If you’ve read any of my other posts, you may know that my day job has always been working in some casino, somewhere, for almost 40 years. Most of the employees who work directly with the customers are paid minimum wages. The employer allows the employees to accept tips from the customers, much like they would tip a waitress in a restaurant.
The big difference is that most of those tips are based upon how much the customer wins, not just how good the service is. The other difference is that not every customer tips when they win, nor do they all tip by a percentage of their wins, and this can sometimes be a disappointment, especially when a customer wins big. I was only about 23 years old when I had my first experience with this type of disappointment.
I was working as a keno writer. Keno is kind of like a live interface lottery. The customer selects his numbers on a ticket. The keno writer makes a duplicate ticket, keeping the original in case the writer marked a number incorrectly. After all the tickets are written, the numbers are called and the next game opens. Writers then pay any winners, and/or write tickets for the next game.
This particular day was much like any other day at work. I enjoy working with people, so I usually engaged them in conversation while I was writing their tickets. A man came up to my window with a ticket that had 9 numbers selected. He said they were his and his wife’s birthdays and their anniversary. His was the last ticket I wrote that game. I closed my window, and went up to call the game.
After I was done calling the numbers selected for that game, he was the first one at my window. When I checked his ticket for matching numbers, I saw that I had called all 9 of his numbers. He had just won $25,000! I was so nervous. It was the biggest winner I had ever seen, and the shift manager was running around getting all the paperwork required for the taxes and getting the money ready to pay him.
I was also very excited. I anticipated a very large tip, because I was the one who wrote his ticket and called his numbers, too. When everything was ready to go, I counted out $25,000…in cash…to him, trying hard to control my shaking hands. When I was done, he handed me a $100 bill and asked me to give him two $50 bills. I did. He handed me one of them for a tip and said “thank you”.
I smiled and said “thank you”, but I was very disappointed because the man hadn’t lived up to my expectations. I was expecting no less than $1000, maybe more, because I had seen big winners give big tips to other writers.
It was that very moment that I learned to “Never expect anything and you’ll never be disappointed”. It has been something I have carried with me throughout my gaming career, and something I taught my kids when they decided to enter the gaming industry as well.
I only wish I had realized sooner that I needed to apply it to more than just tips.
I have always tried to live up to the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, but expecting others to treat me the same way as I treat them has also been the cause of many disappointing moments in my life.
The reason is so simple it escaped me. No one else is me. No one else will react the same way I do. No one else perceives a situation the same way I do. Most importantly, no one knows what I expect from them unless I tell them. If I am being honest with myself, I have to admit that I have not been very fair with my expectations.
How very different my life…and my relationships…would have been if I had never expected anything in return for what I gave freely, even if it was just smiling to someone or holding the door for a stranger.
Their reaction would be the same, regardless of how I felt they should have responded. If my smile was returned or the stranger said “thank you” when I held the door open, it would have made my day just a little bit better, but I wouldn’t have gotten angry or disappointed if they didn’t.
The lessons we learn in life are not always completely obvious at first, but when it’s time they will make themselves known. It’s been many years since I learned to “Never expect anything and you’ll never be disappointed”, but my eyes are finally open to the whole truth and not limited to just my occupation.
It may take some time to break the “expectation” habit, but it is possible to live my life without ever being disappointed by another person’s behavior. All that’s required is to give what I can…and never expect anything in return.
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My name is Laura Mozer Davis, and I was born over half a century ago. My life’s journey has included raising three children as a single parent while caring for my parents who both became disabled during the last 10 years of their lives. Now that my children are grown and my parents have passed into the next part of their journey, I finally have time for me to grow as a person, not as just a care-giver. What I am learning, however, is that my destiny is to always be a care-giver. When I started writing for The Daily Sisterhood blog, I realized that I was to continue my care-giving through my writing. If my words help even just one person find either solace or joy, I know my life continues to have meaning.