Clients under the influence (and I'm not talking about orbs)
Recently did a reading for a friend and didn’t realize until part of the way into the session that they were pretty stoned. Finished the reading and my friend seemed to get a lot out of it…we had a good dialogue, things seemed to ring true, and felt like I knew them better afterwards. But later felt a little angry when considering that they may not remember much of what we discussed.
Has anyone run into a similar situation? Would you terminate the reading when you realized that the client was drunk/stoned/otherwise under the influence?
I know this was posted quite awhile ago, but seeing the lack of responses I feel it would be okay to respond myself.
I believe that if the client is a paying client, then there is no reason to be angry with them for being under the influence. It’s possible that they won’t retain much of the information, and it may seem like a waste of time, but if they are paying, it’s their money they are wasting (if they don’t remember the session). I do think it’s rude for friends, however, to be under the influence when doing a free reading for them, as it takes up your time and efforts. This is of course unless you are okay with it, which some people may be.
It is possible that someone who is stoned or otherwise under the influence may even take the information you’re giving them more openly, and it may affect them stronger than if they were completely sober. Perhaps they were nervous to go into something so probing with a sober mind.
It is definitely up to the preference of the astrologer, though. If you’re uncomfortable with it, let it be known, and don’t let your client make you feel disrespected.
I’m definitely not a fan of wasted clients, though I’ve dealt with precious few of them. There is one, however, that stands out.
I was doing a house-call reading in Los Angeles about 5 years ago. We were about half way through the reading, and the subject of the upcoming Mars retrograde in Leo came up. My client excused themselves and asked if I would mind if they had a small glass of red wine. I said “sure.” It was their home, and what harm could a glass of red wine do?
When they came back, we started talking about the last time Mars had gone retrograde in Leo, 15 years earlier. It turns out the client had gone to rehab for their out of control drinking. This realization was followed by excessive and impressively speedy drinking. Half an hour later the client was wasted.
Not only was my client now sincerely drunk while I was trying to finish up the reading, she also got handsy. She kept touching my leg, my shoulder, etc. Pretty much everything but the naughty bits. I finished up and got out of there as soon as I could.
It was, by far, the most uncomfortable reading I’ve ever done.
As a quick astrological aside- this person had a Venus-Neptune conjunction in Scorpio, on the rising. Problems with boundaries? Oh, I don’t know, maybe….
Thanks for the responses, guys! Yeah, I was mostly upset because this was a favor. If it’d been on his dime, not as much of an issue. Lesson learned. Fortunately, he did not get handsy with me.
I used to feel like paying clients were purchasing the privilege to waste my time and theirs, but I don’t feel that way any more. I like doing my job, and doing it well. These days I avoid or decline clients who would rather pay to someone to waste time with them.
Perhaps I should locate someone who will allow people to waste their time for a reasonable fee to which I can refer problem clients.
Austin…that client was definitely being inappropriate and not respecting you as a professional regardless of her paying or not. I would not be pleased with this type of behavior coming from anyone, even completely sober. I understand what you are saying about not wanting to waste your time with any client, even if they are paying, though I guess I’m not at that point yet where I’ve had clients that I can set my own boundaries for. It will take some feeling out when I do start practicing to see what I will accept and what I will not accept because right now it’s just speculation on my part!
Nick- thankfully he didn’t get handsy with you! Hehe