Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Getting "carded" at 56


deltadoc
 Share

Recommended Posts

The company "team" that I am on, had a "team builder" exercise in downtown Minneapolis last Wednesday.

We ended the evening by going to a "5-star" Italian restaurant. There were 12 of us, mostly younger people.

Now as I understand it, the law says that anyone that "looks" 36 or younger has to be carded.

As much as I would like to think that I look anywhere near 36, it just ain't so!

The waiter says first "I'll have to see everyone's ID". Then he points at me, and says "I'll need to see yours too".

(I felt singled out that he individually directed that question at me, I'm 56, very obviously much older than anyone else at the table)

Then a bit later, he comes back to the table with the wine and began to look at everyone''s ID. He didn't just look, he "scrutinized" each ID, even using the table's candles to see better.

He gets to me, and says again "I need to see your ID". I said "I'm not showing you my ID, I'm 56 years old".

(He never asked if I was even going to have any wine, which, by the way, is one of my New Year's Resolutions, not to drink any alcohol in 2006).

Without a second's thought, he motions to the waitress, who immediately grabs my empty wine glass and scurries off.

I was stunned. There were people sitting in this restaurant in near-tuxedo quality clothes. There were tables of people 20 years older than me by appearances. You're telling me that these people "all" had to show IDs to get served wine?!?

I felt outraged, insulted, and made an instant decision that I would never ever go back to this restaurant.

Whatcha all think about this?

Thanks!

doc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The first card attempt might have been flattering to me, maybe. That fiasco at the table with the wine glass etc would have sent me far off the deep end. Good for you for telling them to stick their card request the 2nd time!

Mike

-Mike & Andrea

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Had a similar thing happen to me a couple of years ago, though in a somewhat different environment. Same age at the time BTW.

While killing time waiting to board a plane at Ohare, I strolled into one of the lounges and ordered a drink. Bartender returned and asked for my ID. My response was "You've got to be kidding". Stern faced, the bartender replied "Until I see your ID and verify that you're of legal age, I can't give you this drink". Obviously wanting the drink that I ordered, I gave him my ID. He gave me the drink.

I later learned that the bar had been busted more than once for serving minors. As a part of their settlement, and in order to maintain their very lucrative airport franchise, they agreed to card every customer. They did, and from what I understand, still do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As dls' reply suggests, there may have been a valid reason for asking you for your ID. I'd call or write to the manager about your experience and request an explanation.

I've been asked for ID at Surdyk's in MSP by someone whom I think was younger than I. Do you think I could have asked her for ID, too? Surely if they must confirm that I, the buyer, is of legal age, then I have a responsibility to ensure the seller is also of legal age. :raz:

I'm 36, incidentally, and I fully expect to be carded (at least in the US) until I'm in my 50s, maybe even my 60s! It's the price one pays for good genes and supple Asian skin. :biggrin:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No restaurant owner or restaurant employee wants to have to card anybody. So you can safely assume that, if it's being done, it's a matter of coercion by the liquor authorities. For all we know, there was a state inspector in the restaurant at that very moment, and you can't negotiate with these people: they'll cite you or shut you down if they're having a bad day. If there is a complaint, it should be against the government for perpetuating Byzantine, idiotic, paternalistic liquor laws.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm 46. Every now and then I drag my aging bones out to a nightclub that cards me when I walk in the door. Somehow I manage to navigate this spectacularly minor, if vaguely silly, inconvenience without getting my knickers in a twist or flinging attitude at of a guy who's just doing what his boss asked him to do.

By the time you're old enough not to have to be carded, you should know that life's too short to worry about it when you are.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most places, the law is that you can not serve people under 21. It's up to you to make sure that happens, so if they look well above 21, you take the chance that they are. But there are some places that require you card everyone by law. Alpharetta, GA (basically a suburb of Atlanta) years ago passed a law that restaurants had to card every single customer who was going to consume alcohol. It didn't matter what they looked like, if you personally knew them, if they were a regular who had been there from the beginning. Every guest drinking alcohol had to have a valid ID with them that said they were 21 years old or older.

Personally, I think it's another example of the ridiculous alcohol laws in America.

-Greg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recall from a previous life that Minnesota has (or had) particularly stringent liability laws and would guess that it probably was a question of legality.

Not having been there but from your description of the proceedings, it does seem like it wasn't handled very smoothly. I think, if I knew I didn't intend to order alcohol, I would have just stated that when asked for ID, and anything subsequent to that would have clearly been unnecessary. But we all have the benefit of hindsight and no emotional skin in the game (not being embarrassed in front of co-workers) so easier for us to react from the safe distance of our offices.

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last summer I was in the supermarket and bought, among other things, a six pack of beer. The cashier insisted that she had to see some ID. (I'm 51. Although admittedly last summer I was 50, so maybe I looked younger.) I decided I loved her and would go to her checkout line and no other from that point on. :wink:

A few years ago I was visiting a friend in Cambridge, MA -- the land of perpetual students -- and we decided to go out for a drink. There was a line at the door of the bar we went to, and there was a guy there carding everyone before they went in. My friend and I looked at each other with big grins on our faces. Gee, do you think he'll card us? We got up to the door, the guy took one look at us and just waved us in. We were terribly disappointed. :sad:

Asking for ID is one thing. Rudeness is something else altogether. On all sides.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that being carded can be annoying or flattering or just someone doing their job. In a bar setting I understand about being carded. If you card one person at a table in a restaurant you should card everyone - unless there are big age differences. If I am in with my mother age 60 and my neice aged 21 and I am 40 then I think the person carding should notice that my mother is not 20 (nor am I). I do get annoyed at my grocery store when I get carded by the same person that has been checking my groceries 2 and 3 times per week for several years. The annoyance is that if I patronize someplace over and over and over for years they could at least LOOK at me once in a while and realize they have seen my ID at least 300 times!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to admit the carding thing has started to really irritate me. I comply with it at the supermarket, I realize the store clerks and waiters have no control over the situation and I see why it is important for a bar in a college town. But I find it to be an annoying interruption to the evening and an invasion of privacy at a halfway decent restaurant, to the point where I will actively avoid a restaurant that does this on a regular basis. (I don't blame the restaurant, I just think it is a really dumb law.)

The good thing about it is that it gives me even further incentive to buy my liquor from the small independent wine store with the better selection, whose staff recognize me when I walk in, and to frequent smaller restaurants that don't make their managerial decisions based on the handbook from corporate headquarters.

I recently had a transatlantic flight on an American air carrier for the first time in many years, and was promptly reminded why I had been avoiding them for so long. I didn't think one needed to be carded over international waters, but what do I know? Feh.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been carded at several airport bars, and although I find it silly, it's not annoying to me. Same with nightclub type bars.

At a nice restaurant, though, I think it would be a different story. I completely understand that the waiters have a job to do and have to comply with ABC laws, though, so I'd let it pass.

The only time I can remember getting upset about getting carded (or not, in this case) was at a neighborhood bar, years ago. I was there with a date, who was a few years younger than I (he was 24; I was 28). The bartender, a woman in her mid-forties, asked him for ID, but not me. That didn't really bother me, but my date said, "Aren't you going to ask for hers?" The bartender said, "No, I'm a good judge of women's ages," or something like that. Even then, I still wasn't upset, although I was beginning to get annoyed. But then, she leaned over to me and said, "It's okay, honey, I date younger men too."

We finished our drinks, left a nickel on the bar, and never went back.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I always consider it a compliment (I'm 39) to get carded, even though I know in most cases it's probably NOT personal, deltadoc's sitch was just ridiculous, what with the waitress grabbing the glass and booking and all.

However, I had reason to be a bit miffed recently...I was out for dinner with my significantly younger husband; he was carded, I chuckled and said to the waiter, 'oh I guess you need to see my ID too, eh?' He looked at me for a beat, then replied, 'no.' :hmmm:

There went his tip...

ETA: HA! I replied before I read the reply directly above mine...maybe they were related...

Edited by lia (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

An often-repeated line in our family came into being quite a few years ago, when my Sis was eighteen. Her boyfriend, later her husband, attended one of the Service academies, and during graduation week, our parents requested that I go with her to another state for the week of attendant festivities to which all the cadets were invited, along with their dates.

I had a lovely time, relaxing by the pool, reading, visiting a couple of historic sites and museums, having lunch at the hotel, and going with them to a party or dance in the evening on a couple of occasions.

On one of the "free" afternoons, they spent the day out by the pool, then we all went out to dinner together. As we were seated in the lovely Tahiti-themed restaurant, the waitress asked if I would like a drink. I ordered a Mai Tai (going for the whole experience) and then she turned to my future BIL, asking if he'd like one, as well. He blinked, smiled his gleaming nineteen-year-old smile at not being carded, and said yes.

Sis chimed in, "I'd like some coffee, please."

Waitress turned to her and scolded, "You too young to drink COFFEE!!!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As others have pointed out, there may be good reasons why the restaurant had to see your ID. That said, they handled it extremely poorly. Since it is obvious that you are not under the age of 21, the least they could have done is said something like: "Sorry for the inconvenience. I'm sure you're over 21, but the inspectors have told us (or the new law says, or whatever) that they want to see us check ID from every customer who will be drinking alcohol." This would have done two things. First, it would have explained that they weren't just doing it to break your balls and would have given you a reasonable motivation to comply cheerfully. Second, it would have given you the opportunity to say that you weren't going to be drinking alcohol anyway.

--

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As others have pointed out, there may be good reasons why the restaurant had to see your ID.  That said, they handled it extremely poorly.  Since it is obvious that you are not under the age of 21, the least they could have done is said something like: "Sorry for the inconvenience.  I'm sure you're over 21, but the inspectors have told us (or the new law says, or whatever) that they want to see us check ID from every customer who will be drinking alcohol."  This would have done two things.  First, it would have explained that they weren't just doing it to break your balls and would have given you a reasonable motivation to comply cheerfully.  Second, it would have given you the opportunity to say that you weren't going to be drinking alcohol anyway.

I think this sums it up nicely.

Since I'm from Kansas, the home of some of the nation's most ridiculous liquor laws, I've learned not to bat an eye, no matter what the situation. I could tell you stories that could curl your hair! Surely some of the people on this list are old enough to remember when, on a coast-to-coast flight, all the liquor had to be removed from airline passengers' hands/tables while they were flying over Kansas. :wacko: For those of you who are too young to remember, Kansas was a state in which you could not purchase liquor by the drink --you had to BYOB into private clubs if you wanted to drink. Long story short, the Attorney General (now a nice elderly lawyer who works two doors down from me), who was under fire for doing marijuana raids on kids, but no alcohol enforcement for their parents, raided an Amtrak train for selling liquor by the drink, which was legal in adjacent states. The airlines, not wanting to turn their flights into a sideshow, requested advice for handling liquor when flying over Kansas, and soon the legislature was embarrassed into passing more reasonable liquor laws. So over the years, I've pretty much seen it all.

About 25 years ago, when working as a reporter, I had the pleasure of covering an ABC hearing. One liquor store owner, who was not the subject of my story, was up on charges of selling to minors. I found it interesting, since I'd been in his store purchasing wine 2 weeks before, and he'd demanded 4 ID's - not for proof of age, but so I could write a check for $12!

Now, at age almost-51, when my (4 years younger) husband and I go to a neighborhood restaurant, I'm always given the "senior discount." And he is not. :angry: How I'd love it if someone would card me!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As others have pointed out, there may be good reasons why the restaurant had to see your ID.  That said, they handled it extremely poorly.  Since it is obvious that you are not under the age of 21, the least they could have done is said something like: "Sorry for the inconvenience.  I'm sure you're over 21, but the inspectors have told us (or the new law says, or whatever) that they want to see us check ID from every customer who will be drinking alcohol."  This would have done two things.  First, it would have explained that they weren't just doing it to break your balls and would have given you a reasonable motivation to comply cheerfully.  Second, it would have given you the opportunity to say that you weren't going to be drinking alcohol anyway.

I think this sums it up nicely.

Since I'm from Kansas, the home of some of the nation's most ridiculous liquor laws, I've learned not to bat an eye, no matter what the situation. I could tell you stories that could curl your hair! Surely some of the people on this list are old enough to remember when, on a coast-to-coast flight, all the liquor had to be removed from airline passengers' hands/tables while they were flying over Kansas. :wacko: For those of you who are too young to remember, Kansas was a state in which you could not purchase liquor by the drink --you had to BYOB into private clubs if you wanted to drink. Long story short, the Attorney General (now a nice elderly lawyer who works two doors down from me), who was under fire for doing marijuana raids on kids, but no alcohol enforcement for their parents, raided an Amtrak train for selling liquor by the drink, which was legal in adjacent states. The airlines, not wanting to turn their flights into a sideshow, requested advice for handling liquor when flying over Kansas, and soon the legislature was embarrassed into passing more reasonable liquor laws. So over the years, I've pretty much seen it all.

About 25 years ago, when working as a reporter, I had the pleasure of covering an ABC hearing. One liquor store owner, who was not the subject of my story, was up on charges of selling to minors. I found it interesting, since I'd been in his store purchasing wine 2 weeks before, and he'd demanded 4 ID's - not for proof of age, but so I could write a check for $12!

Now, at age almost-51, when my (4 years younger) husband and I go to a neighborhood restaurant, I'm always given the "senior discount." And he is not. :angry: How I'd love it if someone would card me!

As usual, it couldda been handled better. The waitress should have approached the table for drink orders and if you requested a soft drink, she could have asked when serving your beverage "May I remove your wine glass? Like you, I would have lost it. A decent restaurant is always obligated to exercise discretion.

As

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A little graciousness goes a long way in situations like this.

Once I was careening down the highway when I received a phone call. From Nature.

Pulling off the highway, I stopped in front of a bar and hustled my then 33-year-old body inside. "Diet Coke, please," I asked of the bartender.

"May I see your I.D. please?" he asked. I obliged, hopping about one leg and trying to ignore the urgent call from my bladder.

"Do you have a newer I.D.? The latest I.D.'s have holograms on them. Da' Mayor's office is really being strict about this," he explained politely. "I really appreciate you're being understanding."

"Look, I'll be honest with you," I stammered. "I just want to buy a drink so I can use the bathroom!!"

"Oh! Go ahead!" he laughed and waved me toward the bathroom, which, at this point, looked to me like Shangri-La. After answering Nature's call, I waved good-bye to the bartender and said, "I'll say 'Hi' to Da' Mayor for you!"

Everyone laughed.

There are two sides to every story and one side to a Möbius band.

borschtbelt.blogspot.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Write a complaint letter. I would. It's good for the management to see that the servers are really not doing their job. I agree that there might have been a good reason for them to card you. But that's no excuse to be an ass. People like that should not be working in the hospitality industryu. or at least they should be trained to know what hospitality means.

Follow me @chefcgarcia

Fábula, my restaurant in Santiago, Chile

My Blog, en Español

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since I'm from Kansas, the home of some of the nation's most ridiculous liquor laws, I've learned not to bat an eye, no matter what the situation.  I could tell you stories that could curl your hair!

I was working at Lettuce (major disco/meat market) when the "liquor card" system was finally put to rest and liquor "by the drink" was finally a reality. We had a huge (8' X 4') liquor card which we burned in effigy in the parking lot during the ~30 minutes it took to get everyone out, remove open bottles, replace them with new, unsealed bottles (the stupidity was not going to go down without a fight - it *was* the land of Carrie Nation!) under the watchful eye of ABC agents, then we could let the revelers back in and get on with business. So silly, when I tell people that story they look at me like I am from Mars.

Long story short, the Attorney General (now a nice elderly lawyer who works two doors down from me)

Elderly, no doubt. Nice, I hardly think so.

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have sold beer from a booth at our local outdoor concert event (City Stages) for the last couple of years. Even though it is usually a huge crowd, and a somewhat rowdy bunch as the evenings wear on, I card everybody. Period. Those were my instructions from the organizers. So, to avoid trouble, I do it. I carded Parlaiment's sax player, fer crying out loud.

My usual response if someone refuses or gives me a hard time? I point to the nearest cop (of which there are plenty), and tell the customer that I will sell to them if that police officer says it's OK. Given the penalties in some jurisdictions for selling to an underage customer, or even if you think the booze may be going to someone underage, I'll lose a few sales instead of look at a $500 fine or 30 days in the clink.

Edited by FistFullaRoux (log)
Screw it. It's a Butterball.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Where I live, it is common for people of all ages to be asked for ID. Making a fuss about it just wastes everyone's time. Multiply that by the number of times food servers have to deal with it and I can understand why they get defensive.

I would have either shown ID or been forthcoming in explaining that I didn't intend to drink.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At the local boozeateria they ask for proof from everyone. There's a sign at the start of the checkouts that says "Please Have ID Ready". And they do check everyone - from folks who have obviously been receiving the senior citizens' discount for years to kids who don't look old enough to be out on their own, let alone buy beer. I'm sure it's a lot of CYA on their part, but it's also extremely even handed.

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...