Feel Good Policies that Protect None

I was out shopping this weekend, as I’m sure many were in preparation of Thanksgiving Day (at least here in the United States that is). Anyway, it was a good weekend in that I found everything I had been looking for.

Sunday, I took my mother who is visiting me this month, to buy a pair shoes. The store was closed (my bad for assuming they were open and not calling first) so we ran across town to another store for me to find a couple of pairs of slacks for work. Mom wasn’t feeling the greatest and felt like she was getting a cold and her eyes were dry. Now it is very dry here is Phoenix so I wasn’t surprised at all. We stopped into a Target so she could pick up some eye-drops and tissues. At the checkout I spotted a package of Bic Lighters so I grabbed one as I was going to be needing them anyway. Mom being mom, literally wrestled them from me to add to her things to pay for. We joked about child abuse (I am her child after all….LOL)!!!

When the cashier finished ringing everything up, she then asked for my mothers birthdate or mine. When we questioned the need for that, we were informed that it was because of the lighters. I pointed out that it was quite obvious we were both well over the legal age of 21, not to mention 18 (I’m almost 56 and mom is 78) so I didn’t understand the need for some personal information at the cash register when paying with cash. She pointed to the register and low and behold, nothing else could get rung up until that information was given. The excuse being that they didn’t sell lighters to minors! If mom hadn’t needed the eye drops so badly, I would have just walked right out and told them to shove their store in a dark place!

OK, I can buy that and that is not what annoys me. Let the cashier use her common sense, seeing that two women who can in no way be mistaken for being underage, and use her own date of birth or ID card to approve the sale. What really annoys me is the fact that legal, law-abiding, tax-paying citizens are more and more being inconvenienced and questioned like criminals just because the store doesn’t want to single out the young people for their feel good policies.

This is becoming more and more prevalent. I’ve seen liquor and tobacco shops card EVERYONE and their reason is that they don’t want to offend anyone so all get carded! HUH? Since when is there some “right” to never feeling offended? WHY do I have to be inconvenienced to spare the ego of some 21 year-old who looks like 17?

I ask you, how did they know I wasn’t buying them for my own 16 year old or the 10 year old next door to me? How do they know what I was going to do with them once I paid for them?

That policy is nothing more than a “feel good” policy for the store, and I can assure you, they just lost a customer and I wrote and told them just that, and why.

Earlier in the day, we bought some glue at Wal-Mart and the employee watching the self-checkout lanes we used did have to come over and put in her employee ID that we were of legal age to buy the glue that Wal-Mart won’t sell to minors. Not as intrusive as Target, granted, but still an inconvenience as we had to wait for her to come over. And again, what guarantee did they have that I wasn’t buying this for the kids on the block? My roommate was behind me and bought lighters that Wal-Mart obviously doesn’t mind selling to kids since there was no stopping her transaction for approval.

These policies are fine, but only when the target of them is inconvenienced. When everyone else also has to be inconvenienced, carded, checked I find that downright insulting, not to mention annoying.

Before some brain-dead robot pipes in with the “for the children’s protection” crap, I’ll ask again……….who is to say I wasn’t buying these things for the kids next door? Who is to say I didn’t have a minor waiting in my car for me to hand over this contraband?

I’ve never been questioned or carded in my whole life and find it pathetic that now that I’m past the age of 50 I’m suddenly being checked to be sure I’m of legal age just to spare some pansy 21 year old’s ego!!!!


~ by swfreedomlover on November 24, 2008.

14 Responses to “Feel Good Policies that Protect None”

  1. Man, here I was thinking I got carded due to good genes and the moisturizer L’Ailee insisted I try! (I’m 34.)

    Seriously, that’s the problem with “protecting the children.” Law-abiding adults end up being treated like children.

    I’m glad you have this blog to keep others informed!

  2. *facepalm*

    Whenever anyone in a position of authority says ‘think of the children’, vote them out. They’re either lying to you or dangerously ignorant of current affairs.

  3. That whole “for the children” crap has been so over-used and abused I say we ban children so that us adults can live in peace!!!

    Even my son agrees with me on that too *grins*

  4. Well first off, dear (oh excuse me, I forgot, you like being called HON!), you look all of 12, so get over it! LOL
    Secondly, what defines the application of the word “Children”, because quite frankly, despite knocking on the door of 30, I dare any school aged dork to out-immature me!!

    On a related note…about 9 years ago, I went in to a convenience store where my mom lives. She was closing in on 40, as I was only recently able to legally purchase alcohol (Previously I depended on trusting 56 year old blonde ladies to go get hassled over IDs while buying it for me). My mom has lived in that SMALL town since 1981. I wasn’t carded for my beer (My appearance is more often referenced to a baby than an adult at that time), however the lady wouldn’t relinquish the cigarettes to my mother until she produced ID proving her to be of legal age. I had to laugh when my mother produced the only picture Id she had..a 1989 expired learner’s permit!!

  5. Oh, and quit schmoozin up to my wife, and then flippin the coin on me! Don’t think I didnt notice you playing favorites on my blog. Give it time, and I’ll be able to get a lwayer to sue you for this offensive behavior and suck your bank account dry of that $4.38 you have!

  6. I see you are in prime form today Mike………….and it’s NOT looking good for you………you’d be surprised how particular and bitchy I get about what names people think they use on me.

    In all seriousness though………….you need to cut that “pet name” stuff out, as it really and truly does irritate me to no end (always has but I’ve only just started bitching about it). And to be fair, I apologize for the couple of dears and Mikey’s I’ve thrown at you and will in future follow my own advice.

    I’m sure your wife would agree with me too……….ask her how it makes her feel for other males (or anyone else for that matter) to call her hun, dear, etc.

    And knowing what a smart ass you really are, your wife needs to know someone is in her corner………LOL

    OH, and that $4.38 I have in my bank account? It’s now $2.17. Sorry, you’ll need that lawyer fast if you have any hopes of getting any of my money before living does………….ROFLMAO

  7. Message received….and hey, quit buying sodas and a candy bar..all that precious money will be gone!!!

  8. OH DAMN, then you won’t be thrilled to hear about the ice cream cone I just had that now leaves me only $.67? ROFLMAO

  9. One reason that a store might require the cash register to be “unlocked” is that if one of their employees breaks the law, the store will be held responsible. By requiring every cashier to put in the birth year of the customer, the store covers its behind.

    I don’t like it, and I agree with you in principle. However, it would be a tempting practice to follow if I were a store owner.

  10. IF I were a store owner, I would fire anyone who broke the law. I would reprimand anyone the first time they broke a store policy then fire them a second time. I would NOT, however, insist on inconveniencing obvious adults just because a few parents can’t control their brats.

  11. when it comes to buying cigarettes, apparently I can still pass for the “26 and under” mandatory ID class of citizens. But for those cashiers who know me, outside of my uniform-clad hours, often ask the year of birth, or just punch one in randomky, not bothering to ID me, as they know full well I am more than ld enough to buy tobacco products.

  12. Since the legal age to purchase cigarettes in most states is 21; that whole needing to prove you’re 26 is ridiculous. I do feel for people like you, Mike, who are old enough to make such purchases but also look young enough to be questioned. I just don’t feel so bad about it that I want to be inconvenienced in the process. Sorry.

    When my son graduated High School, we went out to dinner and he asked if he could have an alcoholic drink. I said yes, but since he was under 21, I had to buy it. Right there in the restaurant, I purchased his drink, inserted the straw so he could drink it himself, and placed it right in front of him. THAT is how stupid some of these laws are.

  13. 21? for cigarettes???? I thought it was 18….
    On the drinking topic, a friends mom was hosting the late night graduation party for her son and a close friend. She knew we would drink, despite the laws saying most of us were 3-6 years too young to do so, and gladly helped supply a spot to drink for us. The only condition she had was that when we showed up and got anywhere near the beverages, we turned the keys over to her.
    I personally think the drinking laws should be laxed, and especially for soldiers. I figure once you go into the service, where you can be shipped off to kill or be killed for your country, you should be able to engage in al the social vices afforded other age-relevant people.

  14. In many, if not most, states you cannot buy cigarettes legally before the age of 21.

    As far as I’m concerned, IF an 18 year old can be trained to kill and shipped off to war, then 18 years of age is the legal limit for any and ALL legal activities (including smoking and drinking).

    Most of our laws protect no one, they are just money-making schemes for states and cities.

    Remind me to tell you about some college kids we hosted back in the late ’80’s. I don’t have the time right now to tell the story, but it is along the line of yours above.

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