Friday, December 11, 2009

Dodging A Bullet


Sometimes being a pretty poor prognosticator is a good thing. Yesterday, I would've bet a thousand bucks, (which I absolutely don't have), that I was getting laid off, my career as a poker dealer coming to a screeching halt. I was certain that the bean counters were getting out the paring knife.

Turns out, I was dead wrong. Woot! All that stress for nothing. In my mind, I was seeing the glass as half-empty and not too tasty anyways. I went to work yesterday, certain that it was pink-slip time since it's been so slow these past few weeks. But no, I couldn't have been more wrong in my assessment--all is well.

Back in the day at Schwab, I figured I was much too valuable to the company, so getting laid off back in the recession of 2001 was a complete and total shock. But now, I know that I've got the sword of Damacles dangling over my head by a single horse-hair. Poker dealers are a dime a dozen in this town right now, and if the budget only calls for eleven of us, I'm sure to be the first casualty.

But even though the bad economy has crippled what is already a normally slow time of year for us, I'm in no imminent danger. In fact, as far as the bottom line is concerned, my poker room is doing really well. People are still playing--they're just going to bed earlier, I guess. And being on the bottom of the extra-board, I just get the table scraps as far as shifts go, and when times are this lean, there ain't many scraps to go around. I'll be ok, just poor for awhile. Poor, I can handle--unemployed, not so much...

The general consensus among my co-workers seems to be that business will pick up again on Christmas Day (it's a Friday, so starting that night, the weekend will be strong for us), and that week between Christmas and New Years is usually a good one. And in January, the new promotions kick in, so that'll bring back more business, too. I'm just trying to hang on for the next couple of weeks. Right now, I feel like I'm just dead broke. But I should be thankful--when I work, I usually do pretty well. I've got friends who work downtown and down on the Strip that are complaining about making less than fifteen bucks an hour in tips nowadays. Yikes!

Thankfully, I was smart about that jackpot win and put enough away to live on this month--the bills are paid, but my gift-giving budget is pretty much non-existent this Christmas season. Even so, I was able to do a few things for a few people, but that's about it. I've got a full tank of gas and a pantry and fridge full of groceries, so even if the phone doesn't ring for a couple of weeks, I can hole up here at the Batch Pad and watch football, read books, and work on jigsaw puzzles. But not much else--I won't be having a social life for awhile. I suppose I could do some writing, too...

I just *really* wish this economy would turn around.

Speaking of Christmas, the brown-suited Santa Claus has paid me a couple of visits this week, bringing a little bit of holiday cheer. Besides a couple of boxes from the family back in the CSA, reader and frequent commenter Mr. TC sent along a very cool hiking stick. I've wanted one for almost five years now, and I've really been getting the itch to get out and explore lately--Especially after reading about Falcon Rob's adventures and seeing the pictures he's taken. I've been slowly gathering the gear needed to be smart about it and enjoy it (new daypack, hiking shoes, etc.), and as soon as the weather warms up to above a daily average temperature of 40 degrees, I'm gonna get out and about. Besides, the exercise will do me good.

Also, Lisa Lisa the one I adore back in Massachusetts read my chicken-wing post last week and didn't want me to have to wait until my next windfall to get a deep fryer, so she sent me a new one! How do ya like that--pretty cool, huh? While I appreciate it, deep down, we all know it's just a ploy to keep me writing about my adventures, whether they be on the trail or in the kitchen. Heh. But seriously, both were a nice surprise and I'm very thankful.

Today, my agenda is to hit the grocery store for a few items (chicken wings, peanut oil?), get some stamps, write a few Christmas cards, and get to re-organizing my dining room. The other night, while looking for pictures to use in that epic road trip post, I emptied every single one of the Rubbermaid totes I had out in the storage closet. And now my dining room looks like a promo shot for a 'Hoarders' commercial with all the crap stacked everywhere. I've got to get it picked up and put away.

In the meantime, y'all have a wonderful Friday and a great weekend. If I think of anything else interesting to write about, well, it'll be here. It's not like I've got anything else to do...


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