracy Behind ID Checks!”]
(Photo: Getty)