Everything Geraldton received a letter this week from a concerned parent. It essentially stated that a local deli has been selling cigarettes to minors, including their own daughter. The author allegedly sent her daughter in to buy cigarettes to test the deli out, and they them to her. It's been reported to the authorities, who hopefully are investigating.
But the letter reminded me of my own experience working at a servo in Geraldton several years ago. I had the unenviable task of guessing people's age who wanted to purchase tobacco products.
Almost every time someone who looked quite young was asked by myself for their ID, they would get abusive. I have no idea why, but it was almost always women. The guys seemed quite chill about it.
On several occasions, the abusive female would reluctantly show her ID, flabbergasted that anyone could think she was potentially 17, only to show she was barely 18. I would point out how close to 18 she was, nevertheless she would remain offended that I didn't think she looked 25.
One time the woman was 18 by 2 days. 2 DAYS! And STILL she was abusive towards me for daring to ask for her ID.
Fortunately, I had a wonderful boss at the time, who basically said if anyone treats you that way, don't serve them at all. It gave me no end of pleasure to kick them out of the store empty handed. I just wasn't paid enough to deal with their crap.
Another time a young woman who couldn't present her ID and left angry hurling insults at me came back with a man claiming to be her husband. He in turn started abusing me for not selling his wife cigarettes, presented his own ID, and demanded cigarettes. Of course, I kicked them both out.
But I realised then what a difficult job selling tobacco products is. I'll be honest, many people I see selling cigarettes are young, and may not have the strength of character to want to square up with abusive teenagers and young adults all day long, who act incensed that you don't think they look like a retiree.
If ya'll could chill out and just take it as a compliment that you look young or something, that would be great.