It’s a perfect day outside. The sun is shining, traffic is light, birds are chirping, welcoming the season of spring gently. A hard month end is over, so work will be light, co-workers will be happy and customers in a good mood. Maybe I can even go outside for lunch, get a little sun and relax for an hour. Perfect right? WRONG! None of those things ever happen! Especially on the same day. Are you crazy? Some people think that problems are solved. Those some people are delusional. Problems never get solved. They are like the principle of energy. They can can’t be destroyed or solved, only delayed or transferred. Don’t believe me? That’s fine. I wouldn’t believe me either. I’m no scientist, just a master of problems. But I have some anecdotal evidence. Observe.
Hunger is a problem right? Not only in countries where there is lack of food or means to pay for it, but everywhere. No matter how rich or poor you are, eventually you will need some. For a lot of people, getting food is a matter of walking to your kitchen, finding something that is edible and cramming it in your face cavern. Sometimes when nothing looks “acceptable” at home there are these places called restaurants, or delicatessens, or grocery stores that sell food for money. They allow you to purchase with plastic, or paper, or coin a certain amount of food. Most people like me will take that opportunity to eat as much as the eye wants, but way more than the stomach can hold. Problem solved right? Wrong. At the most, it will only delay my “problem” for about 8 hours. Every single day, my stomach needs food, and my “problem” isn’t solved, but just delayed.
Sure that is only one example. There are much more serious ones though. How about the world crippling problem of popcorn kernels? My microwave has this button that supposedly cooks microwave popcorn to just the right amount of time to pop ALL the kernels and not to burn them. But for some reason, and I’ve checked, EVERY time I trust the microwave to do its job, it manages to fail me. Sometimes it is as many as four, sometimes only one, but always, and I mean always, it manages to screw it up. One time, it popped everyone, but one of the popcorns was not fully covered in the butter that was required of every piece. See how much we have to go through with these stupid appliances? Sometimes I think about doing it manually to make sure every kernel pops and every piece thoroughly covered, but then I remember how much work it would be. Then I stand in exasperation, shaking my fists in the air, screaming at ceiling like there is camera right above my head, and then get really tired and sit down from all that work.
I keep hoping that somehow my problems will be solved. Then when I sit down and the news is on and I can’t change the channel, because the remote control is several feet away in plain sight, I breathe out a heavy sigh, and watch bitterly a segment on the news called Get Jesse, the Problem Solvers. I perk up, thinking this is finally it. This guy can solve my problems. He can get me the solutions to all the problems I have so lazily been seeking.
He tells of a person that ordered a product that cost $19.99 that didn’t quite live up to his expectations. He tried to return the product by calling the toll free number for returns, and had to wait on hold for 30 seconds. Then when he spoke with the representative on the phone, he found out that indeed he could return the product for the full price, plus shipping, but that he would have to wait two days for a return shipping label to get there. In addition, he wouldn’t be credited UNTIL THE PRODUCT WAS RETURNED. This guy was outraged, and immediately called Jesse to get on the case. Jesse went to the customer service rep and got that microphone and camera in his face. “WHY DID YOU NOT REFUND THIS GUY’S MONEY RIGHT AWAY?” and “IS THERE SOME SORT OF CONSPIRACY GOING ON AT YOUR COMPANY?”. Let’s just say Jesse would not back down on this rep. It got ugly and mean, but eventually Jesse got this guy his $25 back and in the end, which he then went and spent on a Big Mac, fries and a lottery ticket, which didn’t win. The guy ended up getting mad at Jesse because the ticket didn’t win and I think he was going to sue Jesse, but the segment cut off before we could hear what happened. Either that or I fell asleep because the segment was sooo boring and I just couldn’t reach the remote control.
See what I mean when I say problems just don’t get solved? Speaking of which, aren’t you just so bitter because reading this post just wasted a whole lot of time and energy and got you in trouble at work? Let me know in the comments. I may not be any good at solving problems, but I sure can create them.
Bitter Problem Ben