June 21, 2018

I refuse to be your savior.

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Among the things that irritate me more than anything else as a Tarot reader is when other people choose to not believe me when I tell them who I am, and then in their willful ignorance become angry at me for not playing their preferred role. Don't get me wrong -- exploiting the role demanded of me by people who literally refuse to know any better has its advantages, and that was more or less the first rule of show-business when I was working full-time as a Tarot reader and servicing clients for hours every day. The rule that "The customer is always right!" is never truer than when performing as a Tarot reader, but that kind of show-business can only be sustained for so long before the routine becomes exhausting and the patience for playing other people's roles (and wearing other people's masks) becomes more trouble than it's worth.

The role that I've learned to hate more than any other is that of the savior. If I were a less self-aware person with less foresight, then the role of the savior is an ego-trap which might have caught me, but the trouble with pretending to be a savior is that it always ends badly for the savior. I mean, just look at Jesus Christ: the poor fucker got crucified and probably died from a combination of dehydration and asphyxiation. That's pretty god-damned awful. 

The other reason that I detest playing the savior more than any other role is because quite often this is a role put upon me without my consent to the performance, and there is no better example of this than the phone call I received this week. Phone rings, and it's a guy looking for a psychic reader. Because of my experience with person to person sales, I'll always pre-screen clients over the telephone in order to prepare them for the "ask" when they arrive in person. Pro tip, folks: If you don't prepare customers for what's expected of them during a sales presentation and eliminate obstacles before the close, then you're creating additional obstacles that will only deny the close. 

What was I saying? That's right: guy on the telephone wants a psychic reader. I've got a memorized sales script that I use to help screen clients, get them to invite friends, and shuffle them along the sales funnel, but this guy wasn't interested in playing ball because, and here's another pro-tip, the person who asks the questions controls the conversation. It's an immediate red flag that I'm dealing with a problem client when the other person won't let me lead the conversation. In the case of Telephone Man, he wouldn't even answer a simple question like, "Who am I speaking with?" 

Red. 

Fucking. 

Flag.

Instead of giving me the basic decency of just sharing his name, he flew straight into a dramatic monologue about how three other readers had told him that he was going to win the lottery this month, and that his parents died but left all the money to his siblings and he needs to know which lawyer will help him get his part of the inheritance: "But the lottery is what I really need to know about... I really need that money to come through for me because I've had just such a hard time this year... and my dog is sick too, so I really need that money to get her the treatment she needs... And I wouldn't even be in this situation if it weren't for my sister... she's done me wrong, and I really need that lottery money to come through for me this month."

After about five minutes into the conversation and having realized from his decision to not respond to any of my questions and instead just launch into his own dialogue -- which, if you want to know, is exactly what happens in every American presidential debate -- I was starting to lose patience. When he paused to catch his breath, I interrupted him to explain that there's nothing I can do to help him win the lottery or resolve his legal complaints. But what do I know? I'm only me, and he helpfully proceeded to tell me again how badly he needed this lottery money and to get back on his sister. 

I let him go for another 30 seconds in case he was just wrapping up his final comments, but it became evident that he believed that not only if I read his cards he would be guaranteed a favorable prediction, but also that the very act of producing a favorable prediction would equate to causation and guarantee him the outcomes he desired. Since he wasn't getting the picture, I interrupted him and no shit kids, this is verbatim what I said: "I cannot help you win the lottery. I cannot help you with your legal concerns. I cannot help you with any of this. I cannot help you."

You might think that at this point he would realize that I just wasn't the Tarot reader for him, but instead of believing me when I told him who I am, he became angry. Can you believe it? He became angry with me because he believed that I was capable of doing the things he wanted, but was refusing to help him because I just didn't like him. He launched into some choice accusations, and almost made me laugh when he said, "What are you, dark-sided?," but his attempt to guilt me into helping him wasn't a reflection of my actual self, but of his paradigm that all Tarot readers are sainted prophets obligated to provide service to the needy and I'm supposed to be some kind of parallel to a Christian priest who lives to serve and minster to the unfortunate. In his mind, I'm a savior who's obligated to help him and I don't even get to have a say in the matter.

Once he revealed himself to be the psychic vampire that he is, I cut him off and said, "It's been great talking, but I'm going to hang up now. Good-bye." He must not have liked that very much, because he called back about five minutes later -- presumably after rage-fapping about it Facebook -- to tell me, "You need help, and there's nothing I can do to help you," before quickly hanging up. You might think that this was just awful, terrible, my goodness so nasty, but truthfully I thought it was a good laugh. I was also glad that I got rid of that guy before he ever showed up on my doorstep, because if this is how he treats his saviors when they disappoint him over the course of a single phone-call, how do you think he'd treat a savior after the course of several months when it becomes evident that I couldn't through the act of reading his cards conjure his desired is-to-be? Do you think that he'd thank me for playing the role he demanded of me by just telling me off? Or do you suppose that he might throw a brick through my window, slash my tires, or spray-paint my place of business?

See, that's the problem with being a savior: sooner or later, your audience will crucify you.

I refuse to be your savior.

2 comments:

  1. People are so desperate for control over what they cannot control, they'll externalize that drive and foist it on anyone other than themselves available. And when that person disappoints and likewise only proves what all rational people already know--that some things are truly out of your control--they turn ugly, indignant, self-righteous, and even murderous. Reminds me of that line from the movie The American President: "They want leadership. They're so thirsty for it, they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand." And since sand doesn't nourish, but can only chafe--and we're no oysters, capable of turning what chafes into precious pearls--they spit it promptly back out and come out swinging at whatever "asshole" they can find to pin their own delusions on.

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    Replies
    1. And people wonder how demagogues get elected?

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