[EDIT: Decided to put the bulk of this behind a cut. Cuz it's, you know, detailed and rambly. :) ]
So...here's the scoop. The writing was on the wall, at least around these parts. I've heard about probably half the casinos in A.C. laying people off, and that's just the stuff I've heard about. Borgata, like all the other casinos here, are suffering a drought, and there just isn't enough work to go around. The poker department was one of the last ones to go through its cutbacks, but this was our time. I just happened to get swept up in the most layoff-friendly category, which is basically having been there long enough to be eligible for the better (more pricey to them) benefits package, but not having been there long enough to have any real seniority. Probably a lot of the dealers hired around the same time I was are in the same situation that I am. Work-wise, I mean. Life-wise...who knows, but I think I'm probably better off than many.
So, that's the real stuff, then. What's going on life-wise? Well, first of all, I'm going to chill for a while. Last night, when I was still processing, I basically just turned off the computer and phone and sat around for a while. (And thanks, everybody, for the commiseration and such; sorry I didn't respond 'til now.) Now that I've had a night's sleep and let things settle a bit, I feel I can address things calmly. So first thing, I'm not going to run around and do anything crazy. In fact, I'm not going to run around at all. I'm going to have another little vacation while I mull things over. :)
So there's that. The second thing is, not all is lost just yet. It is possible that they (Borgata) may have some additional, spotty, work for me after a couple weeks when things settle down. Where they can't support all the "real" employees they had already, they still may end up needing the labor, so they might be calling up with "on-call" work in the next few months. Frankly, I'm not holding my breath about that, but it's there. Additionally, though, even if they don't need the labor now, they will definitely need it come January or so when the Winter Poker Open starts back up. So basically in a few months I know I'll have the chance to apply again and basically start over at the point I was at two years prior, only now I'll have experience and connections to back me up instead of just a white shirt and a black pair of pants. So I've got that going for me.
Because of the Winter Open situation, I feel like I won't be pressed into making any big decisions until then. If I don't land the Winter Open, then it'll be time to start rethinking big picture. But, for the time being, I have no reason to think I wouldn't land the gig, so I think I have every reason to be optimistic about that. And if I don't land it, it's surely not the end of the world.
Which brings us to the third thing: this isn't the end of the world. Before I got comfortable thinking about the Winter Open, I did start down the path of "Well what the fuck am I going to do now?" And the answer came back surprisingly chill: Nothing just yet. See...the thing that's weird is that...for the past few weeks, work hasn't been an amazingly prominent feature in my life. I don't want to downplay its significance, of course...I mean, nothing beats a steady paycheck, especially with a minimum of effort, but in the scheme of things, work really doesn't take up a lot of my brainspace or even, necessarily, time. So its removal didn't make the huge impact on me that it has in times past. Further, I was getting a little tired. My recent mini-vacation was pretty telling, especially since I didn't exactly return to the gig with much vigor, but overall I feel like I was getting kinda fed up. Not exactly burned out, but I was just in that space where the idea of it would cause me to heave a little sigh, you know? So maybe it was a good time for a change, after all.
Now, change...is not my strong point. :) Sometimes I feel it should happen, but I have no idea what "it" really is. This was one of those times. I feel I should make a change. But what? New job? New city, even? Those are the kinds of changes I generally end up making. Like...it's rare I'll express my dissatisfaction with a new wardrobe, know what I'm sayin'? I believe, from past experiences, that these times of change are fraught with peril and despair. ;) I have a couple things working against me. One is that I'm kinda indecisive. Like, a lot. Another is that I have a lot of mass and a lot of friction -- once I stop moving, it's so hard to start again. Slacking is addictive to me, I realized recently. I just can't stop. :) So in some sense, I was afraid of losing what little structure remaining in my life, lest I collapse again into the lump on the couch that I have been before (and whom James and Janie got to know pretty well, I think ;) ).
And then...there's poker. The (putative) whole reason I'm in A.C. at all. I've got a little money hanging around still, which is basically stuff I can live on for a while and could also be a poker bankroll. (It probably wouldn't be wise for it to be both, but...whaddaya gonna do. ;) ) Anyway. Poker isn't necessarily the smartest thing for me to be doing between jobs. Yet in the same breath, it's probably not the smartest thing for me to want to do with my life at all, so...where do you draw the line? ;) At any rate...I can easily equate "loss of structure" with gain of "do whatever at my own pace," so this would definitely be a good time to concentrate on poker again full-time. I just...have to really careful, though, about variance and bankroll and living expenses. Basically all the shit I failed at the last time I tried to go pro. ;) And, to be frank and honest about it, I am not ready to go pro. I'm not skilled enough, that's for sure, but I'm just not positioned for it right now -- not how I want to be, anyway. There are certain (financial) conditions that I want met before I even consider making the transition from semi-pro to pro. Now, granted, the work situation has forced my hand somewhat, but still, I am not ready. I have to keep saying that to myself so I continue to think about work. ;) I am not ready. I am not ready.
But still. No harm in a little extracurricular fun between gigs, right? ;)
Ahem. Anyway, the long and short of it is that I'm not at a total loss here, and more importantly, I haven't been caught, as they say, with my pants down. I've got a little something put away, a little something to maybe look forward to, and also just...well, nothing pressing going on. Whenever I reach a point like this in my life, I'm always amazed how big and wide open the future starts to look. What I'm going to do differently this time, is to not try and choke it all down at once, because that shit makes me crazy. :) What I'm going to do instead, this time, is take it easy and take it a step at a time. There's no need to panic, and there's no need to rush. I don't have to jump back into things again all crazy. So, that's how things are for now. We'll see how I feel when I run out of money again. Then that'll be the time to panic. ;)
At any rate, last night I filled up the time well enough, I guess. When I wasn't pondering the state of things, I watched some more Buffy (including the most heart-rending episode ever, which I so wasn't ready for, but hey), and I finished up Baten Kaitos, which was fun. The immediate future probably holds much of the same, plus a healthy helping of poker, an unhealthy pack of cigarettes, and maybe a little pondering now and then on where to go from here. On the whole, though, I'd say things are gonna be fine. I've suffered a blow, but not a crushing blow. As of now, I'm not sweating it.
So, I guess that's it. Smell ya later, everybody. Peace!