I applied for a job at a metaphysical bookshop on Saturday afternoons. It was a short shift – only four hours in the afternoon, but it was nice to have some extra money. I was hired due to my extensive experience on enlightenment: I had recently finished an autobiography about Shirley McClain and her spiritual journey.
One of the biggest sellers at the bookstore was crystals. Known for their healing properties, crystals are the transmitters of the metaphysical world - or so I was told. One afternoon, a woman came into the store frantic. She was flushed and told the owner that she needed something to ground her. Ten minutes and $60 later, she left happy and 'grounded' with a quartz crystal pendant around her neck.
I was responsible for answering the phone, and right next to it was a handwritten placard: I’m sorry. Serena is busy giving a reading right now. May I take a message? My boss was paranoid about taking any phone calls as they came in, so she insisted that I take messages for her. She’d call them back at her leisure, all breathy and reassuring. Sometimes I’d eavesdrop on her readings and roll my eyes. She was such a fraud.
As far as I was concerned, it seemed like bad karma to knowingly take advantage of people like that. I worked there for about five months before I couldn't stand it anymore. My final day there I worked the shop alone and not one person came in – so I slept on the floor behind the counter until it was time to go home.