Originally Posted: 2007-05-31 6:54am
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favorite this post Can I See Your ID? (the door) hide this posting unhide

I am a doorman at a neighborhood bar. This is not a high-security establishment. There are no earpieces or metal detectors. Just me, a bar stool, and my crossword puzzle. It's my job to sit here for 10 hours straight and make sure that everyone in here has an ID and that it isn't expired. The pay sucks and it's boring as hell but hey I'm getting paid to do crossword puzzles and I now get the hookup whenever I come here. If you've never done it before, here are some things you might not know about how to interact with guys like me...

It's not up to me.

That's the biggest A number 1 thing you need to keep in mind. I hate the whole ID thing just as much as you do. It's stupid and Orwellian and total overkill. I believe that anyone reasonably 21 looking should be able to get a beer no questions asked and no hassle. But this is America, and I don't think we ever really got over prohibition. You have MADD and the "think of the children" brigade to thank for the police state conditions at your favorite watering hole. The teetotallers keep crying that it needs to be harder for kids to get alcohol, and the fines keep going up, and the bars keep getting more paranoid. We hear horror stories of ABC coming into a bar and carding everyone inside, then when someone doesn't have it, the bar gets shut down, fined tens of thousands of dollars, and the entire staff goes to jail for the weekend. It is fucking ridiculous but unfortunately it's what we have hanging over our heads, so no I can't let you in even though you're bald, even though your expired license still has your birthday, even though you have to go back so far to get it, even though you just got your wallet stolen, even though it's risky to carry your passport, it's not going to happen. I'm sorry. If it were up to me I would, but it isn't, so please don't keep arguing with me. You could talk to the manager but he'll just tell you the same thing, and I can't leave my post to go get him anyway.

This all goes triple for you, Mr. Lawschool. No I can't quote the DC alcohol laws from memory, all I know is that they're designed to instill a culture of fear in barstaff across the city and they're working. If you're such a fucking hotshot why don't you go argue with the alcohol control board and help us all out.

So yeah it sucks but there's nothing any of us can do about it. Just get used to it. Have your ID. Have it out. Show it to me. Go drink. I know you're 25 and your job sucks and you feel old and you're so sick of getting carded, but it's happening. Buck up, kiddo: You're still young. Maybe you're 40 and it really is ridiculous I'm carding you. I think so too. A more accurate statement is it's ridiculous the city is making the bar make me card you. Sorry. Just let me see it and don't be an asshole about it. And don't quiz me on it to try to prove I didn't really look. I don't memorize shit, and I don't do the math. I look for a number below 1986, a number above 2007, and match the photo. Nice and efficient. You've succeeded in proving only that you are a prick.

It's not up to me. Remember that and you and I are going to get along 1000% better. After that there's really just a couple pet peeves that I'd like to ask you to work on...

Don't count on being a regular.

You used to come here all the time. You totally know the owner, what's his name, Dave. Where's the usual door guy? He got fired, and unfortunately for you this high-turnover position doesn't come with a list of regulars and their head shots. If you come here so much it shouldn't be so hard to figure out when a doorman is new. You should have your ID anyway. Show it to me, and if you're so proud of being a regular, introduce yourself, but don't be surprised if it takes a few times to really remember. Again if you're such a barfly you should understand that by now.

Don't tell me where the fucking birthdate is.

Even with an ID from a state I don't see too often, I've probably already found it and I'm looking for the expiration date, or I'm double checking something that looks odd to me. I'm not an idiot and you'll get your beer in a second. Chill the fuck out.

Don't try to be funny.

Every ten minutes, some idiot makes the "oh don't let my friend in she has a fake" joke as if I've never heard it before. I usually joke back "you know this is like the airport, I have to take that seriously." Eventually I'm going to just go ahead and not let your friend in. Consider yourself warned. ...and not funny.

I don't remember you.

I see hundreds of faces every night. Each for only a couple seconds. If you come outside for a smoke or a phone call, don't breeze past me and then be shocked when I ask to see your ID again, especially if you left it inside. Simple solution: just be a good sport and show it to me again. If that's really such a big deal to you, a simple "hey I left my ID inside and I'm stepping out for a second" as you come out the door is usually all it takes to actually get you remembered.

Don't ask me what it's like inside.

I'm out here too, buddy. Your guess is as good as mine.

Please use discretion when trying to make smalltalk with me.

I'm stuck here. Depending on my mood and my first impression of you, some smalltalk from a stray smokebreaker is either a welcome distraction or a major annoyance. Like most social interactions, you're gonna have to read between the lines and figure out what's appropriate. If I put down my book/crossword puzzle/gameboy/whatever and engage the conversation, you're in. If I keep giving you one word answers and going back to whatever I was doing, go bother someone else. Also, if I'm obviously injured, please don't ask what I did to my arm. I'm already sick of telling my friends the same story. I definitely don't want to repeat it for hundreds of strangers. And don't you dare try to help with my crossword unless you're cute and you're trying to sleep with me.


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