By Phil Plait | September 25, 2009 3:00 pm

I don’t know if this story is true or not, but it should be. And the thing is, it really could be.

Tip o’ the wizard’s cap to The Chemist.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Antiscience, Humor, Skepticism

Comments (35)

  1. DGKnipfer

    Oh my FSM, that is hysterical. Briliant even.

  2. tjm220
  3. Ryan

    Not as bad as the time that teacher was investigated for sexually molesting one of their students due to the word of some psychic.

  4. John Swindle

    Rep: In order to proceed, I’ll need the name of your psychic.

    Cust: It’s Miss Hermione. She never lies.

    Rep: One moment please, while I consult our psychic…
    Thank you for waiting. Our psychic tells me that Miss Hermione has been arrested for fraud on several occasions, and is a registered child molester. Also she is not a real psychic, having lied on her application to the Psychics Guild. I’m afraid you’ve been cheated, ma’am. Thank you for calling customer service.

  5. Turing Machine

    maybe phil but lie is still a lie no matter in what context it is used. why be romantic about it ?

  6. If this is the same psychic who has failed to provide her customer with winning lottery numbers on repeated occasions, how can the customer say she never lies?

  7. And that SOB still hasn’t returned my thing that was stolen by a person! I would hate to bring this up to my horde of litigating angels. But they drove me to it.

  8. Dan I.


    Have you just discovered That is one of my all time favorite websites. Trust me you wanna check that every weekday and go through the archives there are some REAL howlers there.

  9. If this is real and not actually altered or completely made up…. kudos to the amazing customer service person who kept their cool!

  10. Kathy A.

    I work with the public, so I can definitely believe this is true. :)

    On a related note, it amazes me how many times people call to check on an order, but act like any identifying information is a state secret. Let’s see, you don’t want to give me your name, any item on your order, or even your phone number, and I’m supposed to be able to tell you anything? Yeah, right…

  11. Molly

    I don’t know what’s worse, people calling because their psychic told them to or people who somehow think you are psychic.

    When I was a flight attendant, we would be running really late or have bad weather and before we were even done boarding people would demand to know when we would land. When I made the observation that our arrival time entirely depended on when we left, no one seemed to understand that they were asking questions to which I had no way to answer without psychic ability of some sort. I did feel bad for them, and I felt bad for myself because all of our futures were linked but they were also all equally uncertain. I would have been ruling the world if I had access to the information people thought I did.

    At least the hotel customer service person only had to be on the phone with the crazy, not face to face and stuck in a metal tube with them miles above the earth.

  12. JenBurdoo

    I love that site. Lots of good stories on there.

  13. Turing Machine

    still love this site and its like mind people.

    i still don’t get why this super natural stuff and religion still around today.

    anyway guys i don’t know if you guys have heard of patcondell hes really funny and whats more a like mind person.

    here’s his youtube page

    cheers phil and may-thanks for stick up for the truth.
    these psychic keep getting worse, the uk now has a law which means there just for entertainment and should not be taken literary which is a step in the right direction. but with all the cheep space on the Astra 2 tv satellite we have a a ever bulging premium rate phone in physics who give out all sort of bad information with terror cards and other means devices.

    a another worrying trend ive begin to see here in the uk is psychic who are taking a punch at being veterinarians .

    cheers phil

  14. Nomen Publicus

    A good murder mystery novel about a psychic from a strong sceptical viewpoint is “Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks” by Christopher Brookmyre (it’s available from Amazon and all good book shops.)

    The methods (legal and illegal) the author suggests are used by mediums and psychics are surprising but believable.

  15. Crewvy

    Well,its obvious this person had their brain stolen,that is why they haven`t missed it.

  16. JB of Brisbane

    It beats me why people trust the words of their psychics, naturopaths or feng shui consultants as if it is gospel, yet suspect that their doctors or motor mechanics are ripping them off. It must be in the delivery.

  17. Michael Kingsford Gray

    Are you referring to the natal delivery of the intercourse-witted ignoramus in question?
    Or in the targeted fraudulent prognostications of the mountebanks formerly listed?

  18. Mike Wagner

    I think it has to do with doctors and mechanics having to train for their profession, and the type of people who go to psychics expecting an air of elitism from people who actually had to learn their skills.

    A psychic is “born with these powers” so it’s not a classism thing. They can pick a psychic from all walks of life. A doctor on the other hand is now a rich know-it-all, who may talk down to you if you like to put a little quicksilver in your scotch to make your ticker tick better 😛

    Now if only firebugs came with a fetish for psychics, maybe we could kill two birds with one stone.

  19. Petrolonfire

    There’s the pyschic & the pyscho… 😉

    What a funny & at the same time sad little story.

  20. “The employee is female with dark hair and her name starts with an ‘M’.” (In Florida). Specific sounding description that is actually incredibly non specific. Yeah, I bet there are no Florida hotels that have Latina housekeepers named Maria. Sad that this psychic seems to pander to anti-Hispanic/anti-immigrant bigotry.

  21. Holy crap… Funny, yet sad if it’s really true.

  22. ahahahahaha We stole her peace of mind!

  23. (ps credit Isaac Asimov…)

  24. Sarah

    But what will I do with my weekend if I can’t consult my psychic?

  25. Roadtripper

    Did anyone at the hotel find a bag of marbles? That would explain a lot.


  26. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    When I was a flight attendant, we would be running really late or have bad weather and before we were even done boarding people would demand to know when we would land. When I made the observation that our arrival time entirely depended on when we left, no one seemed to understand that they were asking questions to which I had no way to answer without psychic ability of some sort.

    Huh. The passengers have no way of knowing why the plane is late or what information the flight crew possesses. They aren’t psychics either. It’s a rather regular event that transportation estimates delays, as for example in trains where the failure of such is the exception.

  27. Flying sardines

    D’oh! That linked site is just too good! I spent hours last night reading and laughing through there when I should’ve been doing other stuff! 😉

    If I was handling this customer & if I thoughtof this quickly enough I’d have siad :

    “Ma’am, your pyschic must actually be being clairvoyant here & seeing the future. You haven’t been robbed *yet* & will have to wait until it happens in your future before you do anything – but because of your clairvoyant pyschics warning we’re checking all our staff & putting an extra security camera in your room so you can rest assured the predicted future won’t happen which willprove your pyschic a liar!” 😉

    Hopefully that will confuse and impress her enough to think again .. Although I guess playing along here may not help too much, it does seem this customer’s rationality looks like a lost cause. :-(

  28. Robert

    I wonder what a jury would make of this if he were to sue in court. Wouldn’t a jury of peers imply that they’re all as crazy as well?

  29. DaveW

    Where is the story? The link seems to only refresh the page.

  30. Bill

    28 – Robert:
    The judge wouldn’t let it get to jury, he would throw it out as frivolous, and fine the plaintiff for even bringing it to court!

  31. Cairnos

    Oh dear, this brought back a rather traumatic memory. An ex-girlfiend of mine once thought that her cat looked a bit under the weather so she rang her psychic to ask whether she should take the cat to the vet. When she told me about it I just stood there blinking for about half a minute as I tried to wrap my head around it. I kept waiting for the punch line, still am…

  32. JB of Brisbane

    @Michael Kingsford Gray – yes and yes… I think!

    @Mike Wagner – that may be true for the doctor, but what about the motor mechanic? I suspect the Smartass Factor might be working there.

    @Cairnos – just be thankful it was the cat that was sick, not her mother.

  33. Nigel Depledge

    JB of Brisbane (32) said:

    @Mike Wagner – that may be true for the doctor, but what about the motor mechanic? I suspect the Smartass Factor might be working there.

    Ah, yes, but motor mechanics are “notorious” for trying to rip everyone off, aren’t they?

    It’s the few bad apples etc.

    What’s funny is when one of them tries to rip off my finacée – she has a degree in mechanical engineering and grew up maintaining her own motorbike. She taught me almost everything I know about vehicle maintenance.

  34. Gary Ansorge

    In my personal opinion, any/all professed psychics are liars. Anyone with real psychic power would keep that fact a secret, though I am fairly certain there was a guy I played poker with who could read minds,,,

    GAry 7

  35. Brian


    Well, we have to face facts. Certain personality types are attracted to certain professions (I’m using the term loosely). People attracted to any scientific, functional, or mechanistic profession are probably going to be those who like to demonstrate knowledge and mastery of a subject. They are motivated by doing things and achieving results.

    My assessment is that psychics, naturopaths and feng shui consultants are probably more motivated by relationships and influencing people. It’s a profoundly political career choice.

    Now add in feedback and success selection into the mix. How do you survive as a psychic? It cannot be due to your stellar success in predicting the future, methinks! Instead you have to establish a bond with your clientele and read them carefully. Tell them enough to interest and intrigue them, but not so much that they don’t need your services any more.

    I gotta think that only the really gifted psychological manipulators can survive as a psychic. Because no one needs their services unless the customers can be persuaded that they do! It’s like the Oracle at Delphi. Eventually they became so famous that everyone had to go there, especially anyone rich, powerful or famous or aiming to be those things.


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