Friday, April 08, 2005

How I Spent My Week

Not that I'm trying to toot my own horn--wait, this is my website, that's exactly what I'm trying to do--but I posted some experiences on the Travel2Vegas board about my adventures this week in finding a dealing job here in Sin City, and I'm quite proud of the writing.

So here's what happened on Wednesday-- (Scroll down if you want to skip to Thursday)

Ok gang...

Did a little scouting around tonight. Decked out in my new white shirt, I showed up at the Plaza around 6:30. I ask the floorman who I needed to talk to about an audition, and they pointed me to one of the guys in the next pit.

I introduced myself, told him I was looking for an audition as a dice dealer, and the first words out of his mouth were "Man, you have perfect timing. We need 'em bad!" We got to talking, but he couldn't find any record of my application which was submitted online two nights ago. After several phone calls from there in the pit, it turns out that now that the Plaza is no longer a 'family business' and is corporation-owned, they do things a little bit differently. First of all, he found out, they only download applications once a week, then it gets screened by HR, then they have to forward it along to the casino hiring manager's screening process, etc etc, then they finally get the applications into the hands of the pit crew who are looking for help. The bottom line was, "Sorry man, I'd like to give you an audition right now, but I have to wait for approval, it could take another week..."

So we shook hands and I wandered across the street to the Golden Gate.

I stopped at the dice pit, and asked for "Joe" like my instructor told me. They referred me to another guy who said that Joe was his backup. I again introduced myself, told him that I had been in school for the last month and that I'd like to schedule an audition sometime soon.

His first words were, "Ok, go tap out the stickman".


Ok! So the table was completely packed, ten players or so, and I jumped on stick in the middle of this guy's roll. He had just made a point, so everyone started tossing chips at me and making all of their prop bets and hardways. Luckily the boxman was placing them faster than I could pick them up, so I didn't run into any problems there.

I made all the right calls, didn't mess anything up, and got all the payoffs right for about three or four different shooters.

Then I got tapped out and he had me go deal base--of course on the heavy end of the table.

First thing, two players tossed me two red chips each and said "Nine dollars inside!"

WTF?'s a three dollar game. Ok. I learned this once. After that, no problem at all, I did really well and my only messup was knocking over a stack of chips. Otherwise, not to shabby for a complete rookie. I felt like I was completely tossed in the deep end of the pool with no life jacket. Sink or swim, baby! Luckily I did fine.

I got tapped out again, and was told to go to the cage and get an application, fill it out, then come talk to the pit crew again.

So I went to the employee lounge, filled it all out, and went back to the dice pit. Two guys looked over my application, the second one extended his hand and said "Congratulations--you're hired."

So now I'm working for these fellows...

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Anyhow, tomorrow morning I go into HR and get my gaming license squared away. I probably won't work until sometime next week, unless they are shorthanded between now and then. I start on whats called the 'extra board', meaning, no set shift, no set hours, just on call. Maybe a day or two here and there but he said that within a month I'll be working five days a week. No problemo, I still have a little bit of an income. He also said he didn't expect me to hang around long, that once I get fairly good and fast, I'll leave for greener pastures just like everyone else does.

In celebration of my new status as a contributing member of society, I went to the snack bar at Binions where rumor had it that they put the grill back in. The rumor is true. I ordered a cheeseburger, a bowl of chili with cheese and onions, and a rootbeer, just like the last time I was there a couple years ago. It was still excellent, greasy as ever, and I got my new white shirt dirty!

So tomorrow I'm gonna go down and take care of all the legalities, then of course just go to school and deal the mock games until they call me with a schedule. I could be working days or swing shift next week (and they have 3 different starting times on each, so my schedule could vary wildly for the first few weeks), I just don't know.

I don't care. This first stop is just for the experience, I'm sure I won't get rich there. But I think I'll have a lot of fun!


...And here's Thursday:

I dragged my carcass out of bed at 8:15 this morning (still struggling with sleep deprivation...), answered a few emails, took a shower and was out the door heading for downtown by 9:30. I showed up promptly at 10am at the Golden Gate HR department to start doing paperwork.

This marks a milestone for me, having now explored further than the main floor at the Gate, as the offices are up those stairs there in the corner of the Deli.

Anyhow, after getting my ID copied and signing a few forms, I am sent to the Fremont Medical Center to go take my 'Whiz Quiz'. Yep, it was time to--like the Greatest Vanity Plate I've Ever Seen said--PNA CUP.

Remember the discussion thread where Doc Al was saying that the ElCo was just a seedy block past the end of the Fremont Street Experience? I'll give you three guesses where Fremont Medical Center is. Yep--right there on that same block at the corner of Fremont and Sixth Street, directly across the street from the El Cortez.

So I signed in, found a spot way over in the corner, tried not to touch anything, sat down, and proceeded to make my way through two bottles of Aquafina. Apparently, there were lots of folks waiting to be tested today, so the wait was over an hour. Luckily, the place was built with huge picture windows, so I got to enjoy the endless parade of human drama passing by on the street outside.

One thing I noticed was that the gals working the sidewalk (yep, in the middle of the day on a Thursday...) outside the ElCo were of a totally different caste than the ones working, say, the Baccarat Bar at the Mirage. I guess one has to know their market...

Anyhow, my name was finally called and the two bottles of Aquafina had done their magic. There wasn't gonna be any stage fright for me this time!

When I got back there, the line to use the "booth" was four people deep.

Uh oh.

In an effort to speed up the process, I offered to go across the street and use the parking garage at the ElCo to pee, figuring I certainly wouldn't be the first person to do so. Nope, it had to be an 'indoor' sample (Don't know how they'd enforce that rule back in Tennessee...), so I just had to wait my turn.

After the deed was done, I found my way back to the lot where I'd left the Ghetto Sled, one scenic block away. It was still intact, because although it was tough, I found someone there with a nicer car and managed to park next to them so as to not present such a tempting target...

I then made my way up to the fingerprint place at Sahara and Maryland Parkway. I was in and out of there in less than 15 minutes, and $90 lighter in the wallet. 15 bucks for the prints, and 75 for the racketeers at the Gaming Control Board for the priviledge of calling the dice in this fine state.

After that, it was back to the Golden Gate for another round of paperwork, where I signed almost as much stuff as I did the time I bought my condo a few years back. I got my computer ID card, and they even set up my nametag so it says "MIKEY", in case any of you folks had a hard time picking me out of the group of Asian dealers there at the dice table. I was now officially "Processed", as they called it--all I needed to do then was get de-loused and have the warden issue my bible...

As far as tips go, the payroll gal told me that the pit dealers earned about $50 bucks per shift on the check that goes out tomorrow. Not great money at all, but much better than breaking in at the Gold Spike, Western, or El Cortez... Plus you can't forget that handsome $5.15 per hour on top of that. (Living The Dream, I tell ya! Living. The. Dream.)

Also, I am no longer allowed to play any table game whatsoever at the Gate, on duty or off. How do you like that? I mean, if I'm going to get banned from someplace downtown, I was hoping for a better story to go with it... (and a few of you characters should've been involved, too!)

Ok, after all the pleasantries were taken care of, I went downstairs to get some lunch. For the second time this week, my efforts to dine at the as-yet-untried Bay City Diner were rebuffed by the length of the line. So it was back to the San Francisco Shrimp Bar and Deli for me!

There was no line, and it seemed like they actually wanted to serve me, unlike Doc Al's visit of a few weeks previous. I had a hotdog, chili (Binions is much better), a shrimp cocktail, and an MGD draft. All for less than $7. Of course I couldn't finish it. Well, I finished the beer...

It was a bit of a wistful lunch when I realized that every other time I'd been there it was always at the beginning of a trip with my Phoenix gang, or with a pack of drunken T2Vers. Suddenly I felt very alone in the middle of Sin City, so what did I do? As soon as I finished up, I called by dear old friend Hoyaheel (Since I know she works for The Man and was most likely to have free time on her hands). I told her that I was getting my car out of the valet and to get over to the Fremont Street webcam. I timed it just right and got to the front of the line when it turned red, and Hoya was kind enough to get a picture of me waving from the sunroof of the Ghetto Sled!

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After that, I drove back to school, shared the news with everyone, told them all about the audition and what to expect, then spent the next few hours goofing off dealing blackjack with a couple of young hotties that were suddenly impressed that I had found suitable employment.

I stayed at school until I was sure that traffic had died out a bit, then hit the road to come on home. Amazingly, I was able to hit 75 mph on I-15 for the first time in a month! As Gunnery Sargeant Hartmann said, it was a biblical farking miracle!

So here endeth the story of another day in Vegas. It's always an adventure, let me tell ya. I can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring.



Anonymous said...

Congrats Mikey I'm sure you will be dealing at the Bellagio soon enough!

The Kid

doctor_al said...

Two bottles of Aquafina? Unless they give you a jug to fill out there (to account for evaporation I guess) that can make it a little tough to hit the "off" button...