All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.



Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!

7/29/2014

Non Issue

Wal-Mart: Worker wrong to refuse alcohol sale

A Wal-Mart supervisor said Monday that a worker was wrong to refuse to sell alcohol to a 57-year-old Iowa man just because his 15-year-old daughter did not have identification.
"What happened is not consistent with the intent of our policy," said Brian Nick, director of national media relations for the chain. "The last thing you want to do is create an atmosphere where people feel they can't be in the store purchasing things with their children."
Um OK.  Guy goes into store to buy some stuff plus some booze with his daughter.  Got it.  Cashier says no way.  Some how we are supposed to believe that the Wal-Mart cashier is automatically in the wrong. 

Missing from both articles is some very important information that would be helpful to understanding what happened.  I'd like to know is what the cashier saw.  Did the daughter unload the cart?  Did the daughter stand at the register like maybe she was going to pay for it?  Did it look like the daughter was the one making the purchase?  If it did, then the cashier was perfectly in her right to ask for ID, from the daughter.  Did the man who allegedly wanted to buy the booze ask to speak to a manger about the purchase or did he storm off and drum up some bad publicity for Wal-Mart?

Here is how it works for those of you who have never sold alcohol.  The person making the sale is the one responsible for the transaction, not the buyer and not the store.  The person who will pay the $750 fine and/or face jail time and court costs is the cashier.  The cashier won't get the backing of the stores management if s/he sells to a minor.  They will get fired and face the legal music alone. If you're running the register at Wal-Mart, chances are that you don't have all that many upward career options.  Maybe just maybe you need your dead end job.

With that in mind lets take another look at the situation.  Girl comes in with an older guy.  She seems to be a party to the transaction.  They are buying booze.  Because $750 is about half a months pay, and because you know the cops have been doing underage stings and because you need your thankless job, you card the girl.  The girl is underage/has no ID.  So you tell her you can't sell her any alcohol.  The customer gets mad.

So far all of this looks just like a situation with an underage girl trying to get booze and an older guy trying to score on the girl.  The clerk doesn't know the girl is your daughter.  If that is what the cashier saw, and what s/he thought, then guess what, you ain't buying any booze at that register.  Everything you've done looks fishy.  There is zero legal penalty for not giving you the beer.

Now I know the average person working at Wal-Mart isn't going to win a Rhoads Scholarship, beauty contest, or award for most personable person on the planet.  So its possible and even likely you simply had a cashier that was in a bad mood that day.  The way to handle that is to ask for a manager, show them your ID and pay for the purchase.  As it is, it looks more like an attention whore throwing a fit over an imagined insult.   

5 comments:

Susan said...

I don't agree here. First of all, how many kids go with mom or dad shopping? Mine did all the time. If the guy was buying it for the daughter, I doubt she would have gone into the store.
Or she could have gone in, picked out her poison, and then left the store.
Most kids know the drill when they get an adult to buy for them. They vanish.

Secondly, 15 year old kids barely have a clue where they need to stand anywhere without being told. This clerk may have jumped the gun. Or could have inadvertently been nailed in the past for selling to minors. Now clerk jumps overboard the other way. That is too bad the clerk has to foot the bill for the legal problems.

How many clerks have unknowingly sold booze intended for minors who were not even in the store at all?
I would bet that every clerk in America has.

Define "appears" for me also. Because until I get a definition that sounds logical, I stand on my opinion that the clerk was wrong to try assume wrong doing on dad's part.

Or are there facts you are holding back?/s Like the clerk is somebody you know?

Susan said...

If daughter unloaded the cart, she may be just a helpful child, or her dad may have had a problem with lifting, or maybe it was just that she was trying to hurry the situation along.
Depending on the clerk, Walmart can be very slow, snail's pace slow.

Res Ipsa said...

I agree Wal-Mart can be a horrible place to shop. I try to avoid it.

I don't know the people involved. What I do know is that both of the newspaper articles left out any information that would have allowed the reader to make a decision for themselves about what had happened. Instead they chose to go into blame Wal-Mart mode.

Personally I think Wal-Mart deserves most of the flack they get. That said, one cashier made one decision about not selling one customer alcohol. Having set through some of the education classes that the industry has on responsible alcohol sales, and knowing what the laws are like, I can't automatically blame either the cashier or Wal-Wart this time.

Conspicuously absent from the article is anything about:
1. The cashier being rude.
2. Calling a manager to verify ID.
3. Any statements from the dad about exactly what happened or what was said, other than they carded her and not him and wouldn't sell them the booze.
4. Any statement from the cashier about why they wouldn't sell.

Personally I think the first thing someone would complain about was how the cashier treated them and their attitude. There is nothing about that in the story. All they are saying is that she wouldn't sell.

Why didn't she sell?
We are told that the female didn't have ID. That's a great reason. We aren't told if the dad had ID. We aren't told if the dad was sober. If he gave any indication of intoxication (in some states consumption) she can't sell to him. We aren't told why the dad didn't simply ask to see the manager. Maybe there is a reason for leaving that out. Maybe he did ask and the manager refused him as well. Why isn't Wal-Mart telling the press that they have counseled the employee and that they will do better in the future? Maybe its because the employee did the right thing, or maybe no one including the offended customer, knows who the employee is because maybe the guy made the whole thing up to get some freebies for his complaint.

Yes I agree that there are plenty of good reasons that a kid could be shopping and nothing nefarious going on. Maybe that is what happened, then again maybe not.

Susan said...

The dad not being sober would have been a great reason to deny a sale. In Oregon, ever since a horrific accident in Portland almost 25-30 years ago, we have had laws on the books that hold servers/establishments responsible for serving more liquor to obviously drunk people.

That accident that prompted the laws was so horrific Res, that the first responders had to get counseling afterwards. A seriously drunk guy driving at a high rate of speed plowed head on into a young couple, seriously injuring them and killing both the children who were buckled into their carseats correctly. In fact the car was hit so hard that it broke the neck of the infant who was buckled correctly, facing the rear of the car.
It was a bad one. If the guy was drunk then good on Walmart for not selling him more booze.

Res Ipsa said...

I think there is too much information missing from the article to make a decision on what was happening, but to automatically blame Wal-Mart is silly.