Your Perfect Employee Comes From a Casino Industry
Published in Infinity Gaming Magazine in January 2021
Originally posted in LinkedIn.
Why do we, casino employees, always meet with suspicious eye when applying for a job in a different field?
We either don’t get contacted at all, or we have to answer weird questions like:
- “And what does it mean to work in a casino?”
- “Why on earth do you think that you could be a good fit for our company?” (OK, not in these words, hiring people are professionals after all, and they try not to be rude. But, between the lines, this is exactly what they are asking.
And I can’t say I blame them.
A WEEK IN A LIFE OF A CASINO EMPLOYEE
Casino industry is a world on its own. We all know each other because we work such unsociable hours that we have no option to know anyone else. We are so desperate that we marry each other in the end.
OK, that sounds a little too tragic! It’s not always like that and many people manage to have a decent life, some of us do manage to have friends elsewhere, and the lucky ones even get to marry someone from the outside!
The main reason as to why we are the best employee anyone could have, is that we are so used to pressure! And it’s a shame that none of the potential employers know that!
Imagine starting your work-day at 10 pm. Then, you try to make drunk people happy for 8 hours, while you are attempting to work out, sometimes incredibly complex, calculations. Obviously looking beautiful – full make-up, hair and nails done, suited and booted.
Not to mention that the treatment you get sometimes might not be your typical office interaction. You might get to experience some beautiful moments like:
- Someone shouting at you
- Someone insulting you
- 5 different people asking 5 different questions from 5 different directions (my favourite, especially when your own helpful colleagues are part of this verbal diarrhea)
- If you are lucky, someone might even throw something at you
Yes, Casino is a very civilised environment.
So, you go through all that, only to get home at 7-8 o’clock in the morning. Pass out, wake up in the afternoon when everyone is just finishing their work-day.
You have a “breakfast”. And if you slept more than 5 hours, you might even go ahead and hit the gym or do some housework, or even shopping! But you can’t do much because the working hours change all the time and you have less time today! You have to get to work for 8 pm, which means that you have to leave at 6 pm.
Traffic in London is a sight to behold. Even if you don’t drive, you have to leave early because the train is 90% likely to get cancelled.
You get there five minutes to 8, slap make-up on your face, boys suit and boot up. And we do the shouting, insulting, counting and arguing all over again.
We leave the building at 3 am! Yay! Don’t get excited, you have to be back at 2 pm the same day. Go home, go to sleep, and get up at 11 am not knowing where, or who you are. But that’s OK, we are used to that. Coffee will do the job. Or seventeen of them.
You go through the day-shift without ever waking up and, quite often, not remembering what on earth happened that day. The only thing you can think of, is sleep. Somehow, however, you manage to do your job extremely well and even put a smile on your face.
You are so knackered at the end of the day that you master the last little remnants of strength, and drag yourself to a pub to get a Gin & Tonic for £15. Or two. The beauty of working in Mayfair is the bargain prices.
After 5 days of these shifts, days off come! It’s not a weekend, obviously, so you can’t go out with your normal friends (if you have any). But that’s OK, you just want to sleep, anyway.
You manage to do some housework, catch up on sleep, go to the gym so you don’t have a heart attack when you are 45 (you at least hope so), and spend some time with a partner of yours. Which is really convenient because, remember, they work in a casino too.
But they are most likely on opposite shifts, so you just have to call them and hope they are awake. Same as your family, really. Get used to the fact that your mum will be calling you at 9 am asking: “Why are you asleep?” Mine still does this 11 years later, so don’t think you will be able to explain your weird hours to them.
Want to go out with your normal friends or visit your family at the weekend? Sure. No problem. You have weekends off every 6 months. Who wants to see them more often, anyway.
SO, WHY ARE THE CASINO EMPLOYEES SO GOOD TO HIRE?
Well, first of all, after what I’ve just mention, I don’t think you can throw us off by something simple like a deadline. I mean, after being sleep deprived for years, a deadline is quite a nice form of pressure. Or is it pressure, really?
We juggle constantly changing shifts, friends, love life, family and some of us try to stay fit and look OK-ish. So by being told that I have to write 5 000 words in four weeks is not going to make me crumble. I’ll probably do it on the train to work.
I am not trying to devalue anyone’s work at the office and I am aware that 9-5 job, or working from home poses its own difficulties.
Also, I cannot even imagine what sort of pressure you must be experiencing, if you own your own business!
Main point I am trying to make here is that we are constantly under pressure and we are damn good at dealing with it.
- We have to look presentable.
- We have to smile all the time and pretend that we have no personal issues or lives.
- We have to function on minimal amount of sleep. And we do!
- We have to multitask – calculate, look good, smile, have a casual conversation with a customer, and be respectful of the team we work with (which is challenging at times).
- Our interpersonal skills and relationships must be top-notch! As I will explain in a bit.
So, if any potential employer is reading this, don’t dismiss us. We are NOT just a bunch of pretty girls and boys, who spin the ball in a roulette wheel. It’s a tough job, emotionally and mentally.
If you ever need an employee, who:
- Is energetic
- Can multitask
- Is great at customer service
- Doesn’t crumble under pressure
- Is excellent at teamwork
- Doesn’t mind a little sleep deprivation
Please do consider a CV with a casino industry on it. We are often overlooked because nobody knows what skill sets we possess. Even if we do mention our skills on our resumes, nobody can put them into context, and I am not surprised. Casino is not a venue that everyone has been to, or want to go to.
WE ARE NOT CROOKS!
As my former colleague rightly pointed out in the comments section on my post, another issue we often have to deal with, is these accusations.
We do not steal anyone’s money, neither we beat people up in the basement.
Casino industry is incredibly strictly regulated.
We have to prove where every penny comes from and if we cannot, we are not allowed to accept it. Cash is becoming less and less frequent due to increasing number of rules regarding money laundering.
We have to be aware of many rules and regulations and protect ourselves and our employer all the time.
The times, when casinos were dark dens in the underground and customers were carrying guns on them are buried in the past. It’s definitely not your typical UK scene.
We don’t work for Kray brothers!
WHAT DO WE DO WHEN THE CASINO IS QUIET?
You must have been thinking this, right?
It can’t be busy all the time, just like pubs and bars are not constantly packed.
You are absolutely right. More often than not, we are quiet. But that poses more challenges than you would think.
We are a small team of people. So imagine working with 10 – 15 employees. Not a problem, right?
Now, imagine that you have nothing to do and you have to spend 8h a day staring at your colleagues. With nothing to do, no deadlines, no assignments, nothing to do at all. Now, imagine they are all women. Casino industry, at least the London one, is largely dominated by women.
Not that I am against women, not at all. It would be a little counterproductive if I was since I am a woman myself. I have found some amazing friends in this industry. But let’s be fair. We, women, tend to have the urge to talk without saying a lot. If you had 10 men in the room, it would most likely be a very quiet room.
Lock 15 women together in a room with nothing to do and let 2 men be their boss. What do you think is going to happen? You are probably thinking something like a third world war. Well, I’m sure there were moments where this guess was not far from the truth.
So, what do we do?
Well, we cover the weather, obviously. We ask about the husbands, kids and family and find out if they are still alive. We might even have something in common with each other, we are human beings after all.
I’m not going to lie. There are differences and disagreements.
BUT! We have learned to leave our own emotions and issues at home. When we come to work, we have to treat everyone professionally, not just the customers, but each other too. We work in a high-end environment and there is no space for personal issues.
his is another reason that makes us so valuable! And it all comes down to the ability to handle pressure and stress in the end. We are damn good at it. We make jokes out of situations that would send most of the population to a psychiatrist’s office.
I hope I didn’t bore you too much with a story about a profession nobody knows anything about. But that was the point of this article. I wanted more people to know what we do and how our skills can be transferable to many different industries.
If you could share this post, dear reader, I’d be eternally grateful. And I am sorry if my sarcastic tone made someone feel undervalued or uncomfortable – that was not the purpose.
The purpose of this post was to:
- Offer insight into a mysterious job role from someone, who has been in for 11 years.
- Hopefully entertain
If I made anyone laugh, that’s a bonus.
It’s enough for me that you managed to stick to the end!