Go West (not so) Young Man
Picture the stream of pioneers headed West in Conestoga wagons. Day after day and week after week of the seemingly endless supply of people who had set out for adventure and the promise of a better life in the West. The next time that you are driving through a barren section of this country just try to imagine making that journey in a wagon. I've heard that the more heavily traveled routes still exhibit the scars of this journey. Deep ruts worn into the earth all those years ago are now only a silent witness to the hundreds of thousands of souls who swept over the prairies and mountain passes of the United States. I have been told that my great grandmother Ricker, as a young girl, actually traveled from Nebraska to Lonaconing, Maryland in a Conestoga wagon. Perhaps that explains a lot about me. As thousands were on a westward migration, my ancestor was swimming against that flow to settle in the mountains of Western Maryland. A handful of generations later, I decided that I would give the Desert Southwest a try. I loaded up the Buick with all she could carry and headed first South to Florida and then West to Nevada. A cross country road trip was something that I had always wanted to do. In reality, it was a little less romantic than I had imagined, but I don't regret having made the journey. Now, let's go back to those deep scars in the earth. I seem to be stuck in one of those RUTS. Here I sit in one of the most exciting cities on the face of the earth. People from all over the world can't wait to visit Las Vegas. Right now, I wonder what's next, or rather where's next. Where does one go when he becomes bored with Las Vegas??
The poker room at work seems to have slowed down considerably. What else could anyone have expected after the poker orgy that just took place.
It might be my imagination, but there seems to be more grumpy players than usual. To say that there has been an increase in grumpy poker players is really saying something considering that grumpiness sometimes seems to be a prerequisite to playing poker. I have always tried to ignore the grumble-grunts all together or when that was not possible I have tried to lighten the mood of those players. What the hell can some of these people do for FUN? It sure-as-shit can't be play poker. A few days ago in one of my lowest moments as a dealer I actually stopped the game and asked the guy in the 1s (those who grumble and complain invariably plant themselves as close to the dealer as possible) just WHAT would you like me to do? How can I make your poker playing experience better for you? This man was bitching when I sat down and he never stopped bitching. He did, however, not mutter another word for the rest of my down. That, of course, made me feel slightly guilty for calling him out. From now on I'll just try keep my mouth shut and become the piece of furniture that some players expect the dealer to be. I wonder if I could just wear a earphones?
Later in the week there was a ray of sunshine peeking through the dark clouds. I was on table 3 and one of the players was an older gentleman who is also infected with terminal, malignant grumpiness. As I sat down, several of the other players were imploring him to smile once in awhile. He quickly drug a pot and a slight grin started to appear. Those other players jumped all over the opportunity to reinforce the crack in his icy appearance. One of the players picked up his cell phone and threatened to take a picture of the guy actually smiling. I quickly blurted out that I wanted a copy of THAT picture. I may never see that guy smile again. The fact that a few players made the effort to lighten the general mood at the table speaks volumes. The vast majority of players don't want the negativity that radiates from those who are terminally abrasive. Most do come to experience some semblance of a good time. The one bad apple theory applies. What do you do to preserve the barrel of apples? You extract the bad one.
I need to get out of this rut before I become the bad apple.