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Sell, Sell, SELL!

, , , , , | Working | September 3, 2020

As a teen, I had a great job at a cinema that gave me great customer service training and experience.

However, when working in the candy bar, it was mandatory that we upsell — “Would you like to make that a large Coke for an extra fifty cents?” — and suggestive sell — “Would you like some popcorn to go with your drink?” — to every. Single. Customer.

Here are a few situations in which I did not upsell or suggestive sell and got in trouble for it.

A group visited consisted of several people with significant intellectual disabilities and their carers. I watched each person discuss with the carers what they wanted and what they could afford before coming to my register. Even verbalizing the order was a challenge to some of them. I started to suggestive sell to the first customer, realised it was not appropriate to continue with the rest of the group, served the rest accordingly, and then had my supervisor pull me aside to have a “chat.” Her argument was, “Yeah, but you still have to.”

A group of young kids from a vacation care centre came to visit and had, obviously, been advised beforehand to bring $5.70 for the small drink and popcorn combo we had going at that time. Many of them had the exact change in an envelope or sticky-taped to their wallet. I started doing the up/suggestive selling with them before realising what was going on and that my asking them was confusing them and making the line move three times slower and stopped. Once again, I pulled over by the supervisor.

A family of four visited and were the most, um, horizontally gifted family I have ever seen. And they bought one of everything, each, including each a full bag of lollies from the pick n’ mix, which equates to well over 1 kg of lollies. Now, obviously, their body, their choice, not remotely my business, but I couldn’t upsell as they already had large sizes of everything, and I couldn’t think of anything to suggestive sell without it sounding really weird. “Would you like a bag of honey-baked ham chips to go with your salt and vinegar flavour?” So, I processed the sale and sent them off to their movie.

That day, I was secretly being assessed for my monthly review. I failed with that family, hence failing the whole thing, and I got an informal warning. I didn’t even bother arguing.

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