Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Selling New Albany by the pound? Hey, I'm a bureaucrat, and "I'm only doing my job!"

Something to think about from Steve Turgoose, and as the 1960s rock group once advised, "we have all been here before."

From 2010: "Weights, measures, short pours, long odds and Little Big Pints."

NABC’s Pizzeria & Public House was twice visited last week by Floyd County’s recently installed local weights and measures inspector. His stated reason for knocking on our door was a complaint he had received to the effect that we were not offering full pours of beer.

Consequently, in order to comply with the letter of the law in a place that seldom enforces any of them, we shall continue pouring draft beer as we always have, while recalibrating the way we’ve spoken about our draft business for 18 complaint-free years, as we learn new ways to describe what we're pouring by speaking in vague shades of linguistic, liquid content.

Not only have I been there, but apparently it's where I reside; at least once a year, like clockwork, taking time away from managing a small business to grapple with soulless, turf-hugging bureaucrats. It's enough to make a guy into a Tea Partier, though so far I've been able to avoid the siren's call.

These ruminations are occasioned by the experience of the Bookseller, who lately has been offering books by the pound. What might a few stray ounces constitute between friends and customers? And is the "letter" of the law really applicable to what is, in reality, a marketing ploy?

Must be payback time. Our cute little gimmick of selling a few of our surplus books "by the pound" motivated a 2-man inspection team to come out and harass me for selling books at 25 cents an ounce. City's worried someone might get cheated out of a quarter. Once I realized it wasn't a prank, I got mad. And, as with every regulator this city has thrown at us, we passed. Ridiculous overreach of jurisdiction. And yes, I said do your job and gtfo.

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