Rock Shop Guidelines

Rock Shop Guidelines

“The readiness is all.”
Hamlet (V.ii.138)

Kerby Academy? Overheard at breakfast, someone was training a new server at a Kerby Lane Cafe, a name itself which opens a long list of old Austin memories, and at first, I thought it was like Academy, the sports store. Remember when the Nature’s Treasure’s current location was an Academy? Or the Army-Navy store, before that?

readiness is allThe notion that there is a certified training program for Kerby Lane Cafes? Brings into question my own certifications and credentials.

Some years ago, I quit trying to do a curriculum vitae or even a resumé. Work experience? For the last three decades I’ve supported myself as either an astrologer, or reader, and occasionally as the author of one of the longest, continually running set of horoscopes, largely based out of Austin (TX).

Which was how, might’ve been 2012 or or so, Karen came to me for a reading, but it was more a vetting, and I was part of the first group in the shop, doing readings.

Rock Shop Guidelines

The original notice, I put up? See here.

It’s been ongoing with a period of experimentation, and various adjustments, in life, online, and in-store.

I managed a deal where I could show up with just a laptop, a set of my tarot cards, and work. The table was first in the showroom, and then, there were two practitioners at a time, but gradually, the store refined the set-up to a more private appearing nook, and just one of us at a time.

Pre-pandemic, the store was open until 7:00 PM, and I would walk out with the last of the closing crew since I was commuting to back to San Antonio. Leave at 5 PM? Get home at 8. Leave at 7:15? Get home at 8:15. Made sense at the time. In those years commuting, I’ve managed to listen to all of Shakespeare’s plays, read aloud, but I guess, that’s another story.

When I started doing readings — out in public — would’ve been early 1991-92? Old Austin, at the New Age Bookshop and Cafe, as it was then-styled. There was a series of booths in the front window, and it was through a local parapsychology organization. $10 to the reader, $10 to the store, if I recall. It was fair enough. Over the years, I’ve worked in a number of New Age/Metaphysical/Crystal shops, mostly in Texas, but elsewhere, as well. The 50/50 split is about the norm most places.

In the last nine years, I’ve learned a few tricks, specific to Nature’s Treasures.

One of my favorite bits, and this applies across all venues, maybe more like a life tip? Be extra kind and courteous to the people who work at the front desk. Pre-corona, at the shop, it was merely the people circulating at the front desk. There has always been a dizzying array of late Millennial, with some of the crew — it varies. Some only last a few shifts, but there are people I’ve worked alongside for close to my whole tenure at the store. Some employees have been there as long as I have, others seem to change each week.

Be nice to the front desk — the counter culture.

Counter Culture Those people are gold. With the recent rise in renewed retail restrictions, those people are on the front line. I watched, in abject horror, maybe a year back, as a potential customer got in a yelling match with the front door guidance person who was offering masks, hand sanitizer, and guidelines. While I’m not a lawyer, I understand enough about business legalities to know that Nature’s Treasures is a private establishment, and can responsibly ask for a corona mask.

The retail clerks are the frontline. Be kind. Be courteous. Costs me nothing, and goes a long way for smooth visits to the shop.

That includes, as an in-store practitioner, being mindful of checking out. Used to be, that “last call” came right before 7, and the crew wanted to go do whatever it was they do, go home, go play, I don’t know. But keeping them late is a huge impediment to their order and flow. As a practical observation, I’m here once or twice a month — they are front line each day, in some cases. Show some respect, or in a nod to an older Austin institution? “Be kind and rewind.”

Just about every retail employee complains about readers who are not mindful of the hours. Don’t be that reader.

I tend to grab an image of the sign, “Today’s practitioner is …” and hit the social media with that. Hat tip to that one Scorpio who labored over detailed imagery for me.

For years, there’s been a giant chunk of quartz on a spinning stand, and every time I pop up, I give it a gentle spin.

“Super Seven” is a metaphysical chunk of quartz with 7 different minerals in it. The name stems from alleged magical properties. That and the combination of 7 minerals. I found that Cacoxenite is remarkably similar, and at a fraction of the price. When asked? I point customers and clients to the collections. As a practitioner at the store, part of what we do is point and suggest.

“Bathroom’s that way.”

For first time practitioners? Consider an introductory price. I can’t work that out, and current currency climate notwithstanding, apparent inflation and deflation? Consider the introductory price. That first couple of years? I was very busy with $20 readings. No paper, digitally delivered recording, and super simple for me.

Took me back to my old Austin roots at the old New Age Books.

Before the pandemic, I switched it up, $20 for 10 minutes. Easy. With the results from that? I finally arrived at my current pricing,

I further honed my reading style to a point where I carry an iPad, use it for astrology charts, use it to record the reading, and process any credit card transactions.

Maybe that’s another point. Make sure all the business paperwork, tax ID number, and so forth, is on file. I prefer to handle credit/debit card processing myself, and what I’ve found? With Square, it works better. It’s free to sign up, and the card processors are all being squeezed to take a smaller percentage.

There’s also an option on the credit card checkout form, “Here, sign here,” and there’s a space for tip. Get the hint?

Rock Shop Guidelines

Modalities vary.

It helps to keep it as simple as possible for the average customer to grasp our messages.

I was sitting on an airplane, I used to commute around Texas on SWA, and the person sitting next to me asked what I do. I said I was an astrologer. She immediately lifted a palm towards me and asked me to tell her future. While I know a few tricks to palm reading, yeah, not my thing. But in that single lightbulb moment? I grasped her hand, peered intently at the palm, and asked her birthday.

Working at Natrue’s Treasures is just plain bizarre. The point is, every interaction is a potential customer, and often as not, it won’t be on the first try. Don’t be pushy; be helpful.

“Be kind, please rewind.”

Rock Shop Guidelines

Self-care, psychic protection, and local oddities. I tend to favor a kind of essential oil, Flying Monkey Oil. Simply put, as person who has to interact with people all day, and stumbling around in other peoples’ auras, in their psyches, and similar etheric fields? I need some protection, be that metaphysical, psychic, or “other.”

In my working bag, I carry a crucifix, or one bag has a rosary, glow-in-the-dark rosary. There’s some feng-shui coins tied with a red thread, and various stones. It’s a limited protection packet — never sure just what works, carry it all.

Ask the aforementioned counter people, ask them about whatever oils seem to work. I like that Flying Monkey Oil, but your mileage may vary.

Rock Shop Guidelines

I’ve been working as an independent contractor, a featured practitioner, at Natrue’s Treasures for almost a decade. This is what I’ve found that works for me.

  1. Be extra nice to the front staff.
  2. Be cognizant of time.
  3. Post images from inside the store.
  4. Offer introductory prices.
  5. Protect yourself.
  6. “Be kind, please rewind.”

Rock Shop Guidelines

Uncompiled working notes…

Spurious notes? Work every event in your neighborhood.

Get a ministerial license. Or a Masters in Psych. Even a BA in Counseling.

From a different background? “Competition improves the breed.”

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