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Tales of a New York Phone Psychic

[ NEW YORK, NY - NYC - 1/30/2005 - www.Littleviews.com ]

>>  I have been a professional tarot card reader for many years, and somewhere around 1992, with some extra time on my hands, I answered an ad in TV Guide for phone "psychics."

Much to my surprise I was asked to do a reading, over the phone, for the supervisor. I correctly surmised that she was having difficulty with her daughter, and I was able to give her enough insight to cause her to hire me. A few days later she sent me a package containing a list of national hotlines: Incest, Rape Crisis, Suicide, Addiction, (you get the idea). That should have been a clue.

I purchased a headset, dialed into the "Network," and waited for my first call. And waited, and waited. Since I was a newbie, I had to wait until all the veterans were reading before a call could be forwarded to me.

Finally, my first customer. It was a man who lived on one of the barrier islands off the Carolina coast. He didn't believe in psychics, but was curious and wanted to "test" me. Oh joy. "I have two cats," he said, "and there's something wrong with one of them. Can you tell me what it is?" I explained that I was a tarot card reader, and not a veterinarian, but I figured if he was willing to spend $4.99 a minute (of which my starting share was $.25) who was I to argue? I gave it a shot. I described the personality of each cat, and told him which one had received a head injury. He was very impressed with my accuracy, thanked me and hung up. The call had lasted three minutes, and since the callers got the first three minutes for free, I made zero money on that one.

Well, I certainly wasn't going to get rich this way. It was clear that in order to make any money I would have to keep the caller on the phone as long as possible. The longer the call lasted, the bigger my cut, but the rules of the Network dictated that a reader could not prolong the reading by saying that he or she needed to meditate first, or needed time to "tune in." Oh well.

The next caller wanted to know when his luck was going to change. I shuffled my cards, and asked him the nature of his bad luck. He said that he kept losing money at the dog track. I put aside my cards and told him that I knew the exact second that his luck would change. "Tell me, tell me," he said, all excited. "The second you stop going to the dog track" said I. He hung up on me. Not even one minute on the phone. This was turning into a disaster.

Then I got a call from a woman asking when her finances would improve. I spread the cards and her situation looked bleak. She had young children, and there did not appear to be a man in her life to help her. It turned out that the father of her children was in jail, and she didn't know how she was going to feed them. I then discovered what the hotline list was for. I quickly referred her to some government agencies, suggested she also seek some help from her church, and told her to get off the phone and not to call another psychic line. Her children were hungry and she was spending $4.99 a minute on the phone! I was starting to get depressed.

My next call lasted almost two hours. The client was a male with a very gentle voice. I spread the cards and surmised that he was depressed and suffering from some kind of physical disability. Oddly, he did not really have any questions for me. He merely confirmed that he was a quadriplegic veteran who lived alone, and was very lonely. He just needed someone to listen to him. I gave him the number of some veteran's organizations, but mainly we just talked about this and that. We even had a few laughs. He was very appreciative, but I was emotionally exhausted.

I did not last very long as a phone psychic. Actually, I gave up card reading altogether. We all possess the answers to our own problems. At best, a good reader can offer some insight to help the client to access those answers. The network I was associated with was very reputable and very expensive. Not all networks are on the up-and-up, and all of them stay in business by keeping the client on the phone as long as possible. Be aware.

Questions? Comments?
Carla Sheinkopf

Also see Carla Sheinkopf's article on Seeing Stars in New York City about how easy it is to celebrities throughout the city.

Carla Sheinkoph on Littleviews.com

Besides being a psychic, Carla Sheinkopf, author of this article, is a collage artist who creates ultra-light-weight earrings and other jewelry. She knows how much it hurts to have a bent ear, and will not bend yours with a phony prediction or chunky ornamentation.

That said, Carla hung up her phone line years ago and only does readings for her more fortunate friends. Her jewelry, however, can be found in various boutiques.

Article by Carla Sheinkopf. Photo of Ms. Sheinkopf by Karen Little. First published on 1/30/2005. All rights reserved by www.Littleviews.com.

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