Ask The Liquor Store Clerk!


I finally signed up after many years of lurking and just wanted to say hi to everybody.

I work at 2 liquor stores right now, One high end and one neighborhood place. People seem to think that working at a liquor store is fun or something. I hope to take care of these myths while getting to know everyone.

Oh crap I put this in the wrong place. Could a mod please move the for me. Thanks a bunch.

Have you ever been working and had an armed robbery take place? What happened?

No armed robbery. I work in a fairly calm(boring) area so I’ve never had to deal with that. My procedure in such an event is to open the drawer, put my hands up and step away. Even the owner has said that money is not worth dying over. Shoplifting is way more of a problem

Someone at the upscale place did hang up a wooden baseball bat behind the counter. I made a sign and hung it up next to the bat.
It reads: Loss Prevention Dept.

Do they give you any sort of training? I’m trying to learn to like beer and am wondering if the clerks are just there taking money or if they are expected to be knowledgeable.

I guess that pre-empts my question, which was going to be “How many times have you been shot so far?”


How do you deal with underaged kids who “left my id in the dorm” or “the other guy let me buy it!” Have you gotten any fake ids? Have you ever had to deal with a customer who’s already intoxicated?

What’s the most expensive thing you sell?

so how do you handle under age buyers and fake IDs? The bat is probably not the tool of choice there.

Alright here we go. I’ll try to get to all questions.
Most Expensive thing we sell- We have a display case with all our very top shelf stuff in it, this includes Johnny Walker Blue Label for $215, and Patron Gran for $200, we also carry some $2-300 bottles of wine. And once we special ordered Cristal.

Underage Kids- happens all the time. in Michigan (where I reside) the cops like to run stings where they send in underage kids to try and buy. I am very careful about selling to an underage person and have refused many sales.

Special Training-Preferred but not necessary, you mostly just have to know where stuff is in the store. I already had a nice amount of knowledge about liquor and beer and am currently learning a lot about wine. Every day it seems I do learn something new about booze in all its glorious forms.

Do you deal with a lot of people that are clearly alcoholics? Does it get depressing? I hear this is what burns a lot of people out on bartending.

Yeah these people make my job miserable sometimes. They’re not all bad but it is sad to see these people come in 3-5 times a night buy pints of rotgut liquor or 40’s of our cheapest beer night after night. The worst are the unemployed ones(you would be surprised by how many alcoholics work full time.), Those are the sickening ones, the ones always trying to scam and steal from you, and know that all they do is sit and drink.

I almost took a swing on one the other day for telling me that he was gonna “cut my throat” for being out of hardpacks for his cig brand. He apologized real quick after he saw me turn red and start walking around the counter.

How often does someone have to come in to buy, say a 12-pack or 750ml bottle, before you label them as an alcoholic? Do most working alcoholics drink the cheap stuff, or the more pricier brands? What is the liquor of choice among functional drunks?

This is a tough one. Most of the drunks I deal with are in denial and usually just buy half or full pints at a time, or 22 or 40oz beers. The problem is they do it several times throughout a day. As for 12 packs and 750mil(or fifths) if you are coming and buying 24 beers or two fifths a night for yourself, yeah you have a problem.

Can I have some boxes? I’m moving next month. (Around here people always go to the liquor store for boxes.) How do you feel about people asking you for boxes?

wow. I feel self-conscious when I happen to buy a fifth two weeks in a row from the same place/clerk.

Two fifths a week… No problem , yer still in party territory there. Two fifths a day, I’ll call AA for you.

What are the top selling liquors by type?

Vodka,rum,whiskey/scotch,gin,peppermint shnapps

I was unclear it seems. Put brand names in front of those if you would please.

Can I just piggyback on this thread for one moment, please? I too have worked this job, but I promise I won’t try to steal Woody’s thunder…

Just one thing I want to share re alcoholics:

Guys and gals, if you are an alcoholic, just go into the store and buy your rotgut as if you were buying a loaf of bread. The clerk doesn’t care, so don’t be embarrassed. It becomes embarrassing (and sadly funny) when folks say, “I want a bottle of whatever, it’s for my sister”, and do it apropos of nothing. Though usually, it’s a rushed: “Iwannabottleofginit’sformysister”.

“I see, sir. And what brand does your “sister” prefer?”

Just buy your booze. We’ve seen worse and we’re not judging you. Or, in other words, if you’re a bum, it’s not only the liquor store guys who will notice, but also everybody else you come into contact with. So don’t worry about us.