In the early 1990’s I worked in the telephone and data communications industry which gave me the knowledge and insight to the forthcoming, ‘Technological Revolution’ and how this phenomena was about to rocket us into the 21st century. A few years earlier I had seen, in the ‘Jobs vacant’ section in one of the local news papers, a company asking for Tarot readers to work on a, ‘Tarot Line’, basically they would be taking calls from the public who would request a Tarot reading from the individual reader who answered their call. The same thing happens today but is far more sophisticated and is now predominantly internet-driven.
In 1994 I applied for a job on one of these telephone ‘Tarot Lines’ to do some research on how effective was Tarot reading over a telephone line. My intention was to stay for about six months maximum, but it turned out I stayed for two years. During this period I met all kinds of people and all kinds of readers. I’ll tell you about some of these amazing people in another article.
I worked on the night shift for several months purely because it was the busiest time of day and it passed the time more quickly and you got paid by the amount of total minutes you spent on calls during your shift. The night shifts became the most popular ones to work on. Many different types of people called the line and the variations in questions were limitless. There were some pretty strict rules to abide by too. On answering the call the caller would have the rules explained by the reader and if the caller was happy to continue with the reading the reader would then start off the reading. I just need to explain a few of these rules before I can begin the story.
Please bear with me………..
First of all there was an age restriction of 18 years old, you also had to be the telephone, ‘bill payer’ or have permission to use that line by the ‘bill payer’, this stopped people running up large company phone bills by their night shift staff. It also stopped young teenagers trying to use the service from their in-laws and parents phone line and so on. And finally, you would explain how much the call would cost, usually a price per minute, and in those early days it would be about 36 pence per min during the day and about 46 pence per min at night.
One early November night, whilst on a 14 hour shift which had started at 7pm that evening, I received a call between 11:00pm and 11:30pm, from what sounded to me like a very young child, possibly female. Of course, the first thing I asked was if they were 18 years or older, which they replied that they were and that ‘she’, was 21 years old. Still unsure, I raised my hand to the supervisor, which was a signal for assistance and motioned at the same time for her to listen in on the call. Once the supervisor was ready I explained to the caller, that in my view, I felt that she was too young to use the service and would have to disconnect the call. I looked at the supervisor and she gave me the thumbs-up to go ahead and disconnect the call, which I did after a brief explanation of why it was necessary to do so.
Want to know what happens next? …………………….
Chapter 2 coming soon. Chapter 2