Who Can Help Solve Your Problems?

I was going through some financial statements recently when I saw a charge from Netflix MOVIES for $7.99 a month. I’ve never signed up for Netflix, so I wondered what was up. It turns out it had been happening for a few months. So I called the phone number associated with the charge (assuming it was the Netflix number), and connected to an audio recording of a diet commercial. After 24 seconds, the phone automatically hung up. I did this five times, and the same thing happened, again and again.

Eventually, I realized this isn’t working, and called the credit card company directly, who told me it was some scam they had seen before calling itself Netflix MOVIES (but not the Netflix you and I are familiar with), and they fixed the charges.

In the end, the number I was calling was not a customer service number associated with a video rental facility, but rather the phone number of the scam operation. And it got me thinking about problems, and how we find people to help us solve them.

Every time we have a problem we can’t solve on our own, the key to the solution is in figuring out who else in the world might be realistically invested in helping you. Whether for financial motives, emotional reasons, or otherwise, that is the person who can help you. It is your job to figure out how to enlist them.

If we have a faulty credit card charge from a scam company, the scam company has no interest in reversing it, or even picking up the phone. In contrast, the credit card company, who doesn’t want to lose my business, does want to help. When we book a flight for the wrong day and need to call the airline to change it, the airline (might) have an interest in helping you. If you fly a lot, say, and they are worried about losing your business. If you need to clean the front windows on your house, and you live alone, the only other person who might be invested in the problem is someone you can pay to fix it. The window cleaning company with less business might care more than the one who can’t keep track of their orders. Maybe. Or maybe not.

When we have a problem, and we need help, it’s an act of meditation, and an act of balance. Meditating on who else cares about our problem, and balancing out what can motivate him or her to help us. Because if we don’t, we’ll hit a brick wall of our own making.

Do you have a problem? Does someone else care? How can you get them to help you?


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

30 thoughts on “Who Can Help Solve Your Problems?

  1. problems are a way that God has purposed for us to appreciate His nearness to us.God will not leave us and His Love is for ever everlasting.

    • Thank you for the reminder that God says He will never leave us nor forsake us. Problems, more often than not, make us think they are bigger than our God. No, our God IS BIGGER! I have got to realize that God is above all things, and He is surely in control, even our most desperate situations. 🙂

  2. I can totally relate to that. I think it’s even more striking how one can face this kind of problem within one single company, when dealing with different departments and colleagues. In the last project I had to carry out I spent almost two months trying to convince people who where working in another office to cooperate. They were strongly vocal on the fact that the changes we were trying to implement were not of any use to them.

    To some extent I have to admit it was true. I was basically asking them to take care of some extra issues that they had almost ignored until then. Even though they realized they would have had to face this challenges sooner of later (as the company as a whole had every interest in them doing so) they really had no intention of speeding up the process as they thought it might have had a huge impact on their daily activities, changing the way they operated.

    In the end we basically decided to organize a quick chat with the top management of the firm so that someone with a different point of view and the right decisional power could make a final call on which were the priorities. It turned out just fine: they immediately understood that the activities we had planned were needed and made sure that the counterpart was ready to help us, stressing how important it was to carry out the task rapidly.

    The funny thing is that once obtained the right commitment it took only one month to actually reach the goals we had set.

    Summing it up we basically lost two months talking to guys who were’t interested in helping…and then solved it all with a 30 minutes meeting with the people who were (and, I’d add, who actually had the means to help).

  3. Tal,
    Your best bet is to pursue your strongest passion for helping others and making the world a better place, whatever it is. If your passion is strong enough, if your ideas are bright enough, the world will be drawn to you and doors will open. People with degrees are a dime a dozen. People with passion and great ideas are exceedingly rare and always in demand. And if all else fails, pull a CDO maneuver. Start a blog, and work your way around the world with the idea of climbing a remote mountain with little or no money. Saith the Luck Dragon in Neverending Story, “Never give up and good luck will find you!”. Above all, make sure that each day you find a way to smile and have fun. No matter what! 😉

  4. hi claire!
    how are you?
    i have a big problem that has been bothering me for the last four years actually. it has to do with my career- it seems i am not able to start it. i invested the last 5 years in studying in the best university i could apply to. but during school, when everyone started finding internships for themselves in advance (for the time they would graduate from school)- i was among the only ones who didn’t pass the interviews and tests for the big firms. i thought a lot about who could help me, tried a lot of ways to find a connection, prepared myself for interviews tirelessly… still, it seems like i am stuck… never the less, i am prepared, focused, disciplined more then ever. if i go now to a interview- i know i will do great! one phone call, one person that wants to be good to me- that’s all i need. so i try to knock on new doors right now, waiting for a shift in my career…

  5. Thanks Claire, every time we face this kind of problems, we call the bank or credit card company and they suggest to contact the service or merchant. After a few calls the problems is resolved!

  6. My personal view of human relationships is that we are all like one gigantic parallel processor, and the more we work together the better off we all are. It follows, therefore, that the more we “help” each other with whatever sort of problems we may have, the better off we all are.

  7. ?But that positive thing doesn’t need to be money, career advancement or something else that will leave you feeling pain; at a minimum it requires the gift you give when you ask for help by treating the other individual as a human being, with some degree of kindness (and, when warranted, empathy).”

    I agree Pat. Maybe it’s just a question of discovering unimagined and unanticipated synergies. Yes, what you are going to do will be good for me, but it will be good for you, too, and maybe in ways you haven’t thought of yet. Perhaps that’s what Claire means when she says that it’s our “job to figure out how to enlist them”. If we discover how what we are asking them to do for us will benefit them too, our job is much easier, no?

  8. Dear Claire,
    Whenever there is a problem with a faulty charge on your credit card, always contact your credit card’s office. NEVER call the company where the charge originated. There are so many scam artists today, if they put their time to good use, they would be honest millionaires! Most people are good natured, except in business. For example, if your boss is insecure and is afraid that you will eventually take his job, be prepared for him to double-cross you any way possible. My Wonderful Mother (she was called to God in 1998) told me about business meaning “there is no heart in business”.

    • That may be true in some business, but it’s up to good people to change that. Business has lost what it truly means to be ethical. Again I say it’s up to the good people to get of the rears to change that instead of just allowing it to happen.

  9. Dear Claire and HGB,
    I would like to adopt an intermediate position, more closely aligned with Claire’s, but incorporating elements of HGB’s perspective. I have been thinking a lot about what makes us humans commune with each other successfully, and what makes each of us a valuable contributor to our “earthly” community. (Why wait for something to happen before experiencing “heaven” (however we understand heaven to be) in the here and now?)
    Bluntly stated, yes, an individual will help when there’s something in it for the individual. That something is primarily an item, relationship or feeling the individual needs at the time you ask for help-mostly money or other material consideration (like a connection leading to a job or project for the individual), a recommendation for good work in assisting you, a means to feel good and/or that the individual has inspired you to “pass it on”and do good for others, a beginning or development of goodwill that could lead to friendship or support in the future, validation of common values . . the list goes on.
    Everything I have listed involves something “positive” for the individual (the “something” that is “in it” for the individual). But that positive thing doesn’t need to be money, career advancement or something else that will leave you feeling pain; at a minimum it requires the gift you give when you ask for help by treating the other individual as a human being, with some degree of kindness (and, when warranted, empathy). Threats (to terminate service or report negatively on the individual’s customer service interaction to her or his supervisor) and intimidation) don’t work nearly as well. Extremely negative emotions, such as anger with no constructive goal (ie, venting) don’t work, either.
    I make a point of rewarding good customer service with a good reference to the individual’s supervisor, when a CSR has helped me, and I let all the CSRs with whom I deal that that is my practice.
    This practice has been more successful getting me the help I need while making me feel good about myself and my values. My prior experience in the retail industry has made me highly sensitive to reward good customer service to the individual demonstrating it, rather than punishing the company/employer of the customer service rep for not having good CSR programs in place.
    There’s more to say about how to approach other engagements with humans, outside of the CRS context, but I will leave that for another blog post. (Reflect on my first paragraph for more insight if you have time.)
    Claire, I just started following your blog, downloaded some of your work, started reading The Message and listening to music you have recommended, all of which I have really appreciated. My key passions right now include the humanitarian issues you address (as well as health care policy, helping early stage companies improve health care, and a few other related projects). You may see me pop up from time in comments to your blog.
    All my best,

  10. Good luck getting someone to help you unless there is something in it for them. Most people are motivated by self-interest and nothing more. Wanting to help someone in need is not really a dominant part of human nature. On the other hand…. there is a book called the Book of Luke or the Gospel of Luke or just Luke, or whatever. In Chapter 10 of that book, there is a story of a man who went out of his way to help another when there was nothing in it for himself. The teller of the story said that the man was motivated by a thing called “pity”. Can you imagine that?

    25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ 36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

    • Thank you for sharing the Good Samaritan. I needed to hear that today. We never know when we have lifted someone else’s burden off of them by just doing simple, self less acts. It takes a proactive approach to “help” others. Look for things every day that you can do for others, even strangers, that can help lift their load. One day it will come back to you when you least expect it.

        • A Problem oh yes, I just solved one problem moments ago.
          I work with two other young men and we spoke about buisness cards
          for ourselves. One of the guys designed cards and got the ball rolling.
          Now the problem starts, he said the cards were free, however thats not completely
          true because there were things that had to be paid for. Did he pay no, he bought a new
          pa system and brought it to our group where we work and said nothing else about the cards.
          I bought buisness card paper because we each have printers however neither of us had the
          type of paper for buisness cards. Well now another problem, the guys did nothing after I told them I bought the paper so I thought to myself this must only be something that sounds good to these two and they don’t see the importance of the cards, after all we only work one half day a week, well now what do I do I ask myself? Theres only one thing left to do. So since I noticed I have a few dimes in my account at the end of this month I am the most mature of the three of us and I have purchased my own cards before I should just do as I do when I work alone. I ordered cards for myself and look forward to recieving the cards soon. This is what has to be done sometimes, when you run into a problem with people who have there own ways of not getting things done, someone has to take the bull by the horns and go for that rocky ride sometimes before anyone else will take a chance after folks see you survive and all is well a light comes on oh I could have done that my way and it would come out even better. Because he forgot this or made a mistake on this or that, Is so easy to coach from the couch no pressure just light up a good smoke have a bite a drink relax and second guese the real coach and his assistants. We all go through these types of things all the time. Our children, friends, neighbors ect ect, Hey who didn’t think they new better than Al davis even I did and I shamefully head myself say well now that he’s gone maybe someone can really coach the team, hey he put me in my place when I worked in the L.A. Colisium and I have had a problem with him since that time. So The way I see it life is filled with problems, What would we do without them they motivate us to fight back work together get that problem solved. Thats all of my time thanks for your time BigRon/Dawolfman out. Owwww!

          • Hi Claire,
            I was thinking as fast as i was reading this post. Been a lil down lately due to problems with the husband. And he doesn’t seem to care about what is bothering me though I have addressed him. So I started feeling down and frustrated. And repeatedly going to him and him not caring relates to trying to call the scam company to fix what they will never fix. You have a valid point. A very interestingly valid point. And I havent arrived at anything more brilliant than that last sentence but it is a spark and every ignition starts with a spark. Its great that one person in the world can share one thought and it can transform and take shape and can help someone else out, just another one person in the world. Not to say that I have figured out all of my life’s problems or even a resolution to my current situation but it did jumpstart my inner goddess again to think, :Oh, yes, I am not dead and this is not the end of the world…where are my big girl panties so i can put them on and figure this out.”
            Sorry for the ramble. Thanks for sharing your story.