Monday, November 17, 2008


A momentous moment indeed; MORE GLIB ThAN PROFOUND celebrates it's 100th blog.

In case you're curious, the idea for this web-page was inspired by RFOUR in December 2006. We met once, three years ago, at a writers club meeting in Mays Landing. We continued an E-Mail correspondence and he recommended this free web-page service, "BLOGSPOT." He suggested blogspot because it could centralize my written material and be a venue for new ideas . Ergo, MGTP develped as a free-association outlet for me and an entertainment forum for you(s). More so, it's an exercise to keep me writing while getting me accustomed to Monday deadlines. When you take a look back into my 2006 archives, you'll see my first blogs were a synopsis for each of my (20) short stories, (2) screenplays and novel. Hopefully, you'll also see an elovution/improvement in my style and ability.
Now, 100 entries later MORE GLIB ThAN PROFOUND has blossomed into a weekly brain purge of my experiences and insights. I enjoy researching life's trivialities and get so much more joy from the positive response of my readership.

In honor of my blog's 100th edition, I will incorporate the number 100 into an aspect of my life that few people know about. Back in '82, I dealt craps at the Las Vegas Club and recognized casino burn-out in myself for the first time. For those of you familiar with my short stories, the Las Vegas Club is where,"AGNES CARMICHAEL OF THE CARMICHAEL CALIFORNIA CARMICHAEL'S ," took place.

I've heard it said that; You don't know what you got till its gone...well, it's completely true especially in regard to my reaction to getting fired by the Stardust Casino January 10, 1982.

When I got cut loose, the nation's economy was suffering through a recession and Las Vegas was feeling it too. I didn't realize how good the Stardust was until I found out how scarce decent jobs were. I called in old "markers" (favors) but all I got were apologies. So I tried worse and worse casinos and soon wound up downtown. In all, six weeks passed before I *accidentally got myself hired at one of the most abysmal abysses in town, the Las Vegas Club, (18 Fremont Street).
* You'll have to read the Carmichael story to understand why it was accidental.


I toiled at the Las Vegas Club for nine months. It's really easy to get down on yourself when you get that sinking, under-employed feeling in a place referred to by many as, a toilet. Weakened, suppressed, depressed and burnt-out, I was an easy mark for the most ruthless, evil and conniving predator. Was it DRUGS?, ALCOHOL?, DEGENERATE GAMBLING? The horrible truth was...I was approached, lured and multi-level marketers.

Disguised in a neatly wrapped presentation called AMWAY, I was a part of a group of suckers who were looking for an easy sky-rocket to success. In case you don't know, Amway sells household products and get individuals to hawk the company's wares to their friends, coworkers etc. It's called multi-level marketing because people on the levels above you get a percentage of your payment. So it behooves you to enlist your own people to be under you, so you "earn" a percentage of what they make.

Amway, as they phrased it; sell the sizzle rather than the steak. You don't realize at the time but that pretty much means; they have NOTHING to sell...then through thought manipulation, the mind by-passes the necessary slow hurdles of achievement and concentrates on the end goal; wealth. New recruits are inundated with a litany of incredible but true, "rags-to-riches" stories. So, Joe Blow from East-West Kidney Arkansas really did earn $200,000.00 his first year and Mary O'Leary, confined to a wheelchair, really makes a thousand a week in less than five hours. But what Amway doesn't tell you is that there are realtively few success stories out of the gazillions of schmoes who for a short time, sold (and bought Amway crap for themselves) and failed.

Selling household products doesn't change anything...Amway is just a fancy version of a pyramid scheme. Luckily for me, I recognized the ridiculousness of peddling expensive soap and never got involved.

My Vegas Club "sentence," working for a fourth of what I made at the Stardust, drearily crept along. I was dealing their "big" game, a one dollar minimum table, (the one other game was 75c...these minimums didn't even change on holidays). The pay was three bucks an hour and our tips averaged about $23.00/day. So when I got approached a second time by different multi-marketers...I was ripe for the taking.

Obscured by polished attache case toting "professionals" sincerely preaching their well-rehearsed company doctrine, this scam required its suckers to become licensed Nevada life insurance salesman. I took the bait and pictured my ton of acquaintances from the Stardust, other casinos, friends and neighbors...and fantasized, that they would line up to buy insurance. I then figured, by word of mouth, I could build my empire and escape casino drudgery and become a respected and successful man.

I remember one doubting friend say, "Life insurance salesman? You're going from one tough racket to another...why bother." Others avoided me like the plague. Even worse, I soon realized that this company, A. L. Williams, was nothing more than a clever pyramid operation. (Yes, a very small percentage of individuals did do well but overwhelmingly, people FAIL)!

Embarrassed by this revelation, I still persevered. While waiting to pass my licensing exams, I was "permitted" to introduce new recruits to the program. I apologized to my group leader when only three of the seven showed up for their introduction meeting. The leader smiled and said, "Don't worry three is still good...besides, around here, if you throw enough crap (he didn't say crap) on the wall, something will stick.

He called my people crap and indirectly called me crap too. I wish I had quit at that moment but I was influenced by dollar signs and a dynamic guy I brought in who I thought would make me a ton of money.

Shortly there after, I sold my first policy to a former Stardust coworker. For a share of my commission, I was provided with a sponsor who guided me through the process. I watched and learned but soon decided that this occupation was not for me. Plus, there was a hundred item health questionnaire that took forever to fill out. Most items were answered with a simple no. However, the fifteen minutes of questioning after each "yes" was boring and (to me) an invasion of privacy.

We were about three-quarters through when I started to read ahead. I was so confident that the next ten questions would be "no" that I joked to myself; I'll quit if he says "yes" to any of them. Minutes later after saying "no" to a question involving a history of lunacy in his family, my client was asked, "Are you missing any limbs?" My wry smile vanished when he said, "Do toes count?" And I was ready to slash my wrists with a rusty razor blade when the sponsor said, "Of course!" I was stunned! My friend had a toe amputated when he was in Ethiopia while in the army. AND! He couldn't remember dates, the hospital, doctors names or which commanding officer was involved. He vanished into his attic to look for twenty-year old paperwork and came back empty handed. At that point my sponsor said, "That's okay. We'll go back to the office and Steve'll make some calls."

The hellish afternoon seemed finally over. At the front door with premium check in hand we said our good-byes. All I could think was; how am I going to tell them; I QUIT! The client opened the door, looked over his shoulder and whispered, "Good, my wife finally went upstairs...remember that question about the 'clap.' Well, about ten years ago..." If I killed him at that second, at least he would have been covered!

My insurance selling career was over. Today there's no place in my heart for regrets because that would be the same concept of their brain-washing tactic but in reverse.

My only hope is that you never have to spill your guts on 100 personal questions to an acquaintance...unless you have lunacy in your family...that's always good for a laugh.

Thanks for reading...MGTP is nothing without you(s).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yo Steve...your mindset was totally WRONG for "A.L. Zillions"! You should have thought of the income protection product which you provided for the client, helping him in replacing an estate his family wouldn't have in the event of his premature demise. If all you could see was the " could never sell the sizzle." Having gone to the RVP position, over a period of four and 1/2 years, I had seen the results and actually cashflowed $26,000 that year. All while fighting the "casino burnout" caused by dealing BJ and craps at a toilet in good ole AC. Talk to you soon...over a Pai Gow game...see yaaaa. m