However, I do tend to treat most problems as exercises in optimization. This can cause grief when someone brings me a problem, and doesn't want an analytical solution. I'm quite willing and able to lend a strong back, ear, shoulder, or just be comforting -- however, you have to tell me that this is what you want. Otherwise, I tend to assume anyone bringing me a problem wants me to figure out an answer. Then I get confused and unhappy when they're not pleased with me.
There are also some people who seem to expect me to just up and say "Ah, I'll write a cheque and make the whole thing go away." This seems a little presumptuous in many cases. Just sayin'.