Recession-Proof Employment, $4.99 a Minute

Today on NPR’s “Morning Edition” I heard the story of Alexandra Chauran, a working fortuneteller from Washington state. Our economy may be plunging further into its death spiral, but for her, apparently, business is booming. “It’s a good sign when people come to me,” she says.

(This reminds me of a conversation I once had with a mortician. I asked what made him decide to pursue that line of work. “Job security,” he replied.)

Just who are the people who are paying a whopping $4.99/minute (up from the pre-bust rate of $2.50/minute) for a glimpse into Chauran’s crystal ball? It’s a lot of realtors, she says, some of whom call on a daily basis to cosmically vet their clients.

Sort of makes you wonder what kind of voodoo is going on at the investment houses.

For Chauran, fortunetelling is a full time job, and she’s definitely busy. She does face to face consultations and is available for parties. She also does some online work, which must be challenging now that dial-up has gone the way of the dinosaur (as the Psychic Friends Network used to tell us, psychic energy is stronger over the phone lines).

No matter what shows up on your Tarot cards, though, don’t worry about Chauran raining on your parade. She says that, no matter what the content, a reading from her gives people the opportunity to change their lives and their futures for the better. “I’ve learned ways to give people a positive outlook without shutting them down,” she says. In other words, I guess, no news is bad news.

Besides giving me a bad case of the willies, Chauran’s evaluation of her profession’s role in our current climate seems itself to be a fulfillment of ancient prophesy: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” That’s from the Bible, 2 Timothy 4:3-4.

No mention of whether the high cost per fable will be rising any time soon.