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by Abigail Van Buren

Callers to Psychic Hotlines Are Advised to Hang It Up

DEAR ABBY: I recently moved to Minneapolis from south Florida, where I had worked as a telephone psychic. The money was great. However, I now live in an area where I actually know my neighbors, and I feel very guilty about my previous line of work.

We "psychics" were really just saleswomen. We convinced callers that we knew something about their future. The callers were both men and women, and they really believed what we fed them. I feel doubly bad remembering how when business was slow, we laughed about the "pathetic losers" who were calling us. Some of them, I know, spent most of their daily wages on those phone calls.

I can't do anything to make up for my past sins, but please, Abby, warn callers of psychic hotlines that they are dealing with people with no more knowledge of the future than they themselves have -- probably less.

If they need someone to talk to, they should access the Internet. They'll be dealing with people just like us -- but it won't be nearly as costly. -– PAM THE SINNER, MINNEAPOLIS

DEAR P.T. SINNER: Those who call are not "pathetic losers"; the losers are those who take advantage of unsuspecting people searching for validation or encouragement.

I'm pleased you have turned over a new leaf. There's nothing like being inundated with good, solid Midwestern values to help a sinner see the error of her (or his) ways. There is plenty you can do to make up for your past sins. I have a terrific idea for you. Use your talent to save lives. Since you're good on the telephone, sign up for training and volunteer for a crisis hotline. The psychic rewards are phenomenal.