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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Living Under a Microscope

So I'm sitting here fuming. I'll just preface this blog with THAT. But unlike the person who is responsible for that, I am not going to throw her name out there into a public forum, and attempt to change people's opinion of her, both as a person, and as a professional in her chosen field. I'm going to attempt to demonstrate that it is possible to NOT be a mealy-mouth, reputation-ruining asshole while at the same time sharing an experience that happened to you. And in turn, allowing those people you are sharing it with, to weigh in with their opinions. You might...MIGHT...just discover, that you were actually in the wrong! Which might then lead you to apologize to the person you dragged through the mud!

I're all sitting there saying..."WHOA! WHAT HAPPENED MONKEY!!!????"

Patience. Grasshoppers. We live in a society now...where everyone is expected to be calm all the time. One of my favorite places where this is the expectation...but where they repeatedly give you reason to NOT stay calm, is the airport. I can't tell you how many times since 9/11...when all the people who work in and around the airports and airlines, suddenly became empowered with the ability to wreck your fucking life with one panicked cry for security! I can't tell you, how many times I've been on the verge of going to airport jail because some gate agent had no ability to manage stressful situations or upset passengers. My wife, the calmest, most even-keeled person I know...has had to once or twice, bump me out of the way to keep me from getting handcuffed...only to step in and nearly get herself arrested. It's simple: When you are dealing with assholes, that are also incompetent, or just ignorant, combined with a little arrogant? You are never going to win! Ever!

I saw on the news...wait, no, I read it. And it was accompanied with the headline: 'Vanilla Ice caught having total mental breakdown in Atlanta airport.' Ohhh! Pretty good click bait huh? I mean we all have our opinions of Robert Van Winkle, don't we? At least those of us born before 1990! So I read the story. Oh! Wait! This sounds like a page out of my many episodes with Delta Airlines. He was there an hour before his flight. Then he either got distracted, went to the bathroom, maybe a gift shop. That part was left out. But when he went to board his flight...ten minutes before the scheduled departure, the gate agent told him the flight had already been closed. This always pisses me off...especially when I can see the plane sitting there. But to make it worse, some dickhead had to chime in that was standing next to the counter. "Hey have to be here 20 minutes before the time...blah blah blah" and Vanilla Ice snapped on the guy. "Hey, did I ask you? Do you work here? Why don't you mind your own fucking business, pal!!!!" Security was called, of course, because that's how gate agent's deal with upset passengers in post 9/11 situations. Everyone is considered a threat. Even passengers who are of the highest loyalty rating with their company. 

So there's that. Here's the thing: If I do something wrong, if I am a jerk...I will be the first to apologize. But if I am correct about something, and someone wants to paint me as a jerk, by CHANGING the story? Well...sorry, but that drives me absolutely insane. I had a situation out in Vegas this summer, at Venetian, where I haven't had an issue with a dealer in years. Well...Carley and Squirrel called me on Facetime. I had my headphones on, so it wasn't creating any kind of a disturbance. I was sitting in the 10-seat, so the dealer was the only one who knew I was talking on Facetime, on my iPad. The whole time I was out there, I was trying to be good about staying in touch 2 or 3, maybe 4 times a day with the girls. So I notice the dealer checking out what I'm doing. And just like I have always done throughout the years, cognizant of the rules about phone usage while in a hand...when the action would fold around to me, I would tell Cheryl I was in a hand, and flip my ipad shut...then act on my hand. Once done, I would open it back up. No big deal. Right?

A moment later, the dealer started telling me I couldn't be on it. I asked, "While I'm in the hand right?" Yes, she said. But you are still on the call even when you put it down in your lap. I asked her ", just that we are clear, I'm talking to my 4-year old daughter, and I am putting it down whenever its my turn to act. What would you like me to do specifically, that I'm not doing?" She calls the floor. I am confused. Floor shows up...a really nice guy who unfortunately roots for the Boston Bruins...and in her explanation, she tells HIM that she told ME that I had to leave the table! Total lie. I was perfectly fine with anything she told him if it was exactly what we HAD actually discussed. But it wasn't. She lied. Bold face lie. I got a little excited. He pulled me a couple feet from the table, and very calmly asked me what happened. I told him. Another player walked over...and volunteered that what I was saying was 100% true. He apologized FOR the dealer, assured me that what I did in mid-call was what they ask us players to do, and said he would talk to the dealer about it later. Which he later came back to me and told me he had done. It was over. I felt vindicated. Again, let me stress...its not that I get a big RUSH from being declared RIGHT. I just hate being called WRONG when I'm pretty sure that I'm NOT wrong...or worse, having the dealer LIE about what took place. That makes me furious. And sorry, but I'm a bit emotional.

So...this past Saturday night...after a day of entertaining the kids, I asked Squirrel if I could go play some cash. "Sure! No drinking! And don't come home too late." You got it. Left the house. Checked the Bravo Live! app to see who had the most action. Sadly, Golden Nugget still hasnt gotten on the Bravo system so they still require a phone call. IP looked to have the most action. But for some reason, I've been wanting to support Scarlet Pearl, I think because its not owned by a corporation, and its been struggling, and I just want to try and help them out if I can. So I called, and they had a seat for me. So I went there. It was your typical 1/2 cash game in Biloxi. Lots of old-timers. Had one guy (who it turns out was really a nice fella) sitting next to me who was writing down all the hands he played. I was fascinated...especially since he was writing down the hand, with the pending mid-hand. I even took a picture of just his hands, and the notebook, and shared it on my Facebook wall. It led to a pretty fun and interesting thread! 

Unfortunately, I was busy running like crap. Doesn't matter the hands. I won't make this too boring. But it was just 'one of those' sessions where nothing goes right. I finally just got into that mood you get when you're running like crap. Started clowning myself...which in turn had most of the guys at the table laughing along with me. "Hey! I flopped a set...wonder how I'll lose this one!!!" "Wow, I got 17 outs...any side wagers on if I miss again???" It just became funny after awhile. It wasn't like I was losing the mortgage payment! Oh, wait...I don't have a mortgage payment! Carley's college fund? Yeah, that works.

So, along comes a new dealer. I will refer to her as SHE. Out of respect. In one of her early hands...I am in a hand with a guy I think I have crushed. I bet $50 on the river. He raises to $100. Oh boy. I throw out a red chip and say call. She turns and looks at me. >>>???? What? I said call. I turn my cards over. She is still looking at me. I ask her again...what do you want? She tells me I have to push out the $50 extra. I explain to her that my action of throwing out a chip constitutes a call, and that me actually saying 'call' also constitutes a call. She disagrees. Meanwhile...the other guy isn't helping any by NOT turning over his cards...which if I had seen, I would have slid my other $50 out there. Not an issue. But he wasn't turning over his cards. And she was pissing me off. Show me the winning hand, and I will shove you $50 chips. Holy shit. But it was like she turned it into a Mexican stand off. Finally I just pushed out the $50. Then he shows his cards. Yeah I was beaten. Great. Whatever. Next! 

Then awhile later, in the same dealer down...and me getting creamed one hand after another...I get into a hand with a guy. It goes to the flop. I bet...he goes all in...for less. I reluctantly call, and see that I'm dead again after he turns over his cards. Okay, I could have gone runner runner...but essentially drawing dead. SHE sits there...waiting...for what? I look at her...with that..."What are you waiting for" face. "I'm waiting for you to turn over your hand." Huh? Turn over my hand? This isn't a tournament. What are you talking about? " have to turn over your hand before I can deal another card." Is she....what the....I look I being Punk'd??? Is someone TRYING to get me to freak out and go ISIS in this poker room? What the hell? I look at the two players on either side of me...."Is she kidding?" They both have these perplexed looks on their faces too, followed by shrugs. Finally, I ask her "Okay, this is now the third time you have demonstrated to me that you have no idea what the rules are. long have you been dealing?" And you to me, swear to God, if she had said anything less than 6 months I would have acted TOTALLLLLY different. But that didn't happen. She tells me she's been dealing for 24 years. I almost fell out of my chair. Either from shock or from laughter, take your pick. 

Well that didnt sit well with her. I'd offended her. She calls the floor. Floor, who I had already had a very pleasant conversation with earlier in the night...a guy who moved down here from up north somewhere, and who really seems to 'get it' when it comes to running a good poker room. So he shows up, and I see her explaining the situation. I see him raise his eyebrows a couple times...which to me translates to him saying, "You told him WHAT??" They stopped talking. He came over to me, said I was completely right...and then asked me to try to take it easy on her. That she had been having a rough day. I said 'sure' and there was never another issue with her the rest of the night. Done, right? During the 'episode' I had posted within the 'fun thread' I had opened up on Facebook what had occurred with this dealer. Done so without naming her, taking a picture...nothing that would put either ME or HER in a bad spot.

Fast forward to today. I get a call from my wife, who had spoken to someone in the poker room...who had mentioned something about a certain post on a certain person's wall. A person I deem to be a friend. And a person who works in the local poker industry. In addition to that comment, were other comments below it...from other people in the poker community who I deemed to be friends. Basically...what this post was? That dealer...had found MY POST on MY WALL...copy/pasted it...and shared it on this person's wall...then made certain comments about it...while eliciting negative comments about me. She called my comment comical, and stated that I had grossly exaggerated what happened. Which was 100% false. I posted EXACTLY what had transpired. Didn't make one negative comment about her personally...only that she claimed that she had been a dealer for 24 years...and I found that to be absolutely impossible to believe. 

I wasted no time defending myself. I left a few comments of my own. Here is the thing about people talking shit about you. If they are true? Well, you're kind of just screwed. And have to sleep in the bed that you yourself made. Enjoy! But if they are a total lie!?? Well, I think you are obligated to defend yourself, to call out the person who is lying, and if possible, make them accountable for their actions. So, in essence that is what I did. This of course, was BEFORE my wife texted me that I "didn't have to go and make a bunch of comments on their wall!" To her, I responded with, "Sorry, too late!"

The more I read, and the more I thought about it...the more pissed off I got. Then...all of a sudden, I get a friend request on Facebook. From this dealer!!!! What the......???? Why? Did she suddenly feel remorse about how she had 'misreported' this event? Was she fearful that I might report her to her HR department? So as I was in midstream of constructing my last comment to post on her little 'hate thread' I noticed that as I went to post wouldn't post. Why? Oh...because she had blocked me!!!! Imagine that! Don't like someone telling the truth? And exposing you for being a liar to make yourself not look like a fool? Simple! Block them! Delete all their comments that expose you! Isn't that such a 2016 way of dealing with your shortcomings? Scream for security! Then when they get there...just make something up! After all, its just their word against yours, right? And you are wearing a uniform, so surely you must be in the right!!!!

So...I wonder: what kind of response would I get, I wonder...if I wrote a letter to her HR department, tell them I was a customer, tipping the staff on a regular basis...a guest of the hotel already since opening. I was playing poker, had a disagreement with a dealer, made a post on MY Facebook page. Emphasize that I am not a friend of this dealer. Share with them, that she copy/pasted my OWN the page of a poker community professional...who I AM friends with (which made it possible for me to see) and attempted to disparage my reputation to them with this story that she twisted around to make me out to be this raging maniac who somehow abused her? I wonder how they would treat a letter like that? Would they even care? What would you do? Is it okay to let people attack you because they think they will 100% get away with it?

That was my day! Oh, and Happy 44th Birthday to my lovely wife, and our 44th president, Barack. Yeah, strange company there!


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