Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

June 23, 1988, It's That Easy

Recently a few Sturbridge establishments have had their liquor licenses suspended for a period of time due to their selling liquor to under aged customers. Two of the establishments actually looked a the ID's of the under aged buyers, and still served them.

Now, I can't speak about one of the establishments, but the two that actually looked at the ID's and served the individuals are fair game. The servers were just going through the motions because they can not subtract 21 from 2009 and determine a correct date for the customer to be in order to serve them. They just ask for the ID, and give it that serious, cursory look like they actually are figuring it out in their heads, but have no clue.

Recently, at the Dunkin' Donuts here in Fiskdale the cash register failed to do what it was supposed to do. I had given the Dunkin' Donuts guy a $10.00 bill for my order, and when the machine did not tell him what the change was to return to me he stared at the cash drawer for a good 5-10 seconds before I told him what the change was to be returned. It was if I had snapped him out of a fog. He then counted out the change, thanked me and poured the money into my hand.

Technology is a wonderful thing, but when it takes the place of our common knowledge in such a simple form, one has to wonder what other more advanced forms are being hindered as well?

Many establishments that sell liquor have little sign at point of sale that reads something like, "If you were born after this date, you cannot buy liquor". I think the sign should be facing the person at the register. The buyer already knows how old they are.

Unfortunately, the laws here in the Commonwealth are only designed to punish those that break them, and not for the reason they broke them. If we started to add "stupidity clauses" to our laws, and local by-laws in I don't think it would help, either.

The punishment for the establishments range from a one to two day license suspension depending on their history of infractions. It's not enough.

For a first time offender, maybe it is OK to suspend the license for a day, but for those that have walked this path before, then slam them. Doesn't matter if it was three years ago, with different management or employees, the law is the same regardless, and the establishment should have put in place fail safes after the first misadventure. Like that little sign facing inward, and cash register software that asks for the birth date to be keyed in.

Fines and suspensions can never be too tough, but will never be as tough as seeing little white crosses on our roadsides.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree with you more, I would also like to see not only punishing the establishment but also fining the clerk that sold the liquor to the minor. A bit of personal responsibility would perhaps sharpen their math skills.


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