A practical, sometimes skeptical Witch based in Toronto, Canada.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Name that Karmic Lesson

Being a professional musician I have quite a few instruments in my collection. Purchasing a new instrument is usually an exciting venture . . . but sometimes awful things happen to me . . . as happened just recently. Let me explain what two purchases and then I'll explain my recent incident and I would like your opinion. I feel that Karma is trying to teach me something but I'm not sure what.

1) I was a young university student at the time and I was visiting a Celtic Festival. I wanted to purchase a harp but didn't have a lot of money. I negotiated with a harp builder explaining I was a student and I worked a church musician (at that time). He agreed to sell the harp for a lower price of $3000 because he wanted to help me. Also during that festival I met a lovely bodhran (Irish drum) builder. She had some amazing drums and offered to sell it to me for $60. I borrowed some money from my mom and picked that up as well. When I got home I had an email from the harp builder telling me that he had spoken to the bodhran maker and I was cheating him out of money. He was angry and told me that I didn't seem "Christian" at all . . . as I worked in a church. I was angry and wrote back and explained the situation.

2) I had acquired my first full-time job and decided that I had to have a piano. I answered an ad in the paper and visited an elderly man who wanted to get rid of his piano that his deceased wife had played. I decided that it seemed reasonable and gave him a cheque for the full amount of $500 and would send movers later at a mutually agreeable time. We agreed on the weekend but then the man phoned me screaming and yelling how I didn't leave enough time for the cheque to clear and that I was trying to cheat him out of money (they cheque had cleared). I had to get the police involved . . . I finally got the piano but the old man gave the movers a big sob story and the movers thought I was a criminal and asked me many embarrassing questions.

3) I recently wrote to a store asking about the price of a harp. The store owner told me the harp was one price and the case was another. I had also been talking to other stores across North America about their prices. Since this store was in Toronto I went to try it out. I really liked it and thought that I would just buy that one. The store owner wasn't there but the two sales people told me that the case came with the harp at no extra cost. I did not remember the price quoted in the email and I had no reason to dispute the employees, so I paid for it and left. The next day the store owner emails me that the employees had made a mistake and she wants to invoice me for the case. I write an email explaining the employees should know the costs of the instruments/cases as anyone could have come in and bought it and the transaction has been completed. This was a mistake on her part for not putting price tags on the cases and not training her staff properly. I explain that this is a really bad business practice. She then writes and tells me that it was unacceptable to "test her staff" like that. Now I'm furious!

Two questions: (1) What is the universe trying to teach me in terms of karma? Why does it always involve instruments? (2) What would you do in case scenario #3? All of my friends have given me the same answer but curious what you think.


  1. Honestly, since you have paid and have the receipt and all, in #3 I would leave it the way it was. That is, unless you want to buy something at that store again.

    The karmic lesson... don't know. Maybe it's a "money transaction" lesson and you only think of it as a "musical instrument lesson" because (I'm guessing here) musical instruments are among the more expensive things you've bought so far? (Or maybe it wants to show you that most musical and artsy people are strange. *g*)

  2. I'm am not sure that the Universe is trying to teach you a lesson, however that doesn't mean there is nothing to be learned from the experiences. These are great stories by the way and while reading them I almost imagined them as parables, with a tucked away meaning. Story #1 speaks to me as a exercise in mis-intention. The Harp dealer obviously got the wrong idea about what happened. When a miscommunication happens we have to listen, investigate, evaluate, and then explain. If done well the party with the wrong idea will understand the situation better and you would have learn more about why they were mislead. #2 seems tragic, and perhaps more a story about hidden intentions. While reading I imagine a situation where seller's remorse takes over and the man was not yet ready to depart with such a personal instrument. Instead of telling you this and opening up to you, he played the victim to win pity. Honesty on his part would have solved this one pretty easy. #3 Is one that I have seen a lot of during my time working in retail. It is the battle of a mistake. This one was made by the employees of the store. Not under-trained employees because it is too easy to demonize the store owner and make it their fault. In this situation all parties should be made whole and find a win win. Maybe you don't pay for the case, but instead do some free advertising for the store, or send them some referrals to off set the cost of the case. I'm sure there is a host of creative solutions, but all of that is only my two cents. Thanks for sharing the post, I got a lot of it.