I truly truly truly apologize to my readers for not being present during the week. It's currently 1AM Saturday morning, and I've finally gotten time where I'm not dead tired or running out somewhere to write down an update of my crazy life.
(me pictured with another Capuchin Candidate. This pic is entitled: "Meet My New Catholic Friend")
After having fun in Chicago with the Capuchins, Monday was a day of getting back to work. My job loss two weeks ago was more like a demotion: I was still working at the same location but again as a dealer, not as a pitboss. I still had feelings of anger, revenge, and bitterness for some of the other people who worked there. Yet I knew that I was lucky to even have a job available, and even luckier to have a boss willing to give me another option while I continued to work until August 1st.
While I wanted to present a better image, a side that showed I was not angry nor upset, a poker dealer isn't hidden away. I will still deal with the same people I've dealt with for the past year. They knew me first as a dealer, they got to know me again as a pitboss, and they will see me again as a dealer. The questions, the inquiries, the rumors that must have already started before walking in the door...it all seemed a little unbearable.
I walked in the door of the poker room early, meeting one of the other pitbosses. He seemed surprised to see me; he was out of the loop on what happened and where I'd been in the last two weeks. I told him only that I was no longer a pitboss, I was here to be a dealer again, and that I was taking my time to further pursue my goal of becoming a Capuchin Postulant in the fall. Thankfully, he read between the lines and didn't ask me any further questions about it.
As people filtered in that Monday evening, I realized the best way to stay out of the spotlight was to be busy at work. I opened the first table and dealt nonstop for 3.5 hours (most dealers get a break each hour). I got the occasional "You're dealing again, Vito!" I responded in kind: "Yes, I am!" For those that lightly asked about my status as a dealer, I told them the same story as I'd told the other pitboss: I was taking more time to focus on my discernment for the Capuchins. Instantly everyone would ask: "What is a Capuchin?" and I told people about my calling while successfully diverting the topic of conversation away from my status as a dealer (an old trick I remembered from selling cars.)
Others wanted to know more. Still, I was light-hearted in my discussions. "Well it's a long story, and I can't talk without using my hands. So either I can deal cards or I can tell you this really long story. My guess is you wanna play some poker." This would get laughs, and people took the subtle hint that Vito didn't want to talk about it.
Of course, there was the nosy individual who came to my table as I was dealing and started asking me invasive questions: "How come you are dealing? Pitbosses can't deal. You're not a pitboss anymore? Why?"
I tried to keep answers short as I continued to deal cards, however I couldn't get this person to understand that I didn't want to talk. Finally, as they were begging me for information, I stopped mid-hand and looked up at him with the "look of death":
"This is neither the time nor the place for this discussion. Do you catch my drift?"
In unison, everyone at the poker table turned up to look at the other person, awaiting a response. Realizing they looked like a total ass, they apologized and left the table.
From that point on, few have tried to ask about what happened. Most are content to leave me with my personal business, however I use the opportunity to spread the news about my calling, my faith, and ultimately my plans for becoming a Capuchin. Even today, as I dealt cards to people I've known for a year, no one dares ask me directly about what happened. They are content to see me again, and happy to have me at the table (unless they lose a lot of money).
The one thing that gets me through the impending workplace drama is understanding others. It's human nature to want to know, to figure out what happened. It's also human nature to understand when we're being intrusive into someone else's life. Rather than fighting against a rumor mill, I've embraced that mill and filled it with information I wish to be spread: Vito is a man of God and plans on becoming a religious brother.
Now if I could only work something out with these pesky bill collectors...but that's a post for another day. =)