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Cleveland Bob

I can completely relate. While myself and the missus are childless by design, I haven't had the opportunity to play Pop as you've been afforded to do, but I've certainly had my chances in the ring with sales clerks, waiters, barristas, etc.

I was always shy, scared and hopeless as an opponent. Once, as a small boy, I missed them calling my number at a Baskins-Robbins and I dutifully sat there until they went through the entire 100 numbers again until they reached mine.

When I finally got home and explained to my now worried Mother where I had been for the last two hours she laughed and told me to stand up for myself. Gosh, and I was always told to be polite so who else would've instilled that level of patience but her?

Anyway, I was prone to your defcon level for many years until I became a Manager type at a large West Coast software company's help desk.

I soon realized that the folks who always got their way with me on the receiving end were the calm, forthright and problem solving sort like your Father.

Hence, I changed my approach and I have been a model of a driven but cool headed consumer for the last 20 years.

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