Ok, I know that most people that reply to me will say that I was in the wrong, and that the people involved were just doing their jobs, but hear me out if you would.
This is fairly long.
I found no record of having posted this before, but here goes. Once upon a time, I went to an Uno’s (pizzeria, or whatever they call it now). I was there with a rather large group, about a dozen IIRC. The wait was long, so some people sat in the benches by the servers stand, and a few of us went into the bar.
The three of us that went into the bar were myself (23 or 24 at the time), and two of my friends, one a year older, one a year younger. There was one guy running the relatively small bar, he was busy, so waiting was not really an issue. The youngest guy ordered a beer, was served (sans ID check mind you) and he paid in cash. The oldest guy was served next, same thing. No ID check, here’s your beer, thanks for the tip.
I’m up next. I don’t look old, I don’t look young. Most people can peg my age fairly accurately. I was standing right with my friends that got their beers with no ID check.
I order a beer and the guy asks for ID. Fine. I’m used to getting carded, and it should be policy to do so. I show him my ID. he says “This is too faded, I can’t tell it’s you.” He leaves to service another patron, tacitly saying that I can’t have a beer. In the guys favor, this was the first year that Ohio came out with digitally printed Ids, they had not perfected it yet, and yes, my picture was not clear enough on it to stand up to scrutiny.
I finally got the guys attention again, and explained the situation. “I can’t help it if the DMV can’t make a driver’s license that can’t stand up to normal usage. What am I supposed to do? Get another license that does the same thing?”
He says “I can’t tell it’s you, so I can’t sell to you”.
I then got out all of the documents/IDs that I had in my wallet. I had a student ID from The Ohio State University, picture and social both on it. I had my original copy of my Social Security card (I know now that it was not a smart thing to have on my person). I even had my Federally-issued Selective Service Registration card, with my SSN on it as well. Did I mention that I even had a copy of my freaking birth certificate on me?
He still said he couldn’t serve me. I asked to speak with the manager. He came out, glanced at the assortment of documents I had laid out on the bar, and asked to see my ID. He said “We can’t serve you”. I asked why not. he said “We can’t prove that you are old enough to drink legally” I told him that, yes he could. I also asked him if calling for a manager would be an action taken by an underage drinker. He said that he didn’t serve underage drinkers. I asked him if he thought my ID was fraudulent, he just said that it was “inadequate”. I invited him to call the police if he thought I wasn’t being truthful. He said “I’m sorry, we can’t serve you” and left.
Well, the rest of us left as well. They got two beer sales, and nothing more. We went down the street to another restaurant. When the waitress asked for our drink orders, she asked for ID from two of the younger girls there. When she got to me, the other guys said “He just had a really bad experience less than a mile from here, don’t card him. He’s still a bit upset.”
She looked at me and said “That’s the look of someone that got mistreated, not the look of someone that didn’t get away with something.” Our dinner was fine. She was tipped heavily for her discretion.
What I failed to realize in the heat of the moment was that out of state IDs, Military, IDs, passports, and even State Ids are also legal forms of proof of age in most places. The bartender did his job for 1/3 of the people I saw served (he carded me and not my two friends). His refusal of that solitary piece of ID was justified to an extent. It still had the holograms and markings of an official drivers license, he had no reason to assume that it was counterfeit.
When I asked to speak with the manager, he made a choice. Rather than look at the corroborating Federal and State documents that I had, plus a University photo ID which was clearly me, he chose to back up his bartender.
My main problem is that all parties involved had zero doubt that I was of legal drinking age. Kids that try to sneak one past the barkeep, do NOT ask to speak with the manager, nor do they have bona-fide documents to back their case. The bartender carded me in an indiscriminate and inconsistent manner. The manager chose to back up his employee, rather than admit that I had proven my case.
They lost a 12 top, and at least a few customers for life.
So, was I upset for no good reason? Were they just doing their jobs? Or did they just take a position and stand by it, regardless of any evidence to the contrary?