August 23, 2016

Ask Me Anything: Reading Tarot cards isn't a real job!

In my digital travels, I met a person who posed the following complaint:
Can I get your opinions or experiences regarding people telling you that Tarot Reading isn't a skill or a "proper job?" I've been a reader for 20 years and work for a large USA psychic line. I'm doing very well but twice this week 2 people close to me said it was an unskilled vocation. I'm infuriated and offended.
If you're a glutton for punishment, you can bait them into an argument about what qualifies a job: Does a job require any particular skills, knowledge, or abilities? Do you pay money for continuing education or to receive peer evaluation? Does a job require an investment of your time and energy? Does a job require you to provide a product, program, or service to buyers who want what you're selling? Are you earning an equivalent wage to that of your peers? Do you pay taxes on your earnings? 

Chances are excellent that by every answer they give to these questions, they're validating the work you do, but like I said, this is an argument that you should make only if you're a glutton for punishment because the people who have the nerve to say this to your face will never be convinced. Their arguments are based on their perspective that a Real Job™ requires a university education and usually a corporate employer. By those standards, you'll never measure up in their eyes.

Or, you make the argument that, "So what if you think it's an unskilled vocation?" Because, you know what else is considered an unskilled vocation? Waiting tables. There's not a lot of money to be made at the low end of waiting, but at the upper end (in fine restaurants, for example) there are wait staff who bring home $100k a year. You might not have to go to school to wait tables, but it's absolutely a skill and one for which experienced wait staff absolutely deserve to get paid.

Or, you can make the argument that, "You're correct - this is a totally whackadoo job. And yet, I'm earning more than you are and I never wasted four years of my life in university or took on (tens of) thousands of dollars in school loans just to work a 9-to-5 (or for many salaried workers, a 9-to-9) for a corporate overlord who genuinely doesn't care about my job security." My parents and a few of my in-laws think poorly of me for not completing a four-year university degree, but you know, I'm not in their pockets (or anybody else's for that matter), so their opinion on how I work and earn my money counts for nothing.

There are all kinds of things that will offend and infuriate you, but the occasional grunts and groans from ignorant or jealous critics with a Puritan streak a mile wide aren't worth the trouble.

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Freedom of Expression =/= Freedom from Consequences