My Vegas Employment begins!

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by , 08-17-2008 at 05:32 PM (2810 Views)
So! I finished corporate Harrah's training last week. It was 2 days about the company, 1 day about your property, 2 days about customer service. 40 hours, but paid at least, even if it was only my base $8 without tips.

This week, different story. This week was unpaid. 30+ hours without a dime. Apparently everyone goes through this before becoming official as a Dealertainer. I guess their theory is that if they train you, hence saving you the cost of dealer school, you put in your time voluntarily. Which is fine by me, if I had to afford dealer school right now, I honestly don't know what I'd do.......I'm so poor!!! So here is kind of how my week went.

Monday - report to IP at 10am. Met Brenda, the training coordinator for table games. This woman is great. She has been in the business for a long time, and she tells me that back in the days when men dealt and women were cocktail waitresses......well she was the first woman asked by the casino to become a dealer. Pretty cool historical tidbit. So I work with her until about 4pm. She sends me packing with all sorts of things - a layout to practice on my table at home, a shoe and cards, and tons of chips. A DVD, a binder about 200 pages long, a casino handbook, etc. Overwhelming at best.

Tuesday - report to IP at 10:30. More training with Brenda. I was getting frustrated easily because, although I've played blackjack a million times, there is a particular order you have to do EVERYTHING and keeping in mind all sorts of side information. So, I went through the routines of how to:

- handle a cash or chip buy in when someone sits down.

- pick up and/or pay out the bonus bet. This pit has a bonus where if your first 2 cards equal 20, there is extra payout. It increases if your cards are suited, exactly the same, etc.

-cutting cheques. So that you don't have to pick up people's bets and count them out, you learn to judge what a stack of 5 looks like and how to place chips beside them and size into the bet, so that you can quickly payout wins. This took me awhile and involved some misty eyes. I'm such a baby.

-how to check my cards in the viewer for blackjack. and to deal with the insurance bets.

-how to sort my chip rack.

-a plethora of other info. Keeping it all straight was difficult for awhile, but the next day........

Wednesday -Brenda thinks I'm ready to try dealing live with a shadow, so I'm asked to dress the part and arrive at IP at about 10:45 to warm up and then go on at noon.

I wore a cheetah shirt, black pants, heels and black satiny jacket. It was a long damn day in those heels. I later learned that you bring comfy shoes for when you're standing at the table or walking to break and only wear the heels before you jump up on stage. I will never forget THAT again

So, we meet in the pit at 11:55, during which we have a short meeting where you find out what you made the day before in tips (they're pooled between all Dealertainers that work in a single day), get briefed on anything special going on, and receive pertinent info. Then we parade around the casino and the show begins. Typically 3-4 acts perform on stage while the pit is being opened. Then you deal a shift, take a break, deal another shift, perform, take a break, and so it continues the whole day.

I dealt and was shadowed by one of the Blues Brothers, who was very kind and patient and helpful. It didn't go bad at all. It was actually easier to me to deal live than practice upstairs on a table with no one. It wasn't pressureful at all. I had a lot of nice people at my table who were very encouraging and sweet. In fact, one sent me a myspace friend request when she returned from her trip telling me I did a very good job. That meant the world to me, because I am of course a tad insecure starting this new venture and entering this little group as an outsider. They seem very much like a very close-knit family. But everyone is super nice and have been very welcoming, so that was a relief too.

You get a break from dealing after every 45 minutes or so, which is nice, because it IS hard to stand in one spot so long. My breaks so far have involved putting my feet up, and asking my new co-workers about a million questions that I have about things, because I just have never done any of this before. I feel like the overly innocent little school teacher from dumb Ohio, while most of these people have been at it for at least a few years and a lot of them were dealers before they started Dealertainers back in 2003 I think it was...

We have a special dressing room/break room up on the top of the IP. It is a very nice area with tons of rooms to hang, relax and/or get ready. When I walked in there the first day and saw the amount of costumes everyone has, I felt even dumber. Granted, I guess no one expects me to have a whole wardrobe on day one, but all I had was one outfit. So I freak and go shopping for some other things that night. I left around 5:30.

Thursday - Pretty much the same routine. Today I was shadowed by Alice Cooper, whose style was a little different than Elwood's. I liked that I was with a different person each day, because they each had something different to offer advicewise and I'd learn something new from each of them since everyone does things their own way.

I forgot to mention from Wednesday that I was also performing "Before He Cheats" and "Last Name" during each day. I did them again today. I plan on adding 3 more songs..."All American Girl," "Flat on the Floor," and "The More Boys I Meet." Then hopefully a few more as I ease into this. I am getting more comfortable on the stage for sure.

The day of dealing went great again. Today I stayed until 7:15 so I could get more of an idea what a full day would feel like. I chose boots, which were way more comfy. It's still kind of hard on the body, but I assume I'll get used to it. Or take advantage of our spa at IP. Either way

Friday - This day was my last practice shift. The floor boss thought on Thursday that I was ready to go live on my own and start getting paid (thank god!!!) So she told me to come in for a short shift of practice and to talk to the powers that be about getting on the schedule.

Today Dolly Parton was my shadow. Also very nice and helpful and she made me feel very at home there.

At around 4:30, I got called up to Richard's office. He is the table games/operations manager for IP. The main man, if you will. He wasn't there, but I met another manager named Mary and she had me watch a video of myself from surveillance. When I saw myself on stage, I said out loud, "wow I need to lose weight." There was no argument. I think that was kind of the point of letting me see the video, so I didn't need to be told more or less…..I was given some wardrobe pointers on how to look better and so I'm sure once I'm not poor, I will elect to get more clothes. For now, I've been told to stick to my first day outfit, or something close to that. I scheduled an appointment in my mind to go back to Jenny Craig….The camera may add 10 pounds, but this one was adding 30 if you catch my drift…..yuck. So I left feeling pretty depressed and mad at myself for letting the weight stack on. After all, back in February, I weighed 124 and that may be the skinniest I have been in about 10 years. Then the moving, the stress, the hurried eating habits, the lack of control and the new restaurants in Vegas…and here I am again, needing to lose.

The bit of good news was that I was deemed ready to start live, on my own and getting paid on Monday at noon. So hello working and hello money again. It couldn't have been timed much better, since my first check from IP will also be the same day I get my last teaching check.

Saturday - Took the day off practicing dealing and went to Jenny Craig to rejoin. Weighed in at 144 which made me extremely mad at myself. 20 pounds in 6 months. Which is especially a lot when you're only 5'2".

Luckily I had great success losing when I went on it before and I know what it takes. Plus when I lost the weight before, I was NOT working out. I lost it strictly from dieting. So now, I'm also working out 4-5 times a week, which should only help speed it along. Plus the fact that I'm up and moving around on a stage and walking a lot every day to and from work and during breaks. So I'm hopeful. And looking forward to great adventures as a new Dealertainer

Check out my friend list under "new" and you can see some of the other myspace pages for some other Dealertainers.

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  1. PaintedHeart's Avatar
    You go girl - you can do it!
  2. Chipless Wonder's Avatar
    Great write-up Stacey, and a very interesting read. Thanks for posting it!
  3. PokerBroker's Avatar
    HOLY CRAP!! If I quit my job and move to Vegas can you get me a job as a dealertainer! That sounds sweet! Especially the outfits part
  4. SNutizzle's Avatar
    Sure Ryan, I will get you a job and help you with your outfits....who do you look like? Pick a celeb
  5. DevilFish73's Avatar
    Sounds exciting.. Gl... Great write up by the way very interesting read... Although I am not sure you are doing much w/ that college
  6. ohpokergal's Avatar
    I'm just so proud of you, Stace.... Reading about your experiences and how happy you are brings a tear to my eye!

    You deserve it, Sunshine! I can't wait to see you in September!!
  7. DevilFish73's Avatar
    Now don't start crying Dana... And quit calling everyone
  8. SNutizzle's Avatar
    I like to be called Sunshine, so STFU Suver

    Oh and since I'll make twice as much money in this job as I did with my "college education".........that education can kiss it as well LOL

    Never again do I have to do grades for 500 students, deal with attitude problems or take my work home with me. I'll take it

    Come visit and bring tips
  9. dicemanj's Avatar
    Thanks again Stacey - You are my favorite BJ dealer. I think Bad Beats trip is called for. Back in Ohio for 1 week and I am ready to come back.

    Good luck!