‘Challenge 25’ is quite simply the most ludicrous and infuriating corporate initiative I have *EVER* encountered.
Now I’ll add a disclaimer to start; I am in no way advocating smoking in any way, shape or form; it is quite possibly the silliest addiction/habit one could possibly have (being addicted to cramming lemon curd up your bum whilst singing Nessun Dorma not withstanding) It’s expensive, dangerous etc. etc. yadda yadda yadda….
I do though, so I am stuck with it and have been for some time, throughout being id’d for not looking 16, then 18, then being ‘Challenged’ for not looking 21 to the present day wherein major supermarkets have made the bizarre decision to turn away people that don’t look over 25 years of age for a product you only need to look 18 to legally buy.
I have been stung with this about a dozen times over the past 2 months and it’s inception has coincided with me losing my only form of ID; which is infuriating beyond belief.
AND. I. HAVE. HAD. ENOUGH.
Here is a sample of the dialogue that got me thrown out of a Sainsways recently:
(Please be advised that I had been knocked back by 3 other shops at this point and as such was at the end of my already short tether)
G: 20 Marlbert and Butsons please
S: (Turning to get them, my withered lungs swelling with joy and anticipation, before pausing and turning back)
Do you have any ID?
G: Are you joking? This is getting ridiculous, I don’t have any ID on me, no. *BUT* I am 26 years of age and as such didn’t think I would need any to buy a product I have been legally old enough to buy for 10 years.
S: Well I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t ask, and I have now…
G: But it’s mental, how old do you think I look, do you think I look 18?
S: I don’t think you look 25
G: That wasn’t the question, do you think I look 18?
S: Well, yeah… but I need to make sure you look 25.
G: (Getting a tad tetchy now) NO. YOU. DON’T. I only legally need to look 18, you have just said you think I do now can you please sell me some cigarettes?
S: Not unless you can prove you are over 25 I’m afraid.
G: (shouting a little now) But I don’t need to be 25! I *AM* but I don’t need to look 25! What happens if someone comes in and produces ID saying they are 19? Do they get turned away?
Do you not see how ludicrous this initiative is? I simply want some cigarettes, I have been to three shops now and been turned away because of this BULLSHIT…
S: (upon hearing the cuss, sees an out and calls for the manager) The manager is on his way, you can leave or take it up with him; I will not be discussing it with you any longer.
G: Oh for *FUCK’S* sake (exeunt stage left)
Now, I know my behaviour was unacceptable, but this is happening to me and others I know more and more frequently.
The following comments will be ignored:
– Take it as a compliment
(NO. I didn’t ask for compliments, I asked for cigarettes and I fail to see how looking like a child at the age of 26 is a good thing, I am not Dorian Gray)
– Get some ID
(I shouldn’t have to, I clearly look over 18 and as such should not have to prove it to spotty 16 year old students)
– Stop smoking
(This initiative will not beat me, I was contemplating stopping before it’s inception, but this has only served to make me dig my heels and lungs in)
Anyway… Challenge 25 *IS* bullshit. But that level of anger is quite tiring for someone who’s lung capacity is in the pipette category… As such I am off for a lie down.
(This rant originally appeared on Tales of Misanthropia)