Sunday, 11 October 2009

Keep your Friends Close, and your ID Closer.

“Yes please?”
“2 pints of Fosters, love.”
“Sure, can I just see some ID from you please?”
“I’m fucking 32, love!”
“Congratulations on your boyish good looks. Can I see your ID please?”



[Pic courtesy of The Young Conservatives]

The conversation I often have with the clientele who frequent the pub that I work in. It’s not so much the swearing that irritates me, as the blatant disregard for my request. I know it seems like a pain, but really how difficult is it to take your ID everywhere you go? You always have your driving license on you anyway – what makes it so abhorrent that I’d ask to see it before giving you a pint of sweet release?

Sometimes I feel that it boils down to this country’s obsession with believing in conspiracy theories. For some reason, everybody would rather believe that their movements are being tracked, that their ID is being used to check up on the movements of the public. That somehow people who work in the public sector are all in on this culture of paranoid stalkage. That we are asking for ID simply to irritate the masses, and encourage them to believe that a nationwide system of doled-out ID cards would be a better, more sensible solution. Well, if it is a conspiracy, nobody’s had the common decency to let me in on the secret. I was under the impression that the only reason we simperingly and sickeningly apologetically ask the public for ID is because if we don’t the police will fine us a grand, and we’ll get the sack. So you see, it isn’t all about you. I couldn’t give a shit about who you are or why you want a drink. I’m making sure the drunken proles don’t rob me of my post grad savings account.

The reason for this latest outbreak of despair on behalf of the human race as a whole has everything to do with this insightful news story from – who else? – The Observer. In a surprising Daily Mail-style rallying of the chumps, a non-story has become one of the most talked about topics on CiF because of implications that our Lives are Being Run for us, and this is simply Political Correctness Gone Mad. With a dash of government bashing and general litigious plans for good measure. Oh, and one commenter actually considered boycotting Morrison’s. As seems to be swiftly and depressingly becoming my catch phrase – let’s all fucking calm down a bit, yeah? Take a deep breath; push your swivelling, indignant eyes back into your face and think rationally about what you’re saying. Do you really honestly think that having to prove your age to buy alcohol is such a terrible thing? Do you really feel that the girl in question was treated unfairly because she wasn’t going to drink the wine? Let’s step back and look at this objectively – I know how hard it must be to imagine a middle-class child partaking in underage drinking, so firstly we must all take emotion out of the story. If you were the shop assistant, what would you do? Personally, I’d see the alcohol and ask for ID from both shoppers. It’s my job, I have to do it, common sense prevailing or not. In fact, to me it would be common sense to check for ID, since this is company policy, and you wouldn’t want to lose your poxy part-time job for the sake of a bottle of wine. Or maybe you’re the girl – embarrassed but understanding. You probably have a part-time job too, and understand the silliness of some of the rules. You hate that your mother has got so loud and “Well I Never in All My Life!” while a queue backs up behind you, and you’re less impressed that it has been taken to the national press. You’re 17; it’s understandable that you might be having some wine. After all, that’s not illegal in your own home.

We complain about the State of Britain on a daily basis. We demonise kids and blame their parents for the breakdown of society. We think of the average 15 year old, and all that springs to mind is a group of intimidating youths drinking Strongbow outside the local corner shop, riding their stupid little bikes round and round the pavement. “Something must be done!” we claim, tears in our eyes as we remember the peaceful, beautiful, harmonious Britain it never really was. Binge drinking, underage drinking, alcoholism; some of the main bogeymen who threaten our wonderful country. I’m not sure how “Something must be done” has transferred into “This is totally ridiculous, you can’t even buy alcohol without your driving license anymore”, but it seems to me that we want everything to be changed with no cost to us or our minor freedoms. Who actually cares that ID cards might be rolled out? I mean, seriously? Any information the government might want form us is already saved up somewhere; probably in your medical records, criminal records, registry offices, work history, Census etc, etc, etc. What makes you think you’re so bloody interesting that the government gives a shit about you anyway? You’re a tiny pleb; a small, insignificant worker for which they will have to pay a pension when you become useless. That is all. I’m sorry to say it, but you’re not as fascinating and important as you like to think you are. If the recession hasn’t taught you that the government do not care about you, then I don’t know how else to prove it. Just do me a favour – take your fucking ID card out with you next time you’re buying stuff that could potentially kill you. Believe it or not, you’re being asked for it so that the problems we already have as a society don’t get any worse. The least you can do is be mature enough to quietly accept this and go about your daily life. There are much worse things to be concerning yourself with. Like I said before, have a sit down and take some deep breaths.

2 comments:

the_man_in_the_middle said...

I have just got a new biometric passport. It's got a chip in with all my details and an antenna so it can send and receive data. Apparently, at certain airports, instead of going to the passport check gate, I can just go to the face recognition scanner and it'll talk to my passport in my pocket and then let me through. Kinda 1984, but funky 'Star Trek' shit none the less. Jealous?

I think it's really funny when...

a) they pour you a pint / open a bottle then ask for ID and you don't have any.
b) you ask the bar staff for ID as you don't think they're old enough to serve you.

Katie said...

Shut up....is that real? Because I want one of those! Sounds so awesomely futuristic.

1. 4.
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