Rachel Lucas gets carded

…and is not amused.

She asked me for my ID for the cider. The only picture ID that I have (besides my passport, which I don’t carry around) is my Texas driver’s license, which I produced from my purse. And you would have thought I’ d whipped out a piece of toilet paper that said in crayon that I was born in 1972.

Counter Lady stared hard at it and flipped it over, stared some more, flipped it some more, stared at my face and back at the photo twice in quick succession, said out loud, “1972?” and then asked me exactly where I’ d obtained this ID. I shit you not. Nevermind that emblazened across the top if it is Texas Driver License. And that even if it said Planet Mars Super-Fake ID For Young Children Who Should Not Be Sold Alcohol, again I remind you I was standing three feet away from her with no makeup under MOST unflattering lighting. I will not lie to you. No sane person would ever in a million years guess I was a day younger than 32 at that moment, and that may be generous.

Then, I swear to God, do you know what she did next? She called over the manager.

And asked the manager quite loudly, “Is this an acceptable form of ID? There’s no hologram on it.” Apparently, British ID’s have that. But seriously holy shit, lady. Is that what you’re hung up on? The absence of a hologram? As though just looking at my FACE won’t tell you it’ s been at least more than a decade since I was younger than 18, and in fact almost two decades?

And then the manager! Oh, the manager. Again with the scrutiny of the ID, but she didn’t even bother looking at me. I swear on the holy dirt of Gaia, it was like showing up for a Pap smear in England and the doctor not believing you’re a female because the medical file is from America. Forget that you’re sitting there with boobs and a uterus. The chart doesn’t look right! So you might be a man!

Of course, hologram or no, the same thing happens in the US. Calling over the manager gives the impression of thinking and giving a shit without actually having to, you know, think and care. And no manager is going to say, “You effing dolt! Can’t you see the lady is on her last gasp before middle age?” Because that would encourage them to think, and they might think wrong. And what would be the problem with that? Well, none at all, unless the purchaser happened to be a government spy, in which case the clerk’s stupidity would rebound upon the manager. The natural world is a dangerous enough place, where poor choices mean pain and even death. We can’t repeal the laws of nature; the best we can do is establish a nanny state to attempt to shield us from the worst effects of them. But that state applies its own huge collection of possibilities for pain and death.


One Response to Rachel Lucas gets carded

  1. kishnevi says:

    No telling what a Brit would do these days, but–
    1) some stores have a stated policy of IDing everyone and anyone, even if it’s an eighty year old grandmotherly type.
    2) some stores will do it quietly and without fussing, more or less as a gimmick. A middle aged woman who is told she looks like she might be a teenager knows she’s being flattered like the devil, but will generally feel nicely about the store because of that. I remember a professor I had at FSU was in her fifties and carded, and gave all her business to that particular supermarket simply because of that little bit of flattery.
    3) calling over the manager is not necessarily a way of evading the responsibility of thinking. It may also be the employee’s way of saying to the customer, “I know you’re right, but if I don’t follow this stupid policy, they’ll reprimand/fire me, so I’ll call the manager over, and if he is stupid enough to be an asshole about this, then you can be pissed off at him and leave me out of it.”
    It’s also useful in other circumstances, when the customer is being the asshole but the store underling can’t come out and say so.

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