Another day. Another dollar.
And neither currency enough to tide me over until the end of the month due to an unlucky bet on a black cat. Don’t ask but I will never drink strong cider at a coven book group again (things have changed since I last wrote).
Put it like this, I even used one of our demo windfall spells.
But that was yesterday before V strutted into what is laughingly called the office in which I work, and asked or rather demanded
“Can we have a free psychic question answered by e-mail?”
I looked at her.
“The psychic question answered immediately or you want me to look into the whole situation immediately?”
But before I begin, and for any of you who follow along my diary it’s been a while since I’ve written anything here, and all I will say is that my efforts have all been focused on obtaining another job. I’ve given up, probably forever, for reasons I’ll explain some other day. Nonetheless I am fine.
Well, that completely derailed my train of thought. I'd been thinking of migrating some of our services over to an amazon instance of some kind but decided against.
It’s not that our organisation is shady as such, but it’s perhaps not a perfect match, not that I’ve been burned before. Magic is real in some way I can’t explain and despite my scientific background I can’t help but think our servers need to be magically hardened.
Maybe I've been working for a witch for too long.
Answering my question V said “a free online psychic question answered immediately by email” and added “and we could harvest and use emails with an autoresponder”.
She continues “email is the backbone of any successful biz”.
I must admit that she took the wind out of my sails somewhat with this, and I looked and felt slightly stunned.
“Let’s look at our competition” she says V, eyes glittering, and types in
“immediate psychic reading by email no credit card”.
We both look forward at the screen, heads almost touching, V points at the first entry and exclaims:
“That will be perfect ”.
My heart sinks and I realise I am being set up. I have gone from elation to despair in the space of seconds. V and I have never seen eye to eye on the need for e-mail lists and other marketing tools. She believes she is a witch, psychic and so on, and on a bad day I wonder if she can be. I really do. Anyway, “real witches” don’t need mailing lists, for some reason to do with resonance and other mumbo jumbo.“You have been pouty since the black cat incident”
“... and your unsuccessful job hunt” she added maliciously. “Still”, she mused, “you really are better off here “.
“And this will help you. Have your one free psychic reading, get your most pressing question answered and we will see what we can do about Hamamelis”.
Hamamelis aka Hazel (a witchy in joke of all things) was she who had robbed me blind during the coven meeting.
“It was your own fault” murmured V softly closing the door and leaving me to my thoughts.
This whole drama about totally free psychic readings has yet again reared it’s ugly head (and it does periodically) like that Greek serpent or monster. I think it’s a hydra or something. Anyway, cut off one of its heads, and another reappears or regrows. I’m hazy on the details.
V is attempting to expand, for want of a better description, her online psychic presence, but as I’ve already mentioned won’t use traditional methods of internet marketing to help. It is a source of frustration to me and write about this occasionally.
One method she likes to use is market research, and that often involves sending me off on some wild goose chase of other. At least this time, I wouldn’t have to leave the office.
I set up a fake email account using gmail as ever, with lookingforloveandmoneandanewjob as my username, which neatly encapsulates up my current situation. I thought this would give the almost certainly fake psychic something to go on.
I titled my mail, ‘please answer my totally free psychic question quickly’ and asked the question:
"Will I find money and true love soon?"
pressed send, and went for a coffee. Black.
As an aside, the whole psychic thing seems perfect for some automation/bot and Lizzie is my first attempt at a free psychic reader.
V. of course uses 'real psychics' - whatever that means.
If you have been reading attentively, you will realise that I actually asked two questions. This should sort the wheat from the chaf, or more directly the bots from the peeps - psychic or otherwise and in general I’m inclined to think otherwise.
On returning to my laptop (I never add my fake work email addressed to my phone), there was waiting for me:
“You will find money and love soon”
Followed by a second email.
“I am a genuine psychic and healer. Each visitor gets one free question and purchased services are very reasonable and affordable.”
Well, that looked like a bot (simple pattern recognition in the same vein as eliza), and I wondered if I should give it a go myself. I might add free psychic readings by email on this site as a coding exercise.
I know V. reads these pages, so I won’t add any of that nonsense onto any of our real websites. Promise.
I’m writing the rest of this at home looking out at the inky blackness where the others live towards the train track at the end of the garden.
It’s late and I can’t sleep but that’s ok. I’m a programmer anyway, and working what with working for V. being up at the witching hour is nothing new and often appropriate.