One of the fun parts of working in a casino is that you meet a lot of interesting people. Unfortunately, along with these paragons, we also have to endure the occasional complete asshole. The ones that really try our patience are the ones with so much money that they feel they can be pushy, rude, and overbearing, and get away with it.
Even though our bosses know that the average Joe would never be allowed to behave in such a fashion, the money that they can afford to throw in our direction affords them a modicum more leeway than the crowd. (Sigh!)
One such valuable customer visited us recently. He had put up a quarter of a million cash to play with, as there was no chance we would ever give him credit again, for more than just the obvious reasons. In fact the guy had managed to get himself barred for a considerable period of time as he damaged a major piece of artwork, after going on a drunken rampage when he had lost all his money. You might say that he was more of a piece of work than the art.
A lot of groveling, a ton of false contrition, and a big dollop of cash to pay for the repairs, eventually got him back in our management’s good graces, but never in mine.
Towards the end of this visit, he was playing in our high limit area, where, due to a piece of unacceptable behaviour, he was told to go elsewhere.
That elsewhere turned out to be my pit, where I still, at half past three in the morning, had several games in action. He squeezed himself forcibly into a chair at one of the $100 minimum tables, and demanded, “Give me fifty thousand.”
This wasn’t good. I knew the man much better than I would have liked, and this meant he wanted to play for a while. I immediately advised him, “Sir, we have already announced that the next shoe at this table will be the final shoe of the evening.” At this juncture, he merely nodded, and played relatively quietly.
Of course this respite wasn’t to last. At the end of the final shoe, having blown half the fifty grand, he started getting vociferous. “I want another shoe.”
“I’m sorry, sir. I told you that we would be closing when you sat down. I can’t give you another.”
“Get me your boss.”
Me, still all smiles, but inwardly grinding my teeth, “Of course, sir.”
It will come as no surprise to all of you that when I phoned my boss in his office, and explained the situation, that he didn’t want to talk to the man. After all he had only recently sorted out his unpleasantness in another pit. I was advised, “I’m busy. Tell him I will be up to see him when I’ve finished what I’m doing.”
Predictably, when I passed the message on, he went apeshit. “I was promised a fucking private game. I want to fucking play!” His nose settled about four inches from mine, and his voice ratcheted up to frothing at the mouth levels. “This is fucking ridiculous.” Play at the two remaining tables had stopped while everybody in earshot, which meant the whole casino, listened to his rant. “This is bullshit.”
He continued in this vein for a bit, and when he had wound down a little, I told him, “There’s no point in getting in my face. You want to be in my boss’ face.
“Fucking call him again.” I did, but took the opportunity to phone the security supervisor, not that there weren’t a couple of our guards already lurking close by. When I had spoken to my intentionally absent boss again, and returned with the same message, he started off again. This time, though, after spewing out some less than original invective at me, he made his final demand, “Either get your fucking boss up here now, or throw me out!”
It might have been Christmas. I don’t know any of my peers who would have acted diffrently. “Certainly, sir.” I caught the Security supervisor’s eye, and raised my voice for all to hear. “THROW HIM OUT!” I turned my back to him, and let the guards do their job.
The next day, he approached me, and said, “I must apologize for last night. I was drunk.” He even gave me a hug, which I couldn’t avoid. I smiled and told him not to worry, not meaning it in the least. There was no way he had been drunk. The problem was that although he was a total piece of shit, he was our piece of shit, and he had dropped the whole quarter mil.