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By Frances

I was raised at the tail end of a time where people were taught to respect personal space and boundaries. Trust, respect, and honor were paramount. We dressed when we left the house. Sweats were worn, if at all, at home, not to a restaurant or on a plane. We didn't ask personal questions. We didn't impose on people. We didn't drop by unannounced or come to a person's home empty handed. I was taught that I could have anything I set my mind to, as long as I worked towards it, earned it, learned how to do it, created it and manifested it. I wasn't entitled. Unfortunately, something happened in the decades that followed my early childhood. People, and yes I am generalizing, feel entitled to everything! This is why they get so frustrated and angry when things don't go their way. I find it disgusting. Children no longer address the adults in their lives as Mr. and Mrs. but rather by their first name. When I first came upon this I was taken aback, but I didn't want to rock the boat on something so seemingly insignificant. But at closer inspection, it isn't insignificant, it is endemic. It starts young. If we aren't taught at an early age about respect and trust, where are we? 

We are here.

The devolution of society has hit all aspects of life, reading is no different. As a professional reader and counselor in NYC, I meet all kinds. Are people rude in other areas? You bet, but for some reason everything in NYC is more concentrated, more fierce. I definitely encounter the tire kickers who look down upon readers and feel they are entitled to treat them with disgust and disdain. Most of the time I find it is born out of fear and insecurity. They try to lambast me. It used to bother me but now I find it comical. Why bother sitting in the chair across from me if you don't want a reading? Why bother paying for something you aren't enjoying? I learned early on to take a deep breath and ignore them. I continue with the reading, what they get from it is their business. I have on occasion broached the subject, gently, "You don't seem to be open to a reading?" "Oh No! Whatever do you mean?" Why bother! I just take a deep breath and read. 

I recently had a potential client hear about me through friends. When she called she went off about how wonderful her friends said I was and made an appointment. I referred her to my website for my rates and such and she called me late that night in a fit. She said that my rates were not the same as they are in the store where her friends had their readings and therefore I am a charlatan. Ah yes, those dots connect. She went on and on about how what I was doing was wrong. What am I doing? I set my rates years ago. I am not responsible for the store's rates. She even called the store and complained that I was charging more for phone and Skype readings then in the store and yet I didn't have to travel anywhere. I am not an employee of the store. I am an independent contractor yet she felt entitled to set my rates and complain to an independent third party about me. It still makes me laugh thinking about it. 

What aggravates me the most about reading and counseling is that people feel entitled to more than setting my rates and evaluating my skill but to my time and energy. My ability for reading, seeing patterns and counseling is a gift and to be honest at times I feel conflicted. Part of me feels I should share it freely. I am generous with my time and energy but this is also a business. I charge for my time. I charge for my counsel. I find that with some people it is never enough. They have no qualms about calling at all hours without regard for me or my family. I have never been a strong champion for myself but when something negatively impacts my family it has to stop. 

When I read for someone I, more often than not, forget the reading afterward. It is not something that is embedded in my mind. I read, get the message out and it is gone. Yet people will contact me weeks or months after a reading and ask me questions about it. They will contact me and ask me to pull a card about this or that. "Oh can you do me a favor and pull a card about this situation?"  This puts me in the uncomfortable position of having to teach them manners, boundaries, and, if at all possible, respect. I did not sign on to teach people proper etiquette.  In fact, I find it offensive. I would much prefer to freeze them out. Given the choice of fight or flight, I prefer flight, besides I don't believe you can truly change a leopard's spots. Unfortunately, for me these people are persistent. Horribly so! They push me to the point where I have to be forceful and set firm boundaries. I feel like the lady in the Strength card with a pride of lions. 

V strength

Strength from the Victorian Romantic Tarot published by Magic Realist Press.

I have to be calm and the spirit of inner strength. I must be aware of my needs and instead of going for throat exercise will power, use self discipline and promote respect and honor. To do that I must respect myself and my practice. I don't suffer fools but I need to take my own advice and take a deep breath and tell people that my readings are a snap shot in time. My rates for a reading are clearly listed. I am an independent contractor. When I am pushed I must tell them to please not ask me to discount my readings. When asked for a freebie, I must tell them that if they want another reading to please make an appointment. When they are frantic, I need to tell them to sit down for a moment, clear their minds and the answer will come to them. What they need more than a reading is to learn respect. Respect for the universe, respect for the divine, respect for each other and respect for themselves. 

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