Adrian spins the tale of an identification crisis in Aldi

Photo: Creative Commons
So far, It’s been cold and rainy in Scotland but the demon drink has kept my heart warm, overloaded my calorie count, and turned my head-a-spinning. I stumble around in the nights buying alcohol with my biometric residence permit, proof of age since I don’t have a provincial, and I need it. Let’s face it, I don’t look old, and the cashiers ID me every time. I can’t even grow a beard to look older. As is common knowledge, the facial hair of an Asian looks like the curly locks sandwiched between the navel and the groin, so if I want to keep my pride and my buzz I’ve pretty much got no choice but to use my visa – growing
pubes on my chin will do me no good.
But, Aldi, dear old Aldi, rejected my visa. Heck, they rejected every single form of identification I provided for them.
We don’t accept your kind of cards around here, the comely cashier said, proudly informing me that she was an expert at this sort of identification, and had been working at the palatial edifice of Aldi for over a year and a half. I asked her that surely she would accept my visa, at the very least. But no, in all her time working there she had never accepted someone’s UK government issued identification before.
I get it. You want to be safe, you know how young even the oldest Asians look, fair enough. But never before have I been barred from alcohol purchase in a bloody supermarket, despite three forms of identification, and of all places where would they not serve me but in Aldi, the struggling student’s haven in a town
where buying a shitty cocktail costs you a fiver.
So I fought for my case. I checked all the other supermarkets. All of them accepted my visa. What was it then? Was Aldi ethical? Was I simply wasting my time on something minuscule? Should I complete my essay that’s three days late? No. I needed to confront them. I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night with this injustice weighing down my soul.
I went back in a fury, ran around Aldi looking for a staff member until I bumped into this bearded bear-like attendant and sheepishly asked him “if I could see the manager, please.” Took them fifteen minutes to find him: I explained my grievance and asked him if I could read the store policy – to get it down in writing. Took him another ten minutes for him to find the policy, it almost felt like those times I message a girl, and she reads my message but doesn’t reply.
The anticipation was making me sweaty and nervous. But, alas, he did produce the document and I read through it, closely, the same way I read my tutorial readings every first week of semester. There it was, under “accepted identification”, the biometric residence permit.
I showed Mr. Manager the policy but he told me he would stick by his clerk’s decision, for some odd reason, despite the fact that she was wrong. So I decided to ask him about Aldi’s politics, I asked him if he had ever seen this sort of identification before and had he been training his staff to ban it all this time. No and yes, he replied, with his plastic grin and five pound aftershave, a miasma of middle-management reeking from his chest.
I asked him if he accepted passports but not government issued visas, and does that mean that he doesn’t approve of the immigration policy of the UK at the moment. “Yes, wait, what?” He replied. “Ahah! Got you!” I yelled. Awkward silence ensued.
But, in all seriousness, Aldi is known to be very strict about their identification, but in a town where everyone is perpetually in alcohol induced bliss, should the staff not be trained to simply be more competent with identifying what a proper card is? And the rudeness with which they replied to me was astounding, as if I was some underage child trying to buy beer for his two other friends so that they could look cool at the popular kids’ party.
I must say, I expected a lot more from the most exclusive supermarket in town, that is for certain. But apparently the staff can’t even identify what a biometric residence permit is. The same card that every single immigrant student with a Tier 4 Student Visa carries around. Bravo, Aldi.


  1. I feel your pain I had the same struggle when I was at uni! Good news is when you’re 40 you can still pass for a student :o). Then you’ll thank your genes.

    Do you write blog posts often? I might have a blogging opportunity for you, if you’re interested get in touch –

  2. Ok, so Im a very concerned citizen. This ignorant attack at an innocent supermarket is nothing short of absolutely shocking!

    Allow me to take you young Sir step by step as to why i believe this is such a ridiculous posting.

    1. It is not the fault of a company or organisation that you cannot grow what you believe to be sufficient facial hair. personally i think you should rock that curly look with pride and not have the lack of self confidence to shy away from your genetics! or if you feel it would be equally sufficient you can show your snail trail in a desperate attempt to show that you can grow at least some sort of body hair! if you claim the two look identical then i dont see why this wouldn’t be a sure fire way to catch the cashiers attention and prove your point!.

    2. If you put as much effort into your complaining and ranting over buying alcohol as you did writing your overdue essays you might actually have a chance at passing university! the fact that you require booze in order to function is actually called alcoholism and is a serious condition! i recommend a doctor immediately and staying off the drink! will save you money, time and your health! amazingly this will also end your I.D conundrum! happy days! 😀

    3. Im sure you feel very worldly and educated being a “st Andrews university student” as most of you say that with a very proud grin and a hint of arrogance as if you better than the rest of the scum out there in the real world. Thinking you know the licensing laws and alcohol purchasing laws more than the people who are trained in said fields is a bloody joke! knock yourself down a few pegs and realize that the people you are questioning know exactly what they are talking about. every single year a fresh batch of arrogant, self obsessed egotistical students flood into town and attempt to purchase booze and every year is the same story! they all think they know best and dont understand why their particular form of I.D has been refused.
    Coming on to part 4

    4. government or no government, Aldi has its own policies on what it does and does not accept as form of I.D. I now does accept the Visa you will be happy to know as their policies have changed. but before it was only UK driving licences and passports! the reason for this is because they are notoriously difficult to forge and are easily recognized and everyone knows what they look and should look like. for the most part and can easily be confirmed by the police as real or fake. in terms of your I.D and most other they are easily forged and easily faked! so to keep Aldi safe they chose a strict policy!

    5. I personally have had many dealing with the staff in store and they are very friendly, FAST!, and efficient in what they do and how they deal with customer queries! the fact that it took someone 25 mins to ultimately answer your question is..well..sorry to say..Bullshit!
    I have also met and talked to the manager on multiple occasions and at no point have i ever noticed he has had plastic surgery so i cant say his smile is plastic, and i noticed that his aftershave is in actual fact. Hugo Boss, which is an expensive fragrance! however you might not feel this is the case as many St Andrews students are in fact, rich..or at least. their daddy is. But it would then go to say! if you are so well off then why bother about the few extra pounds it would cost to get a tesco brand vodka instead! Please dont assume that he was being Rude, but if you were asked the same question for the millionth bloody time by a young student such as yourself would you not answer with a little bit of resentment in your voice, and a bit of a fake smile? because the amount of times they have to explain to students is amazing! and thats just from me being there shopping and seeing it. cant imagine how many the number actually is!

    Also if you were a manager and you had a loyal hard working employee who you never have any problems with has a argument with a customer. who`s side would you take? the customer you know to be wrong or your staff member? I personally would stand by my staff member 100% of the time!

    6. I noticed you called one of the staff members “Bearded Bear-like”. I feel i should also inform you sadly ignorant self that it is Aldis policy that no member of staff is allowed any facial hair of any kind ever! so the fact that he was Bearded is just a “Bear” faced lie.

    7. I have full faith that they can identify what I.D it is. Knowing the I.D and accepting it are two totally different subjects all together!

    “I must say, I expected a lot more from the most exclusive supermarket in town, that is for certain. But apparently the staff can’t even identify what a bio-metric residence permit is. The same card that every single immigrant student with a Tier 4 Student Visa carries around. Bravo, Aldi”

    Well Sir i must say. i expected a lore more from a most exclusive student in town, that is for certain. But apparently the young people of this town cant identify the difference between knowing and not accepting due to policies that are required by law to follow. the same I.Ds that all of you attempt to use and fail for the same reasons! you would think after the millionth time you would cotton on to the idea.

    Bravo, Adrian.

    (there are a hundred more things i could say but just tired! so very tired..i need a drink now! might go down to Aldi and buy myself a beer or two! 😀 )

  3. tl;dr: student with the appearance of a pre-pubescent teenager whines and complains that his form of ID is rejected.

    This article is frankly embarrassing, and reads as if you’re having a temper tantrum. Unlike any other rational adult who would have left the issue in the store, you have taken it upon yourself to publish an article that is a very childish attempt to get back at Aldi in some way. And what does it matter if the manager was wearing “five pound aftershave”? What does this add to the issue about your Id being refused? Your immature, cringe-worthy attempt to belittle the manager has shown that you’re a bit of an elitist, arrogant arsehole, feeling the need to point out that the man’s aftershave was not to your taste.

    Furthermore, it is not your place to decide whether or not the clerk was wrong. They are quite within their rights to decline you a sale. You are not in a position to tell members of staff when they are right or wrong.

    You claim that “the rudeness with which they replied to me was astounding”, but to be quite honest you probably drove the members of staff in store up the wall. You’re an arrogant writer who’s complaining of a non-issue. Don’t you have actual studying to do Adrian, perhaps your essay that is late?

    Welcome to the real world pal, where all of life’s problems don’t have to be discussed on the internet. Stop embarrassing yourself and write an interesting, constructive article next time.


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