"Deal"ing with reality

Just a lil slice of life from a casino dealer's perspective.

My Photo
Location: Edgerton, Missouri, United States

I grew up in a small town, and live in small town now. Like to think I have more than a small town mind, but I doubt it.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Job Skills part 2

The next job skill that dealers have is one that would come in handy in any retail job. It is the ability to handle and calculate money changes quickly.

Anyone able to quickly calculate the blackjack payoff for an odd amount like $17.50 ($27.25) should be more than able to figure the change for a $20 if the total bill is $16.86 ($3.14).

High-end retailers that handle much larger dollar amounts would find dealers capable as well. Large dollar amounts are nothing to someone who has handled large buy-ins consistently. Counting out large amounts of bills are a breeze after doing 5 straight $500 buy-ins of $20 bills ("because that's all the ATM machine gives out").

On the salesperson side, dealers are just as able. Dealers are constantly "selling" the game they are on. Allowing the impression that the players have a chance of winning despite the fact the game is designed to make the casino money. Whether it be extra software for a new PC, accessories for a new outfit, or extra supplies for a craft or home improvement project, it would take no effort at all to talk a retail customer into possibly pick up more than they had originally intended.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Job Skills part 1

I've been working in the same job in the casino industry for over 7 years now. I'm starting to get a little burned out. It happens sometimes. It does mean that I'm pounding the pavement, in the search for another job.

Unfortunately it appears that most employers don't realize the kind of skills a capable table games dealer can bring. So this doesn't become too much of a whiny rant, I'll divide the list of skills into multiple postings.

The first skill I'll talk about would be ideal for any customer service company. That is being able to think on your feet when faced with irate customers. When you have 6-7 very intoxicated people losing vast amounts of money directly in front of you, you learn to think fast.

Or at least you learn the right comments to use. Most often the best way to head off an irate customer is to shock them. After losing 15 (or less) hands straight, the most common reaction is to slap the table and call the dealer a son-of-a-bitch. Without missing a beat I usually look the person directly in the eye and reply with, "Oh, you've met my mother then." No offense intended Mom.

This usually stuns the player enough that their rage passes before they know what to do next. By the time their alcohol laden minds sort things out, the next hand is dealt and they have forgotten about why they were pissed in the first place.

The only difference between doing this in a customer service call center and a casino is the fact you are on a phone, and the caller is usually a little bit more on the sober side.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Holidays? What Holidays?

The holiday season is over now. Costumes can be put back in the closet. Turkeys can relax for another year. Holiday gift wrap and large candle holders can be slipped back into the attic. Cheap plastic champagne glasses and head wear now fills the trash cans all over the world.

Despite all this the life of casino employees rolls on like a feather-light roulette ball in a wheel spinning a little too fast. Employees are allowed to violate the dress code to a small degree with themed hats and (maybe) socks.

The most noticeable thing about the coming of the holidays (besides the change in music coming out of the PA system) is the increase in the number of players. Family members visit from out of town. People that wouldn't normally visit a casino get the urge to see all the flashing lights before the year is out. And don't forget all that free (and very cheap) champagne handed out for the brief pause in gaming to salute the arrival of Baby New Year.

Now all the decorations are gone. The fake poinsettias are stored away for 11 more months. A few stray balloons will float down from the ceiling in the next week or so. Any paperwork dated with '06 must be redone.

Other than that, not much changes in casino life as the holidays come and go.