Went to see the gypsy – then her dog bit me

In this part of Chelsea it is impossible to walk the streets without encountering psychic reading shops.  As a scholar with a serious interest in probing the practice of coaching from all perspectives, it occurs to me that the exclusion of fortune- telling from the recognised body of executive coaching practice is a serious omission. After all, clairvoyance has been around a long time and clearly meets a need for understanding of past and predictions of future.  It would seem that psychic powers and luminous clairvoyance have been overlooked in  the design of coaching competency grids and skill sets – when on the face of it i have to ask what is not to like about  going straight to a definitive view of your future from an expert with an inside track; rather than going all round the houses with  non directive, interminable unconditional positive regard mushiness. Not only it is direct and swift it is relatively low cost and no less unregulated that executive coaching but with the added advantage of having no professional bodies to aggrandise partitioners with a penchant for power.
unable to resist the temptation to try out this form of inquiry for myself i stepped in the next door the future i came across off Seventh Avenue to learn my fate.  What I was not expecting to occur at this critical threshold moment in my life was to be charged at then bitten by a ferocious dachshund that was hiding beneath the drapes on the circular table just below the crystal ball, which wobbled a little under the force of the dog’s exit velocity.  I rubbed my leg as Tiffany shooed the dog way behind the curtain to join her son who was playing a highly destructive video game.  At this point – at least out of human decency as well as proof of her predictive powers – she might have warned me that the dog would bite me on exit too, but perhaps she liked to trade in threats of weapons of minor destruction.  She then ran me through her various service offerings which ranged from $10 for a quick reading of two weeks either side of the present moment to a full life assessment and aura cleansing (with tools!) for only $150. I opted for the quick two weeks either side, not least as this is pretty much the time span i can deal with at this age and stage.  I did notice the absence of psychological contracting or drawing of ethical boundaries. It was right hand out and straight in for the kill.  experiential immersion obviously, without disclaimers. 
I feel sure i need not bother you with every detail of her reading, some of it ringing true while other rather scary bits smacking of trailers for the need for urgent and deeper treatment before my aura crumbled altogether.  I did learn that I was to live a long life, that the last six months have been highly pressured (‘may i even use the word anxiety?’ she whispered at some point) and that beyond all of that there is something growing inside, some ’seed’,  something i have allowed to grow that i need to deal with as it has been troubling me and has been causing trouble for me for the past thirty years (at this point it was pleasing to be stepping well outside go the two weeks either side tariff without incurring extra cost.)  The message here was that i had at some point taken the wrong path and that while i was successful at doing what i was doing there was another path that can not be ignored for much longer unless  i wish to continue to go through the motions with a job that does not fully fit.  She said with confidence that I will be a writer and that I will make a living from it too. 
As we drew to a close the pressures to sign up for more were palpable: and in my mesmerised state i handed over my phone to have her insert her number as well as for all i know the aura of Beelzebub to enable each to be within arms reach of her powers and tools as there was no time to lose if i were to save my mortal soul. At this point i found myself both Impressed but also needing a refreshing dose of uncomplicated Good News Radio to cleanse the dark matter  and replace it with God’s certainty.  I might have considered her invite to more depth treatment more favourably  had I not been bitten by the demented dachshund once more on exit.  Perhaps if I had contracted for more on the stop then she might have resisted setting the dogs on me.  I feel sure executive coaching marketing advisories could benefit from inclusion of this incentive to sign up on the dot. Once bitten, twice contracted, sale closed.  
As i made my field notes in a nearby cafe which was playing Cool for Cats (but clearly not for dachshunds) by the Cure i realised that i would need to widen my data base, triangulate my inquiry before leaping to any conclusions about the the validity or reliability of fortune telling.  This evidence driven  realisationprompted me to stumble into the next randomly chosen salon i came across to select an upstairs booth that was mercifully dog and war game free.  This reading was conducted with the left hand not the right (could either hand give different readings i mused, worth my reliability hat on?) and proceeded down a fairly conventional but not sales driven narrative giving ho hum revelations – favourite day Wednesday, favourite number 5 – before proceeding onto more interesting stuff, much of it consistent with her rival reader. a long life, a rich life, a leader not a follower, a generous positive person who attracts jealousies, that i need to keep my future plans to myself – oh and that i was on the wrong path and needed to change this while there was still time. I liked her but thought her rival had an edge on the intensity and personalisation stakes,  somehow. She ended by saying that i was confused – which  helped me decide not to add to the confusion through any further readings. 
so that was that. i stepped out on to the path not knowing whether it was the right one or not – but knowing for sure that is was the one that would lead to my bed.  i could not have imagined $15 worth of executive coaching being this generative. 

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