Yesterday was the last day of finals for UGA students and most other colleges in this town. Which meant that plenty of people graduated this morning. Which obviously means downtown was packed. If you're graduating college at 8am the next morning, the best thing you could do would be to go downtown and get tanked. And then there were the rest of the college kids that just wanted to get tanked because they were done with the semester. Needless to say, last night night was more like a Friday or Saturday night (traditionally the busiest days of the week at the bars).
People must think door guys are stupid. I mean, I DO stand at a door all night and look at IDs, and I do this on a fairly regular basis, so the rational person might think that their creative and original little ploy to pass back IDs would work as if I've never thought of the idea. Last night alone I checked an ID, then to my amazment, because it's never, ever, ever happened to me before (insert sarcasm), I checked the exact same ID not 5 minutes later, but a different person was handing it to me. Gee...I wonder how that happened?
I've checked IDs of people who, when I hand their ID back to them, simply turn around and hand it to their friend behind them. Are you fucking kidding me?? I checked an ID once and not a second later it came flying over my head from within the bar to a person waiting in line. Just blatant passbacks like that boggle the mind. At least put a little effort into it....geez.
Then I checked an ID in which I knew the person on the ID, however, the person handing it to me was not that person. That's always fun. It's even more fun when the person I know comes up to me later to get their ID back. WHAT THE FUCK DUDE? Seriously...don't do that shit, because it does two things to me: 1) It pisses me off and 2) Confirms my belief that no customer is to be trusted, no matter how much you think you may know them.
I would have been much less offended if he just came up to me and asked to get his buddy in without an ID. I would have told him no, but still...fuckin' shit. Oh well, they got caught, better luck next time.
Anytime I get a noticably taller or shorter person at the door, I make sure to check the height on the ID. This is always fun because around this town, it rarely matches. A girl who couldn't have been more than 5 feet tall gave me an ID that said she was 5'7. Funny. A guy who was at least 6'5 gave me an ID that says he was 5'8.
The lack of effort these little 18-20 year olds put forth to get into a bar to drink underage just drives me crazy. And (of course) to top it off, they get pissed at me because I won't let them in. I just don't understand the thinking of these little inebriated fuckheads.
Which brings me to what I really wanted to say. If you know anything about Athens and the downtown drinking scene, you would know that at least 50% of the kids down there are underaged. That is a very conservative estimate. This means that half of your potential customers would be illegal to let in the bar. This puts the average bar owner in a very uncomfortable moral dilemma. Which translates into how a door guy/ID checker/bouncer/whatever works at the door. If the owner wants to get every person possible through the door regardless, then it is then up to the door guy to break the law in order for the bar to be busy and profitable. It sucks to be put in this position. I should know. If you are strict at the door then the bar risks not being busy by turning practically everyone away, thus alienating plenty of potential customers because they're scared at getting rejected or their ID taken up. I know for a fact that some bars around here will take anything and let you right in. Some bars (like the one I work at now) try their best to be strict on IDs with very few exceptions.
The fact is that most bars don't give a shit about underaged kids drinking in their bar. They are only concerned about the cops staging a successful sting at their bar and having to pay a hefty fine and risk losing their liquor license. That is a fact. When the cops do a sting at one bar downtown, every fucking bar around here knows about it within 15 minutes. It's a great system to be warned about cops, but I find myself now not really giving a fuck if cops are out doing stings because I know I'm doing my job the best way I can.
But I also find myself straddling the fence in terms of what should be done in a bar about this issue. I have no trouble being strict on IDs, but I certainly can give someone some leeway if their ID expired last week or the picture doesn't look exactly like the person handing it to me. It would be ignorant of me to not admit that underaged people are in my bar on a regular basis, but I can say with certainty that we try our best to keep them out.
And I also continue trying my best not to kill annoying drunk frat boys. But that's another story.