Sunday, January 04, 2009

Sunday Night Pot Roast

Howdy all--I know some of you don't think you've been getting your money's worth since I haven't posted anything since Friday, but it's been a very stressful weekend for me, and I wasn't functioning at 100% capacity for about 24 hours.

I worked a bunch of oddball hours for the past week, and this weekend was no exception. I think my last three shifts started at 1:00 am, 3:00 am, and 1:00 pm, respectively. I'm off (well, on call) until late Wednesday night/Thursday morning, but that 18-hour rule is in effect, so I know that I can sleep undisturbed until sometime tomorrow afternoon. Yeah, I'd like to pick up another shift or two, but not until Tuesday...

Anyhow, on Friday night, I finally went to bed at 1:30 in the morning, exhausted, thinking that I was off the hook as far as getting called in to work on graveyard shift. I had just dozed off, and I remember seeing the digital clock on the cable box showing 2:08 am when my phone started ringing. They needed me at three. So I got up, took a shower, and headed in, feeling like a zombie. I was kind of out of it.

There were a couple of games going, so I was pretty much locked down the entire time.

Once the games broke down at six, I stuck around to help the floorman fetch a bunch of styrofoam cups from the storage room and also bring over a couple of five-gallon bottles for the water cooler. While we were in there he picked up a couple of bottles, while I grabbed a case of cups, and we walked back to the poker room. We also did stuff like count down all the banks and other random chores, and as tired as I was, I still stuck around to hang out with him and the cocktail waitress while we waited for the morning crew to come in. The old-guy's game has been getting slower and slower lately, so I sat down, not to play, but to put a body in the seat so that it looked like we had a game going, just so passers-by would be enticed to come in.

Finally, just before nine, I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer, so I said goodbye to everyone and hit the road. Knowing that I wouldn't be called for the next half-day, I turned my phone off completely and went to bed. I passed out for six hours, waking up only to shuffle off to the bathroom. I decided to turn my phone back on at that point, and I saw that I had a shiatload of missed calls and voice mails. It seemed like everyone at the casino was looking for me.

Apparently, they couldn't find the main poker room keyring that had all the keys to the cash drawer, the bank, the chip storage, the office, etc etc. I was listening to the messages thinking Why would they be calling me? I've never even touched that keyring.

But I checked the laundry basket, and yep, there was a mystery keyring in the pocket of my dirty pants. But the thing was, I had absolutely NO recollection of ever handling those keys, much less putting them in my pocket. But the graveyard floorman said he handed them to me while we were in the storage room.

Anyhow, I called my boss back and said I'd be back down there in twenty minutes, keys in hand. When I got there, I went to drop them off in the poker room, but the floorman said I had to go back to the office and talk to the boss.

That's never a good sign.

Well, turns out that those keys are never supposed to leave the property, and the by-the-book rule is that if they do, whoever takes them is immediately terminated. Because if that happens, they assume whoever did it is up to no good and they have to re-key everything. So I got a really stern talking to, and got the shiat scared out of me too, but cooler heads prevailed when it was made clear that it was an obvious mistake.


But I wasn't out of the woods just yet. Right now is not the time to f*ck up at work--times are so tough that they are looking for any excuse to get rid of people. I've seen a few folks get shiatcanned for the dumbest reasons lately, and I didn't want to be one of them. So they sent me home to make me sweat, and I figured if I made it through my next shift without getting the 'don't come in' call, I'd be ok.

So I spent my Saturday evening worrying that they were just putting together all the paperwork they needed to can my ass. Worried that I'd wake up the next morning without a job, I spent the evening looking at the employment web pages for all the casinos in town. Yikes! Nobody is hiring right now. If I lost my job this week, I'd be well and truly f*cked. It was a sleepless night.

When I got up this morning, I figured no news was good news, and I puttered around till it was time to get ready for work. Just as I was getting out of the shower, I heard my phone ringing, with that unique poker room ring tone.

My heart sank. I thought, Well, here it is...

Luckily, I was looking at the glass as being half-empty, because it was just the floorman saying he wanted to back my shift up an hour and for me not to come in until one instead of at noon. It was so slow that he called the other two extra-board dealers that were scheduled and just told them not to come in at all. So I felt like I was back in the good graces.

When I got there a few minutes before 1:00, again I thought I was getting the boot, because the boss was standing there at the desk, waiting. Sunday is her day off, and it was sloooow, so there was no obvious reason for her to be there. Uh-oh...

But both the boss and the floorman thanked me for being flexible and changing my shift on short notice. Hell, I had to lighten my mood, so I said Oh yes, I'm very flexible. Even though it doesn't really look like it. I'm a Chinese acrobat trapped in the body of a Sumo wrestler!

Laughs all around...

Still paranoid, I was sure that she was there to serve me a pink slip--but she told me to go tap out one of the other dealers, and it was his turn to sweat--she was there to talk to him, not me. And I ended up working a nice six-hour shift and making a tidy little bundle of money for the day. Woot!

I think I'm safe now. Besides, one of the day shift floor guys told me not to worry about it--he said if they fired everyone who ever walked off with the keys, they wouldn't have any floor people left in the room. But it all worked out, and it's cool. I'm sure if I were in any kind of trouble, they would've kept my ass at home today and let one of the other extra-board dealers have my shift.

I'm sure it was a much bigger deal in my mind than it was in reality, but hey, I was seriously worried for a bit. Halfway through my shift, my stress finally evaporated, and I was back to having fun at work. I only had one table with a few jerkoffs at it, but the rest of my games were pretty damn good.

And I like working the Sunday day shift because I get to see all of my friends who I sometimes miss. It seems like everyone works on Sundays at the casino, so it's fun to talk to everyone. And on Sunday afternoons, I seem to have a ritual down for my early break. I get a half-hour away from the poker room, so I get a fountain Coke at Fatburger, a medium-sized Black Angus sandie at Quizno's, and then hide out in the sports book watching the games and chatting with my gal Lori. It's a perfect little getaway, and I manage to dodge all the negativism that floats around the employee dining room like a stale fart.

Once I finished my shift, I *thought* about putting a few bucks through the Megabucks machine, but luckily some old lady was already there--saving me a twenty spot, I'm sure. I headed up to the garage, and as soon as I got off the elevator, I ran into my crazy Serbian girl Jovanka. I haven't seen her in weeks, so we stood outside chatting for about twenty minutes, until we were both freezing and shivering (it was only 38 degrees outside when I left work). But we made plans to go out in two weeks, as Mondays are her day off, and I usually never work on Mondays, either. So we plan on having an epic Sunday night.

Oh, and another good thing about today--I figured that it was a gimme that the Eagles would beat the Vikings, but not-so-sure about them covering. I thought the money line was a sure thing, so just before kickoff, I went over to the book and laid $50 on the Eagles money line at -170. The Vikings were getting +150, so I took a ration of shiat from a few people in the poker room, saying that the Vikings were getting such good odds that I was a fool to bet the other way.

I was like WTF? I don't care what kind of odds they were getting--I *knew* they were going to lose that game. Brad Childress is probably the worst coach in the league, this side of Herm Edwards, and Tavaris Jackson is a terrible quarterback. There was no way they were gonna win that game. But some folks just look at the odds without factoring in common sense, telling me I should've bet the other way.

People like that are just like the doofus at the poker table who fires a bet into an eight-way pot saying "I know I'm drawing dead, but I'm getting such good pot odds!"

I turned out to be the smart one, because the Eagles won and I cashed my ticket. The clowns on the other side got nothing (except a good price, of course!). As nice as it was to win, I felt kinda dirty for rooting for the Eagles. Ick. I hate the Eagles. I needed a shower as soon as I got home.

Anyhow, that's about all from here. I may have some more stuff posted by tomorrow, but at this very moment, I have no idea what it would be about. In the meantime, I'm gonna sip my rum & Coke and bask in the relief of still being gainfully employed. Unlike this guy:


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