I’m totally a sucker for the up-sell. Sales people probably rub their hands in gleeful anticipation when they see me coming. I can’t help it; I’m a people pleaser. I want to make everyone happy, which translates to a really, really hard time telling anyone no.
Even annoying sales people.
If I go in for a $20 pedicure, I can pretty much guarantee you that by the time I leave, it’ll be $40 with all of the extra things I’ve agreed to. (“You want paraffin wax? Only $5!”) ((At this point, if anyone hasn’t watched Anjelah Johnson’s stand-up routine on the nail salon, you really need to. Here’s the link.))
My inability to say “No, thank you” is definitely a contributing factor to my twice-yearly hair cuts. I never want to offend the stylist, so by the time I’m done, I walk out with a cut I didn’t want, highlights or somesuch I don’t like, and $50 worth of products I don’t need. My last stylist knew I was a pushover and respected that enough to simply trim my ends and let me go my merry way, but sadly she’s changed careers. And I don’t think my hair or my wallet can take the search for another understanding stylist.
But at least when I decide to risk it and get my nails or my hair done, I know what to expect. And I pack an extra $20 or two. Not so last week.
Last week, I was a victim of the up-sell at one of the most unexpected places yet: the dentist.
My dad has been my dentist my whole life. (Funny story: Every night before bed when I was little, we all got together, said the Our Father, and had our teeth flossed by my dad. I have friends who can remember coming to sleep overs as kids and having their teeth flossed by my dad. No one was exempt from the prayers or the hygeine.) After he retired last year, I dragged my feet about finding a new one until it seemed as if Providence sent me a sign and I bit the bullet and made appointments for DB and myself with a new dentist in our town.
Our new dentist is swanky, to put it mildly. And their staff is very helpful and thorough and professional and awesome. I will say that the dental cleaning was awesome and I think that they’re great at what they do. But they read me like a book within 10 minutes and knew that I was a people pleaser with an inability to say no.
The hygienist was so nice, that I really didn’t want to offend her. Or have her think badly of me. I mean, I’m a dentist’s daughter – I should really care about my oral health. Right?
So by the time I left, not only had I had the most thorough cleaning of my life (complete with close-up pictures of any areas of gingivitis shown on a really, really big screen that served to
shame motivate me in my quest for perfect oral health), I was the proud owner of extra-special toothpaste and probiotic mints.
Yes, I seriously bought probiotic mints. And I’m completely embarrassed to admit what I paid for them. In fact, I had to ease the DreadBrewer into it by first telling him one price and then admitting a few days later that they were more expensive than I originally told him.
I also agreed to come back in 1-2 months for an extra cleaning, not covered by my dental insurance, because the hygienist said I needed it to take care of any lingering gingivitis and that I couldn’t wait 6 months. And I agreed to pay extra to have the oral cancer screening, but that’s totally fine by me because head & neck cancer, while mostly curable, completely sucks.
I did manage to say no to the $650 night guard they wanted to sell me, as I already have a night guard, I just never wear it.
One of my patients is a also dentist and yesterday, I told her about my first visit with my new dentist. And I thought she was going to do herself a mischief she was laughing at me so hard.
At her urging, I think I’m going to cancel my appointment in 2 months and just go back for my regular cleaning in 6. Luckily, it’s something I can do over the phone, sparing me the embarrassment and hardship of having to say no face-to-face.
Because God forbid I hurt my hygienist or dentist’s feelings and make them think I don’t like them.