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