The Captain's (B)log

Can I see Some ID?

No, I’m not talking about the first words uttered to you by every police officer. Here in the United States we see the signs every time we enter or exit the checking lane in any store. “Alcohol and Tobacco. We card under 40.”

A custom has developed in regard to this policy that is both appreciated and detested by equal numbers. Those under the age of 18 or 21 with criminal intent to purchase these age-appropriate substances don’t like the law. I will disregard them in this post here due to the opinion’s incredible duhness* (to be distinguished from dullness, usually the catalyst of duhness).

To make a long story short: cashiers will ask senior citizens for ID as a sort of reversely psychological compliment. Have you ever noticed this? There are adamant parties on both sides of this issue. The hardened 65-year-old rancher buying a tractor and a case of beer flips his lid (and in rare cases a bird) because of extra trouble caused by a well-meaning cashier. Meanwhile, in the next checkout lane, the same treatment for a grandma getting a new prescription and a small bottle of wine leaves her overjoyed and feeling young at heart. Why they sell beer, tractors, drugs and wine in the same store I’ll never know but the results are self-evident: frustration vs. making someone’s day.

There’s a simple solution to this, something not so common anymore… common sense. Instead of taking every opportunity to make yourself feel like Mother Theresa, you cashiers out there SHOULD endeavor to read the people you serve (go back to school if necessary, yes I said read). I’m not upset about this personally in the least but instead make this plea on behalf of the O.F.Y.H. (Old Farts,Young Hearts) Association of America. Those of you who card Scrooge on Christmas Eve, have a bad experience and quit carding senior citizens could be denying Granny Smith‘s lone Christmas wish.

If this still makes no sense then do this. Card nice elderly women and not cranky old men… you’ll have a higher success rate. From there you can move on to divining the intricacies of the department store customer’s mind and who knows? Perhaps you’ll go on to a career in mental therapy or fortune-telling but a small dose of good judgement will go a long way to getting you started.

Common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are, and doing things as they ought to be done.”           C. E. Stowe


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20 thoughts on “Can I see Some ID?

  1. It’s not just old people who appreciate this.. I got told last week I didn’t look a day over fifteen, it actually made my day. So if I look a decade younger I’ll be over the moon at ninety! 🙂 really great post, im sure grannies all over the world will be singing your praises!!

  2. Do you really get id’d if you look under forty? That’s pretty drastic…

  3. Better Over the Hill than Under It on said:

    Personally, those of us just under forty consider it a compliment as well. It’s almost like an insult when they don’t ask. I’m 39 and it is a little irksome how the cashier only asks to see my ID on those days when I run to the store without makeup on. Funny how what started out as a law to protect the young can become a matter of social propriety. 🙂

  4. That’s what they say and like I pointed out, it’s almost a courteous custom anymore… just part of checkin out your stuff (some people like it and others don’t).

  5. I was cracking up reading this post. You have a way with words — I’m envious! Congrats on being the first blog I subscribe to as a wordpress member… 🙂

  6. Double like this post!!! I absolutely take it as a compliment when asked to show my ID, even knowing full well the cashiers/servers are required to do so! I’ll take it when I can get it! 😉 As for the grumpy old man/ sweet older lady…I’ve witnessed both & each have brought a smile to my face, even making me chuckle a little bit.

    Nicely put Josiah!

    • As of right now, the ‘taking it as a compliment’ side is winning by a long shot (those statistics could be skewed by the fact that bloggers are typically more easy going and/or socially inclined). People’s reactions are always fun to watch 🙂


  7. I’m on the other cranky side of the equation and I do think that cashiers should read their customers. I’m not even forty yet but I don’t look under 27 either. I don’t care to share my id with people that ask and have on occasion given them a bad time. I have worked in the security field and know what information you could possibly give away by showing someone a valid id. Not that I don’t trust most people but it only takes one.

  8. I get suspicious when the only people who tend to ask me for my ID are young male cashiers. What further causes my skin to crawl is when the individual studies it a little longer than necessary and then responds to me using my name. A bit disturbing even if they are just trying to be nice.

  9. Eric Sylvester on said:

    Completely digged (dug? currently digging on?) this post. As a former cashier in a horrible truck stop/convenience store in East-Jesus Nowhere, IA, I can totally relate to this. Old truckers flipped out whenever someone (never me) would ask for their I.D. I always adhered to the puberty/menopause rule: if you look like you could currently be going through either, I card you.

    This all from a 21 year old college student who looks about 18. I get asked for a second form of I.D. almost every time I go out to the bars. I don’t mind it; it gives me a chance to crack a joke with whatever female is next to me in line. Ice? Broken.

    Dig/dug/digging your blog, and am definitely subscribing good sir!

  10. I do believe that this certain blog was ever most useful in my adventures of blogging. Ever more I think everyone should know and learn the information posted. Good day.

  11. I’d be gutted if I got carded ( mainly because I don’t carry such stuff around with me ). The one time I did go over the pond not only did I get carded but asked if my partner was my son… I don’t think that was a compliment…

    Any way sorry for the intrusion, I enjoyed your guest blog came came over for a gander. I love the way you’ve set your blog up.
    Have a good weekend

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