Lucky me, out of the flock of tourists, the microphone was shoved in my face. Before asking me what I knew about their network, a lady asked some preliminary questions. I got on a roll and had my folks, others in the crowd, the crew and even the interviewer, chuckling.
One of those questions was, "What's your favorite day of the week?" Without hesitation I said, "Thursday!" The interviewer said, "Thursday? I've asked that to a hundred people and you're the first to say Thursday." I said, "It's simple. What day is today?" She said, "Thursday." I said with a twinge of sarcasm, "That's right! And...Thursday is my favorite day of the week because...I'm off on Thursdays."
That became the original, "Thursday" joke. But the joke was on me because the cameraman screwed-up and needed me to redo my little repartee. I laughed, "Comedy is all timing, I could never recreate that moment." I grabbed mom and dad and led them inside to the clam bar.
Before casinos went national and opened on every street corner, I had a legion of loyal roulette followers. On any day, I could count on a familiar face shoehorning onto my table to play...or at least waving as they went by. Many of my people...whether they played or not were likely to make the hand signal associated with the new and improved, completely different "Thursday" joke.
From the outside looking in, you'd think casino workers would use some level of schtick. Of course not everyone has the enthusiasm, energy or willingness to be a cheerleader. But overwhelming my coworkers lose sight of the fact that we are in the hospitality business. They make no attempt to show an interest in their players or show a touch of sympathy to the losers. So entertaining or even chatting with the customers is out of the question.
It's crazy to think but in that regard, many of my contemporaries view me as an oddball. So while they suffer through the self-imposed drudgery of being there, I cultivate my customers in search of the right audience. Therefore, whenever I can, I have fun on the job which helps pass the time.
Today's blog concerns itself with another one of the lines I like to use.
At times, a roulette dealer is swamped with work. Sometimes an impatient or less savvy player will ask another player to place bets they can't reach. My answer to that is, "He's playing, I'm working. Give me sec and I'll professionally set-up whatever you need. Besides, if an amateur screws up, you can scream at them until your head falls off...but you won't get satisfaction. If I mess-up, you can still yell AND you might get what you wanted."
The bigger problem is, outside the casino, I have a long history of not heeding my own, "letting a professional do my work" advice. This is especially true when it comes to me making home repairs.
In regard to my fix-it prowess, I am famous for trying to replace a light bulb and turning it into a "mature audience only" TV special. I have a talent for making insignificant inconveniences into a mess and messes into an epic problems and epic problems into catastrophes. A big part of my dilemma is, I am at times cheap, lazy and stupid, (or all three at the same time).
Far worse, because I have a poor road record, I keep trying to prove, (to myself...and family), that I'm not a bumbling idiot.
The latest installment of my ineptitude started six months ago on my day off, (a Thursday). That's when we realized our dishwater wasn't draining. I suggested running another cycle...and like magic, I found the cure.
My heroic status lasted a couple of months until after a big Thursday meal, we discovered that the bottom of washer was again flooded with stagnant water.
Here was my chance to prove that I am willing to go the extra mile, have common sense and that I'm not clumsy. I referred my difficulties to the Google search engine.
|GOOGLE IS A TECHNOLOGY COMPANY SPECIALIZING IN INTERNET-RELATED SERVICES AND PRODUCTS. THEIR CORPORATE OFFICES ARE IN MOUNTAINVIEW CALIFORNIA.|
Search engines were developed by Google (and their competitors) to allow users to receive a wealth of answers to virtually any question. That's why the budding Internet called itself the, "information super highway?" So to get to the source of my problem, I typed in, "dishwasher not draining."
I found out that most drainage problems were caused by: a clogged filter, drain or pipe or a drain motor failure. I visited the Frigidaire web-page and found the dishwasher trouble-shooting page.
|THE DIRECTION IMPLIED THAT A FOUR-YEAR OLD WITH AVERAGE INTELLIGENCE COULD FIND THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM. TOO BAD I DIDN'T HAVE A LITTLE KID AROUND TO ASK FOR HELP.|
I was self-assured as I followed the directions to siphon-out the still water. But I lost all my momentum when I reached the "self-cleaning" filter. It was as clean as a whistle and there weren't gobs of greasiness blocking the drain. One last idea was to remove the propeller-like sprayer arm at the bottom, to check for a blockage in the pipe underneath. I didn't see any screws and it wouldn't lift up so I gave up.
Lucky for me, I have a friend (neighbor) who is a handyman. While its true the last thing he wants to do when he's not doing handy work...is do handy work, but for me, he'd do it.
It took a couple of weeks to coordinate a common time for both of us. In that time, I figured out that the propeller arm twists off. For a split second, I was so proud of myself. But I also discovered that the problem couldn't be unearthed by looking under it. In the mean time, I reconnected the propeller.
On a Thursday in early July, my buddy came over. He detached the actual motor and tested it. It worked. He had experience with various dishwashers but he suggested calling a professional because he couldn't see what was wrong.
We made a Thursday appointment with an appliance service. From the time that man set foot in the house until he identified and fixed this Mickey Mouse problem was three minutes, (a clogged water line). BUT, he also said, "Whoever removed the motor...broke it! And it has to be replaced."
I was in no position to point a finger at my friend. Even though he was out of his league, he was doing me a favor. I can only blame my thriftiness, laziness and stupidity for trusting the job to a non-expert. I ate $160.00 worth of humble pie. The new motor had to be ordered so it wasn't until the following Thursday that the repairman returned to install it. Unfortunately, he gave us a three-hour window, (3:PM-6:PM) and arrived (on time?) at 5:45 which killed my whole day off.
On his way out, he suggested that we run washer immediately, to eliminate the stench of the old dirty, still water. In the morning, (Friday) I emptied the washer. To my surprise...the propeller arm that I had snapped (improperly) back on, before my friend looked at the dishwasher, had fallen off. It was laying on the floor of the dishwasher atop the coil that heats the water.
Upon closer examination, the plastic arm had melted halfway through the coil and was fused to it. Ugh, I called the repairman back. He gave me another three-hour window that now ruined both my days off.
|IN THE 1960's, JESSE WHITE WAS THE TV COMMERCIAL SPOKESPERSON FOR MAYTAG APPLIANCES. THEIR CATCHPHRASE, PRIOR TO THE ADVENT OF "TRUTH IN ADVERTISING," IMPLIED THAT THEIR PRODUCTS WERE SO RELIABLE THAT THEIR REPAIRMEN WERE THE LONELIEST GUYS IN TOWN.|
My dishwasher repairman certainly can never complain about being lonely, I'm seeing him way too often. Maybe my schtick with him helped forge a bond between us. To prove how effective the second "Thursday" joke was, he used the hand gesture when he greeted me the last time. It's like we're pals. So much so, he gave me a break and will install a new sprayer arm, (no service call charge), next Thursday for the price of the part, fifty bucks.
I'm already dreading the possibility of losing another day off. This epidemic is rapidly becoming a third version of my Thursday joke...except this one isn't funny.