I stand outside a sushi bar, card people, and then stamp their hands so the people inside know they are of legal age to imbibe alcohol. No stamp means no alcohol. Actually, I'm employed by a security company, and in this case, the company needed a guy to work at a local sushi bar, so I got the job. When people walk up to go in, I always say the same thing: "Hi, how are you doing? Do you have your IDs on you tonight, please?" I mean, you're supposed to always have your IDs on you anyways, but I always say "please." I have a chair, but it's backless and really hard to sit in for a long time—one girl even called it a "work hazard." I needed solid hours, and this job has it. I do this three and a half to four hours per night, three times per week. It keeps me from going out, but I still get to hang out and meet cool people. And I don't have to spend any money to do it. I've run into old friends and a lot of people I know from around town. I look at their ID, and I see where they live, and I say, "Hey, do you know so-and-so?" People really chat, usually when they come out to smoke, and they sometimes ask about me. It's kinda cool because each night can be better than the last. Some folks give me their business cards, then some others bring me a piece of sushi, that kind of thing. One night, I got to practice my French on this cute girl who handed me her French passport. Last night, though, there was this bachelorette party, and the bride-to-be got a little drunk and pulled down her top while she was dancing on top of the sushi bar. Then she tried pulling off her friend's top, and that pretty much ended it. I was talking to some friends of mine at the time, and they saw it all. But usually it's just "Hi, can I see your ID, please?" That's it. My rule on opening the door is only if the people are polite or if the girl is cute. It can be rough because I can only drink soda, which I get for free, so that's cool, but the smokers who come out all have had beer or sake. There have been some real pricks, but on the whole, the people are nice and stoked to be carded. Some guys look at me when I ask to see their IDs and say, "What, don't I look 21?! My God!" But I'm starting to get a kick out of them, and I'm just glad I'm not in their world.
—As told to Anthony Pignataro
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