Nickel and dime mentality!

I’m sure we’ve all heard the expression “I’m sick of being nickel and dimed”. Well, I have reached the end of my rope when it comes to this axiom.

The other day I attempted to get a number from directory assistance with the clone that is fast becoming the voice of America. Most often it misinterprets my requests and gives me numbers in cities I have never heard of. This must have been happening to a lot of people because the phone company has come up with a solution. If your annoyed at the robot you can press the number 1 and get a “real operator” for twenty five cents. So on top of the money it costs to access a number you have to pay additional funds to talk to a human who can understand what the robot has screwed up. You used to be able to do it for free.

If you delve into it, they’ll tell you too many people didn’t want to talk to the clone so they had to charge extra money. I suppose it would cost too much to bring the real people back so that more humans would be employed rather than robots? But this is the new wave of so called economic prudence.

The air lines is charging for just about everything, food, luggage, ear buds, pillows and blankets. There used to be a pillow and a thin blanket as a courtesy. Not any more, if you want it, you buy it. How many of us, unless we’re desperate, want a pillow, harder than a rock, and a blanket that has no potential for warmth as a remembrance of our trip?

I bought a refundable ticket for a recent trip and tried to change it. By the time I got told all the rules and the additional costs I felt as if I had just gotten off a Ferris Wheel run by a mad man. The explanations were so convoluted that I was convinced the agent had previously worked for the C.I.A.

I’m waiting for them to start charging for the pilots. We’ll soon walk onto a full airplane with an empty cockpit. They’ll ask for volunteers first and if there aren’t any takers, they’ll read off a menu of individuals with certain levels of competency and charge accordingly.

Banks now charge for all kinds of services that used to be free and I’m sure they will soon make you pay to talk to the teller. All they have to do is call them a consultant or a coach and they’ll be able to grab more cash from us. Paying your credit cards by phone is another money drain. They position it as a convenience their offering and then inform you that it will cost you ten to fifteen dollars for the service. The reason is that they have to process it.
How taxing is this process, and how many people are involved in the process? Don’t you just access the account on a computer and put in the amount with the persons’ information? How long does that take? Not fifteen dollars worth?

If I don’t pay it on time it will cost me twenty five or thirty dollars. Sure you can do it on the internet or put it in the mail and not be driven nuts. But all the above organizations used to have services that were supposed to make their customers feel they were valued.

Perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate some of the “nickel and dime” mentality and return to some “soothing and supportive” ways to keep your clientele wanting to come back instead of running away.

How Crazy We Make Ourselves?!

Most of us have no clue how crazy we make ourselves, especially when it comes to relationships, weight loss, work issues, and our health.

Over the years, I’ve heard excuses that range from the sublime to the ridiculous. Nothing can change if we don’t first change the way we think about things. If you believe that you’ll never be happy or successful, then no matter what you do, you won’t ever feel happy or successful. This is because you focus all your energy on being right and finding people who support your beliefs. If you believe that certain people or events create your difficulties, then you’ll spend your time trying to change them instead of yourself, which is a pointless exercise.

The thing that needs to change is the way you see your obstacles. We all have thought traps, and identifying them is not easy. I have found some real epiphanies in the book “What Happy People Know” by Dr. Dan Baker. Dr. Baker is a psychologist who has been counseling for years. He realized later in his practice that most people wanted to keep telling the same stories as to why they felt miserable, unfulfilled or unappreciated. He decided it was time to confront his patients in a way that led them to discover how they sabotaged themselves.”

What most of us do is fall into four categories” he says. We are either victims, entitled, looking to be rescued, or seeking to blame someone or something for our woes.

The victim often portrays him or herself as always being taken advantage of. “No one cares”, it’s always me, are part of their usual dialogue.

Those who are entitled feel they deserve to have more, not have to wait for anything, or be acknowledged for just about anything they do.

The “rescue seekers are fixated at thinking someone is going to handle their problems, help them direct their life, or give them the answers to the challenges they might face.

Accountability is not a word they are familiar with. I was very invested in this “thought trap” until I finally realized that “no one was coming” and that I was in charge of my own life. Frightening at first, but incredibly freeing in the long run.

The blame game is something we’ve all heard about and I would almost guarantee that a great majority of us have used it to try to get off the hook for a variety of issues. It’s an easy one to get trapped by. After all why not use it to counter failing at a variety of things, like living with an abusive partner, gaining weight or staying in a job that is filled with stress and disrespect?

It allows us to forget that we are the captain of our own ship and that we have choices on how we perceive situations or individuals around us. We create our own feelings through the thoughts we have. Not an easy concept to engage in since many of us have been doing the same bit for a very long time and it essentially becomes automatic like an actor who has been in the same play for many years.

Change takes work and courage, but the exciting news is that you close the curtain on your performance, get new dialogue and voila, you have a new show that might just get you a standing ovation!