It was the day before my godfather's 40th birthday. So I was shopping for a suitable gift. Among other things I thought he might like a couple of bottles of good wine as he is a bit of a
So I went into a wine shop and quietly began browsing around. I was carefully reading labels and weighing up my options. It took me about 15 minutes to find two bottles that I thought he would like - the prices of which were about £10 each.
I took the bottles up to the counter and the guy gave me a snooty look.
(Okay, so it was a moderately posh independant wine-shop and I was wearing biker boots, faded jeans and a t-shirt but there was no need for that look.)
Having given me an insultingly slow once-over he asked for ID.
Okay, fair enough, even now at the age of 24 I am told I look young and get carded a lot... And I certainly don't want anyone getting into trouble or losing their jobs because they served someone underage who was simply trying it on. So I good-naturedly took my DL out of my wallet where I had it ready for if/when he asked and handed to him.
He took it, examined it, flipped it carelessly onto the counter and told me it was unacceptable.
He told me it didn't look like me, he won't take it as proof of ID for the sale, and I need an alternate form of photo ID like a passport before he sells me anything.
Okay, 1. I am actually very distinctive looking, my DL photo is a damn good likeness, and it has never been refused or even queried elsewhere in the 7 years I have had it and 2. who automatically carries their passport with them when they go shopping?
So, getting visibly a bit annoyed (but not rude) I point out to him that I am also carrying bank cards, credit cards, store cards, gym membership etc in the same name as on the DL which proves I am of age...
He just gives me a dirty look and repeats that he is not going to serve me.
(What, does he think I stole all those cards?)
So I storm out, but I was still determined to get those wines... and me un-fairly denied what I want is not a pretty forgiving thing.
I go get my mum (who was having lunch with a friend of hers while I shopped) and when she has finished eating I persuade her come back to the shop with me.
I get her to pick out the same two bottles and she goes up to pay for them while I loiter behind her.
The guy tells her that he isn't going to serve her either if she is just going to give the alcohol to me. My mum levels him with a icy gaze, and tells him that her daughter is 22 (so has been legal to drink for 4 years) and already provided perfectly acceptable ID. She points out reasonably that an underage kid just wanting to get drunk would not be picking out fairly expensive red wines when they could get about two litres of cider or alcopop for about a quarter of the price at another local store.
The guy does not look impressed.
She then mentions that her solictor has his offices just across the street...
So the guy wimps out and serves her, giving me evil looks the whole time.
As he gave in at the first mention of a solicitor he pretty much confirmed that he obviously was just giving me a hard time over nothing. Jackass.
The best thing though?
My mum was so incensed about what happened that she told everyone she has ever met about what terrible service she got at that shop, and how nobody should ever shop there again... Unfortunately for that guy my mum is a very sociable creature and she probably knows enough people to fill a football stadium.
His shop closed down about six months after that, and I like to think my big-mouthed mother had a hand in it.
Mean it may be that I was happy to see him go out of business. But that guy really wound me up. He had no reason to refuse me service at all, it was pure undeserved rudeness.