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Anybody work for a telephone tarot line?

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 15 Mar 2004, and now archived in the Forum Library.



Mojo  15 Mar 2004 
Just wondering if there are any of them active in the U.S. and if anyone is working with one. Or did they all go away once Miss Cleo was busted?

If so, please PM me, I'd like to find out some info. 


Ilithiya  15 Mar 2004 
I did. *eep!*

Honestly? Don't waste your time.

It's based on a pyramidal points system. The longer you can keep someone on the phone, the more points you get, and the more calls that get directed to you. Since most people hang up after their free minutes are over, you get stuck at the bottom of the pile with only two or three forwarded calls per day.

Most people don't give a crap that you're an honest reader. They expect instant gratification - most of them are the worst kind of clients.

Wages suck big time. I only made about $0.40 per minute, by the way.

Oh, and you mustn't forget the biblethumpers, the drunks, and the perverts who call endlessly.

I'd rather clean toilet traps for the rest of my life than work a tarot line again.

Ilithiya 


TemperanceAngel  15 Mar 2004 
Quote:
Originally posted by Ilithiya

I'd rather clean toilet traps for the rest of my life than work a tarot line again.


Ilithiya, thanks for sharing with us :) I really think you have made your point there! XTAX 


miss_apples  15 Mar 2004 
I almost worked for a line but chickened out. My best friend also worked for a line and she really liked it. She got paid at least $11 an hour and made more if she worked at least 20 hours a week. She said she never got a lot of people calling her a fake or anything like that, so she must have been a lucky one. The reason why she quit it was because in order to work for a line like that you have to be a very self-motivated person because you chose your own hours and what not...and shes not a very self-motivated person.

However I do know that many of the lines were connected to Miss Cleos organization...so I would also like to know if there are still lines here in the USA that still do that. 


Mojo  16 Mar 2004 
Quote:
Originally posted by Ilithiya
Most people don't give a crap that you're an honest reader. They expect instant gratification


Where's the fun in being an honest reader? 


TemperanceAngel  16 Mar 2004 
Quote:
Originally posted by Mojo
Where's the fun in being an honest reader?

Mojo, it isn't always fun being an honest reader.
I find it has a lot to do with truth and integrity, the more dishonest readers there are, the more bad publicity there is for us honest readers who make their living out of the Tarot :) XTAX 


Ilithiya  16 Mar 2004 
Quote:
Originally posted by TemperanceAngel
Mojo, it isn't always fun being an honest reader.
I find it has a lot to do with truth and integrity, the more dishonest readers there are, the more bad publicity there is for us honest readers who make their living out of the Tarot :) XTAX


Bingo. That's why I *hate* the tarot lines.

Illy 


laura_borealis  16 Mar 2004 
I have a friend who reads tarot and also does astrological charts over the phone. (He has a computer program that does the charts quickly -- not the best way, but in that context it's what he needs.)

He really likes it and he makes enough money that he doesn't have to have another job. He doesn't live swank, but he owns his own home, makes his own hours, and feels like his career is helpful to others.

I couldn't tell you if he's "honest" or not. But he's very caring and sincere. He says he has a lot of regular clients. I suspect he's acting as a bit of a therapist for them. 


Ilithiya  16 Mar 2004 
Quote:
Originally posted by laura_borealis
I couldn't tell you if he's "honest" or not. But he's very caring and sincere. He says he has a lot of regular clients. I suspect he's acting as a bit of a therapist for them.


It sounds like he's doing this from an honest perspective. It's not the medium, or the message that bothers me. It's the motive of the people doing it.

You yourself said he's caring and sincere... and hence, I would classify him as honest.

Now, on the other hand, those who are doing what they do (tarot, astrology, whatever) with no concern or thought to what they're doing to the reputation of the medium and only care about a fast buck... well, that's the kind of people I take issue with.

Illy 


mota  16 Mar 2004 
Did your friend mention what tarot line they worked for? Any details, pay, did he bring his own clients, etc? 


laura_borealis  16 Mar 2004 
mota -- No, but I can ask him next time I see him. :)

Ilithiya -- thank you on my friend's behalf. :) I too would classify him as honest. And I know from experience that he won't shy from telling someone something they don't want to hear, if he thinks it's important enough. He did it with me when he did my chart. I didn't like what he told me, but he was right. :)

I should have him read the cards for me. And pick his brains about the phone tarot thing. ;) 


Lee  17 Mar 2004 
Quote:
Originally posted by Mojo
Where's the fun in being an honest reader?
I think even Mojo would agree that it's not much fun for the querent if the reader is someone with no tarot experience, who was recruited in a shopping mall, whose overriding concern is to keep the caller on the line as long as possible by such tactics as putting the caller on hold while the reader "meditates," and who then gives a reading by reciting passages from Nancy Garen books. This is the kind of thing that goes on in telephone readings. Not all telephone readers are like this, but many are, and the caller has no way of knowing what kind of reader they're going to get. As I say, not much fun for the caller.

-- Lee 


Mojo  17 Mar 2004 
Quote:
Originally posted by Lee
I think even Mojo would agree that it's not much fun for the querent if the reader is someone with no tarot experience, who was recruited in a shopping mall, whose overriding concern is to keep the caller on the line as long as possible by such tactics as putting the caller on hold while the reader "meditates," and who then gives a reading by reciting passages from Nancy Garen books.


Lee, you hit it right on the head... we're talking about FUN for the querent.

So many people get so wrapped up in the mystic psychobabble surrounding Tarot that they forget that for the great majority of people who seek out a Tarot reading. FUN is part of the motivation. Looking into the future gives them a little thrill.

Let's take the other extreme. If someone wanted a tarot reading and instead got a lesson in history and esoteric theory, do you think they'd be happy? Hell no. They want something juicy and almost dangerous.

Hence my comment about "honest" readers. A good reading for a paying client needs to be a little bit drama, a little bit hocus pocus, a little bit of mystery, and a whole lot of telling them what they want to hear.

I'm all for being honest, as in telling them exactly what I see in the cards, good or bad. But I also revel in being a bit of the sideshow charlatan and giving them what they paid for. 


Mojo  17 Mar 2004 
Quote:
Originally posted by TemperanceAngel
Mojo, it isn't always fun being an honest reader.


Then why do you do it? If you're not having fun, why bother? 


lunakasha  17 Mar 2004 
Quote:
Originally posted by Mojo
Then why do you do it? If you're not having fun, why bother?


Ooooooh, this is getting to be quite controversial......

Is it better to give an "honest" reading, which might translate into a bored or somewhat agitated querent.....

OR should we focus more on the "showmanship" aspect of being a reader/entertainer, thus ensuring that we end up with a "happy customer", for better or worse....

Isn't this really a question of ethics???

Personally, I am torn between both sides to this issue....my gut reaction tells me that being honest is THE most important thing. BUT I can also see mojo's point....that we really do want the querent to feel satisfied and uplifted in the end.

Hmmmmmm.....:eek:

:) Luna 


Alissa  17 Mar 2004 
Umbrae's introspective question, "Why do you read?" should answer these questions for each reader on an individual basis.

Each individual reads for different reasons. Approaches to Tarot vary widely, after all. 


Jeanette  17 Mar 2004 
I think what Mojo says about it being FUN for the querent is correct, sideshow charlatan and all. You can be a serious reader and still make it fun; you can (and should) be honest and still make it fun! If your client is asking about something extremely serious, hopefully you'll know better than to try and make that too fun! I guess you have to know what is in good taste at that point (which is hard to do over the phone). I would tend to think phone callers might not be asking about serious issues for tarot readers (only because I wouldn't call a phone tarot line for something serious). But, then again, I probably wouldn't call a phone tarot line ever! Do the people that work the phone lines receive special training? What if some poor suicidal soul called out of desperation, needing assurance the future would be brighter? How on earth would you handle that? 


DeLani  17 Mar 2004 
I suppose, when it comes to playing the charlatan and giving the clients a bit of drama, it depends on where you are. If you're in most towns, (I'm guessing), where readers are "supposed" to be Gypsys or Miss Cleos, there is an expectation of what a reading is, what the reader will look like, act like, etc. and the reader has to fit that role or they won't get any more clients.
On the other hand, if I tried that crap here, I'd be run out of town on a rail. I live in a fairly new-agey type of area - thankfully, not so much the "angels-and-christ-consciousness" type I've seen in the Midwest (USA), but a pretty ecclectic blend of hippy, Native American, Eastern, and Wiccan spirituality are very open and active here. Readers are generally expected to be almost like a professional counselor, but spiritual (not necessarily "psychic," in fact, most readers shy away from that word) - if that makes sense. If I dressed up like a Gypsy and started throwing out Miss Cleo-isms, I would be acting fake. And everyone would know it, and I'd have no respect. There is a reader that just moved to town last year, advertising $5.00 readings, and acting just like the "fortune-teller." She isn't getting any clients and she's somewhat of the laughing stock of the town. Her shop is closed more than it's open, and I predict ;) she'll be out of business soon.
As I said, I guess it's a matter of demographics. I'm glad I live where authenticity is what is respected most; no matter how freaky you are, as long as you are authentic is what matters. Because I couldn't be anything else. 


lunakasha  17 Mar 2004 
DeLani and Jeanette:

You both made some excellent points...demographics and the *intent* of the reading would definitely make a difference in how you should approach the situation. Not sure if I would ever give a "telephone" reading, at least not through one of those 1-900 numbers....I suppose if you ran your own business via telephone, that would be different.

I think it comes down to recognizing each querent as an individual, and tailoring your readings accordingly, while being as honest as possible. Oh, and as much as possible...HAVE FUN!

:) Luna 


Shannah  18 Mar 2004 
Here's one person's perpective on the matter. I found it interesting.

http://www.aquarianonline.com/Meaning/1-900-Psychic.html

I guess the be fair, being a phone person can be alright, just as long as your intentions are pure.

I work as a writng tutor, and I kind of see myself as training wheels for the other person. They will not always need me, but I am there just to ease them into something until they feel they are ready to stand on their own. So, things like that shouldn't be a permanent situation with the same people coming to you constantly. The same goes for tarot readings and the like. When you are in the position of offering another assistance, you always have to bear in mind that some people develop addictions and that your job is not to encourage helplessness, but rather their own independence.

Also, when people are constantly attaching themselves to these things, thinking it will solve their probles, there are usually much deeper issues present which the situation continues to foster. 


DeLani  19 Mar 2004 
Thank you so much, Shanna, for posting that. When I get asked if I have a lot of repeat customers, and I say no, I get a look/judgement that I must not be very good. I try to explain to them that I don't want a lot of repeat customers because I want people to be empowered, not dependant on me for answers always.
Thanks. 


TemperanceAngel  22 Mar 2004 
Quote:
Originally posted by Mojo
Then why do you do it? If you're not having fun, why bother?

Mojo, I love your questions on here, but you didn't read my post correctly.....I said it isn't always fun...

Most of the time time I have fun, but it's not fun when someone has been in a relationship and been abused or broken up and is sitting there devastated and in pain looking for some answers and/or some hope.

Or someone has a terminal illness and may die, I don't find that fun.

Are you starting to get my drift? Some situations in life aren't fun, some are, that's life...

I didn't choose Tarot, it chose me. I love my job and I love meeting all the wonderful and amazing people that I do. I think I am very lucky :)
XTAX 


miss_apples  23 Mar 2004 
I read the story on the link that Shannah posted. The person telling the story said she felt bad for having to charge the man for the reading because his financial situation. However I looked at it this way....the man knew the score before he called into the line. He knew the cost of the call, and he decided to call anyways and spend money that he probably did not have. Thats not really the tarot lines fault.
The reader also said that she was forced to keep the readings she gave positive. I dont know about most readings but I always give my tarot readings in a positive light because any bad situation can become a positive one depending on how the querent ultimatly decides to handle the situation.

So in my humble opinion...I think that reader is feeling a lot of unneccesary guilt.

Ok...you can throw tomatoes at me now :) 


Mojo  25 Mar 2004 
Quote:
Originally posted by laura_borealis
mota -- No, but I can ask him next time I see him. :)

I should have him read the cards for me. And pick his brains about the phone tarot thing. ;)


laura.... any updates? 


The Anybody work for a telephone tarot line? thread was originally posted on 15 Mar 2004 in the Talking Tarot board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the active threads in Talking Tarot, or read more archived threads.

 
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