The Art of the Upsell

The practice starts innocently enough, when teenagers working at McDoodles (name has been changed) brightly ask, “Would you like fries with that?” They even have notes taped in front of them telling them to “Push the shakes/cookies/pies”. But those teenagers are fast learners, and they grow into car mechanics who recommend an engine replacement when putting some gas in the tank will do. It’s the art of the upsell.

My latest run-in with the art was at a dentist’s office where I was a new patient. My normally clean slate of a mouth (I’d never had a cavity) was diagnosed as having several cavities and in desperate need of a “deep cleaning”, at an enormous cost and one which my insurance would not pay for. “Not gonna happen right now,” I assured them. “Give me the regular cleaning the insurance will pay for.” They seemed shocked, unsure how to proceed with a regular cleaning when a deep one was needed. But I figured, some cleaning was better than no cleaning, and asked them to go ahead.

As the hygienist, Miss Lulabelle (name has been changed, except her title really was ‘Miss’) began, she shook her head in frustration. “There’s so much tartar above and below the gumline, I don’t even know what to do,” she said. I’m not impressed by melodrama. I mean, she has been to school, right? I’m thinking, “Do you see some teeth with stuff in between that shouldn’t be there? Clean that.”

Miss Lulabelle finished up with the remark, “Well, I probably did too much, but here you go.” Pray tell, what bad result comes from “doing too much”? They nearly had me convinced I had a Medieval-era mouth full of blackened teeth crumbling into powder.

So I will look for another dentist because…well, I decided I don’t like Miss Lulabelle. And no, I don’t want fries with that. (Well, I do, but since you asked, no, I don’t.)

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