Monday, March 27, 2017

March Madness

I apologize for the length of time in-between posts.  I didn't really want to write any more about the class until I knew for sure what the outcome was.  I wrote out a post that essentially came out to 10,000 words for "I'm sweating bullets" but felt like posting it would be jinxing my chances.  On a positive note, at least now when people are superstitious in front of me at the card tables, I'll be able to empathize a little bit.

I got the job!

Cody drew this for me way before I ever actually thought I'd get hired.  The brown hair is a nice touch.

Sometime within the week, I'm going to start dealing table games professionally!  To say I'm excited would be a massive understatement.  I actually can't remember the last time I've felt this happy with things and optimistic about the future.

I left Boston more than a year ago with the intent of finding something new to do with myself.  It took me a little while and there were definitely failures along the way, but I genuinely feel like this job will potentially mark the start of a new career for me.  I always used to say that the reason it was hard to leave Boston was that I was fully aware of how good I had it, getting paid well for a job I enjoyed doing.  After a year of not working full-time, I kind of feel like I've found another one.

I really like dealing cards.  Like, I literally find it fun to do.  I feel like it combines three relative strengths of mine:

  • Following Game Rules and Logic - I played Magic: the Gathering, often competitively, from 1994-2009, and have played fantasy baseball/football with friends (also competitively) every year since then.  I've been playing poker on and off ever since I turned 21, and at least weekly for a lot of the time I've lived here in OR.  I never really thought of any of that stuff as resume'-relevant, but I feel like it's helped.  I'm going to find it fun to try and master the process of the games so I can do it as quickly and correctly as possible.
  • Quick Mental Math - I've always enjoyed trying to do math quickly and correctly in my head.  I found it to be engaging growing up - it was the only subject where I would consistently do my homework.  I love finding opportunities to do math - another reason I like gaming so much - but for the most part they're few and far between these days.
  • Interacting With People - I always saw that as the reason I preferred working in desktop support over other I.T. work.  I really like environments where I get to talk to a lot of people on a regular basis.  I've never really had a job where keeping customers entertained factored in, but I welcome it and honestly look forward to it.  I'm sure it will be challenging at times, but for the most part I think the positive interactions will outweigh the negative ones.

Me, immediately after my dealer's audition but before I knew the results. Or, as I like to call it, "the longest five minutes of my life".  I started taking selfies just to distract myself from the tension - this was the best one I got.

When I first started dealer's school, I genuinely thought of it as my plan B.  I was still strongly considering the desktop support job, but to my surprise I felt really strongly that dealer's school was more what I wanted to be doing, and so I followed my gut and put as much effort as I could into doing well in class.  I recently realized that blackjack class is quite possibly the thing that I've taken the most seriously, perhaps ever.

The closest thing that I can come up with to describe what I went through in the last two months would be to compare it to transitioning ten years ago.  At first, it was hard because I didn't know anything - but every time I learned something new (or screwed something up), I started to build up confidence and have faith in my ability to get through it.  And eventually, a vision of a future where I'm happy started to emerge, and I started to think that it was actually possible that I could get there.  With that, however, came the undeniable fact - I was emotionally committed to wanting the job, and there was no way to sugarcoat the fact that it was going to hurt me a lot if I didn't get it.

"Transitioning" is actually a reasonable term for my recent shift in perspective.  I kind of feel like I've aged a lot in the last year, and it's almost a little jarring to realize the little ways in which I've changed since leaving Boston.  Even when I go back and read the beginning of this journal where I'm all  "I'm never working for someone else again!", present-me wants to go back in time to past-me and slap her in the back of the head.  As it stands, I've spent the last month wanting nothing more than to find out I'd have another full-time job so I can start saving money for the future.

I mean, I'll still always be me...

Thankfully, I won't need to chop my dreads off.  As it turns out, the company was willing to modernize their policy, because "they want me to be able to succeed there".  As far as I'm concerned, it's now on me to deliver and be as good at dealing as I can - hopefully, it will turn out to be a rare win/win situation at the casino!

Soon after posting this, I'm going to dye my hair back to its original color and remove all the beads from it. One of my roommates asked me if it stings to normal-ize up my hair, and the honest answer is that it doesn't. I kind of like the idea of my appearance changing slightly to mark what's sure to be a new period of my life.

On that note - this blog might be undergoing some changes in the near-future.  Now that I'm going to be working in a position where I will interact with customers regularly, there's now some merit to wanting to have a degree of privacy in my life.  I'm not saying I'm going to stop writing, but I might choose to archive the old posts and start moving forward from scratch on something new.  I haven't really figured any of that out yet but it's going to be on my mind.

Finally, thanks to everyone who has been encouraging me through this process!  I was going slightly crazy waiting to find out the final verdict on the job and you all helped me a ton, even if I wasn't always the best at showing it.