Monday, October 12, 2009

I fought the law and I won

For those of you who know me from Facebook, you also know that my little c-store was at the center of an alcohol sting by the JOCO sheriffs department.

You see, in order to ensure that we little c-store peons follow the letter of the law, they do random checks. They have kids try to buy alcohol and tobacco who aren't old enough. If we sell it to them, we are fined roughly $2000, the store is fined the same and we instantly lose our jobs. Now, let me point out that I've worked at the store almost two months and still haven't made $2000...just so you know the impact of a fine like this.

So, last week, I'm cruising along and this kid comes up the the counter with a six-pack of Bud Light. I ask for his ID and he happily hands it over. I'm used to selling tobacco so I see the birth date of 1991 (yeah, kids who were born after my high school graduation are legal) and think "okay, no big." Then, as I begin to hand the license back to him, I look at the calendar and pull the license back to me. Not old enough. This is going to be fun.

I told him I couldn't sell him the beer and moved it to the side counter. He they always do...and stormed out. Something that happens on a fairly regular basis.

The next customer steps up to the counter in jeans, a camo sweatshirt and a baseball cap. Conversation went like this:

ME: "What can I do for you tonight?"
CUSTOMER: "I'm with the JoCo Sherriffs Department, and that young man who just left wasn't 21."
ME: "Yes sir, that's why he left and the beer is still here with me. Can I help you?"
SHERIFF: "On behalf of the JoCo Sheriffs Department I want to thank you for ensuring the healthy future of the children of this county by not selling alcohol to minors."

Now, just a side note here. With the things that I've seen at this store, an 18 year old buying some beer is the LEAST of the threats to the children of JoCo. Really? The drugs that were exchanged in our parking lot make a bottle of Bud Light look like a glass of chocolate milk. Way to be a day late and a dollar short jackass.

The sheriff's deputy continued to go on about my "service" to the county and my "outstanding" work. It's not like I found a cure for cancer or came up with the Amber alert. I pissed off a kid and didn't sell him beer...alert the folks on the Nobel committee. He then gave me a pre-printed thank you card to pass along to my manager that heralded my great achievement and went along his merry way. WTF?

So I called my manager to tell him of the sting and so that he can alert other stores. His response to us passing the sting was amazing and it was all I could do to not crack up. You would have thought i said that the Chiefs won the superbowl and he had 47 virgins waiting for him at home. Manager was clapping and yelling "way to go clerk-K!!!" and "that's AWESOME!"

Then he let me know that I'd probably get a bonus from the company for my "amazing" work. Not that I don't like free money...but i did my job. I didn't work an extra shift because a co-worker was sick. I didn't deliver a baby in the parking lot. I didn't discover an error that saved the company a ton of money and liability. I carded someone who was buying alcohol and didn't sell it to them because they weren't old enough.


End of story.

I don't understand, and I never have, the need for companies to over look the things that people do that are "above and beyond" their job description, yet go overboard in the celebration for simply doing what you're paid to do. You reward me every week for doing my's called a paycheck. You really want to reward me, make everyone do their job. Things will be a lot easier.

So there you have it. I'm a decorated member of the community. Please treat me as such.


  1. I'm shocked the JOCO Sheriff's Dept. approaches you right after the no-sale. Other agencies send letters after the fact telling you "good job" and "thanks for keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors." Never mind the fact most kids don't go out and buy their own liquor. They usually get it from somebody they know that is of legal age. By the way, good job and thanks for keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors. ;)

  2. *amen*

    I think it's a new mentality, this idea of hand-holding (likely ushered in by the Gen Yers - don't get mad if you ARE one, I'm just missed being one by a few years myself), patting on the head, "good girl" sort of BS. Frankly it makes me sick and I refuse to operate that way in my company. You must be kidding me; and I use the EXACT line you do, the reward is the paycheck, anything above and beyond that we'll see but you don't get a gold g damn star just for showing up on time.

    oh and congrats on doing your damn job.

  3. /sings "Proud to be an American"

  4. Hey, if that kid comes in again, maybe you could fix him & Backwoods up!