I often see people online and in various forums seeking "a good reader/worker". There seems to be some debate on what exactly separates a good worker from a bad worker.
Many workers have their own personal policies and procedures which they have instituted to lay the ground rules for their services, make their practice run more smoothly, and weed out undesirable customers. Obviously what works for one customer will not work for another.
Some of the major complaints I read about include:
- The reader was not accurate.
- The worker did not produce results.
- The worker didn't respond to calls/emails promptly
- The worker didn't have a good rapport with the customer
- Results were taking too long to manifest.
In my last installment of this series on 'magickal marketing" I gave six characteristics of a good Rootworker or Spiritual Practitioner. Other workers may disagree with me, but I like to think that the best workers are those that hold to the attitude that they don't work for you as much as they work with you. However, today I'd like to turn things around and talk a bit about how a Spiritual Practitioner recognizes a "good customer" or how to be a good customer.
Characteristics of a Good Customer
Knowledge of the Tradition. A good customer will often have some knowledge of the tradition of magic that their worker practices or of magickal principles in general. These types of customers may be amateur practitioners themselves or have successfully worked with another practitioner in the past. A customer who has some knowledge of the tradition will often understand instructions better than a customer who doesn't know anything about magic at all. The worker will not have to waste time explaining the basics of how to take a spiritual bath, how to dispose of a candle wax, etc... and can focus on answering the more immediate questions regarding your case. If the reader/worker charges by the hour, half-hour, or even the number of questions it will also save the customer money to educate him or herself about the basics of the work.
In addition, a customer who is also a practitioner or has worked successfully with another worker in the past will often have a greater belief in the tradition, or in magick itself, which will go a long way towards helping him or her obtain their desires.
Honesty. A good customer will be honest about his or her situation and answer all of the workers questions truthfully and to the best of their ability. Reasons a customer may fib about their situation may include embarrassment, an unwillingness to take responsibility for their predicament, or to make themselves look better in the eyes of the worker. Just like it is important to be honest with your medical doctor about your symptoms, medical history, etc... it is important to be honest with your worker so that he or she can correctly address your issues or problem. A detail which you believe may be trivial may actually lead to a breakthrough or solution.
Clearly Defined Goal. A good customer will have a clearly defined goal and know exactly what it is that he or she needs versus what he or she wants and can prioritize their issues. For example, a customer may approaches you about gaining a new, unknown-lover, but after asking a few questions you find out that the individual has lost their job, has no means of income, no prospects for a new job, and are facing eviction! The customer is putting their wants before their needs.
In other instances you may have a customer who only thinks they know what they want. They may be desperate, they may be coming from a place of deep emotional pain, their judgment may be impaired, or they may not know how to express what it is they really want. A very good example of this is in the movie Eve's Bayou. In the film a young girl learns that her father is cheating on her mother. The girl goes to an unscrupulous spiritual practitioner and pays for her services thinking that she would get a voodoo doll of her father in return which she planned to stick full of pins. She later finds out that the practitioner has put a death-spell on her father who actually dies later in the film. In this case the girl was hurt over her father's actions and the doll was to be her way of acting out her pain but she didn't really want her father to die.
Understands the Value of Time. A good customer understands that time is money. Therefore he or she will actually 1) Pay for his or her appointment and 2) Show up on time. Many readers allow customers to schedule an appointment online and then be directed to a secondary website such as paypal to pay for their appointment. When they make the appointment but do not pay for it that slot is unavailable for another customer, which costs the reader money.
A reader may have several readings scheduled throughout the day, and he or she will often allow a certain amount of time between readings to go the bathroom, return phone calls and emails, or simply regenerate themselves with a few cleanings breaths or a quick meditation. When you fail to show up for your reading or consultation on time that can throw off the workers schedule. Most readers and workers will have a notice somewhere on their website that states their policy in these matters. They will usually allow anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes before canceling your appointment after which you will not receive their service. If you fail to pay for a scheduled reading or fail to show up on time you may find that the reader will not refund your money and may not allow you to schedule future appointments.
In addition a good customer will make an effort to understand what they will get for their money. For example, many workers charge a certain fee for the setting of lights, and in return the customer can usually expect to at least get a candle burn report and possibly a photo of the spent candle in return. However, some customers may wish for more. I have known customers who wanted daily reports on how a vigil light is burning. I personally don't know of any worker who provides daily reports on vigil lights as things change from day to day and they would rather wait until the candle is spent. Some customers may just want to 'check in' with you on a daily basis to let you know how things are going and get reassurance in return. Many workers are very busy and schedule every moment of their day. If you as a customer are not happy with what you are getting in return for a service and want more then you should expect to pay more money.
Has Reasonable Expectations. A good customer will have reasonable expectations about the work and how long it will take to manifest. In addition, he or she will not wait until it is almost too late before coming to a spiritual practitioner with their issues. For example, a customer who has been arrested for an offense such as drunk driving and who comes to you the night before their court date. In this instance, you may or may not accept the case depending on your personal policy or divination concerning the outcome. Some workers even require that they have a certain amount of time to work on an issue before they will or will not take a case. Cat Yronwode recently gave an example on the LMHR Radio Hour of a worker who requires at least 9 days before a court date before she will accept any type of court-case work.
Can Follow Directions. This ability could fall into the first category above but it bears emphasis here. A good customer is someone who can follow directions. Hoodoo is a form of magickal practice that has certain rules which are traditional and should be followed to the best of your ability in order to be successful in your endeavors. Just like when you hire an accountant or a lawyer, when you engage a spiritual practitioner you are making an investment in your own future. Hopefully you hired your worker because they seem knowledgeable about their tradition, you have a good rapport with him or her, and you trust their advice.
I'm not saying that you should blindly follow your worker, but do so with discretion. When a spiritual worker directs you to rise before dawn to take a spiritual bath, they are not being arbitrary, nor are they trying to inconvenience you. However, should your worker suddenly tell you that you are cursed and have to give them hundreds or thousands of dollars of your own money so that they can cleanse it for you in order to take off the curse then I think a second-opinion would be in order to say the least. Also, if you don't understand instructions it is perfectly acceptable to get clarification to ensure that you are following them correctly.
These are just a few characteristics that, in my opinion make a good customer. In and of themselves they may or may not be reason enough for a worker to refuse your case or drop you as a client. Therefore it is important for you as the customer to educate yourself about the policies and procedures of your Spiritual Practitioner as well as to familiarize yourself with how they work, what to expect from their services and make the most of your time and communication with your worker.