Nothing brings out the bitch in a woman quite like pregnancy. I was about seven months along, and a little irritable while at work. We worked ten hour shifts on a riverboat in Illinois. There was very little padding under the carpeting, which covered solid steel flooring. By the middle of my shift, my feet, legs, and back would be killing me. I was not a happy camper.
I came back from break to find the relief pit boss, my friend Ronnie, in a debate with a customer. The guy was playing two spots. On one he had a seventeen, on the other he had a sixteen against the dealer’s eight. The dealer said he had waved off, and so she had hit the next hand with a five. Surveillance didn’t have the game on camera, typical. Obviously, once he saw the five, he claimed he had wanted to hit. He wanted that five, it should have been his card. Ronnie was explaining to him that our gaming policy did not allow us to back the card up, and that he could take the next card from the shoe. Ronnie was one of those people who smiled with his whole face. He was probably the most laid back, East Coast Italian, I have ever met. This guy, on the other hand, was a wannabe wise guy, from Chicago. I stood back from the game while Ronnie dealt with the matter. This was his baby!
“I don’t want the next card!” He was raising his voice. “I want the f**king five!”
“Sir, I can’t do that” Ronnie smiled, “but if you want…” He was about to tell him that he could pick up his thirty dollar bet on the hand with the sixteen, when the abrasive customer cut him off.
“Get me the f**king Pit Boss!” he snarled.
“Certainly!” He said, with a huge smile. “Here she is.” He gestured toward me. You little shit!, I thought.
“Get me a real Pit Boss!” Guido spat. “I wanna talk to a man!”
“Well all the real Pit Bosses are off tonight.” I told him. “Sorry, I’m all ya got!” I smiled, but I wanted to spit in his eye.
“Should she even be here?” he asked, as though I couldn’t hear him. He pointed to my enlarged abdomen.
“Like he just said, we can’t back up the cards Sir, but…” I tried to explain.
“Well that might be how they do it in Australia, or wherever the f**k you’re from!”
Strike Three! Yer out!
“I’m just gonna pick my f**king money up.” He informed me. “This is a f**king misdeal!” He reached for the thirty dollars on the hand that had the seventeen.
“Sir, that hand is not the issue here, put the chips back.” I said firmly. I glanced over to see Ronnie, leant up against the pit stand smiling, no, smirking.
“This is a f**king misdeal!” he shouted. “You have to give me my money back!” I love when players say that.
“This is not a misdeal.” I told him. “Now you can pick your money up…”I paused. He grabbed both his bets. “But if you do, you got no more action!” I leaned into the game grabbed his cards, and threw them in the discard rack. “Deal him out!” I yelled.
“You can’t do that!” He screamed. “That’s not how they do it in Vegas!”
“Well that’s how we do it in Australia, or wherever the f**k I’m from! Get off the game!” Like I’ve said before, my customer relation skills have improved greatly over the years.
“You walked him right into that!” Ronnie’s smile was gone.
“Yep!” I said. I wasn’t going to deny it.
Guido did complain to the shift manager Mike, who allowed him to play again, but only after he made a full apology to me, in front of the dealer and the other players. It killed him to have to eat sh*t pie, served by a female pit boss. Thanks Mike!
RIP Ronnie, miss that smile.