Confessions of a Blackjack Dealer: Part Three
Why We Do This
I get asked why I’m a blackjack dealer all the time. Like most questions, this one has several possible meanings, and therefore several possible answers. So let’s start from the top and work our way down.
I need the money.
The obvious (and most obnoxious) answer is often the truest. Unless you were born into money, or you’ve already made a big pile, you need more. And since my degree in psychology doesn’t qualify me to do anything I want to do professionally, I have to work in customer service to make ends meet. It is what it is.
It beats flipping burgers.
Dealing blackjack is pretty much the best customer service job I’ve ever had. It doesn’t pay a lot – minimum wage plus tips is standard. And you have to deal with some of the most obnoxious customers imaginable. But that’s going to happen no matter what the job is. I’ve been a sandwich artist. I’ve been a cashier at a convenience store. I even tried retail once. Not good. Things only started improving for me when I became a DJ, first at restaurants, then at strip bars. I love music. And this brings us to answer number three, the “real” answer that people are usually looking for.
I love cards.
I can’t remember exactly when I first held a deck of cards in my hand. But I can remember the first time I ever played blackjack. It was with my grandfather. He was an officer in the Navy, just like my Dad. He taught me the basics, then we played a game – this was at the kitchen table, single deck. After a while, I realized he was keeping track of which cards had been dealt.
Same goes for my grandmother on my Mom’s side. Every time she’d come visit us from California, we’d play Uno, which is just a Mattel-branded form of Crazy Eights. I don’t remember if I was any good at it, but I do remember having fun. Turns out she was a pretty smart cookie. So I got my love of cards from both sides of the family.