Thank you, Mr President.

Everyone has a unique way of making their displeasure known. I call it the “Pissed Off Power Play”, or POPP for short.

Some shout out an assortment of four-letter words, others cry hysterically, some even resort to physical violence. A particular ex-girlfriend of mine did all three. I’m pretty sure she won’t be reading this. But if she is, I’ll know it soon enough through the sharp stabbing pains I’ll feel in my back, caused by the voodoo doll she keeps of me. Let’s just say our decision to part wasn’t exactly a joint one.

Thankfully Alex is far more mild-mannered than that. She’s a lover, not a fighter. But that doesn’t mean she won’t let me have it with both barrels if I’ve done wrong. I tend to know if something’s up when her eyes darken. I then say a silent prayer in the vain hope that it passes, but it rarely does… and then she does it. Right there in front of me, usually as she walks past, she gives me her POPP – she lets out a sigh.

Underestimate the power of that sigh at your peril. It’s like my kryptonite. It pierces my defences, climbs into my brain and screams: “You’re a selfish bastard”. Then it takes over my body and propels me into involuntary action to shed my guilt – I find myself doing the dishes, or sweeping the floor. And the last act of the sigh is to make me apologise and admit to her that yes I am, indeed, a selfish bastard.

We moved in to our house 6 days later than first planned, and that was only after I showed off my own brand of POPP.

We should have known from the start, really. We had a god-awful day in IKEA Palo Alto, where we spent an excessive sum of money, and an obscene amount of time queueing. 6 chairs, 4 beds and mattresses, 3 chests of drawers, a sofa, armchair, and table later, we were done. We decided to take the IKEA delivery and assembly service, and booked it in for a week later.

IKEA uses a company called Dynamex to take care of their delivery and assembly services. Dynamex offers customers the best shipping services and the highest level of professional customer support. Their words, not mine.

When the day arrived, the delivery was late. But the truck finally pulled up, and three teenagers with greasy hair and body odour started to unload. An hour and a half later, one of them mumbled that they only had a third of what we needed. They left to make a few more deliveries, and promised to go back to the warehouse to pick up the rest of our stuff, and come back later that day. I waited at the house until 11pm, but they were a no-show.

Over the next three days, Alex and I battled with IKEA and Dynamex to have the order redelivered. We spent hours on hold, occasionally getting through to a customer service agent who couldn’t care less. The delivery was rearranged for a few days later, but again they didn’t show up.

That was when I released my POPP.

I googled the management team at Dynamex, used LinkedIn for the only thing it’s good for (professional stalking), found the president of the company, and guessed his email address. I then sent him the most eloquent, downright scathing email I’ve ever written. And it worked.

Rick Pople, President, Dynamex.
I had a POPP at President Pople.

Within a few hours, President Rick Pople had personally emailed me. Then he called me to apologise. And then shit got done.

The next day, we had all of our stuff delivered first thing in the morning and assembled by their most trusted installation expert. And by the evening, the kids had already stained our brand new sofa. Normal service had been resumed.

So… what’s your POPP, and when have you dropped it to good effect?

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