Working at a small independent coffee shop on the West Side inevitably entails serious responsibilities. Although the large doses of caffeine I regularly dole out to minors inevitably results in sleep deprivation and a life of dependence on an addictive stimulant, it is the near-miniscule amount of alcohol I serve in the form of a rare local beer or wine that burdened me with hours worth of city regulations and fees. The Wisconsin Responsible Beverage Server Training proved to be the biggest waste of my time since high school gym class, as well as the biggest waste of my money since my first attempt to get a fake ID when I was 17.
The online course costs $18, and is supposed to take four hours. You can cut time by being quick, but not as much as you'd probably like. Some of the slides in the powerpoint presentation allow you to read and move on at your own pace, while others inexplicably make you wait while a narrator reads the passage for you. The high level of multimedia may cause the presentation to freeze if you have a slow internet connection.
In addition to a number of contrived "scenarios," in which you, as a responsible bartender, are supposed to determine whether a customer is "sober," "had enough," or "too much," you are also taught how to spot minors. Physical indications, including "undeveloped breasts" on females and "lack of facial hair" or "babyfat" on males will hint that a customer is not 21 as well as not 13.
To its credit, the program acknowledges that many minors are already fully physically mature, so it offers some fashion trends "popular with teens" which may indicate the customer is not of-age. For instance, "acid-washed jeans," "colorful shoe laces," and "crew cuts."
Frankly I'm surprised they didn't warn me to look out for "New Kids on the Block" T-Shirts.