Tarot Education: Recovering “Dead Time” While On Hold With Customer Service Representatives

Maybe you’ve found yourself in this situation too. Stuck in a tedious online chat with a Time Warner Cable representative today, I wondered what the outcome would be. Time Warner phoned me late in July with a classic bait and switch marketing promotion: they offered me a Dell tablet if I would upgrade my service to a higher speed, but then told me later (after I upgraded and began paying the higher rate, which was also about $10 higher than my notes from the phone call indicated that it would be, while the upgraded speed was 50 mbps lower than my notes from the phone call indicated that it would be) that they had decided to “deny the claim” regarding the Dell tablet.

I knew that regardless of the outcome of the chat, I would be busy with it for awhile. Time Warner’s representatives are not only NOT fast typists, but they also, as far as I can tell, must consult a script for every kind of situation they are asked about. And the script requires much time to be spent indicating the empathy that they feel for your concerns, and transferring the chat back and forth to other representatives who know equally little about how to resolve the situation. So chatting with them online means spending a lot of time sitting around and waiting for a response.

I decided to spend my waiting time to further my tarot education. I drew a card from Joanna Powell Colbert’s Gaian Tarot on the outcome of the call: the Guardian of Earth.

Guardian of Earth, Joanna Powell Colbert, Gaian Tarot
The Guardian of Earth, from Joanna Powell Colbert’s Gaian Tarot

This card shows a farmer tending his corn field, with a horse in the background. Joanna’s book about the Gaian says of this card that it is time to harvest the corn, and that the farmer takes pride “in his heirloom home-grown corn,” that he “is reclaiming its sacred traditions, taking it back from giant agribusinesses who have commercialized and adulterated it.” I thought this was rather appropriate given that I am considering withdrawing my business from a giant company which has commercialized and adulterated its products.

My husband asked me what I thought was going to happen, based on this card. And here’s what I find to be the key to this situation: I had an idea about what would happen (I felt the situation would work out for the best in the end, but also suspected that “working out for the best” would mean that I’d end up having a little more money in the future, but that I’d likely accomplish that by reversing my recent upgrade). But I didn’t need to be certain how to interpret the card because I knew that in a few minutes, I would have my answer, once I finished the chat. And then I could compare what really happened with the card that I drew, in order to further develop my understanding of this card and its role in the Gaian. This could turn into a tarot education moment! Realizing this, I have to say that I was quite delighted. As comedian Bill Burr might say, I discovered that I can “turn this franchise around” — instead of dreading chats and calls of this sort, I can reclaim my time from them by drawing a card on each call, and then comparing the outcome to my understanding of the card, making each experience of this sort into a tarot self-education moment. And who doesn’t need more of those? Learning more about tarot and how it works is much more important to me, anyway, than faster Internet speeds or a new device.

So I feel that this chat left me with a gift — a way to handle all such interactions in the future — even though Time Warner was totally unwilling to budge on its recent blunders.


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