We'd get a lot of weird e-mail addresses, like ymail. And they tried to haggle us on the price for iPads! This is Apple—no way would that work. Sometimes the company can feel like a cult.
Like, they give us all this little paper pamphlet, and it says things like—and I'm paraphrasing here—"Apple is our soul, our people are our soul. It was just weird.
There are security guards everywhere. They are undercover, so you can't tell who they are. A lot of them are retired cops, and they get paid really well. They have to deal with people doing things like wheeling in strollers and trying to use them to roll off with Time Capsules and iPods. They have a really lenient attendance policy. You have to be late like 15 times before they'll fire you. But if you talk to the press or speculate to a customer about the next iPad?
That's the end of you. A lot of teenagers come in and use Photo Booth and then ask us how to upload their shots to Facebook. A lot of homeless people come in and do live webcasts.
The great expanse was in deep shadow, but so calm the sea that the two lighthouses were reflected in long columns of light in the tranquil water. Afraid of ruining your kid? For a small fee, passersby could use these kiosks to check their email or surf the Web. They cut off the getaway routes. My frame of mind was exactly in that critical stage. For the young Casso, the world of organized crime was his destiny, the only road he was interested in walking.
Those are fine. Then we have some really scary homeless people who come in and listen to death metal really loudly on the Bose speakers. My favorites are the teenagers who play Britney Spears really loud and start dancing. Not many people use the computers to access porn, but a lot of people change the languages on them. And it isn't easy for us to figure out how to switch it back from Korean or Russian! The worst is when we have to work the Phone Room, which is where calls to the store are answered. The other day, I felt like I was working a suicide hot line.
People sometimes call us up and treat us like we're their therapists. Or we have women who want help with their computers as they try to prove their husbands are cheating on them. Usually I just transfer people to AppleCare so I don't have to deal with them. We get tons of people asking us for unlocked iPhones, which, of course, we don't sell.
We usually have to tell them that if they unlock their iPhone, it won't work.
watch Of course, that's not true, but that's what we tell them. And if they have an unlocked iPhone, we won't touch it at the Genius Bar. When I'm there, I get sucked into the competitive culture. Normally I'm pretty low-key, but when I'm at the store, it's all sell, sell, sell! I wanna work my way up, get promoted and eventually get to the Genius Bar—which is where you want to be.
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These downs are typically more laid back and relaxed then what I might find at the more heated No Limit holdem tables on the other side of the room. On the other hand, if my rotation includes a heavy dose of No Limit holdem, I try to gear up for the gauntlet to come. Some players like to slide out nice clean stacks — always a welcome assist for us dealers, so keep that in mind going forward — while others haphazardly splash the pot. With all that considered, studying my daily down rotation is an essential first step toward preparing myself for the rigors to come.
During the weekend shifts when my poker room runs daily and nightly tournaments, my focus changes entirely. Tournament dealers are expected to know the blind structure and other elements of the game — think bounties, reentries, and payout bubbles — like the back of their hand. You know those players who tend to keep a structure sheet handy during tournament play? Well, just imagine having to memorize and recall every bit of that information — how much the blinds are and when they increase, scheduled break times, and reentry period cutoffs — on demand.
We work hard to prepare for whatever the game might throw at us next, and believe it or not, that can mean anything and everything. Another misconception most players have about dealers is that the job stays the same from table to table. At the first table I worked, the fireworks began early and often, thanks to a pair of players who genuinely seem to hate one another. Catch a fucking flush on the turn, best believe I got my boat on the river.
At this point, I just hoped a stern look and a slight shake of the head would be enough to give him the hint. That last remark was the final straw, as personal insults are forbidden where I work. I was forced to call the floor — the last thing a dealer wants to do, by the way — and let my boss know that the screamer must rack up his chips and leave the table. Even so, the whole spat cast a cloud over the rest of the down, with the eight remaining players refusing to even make eye contact with me. Sufficed to say, the rest of the table desperately wanted him to stick around and spew off more chips — but I put an end to their party by giving him the boot.
Fortunately, the next table I worked offered a completely different vibe altogether. The players here were bantering and laughing it up, and one gentleman even ordered a round of drinks for his eight opponents.
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On one especially large pot, I watched in silent horror as another premium pocket pair went down in flames to a trashy suited connector. Instead, the losing player just reached over and gave the winner a fist bump, congratulating them on getting there when it counted most.
The atmosphere was infectious, and soon enough, I was drawn into the conversation. Everybody was smiling, just happy to be playing — or dealing in my case — the game of poker we all love so much. Up above I alluded to one aspect of dealing poker that no training school can prepare you for — unwanted advances from the opposite sex. This is a conscious decision most female dealers make as they navigate the almost exclusively male domain of the poker room. During any given down, I can expect to see nine men staring my way when I take a seat.
When a woman deals while wearing her wedding ring, the frequency and size of our tokes significantly decreases. But when we show up with our hair done, wearing a tight-fitting outfit — and crucially, no wedding ring — those tokes start streaming in steadily. Men love the thrill of the hunt, after all, so a presumably single woman who happens to know their way around the poker table presents a certain opportunity in their eyes.
And in each case, I just batted my eyelashes and flashed a fake smile, flirting back with them to continue the dance. And why not? Interestingly enough, the guys I flirt with while dealing often have wedding rings of their own in tow — although they do try to conceal them when things seem to be going their way. Even so, this reliance on my feminine wiles to earn extra tokes did leave me feeling badly during my first few months on the job.