the upsell

She saw me coming as I walked toward the store, my eyes fixed on the ground I was walking on, her eyes focused on the incoming customer who seemed kind of down. She welcomed me with the traditional greeting and asked what she could get started for me, her apron displaying a rather conspicuous B ready to catch whatever spilled toward her as she mixed caffeinated beverages all day. I asked without frill for a coffee, the regular kind, in a big cup. She responded with in-store nomenclature: tall? venti? berondi? rigatonni? I responded with a simple, three letter monosyllabic: big. She again suggested that I learn her language: midge? stellular? biscotti? I asked for one off the middle in a collection of cup towers, what she called venti. I was alerted that getting the next size up would only cost ten cents more, to which I enthusiastically shouted: sold! She handed me a cup and told me that I might also need a bagel, to which I congratulated her on the upsell, but that it already worked and I was getting not big but bigger coffee. Do I have a frequency card? Yes and here. My next drink will be free, and one of the best ways to celebrate a free coffee is to get a parfait, which is what I call a yogurty thing, much to the chagrin of those who barist on my path. Nevertheless, I elected not to pursue any kind of other product, other than a big — now an even bigger — coffee.

Coffee is self serve around the corner there.


Oh — have you signed up for our e-wards club? Coupons and other specials are e-mailed to our e-wards club members on a regular basis for even greater savings.

Neat. Again, good job on the upsell.

Can I get one started for you?

No. My wife is really good at remembering to print coupons, but I’m not. Also, I have a wife, and I want to make that really clear. She is my wife. I love her very much.

Oh — did you know that happy hour runs from 3-6pm and means you can get drinks buy one get one free no coupons needed just show up from 3-6pm weekdays and you can get one for free after buying one?

Again, good job on the upsell. My wife doesn’t like coffee.

OK. Lids are behind you.


Oh — and cream.

(again with the upsell) OK.

So — what are you doing today?

(I’m writing about what just happened) oh, just typing stuff on my computer.



Here’s my theory: people think I’m a secret shopper, so they make sure to run every part of the script by me before I go sit down. Could that be? Do I carry myself like that? Perhaps. If so, I think the secret shopper people owe me cash. Or at least some kind of e-wards membership.

About radamdavidson

When I'm not blogging, I'm hanging out with my family, pastoring a church, or listening to vinyl. I think and write about Jesus, music, communication, organizational leadership, family whatnot, and cultural artifacts from the 1980's -- mostly vintage boomboxes. You can read my blog at, watch [RadCast], a daily 3 minute video devotional, or find me on socials (@radamdavidson). I also help Pastors in their preaching and public speaking (
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