I was recently shopping for groceries in a big box retail store that begins with the letter “W” and ends with “mart”. I was waiting in the checkout line and was watching the scene unfold in front of me.
The family in front of me were making their purchases and the last item was a jug of wine. The cashier was unable to ring the wine through so she called for assistance. It came in the form of a smallish, mid 60’s woman with glasses and power in her pocket. She approached the family. A male, a female and a younger woman holding a baby. Before she could ring it through she asked ALL of them for ID. They didnt’ all have it so she refused to sell them the wine.
As I watched I made eye contact with the customer and we looked at each other as if to say WTF? The manager proceeded to inform the customer that they could not sell it without ID for everyone. This was she stated “ W..M Policy” which was followed by “If you walk outside and a policeman is outside it could cause trouble for us ” Really?
Now let’s analyze this… would a policeman interact on the suspicion of an unopened bottle of wine, possibly in a sack? Do they now possess X-ray eyes that see through sacks? Is everyone subject to this kind of scanning? I have never been “party scanned” before in all my years of visiting this store. If we are going to ID entire families for alcohol, I wonder what the “policy” is for something like guns?
I believe not, You see the family in front of me was from another country, and that I believe was the source of the extensive overkill on the ID process. I don’t believe it had anything to do with “policy”. It was simply an employee wielding the sword of power over people she didn’t like. It felt wrong and unjust and I wanted to step up and defend the family.
I phoned the store manager as soon as I got outside, I was told that it is policy under the discretion of the manager/cashier and that no it wasn’t posted. I responded that if it wasn’t a across the board but more of a Willy / Nilly policy can it hardly be called a policy? Her response was that we have 1000s of policies we can’t post them all. I understand, but this one is big, because if you require a TSA level scan for the family, but sell it to me with a wink, I might think you were being unfair, prejudice or racist.
Yes, it bothered me that much, because I felt that it was not valid and it was degrading to the family and without cause.
So I stood up for them in the best way that I knew how, as a fellow human seeking fair treatment for all, yes even at a discount store..
Stand up for injustice today.