At the bookstore coffeeshop, the poor baristas are so busy doing the endless upsell that they routinely forget to give you half of the things you ask for. And I only ever get two things, a coffee for me and a gingerbread man cookie for Klara. And have you tried asking a toddler to wait patiently for her gingerbread man? It’s not pretty.

I’d come to the bookstore a lot more often if I didn’t dread the multistage upsell.


8 thoughts on “Upsell”

    1. No, but thank you. I’m very glad people are starting to address the issue honestly and intelligently.

      Yes, the nation-state stinks like it’s nobody’s business. Just like democracy. But every conceivable alternative stinks much worse. And I wish people stopped with the empty anti-nation rhetoric and just thought about it, read something, educated themselves. I recently read an academic article that argued that we shouldn’t worry about the collapse of the nation-state because we are on the brink of transhumanism and that will solve all our problems. Sweet Lord in heaven.


  1. I can’t get over the mental image of Klara being crestfallen while somebody tries to upsell you instead of getting her gingerbread man cookie. So cute!


    1. She looks like a person who has lost all hope in anything good and right ever happening in this cruel universe. It’s intense. Just like the joy when the cookie finally surfaces.


  2. I was briefly a secret shopper, and I gave it up when I realized that almost all of the questions revolved around if the cashier had attempted to upsell me a sufficient number of times.

    I did develop a lot more patience for retail and food service workers afterwards.

    My older sister was a secret shopper about 15 years before I tried, and she said at the time it was mainly about the politeness of the workers, the quality of the food (for fast food places) and if the gave you standard amounts of condiments and napkins.


    1. “I was briefly a secret shopper”

      They no longer call them ‘bulldogs’? The first article I read about that was back in the mid 1970s (though maybe it was more about hotels which have different concerns….).

      I first heard about upselling back in the late 1970s or early 1980s in an interview with a McDonalds employee who said no matter how much a customer ordered they were always supposed to ask if they wanted anything more.

      When I worked at a convenience store we were informally told to never ask “Will that be all?” but “Would you like anything else?” or “What else would you like?” but they didn’t spy on us about it that I remember.


      1. By the early 2000’s “secret shoppper” had become the usual term, for agencies looking to hire. I can only imagine what we were called by retail workers.


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