Friday, June 23, 2006


Last night at work went by fairly quickly--instead of my usual 8-4, I was in from 5-1, getting home at a much more reasonable hour, too.

But on the way home, I stopped at the local Shell station and filled up the tank again. First lesson learned--do not attempt to top off a Dodge Dakota. When the pump clicks off, not only is the tank full, but so is the feeder tube all the way to the neck. Now you know.

My gas gauge was indicating only a half tank (and it's a 22 gallon tank), yet the trip odometer that I reset Wednesday morning before taking my road trip only showed about 159 miles on it. Rough calculations in my head told me that I was the proud new owner of a monsterous gas guzzler. While pumping I was trying to justify it by telling myself that I spent a whole helluva lot more time climbing those mountains than I did coasting down, plus I spent a lot of time sitting in traffic once I got back to town.

Well, the pump switched off before I even got nine gallons in the tank ($3.03 for mid-grade), much to my relief. Further evidence that the gas gauges on automobiles are only accurate on 'Full', unlike airplanes, where the gas gauges are only accurate on 'Empty'.

I wrote down all of the exact numbers and as soon as I got home I calculated that even with all of that climbing and driving in the rarified air of the Spring Mountain Range, and all of the mid-afternoon stop-and-go of the spaghetti bowl at the north end of town, my new truck got over 18 miles per gallon--much better than the Lincoln, and even better than my previous Nissan four-banger. I was very impressed. And I'd be surprised if that number doesn't improve with the next tank.

Anyhow... Work was cool last night. I'm getting a break from Chinatown and dealing dice all this week. Well, at least four nights out of five. And coming in at five pm instead of eight makes the shift just fly by. We were so busy on a couple of my rotations that I was surprised when I was being tapped out for breaks.

As soon as I got in, one of the floor supervisors came by with these big gaudy bright-yellow buttons advertising the Jumbo Jackpot or some other such nonsense that we had to pin on our shirts. I told her that it wasn't in my contract to wear propaganda, but then she told me that I needed to read the fine print, shut up, and wear my flair.


Of course, when I went on break at 7:20 and all of the eight o'clock dealers started trickling in, they saw it and wanted to know what it was for (you could see the bright yellow cheeziness long before you could read the tiny text on it). So whenever one of the chicks on my shift passed me in the back hallway and asked me what the button was for, I replied, "It says Press here for good lovin'". Yep, that was a pretty good conversation starter...

Anyhow, after my shift was over, I left the button on the shirt and tossed the whole thing down the laundry chute. Hopefully tonight I can get away with less-than-the-required-amount of flair.

And speaking of work, I found out that all of the dealers will have to re-bid on all of their shifts within the next couple of weeks. It seems that our new casino director is quite ambitious, and seems to like change just for changes sake.

Thinking my seniority was pretty good, having been hired in May of last year, I thought I might change my days off or something. But no, they're going by 'Date of Full-Time Status', which for me was in January, and as luck would have it, they've promoted nobody else to full time since then. So guess who gets the last leftover shift after everyone else had done their bidding. I'll give you a hint, his initials are Hurricane Mikey...

Luckily, nobody wants swing shift--everybody wants day shift or graveyard, so I probably won't have to change from that. But my days off are very likely to change--I can't help that. Although, a rough guess is that most people want Mondays off--not too many people want Tuesdays and Wednesdays like I have. If I have to change 'em, no biggie. But I'd prefer to stay right where I am, or maybe have Monday-Tuesday off instead. We'll see.

Of course I'll keep everyone updated on any schedule changes that might interfere with future buffoonery.

In the meantime, I'm tired and I'm going to bed, satisfied in the knowledge that we don't have to hear about the thugs and pimps in the NBA again until November. Football season is just around the corner.

Oh hell yeah.


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