A trip to the local libation proprietor

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My father is the only person in the world that doesn't think he's an alcoholic. He isn't unique; he's a cliché. If you saw him you'd think he was homeless. He's been detained many times for public intoxication. His driver's license was revoked a decade ago. He's lost several jobs for showing up drunk.

It is difficult for me to confront him about his drinking, but, I've found the courage many times. Not every time. It's exhausting. It drags me down.

That is why I understand that it is difficult for someone who confronts people like him every day in their occupation to do what's right.

On Saturday I met up with my father. He had been drinking and could barely talk or walk - it was like watching a marionette take steps. We went to a grocery store. My father, unsurprisingly, veered into the adjoining liquor store. He collected several cans of Faxe and asked me to buy them. He was convinced they wouldn't serve him in his state. I managed the heart to refuse.

So, he took his chances with the cashier. My father was unintelligible. He tried to put his debit card into the scanning wand. He was without a doubt, by any stretch of the imagination, lit like a torch.

On the way into the store I wanted to stop him but I didn't. I lost my nerve. I left it to the employees to do what I should have. It's their job, after all, to not serve someone that's already drunk.

You served him like any well-meaning human with a heart of gold would help any drunk homeless-looking man in need. But, that sort of thing rarely happens, if ever. This was not the situation it should have happened.

What's worse, you were visibly annoyed by him and wanted him to leave - which was not quick enough for you - BUT, not before you got his money. Then he's out of your hair. Someone else's problem. My problem. Everyone else's.

You took advantage of my father. You brought him a little bit closer to his death even if he's mostly to blame. Your job is to help people help themselves to know when they've had enough. I know it's hard. I know it's difficult to turn away a customer. But please, please, please just try to do the right thing next time.

I could have got your name. I could have reported you. But I didn't because, fuck, we've all done something we shouldn't have. We've all been there. I don't want you to lose your job over it. I don't even want you to get in trouble over it. I just want you to change.

This is not the first time I've seen this happen to my father. It won't be the last time. I know it happens every single day to countless other people out there.

IF SOMEONE IS ALREADY DRUNK don't sell them any more alcohol.

It is very difficult for people to get the help they need with such callous, tacit, systematic enabling. It fucking hurts. It kills me every time fucking time. —Public in Frustration

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