Standing at the deli counter, I ask for 75g of parmesan salami – the good salami, the $3.49/lb one, the one that shows your girlfriend you don’t mind throwing a bit of cash around. Now I’m well versed in the clerk’s trick by now, so I know they’re going to turn my 75g into 100g, thinking they’re putting one over on me, fleecing every bit of extra moolah out of me. What she doesn’t know is that 100g is how much I wanted in the first place. But this lady, who looks like she’s been weighing deli meats longer than I’ve been scamping around this world, happens to calculate incorrectly, by over half. I see 155g on the scale and give her a look she doesn’t see that says, “Oh no you don’t.” She hesitates for a second, then prints off the sticker and hands me the meat, avoiding all eye contact. Even with my pre-planning, I’m willing to accept up to 120g to avoid a confrontation. But this woman, she thinks I’m going to accept a ludicrous 155g without saying anything. Most of that will end up sitting in my fridge for too long, I know this. It will become a chore to finish it, it’s all I’ll think about until it’s gone. And I’ll try to eat the last bit no matter what, and it will be certainly be gone bad by then. And if I less this one pass, you know they’re going to keep upping the ante and before you know what hit you there’ll be 250g of salami on that scale. Money isn’t even an issue at this stage. I don’t want to compare it to any major atrocities from last century (we’re all thinking of the same one), but the slippery slope becomes a rolling stone quick as a cat’s banana. I’ll be in the mood for one salami sandwich and end up with enough processed pig to give a grown man an anxiety attack. And I’ll try to finish it all so quick, it’ll give me a heart attack. So when she hands me the 155 salami grams and tries to walk away, I really have no choice but to leap over the counter and be on the winning end of the only attack this deli meat upsell will ever cause.
February 8 – Seth Green gets a deli counter’s sneaky upsell attempt