Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Service Industry

I like the Borgata, the hotel casino in Atlantic City. It’s very nice as far as casinos go. Just take my word for it. However, don’t try to get a tuna melt there. Apparently they had a meeting. (The following is the actual conversation I had with the nice woman at the poker room snack bar.)

Her: What can I get you?
Me: Could I get a tuna melt?
Her: No.
Me: I can’t?
Her: Nope.
Me: I was here two weeks ago and I had a tuna melt then.
Her: Since then we’ve had a meeting.
Me: You had a tuna melt meeting?
Her: It was a general meeting. Tuna melts came up.
Me: Oh. (I walk away dejected.)

And when you’re done not getting your tuna melt don’t try to buy 5 black chips from the cage. They have a 5-10 no limit game with a $1,500 cap on the initial buy in, so I went to the cage to buy some chips.

Me: (handing $1,500 to the cashier at the cage) Could I have $1,000 in $25 chips and $500 in $100 chips?
Him: I can’t give you 5 black chips.
Me: I can’t buy 5 black chips?
Him: You can buy $2,000 in black chips.
Me: The maximum buy in is $1,500. I just want 5 black chips.
Him: I can’t give you 5 black chips.
Me: Oh. (I walk away with $1,500 in green chips.)

Apparently there is a new Borgata and/or New Jersey Casino Control Commission rule that says you have to buy a full stack of chips. For reasons that I’m sure are apparent to someone besides me you can only buy in increments of 20, not 5. Apparently the customer isn’t always right.

However I did meet one person in Atlantic City looking to satisfy the customer. I had a terse but interesting encounter on the way back to my hotel room. I step into the elevator late Friday night along with a group of 4 young men and 2 surgically enhanced young women that I don't know. Out of the blue, one of the young men says to one of the women “Yeah, but he’s not with us,” in reference to me. To which another asks, “but how much for him too?” The woman runs her gaze up and down my body and finally comes up with a figure she’s satisfied with. “A hundred bucks,” she answers.

Now, I don’t remember the interaction word for word but I think the phrase “party” was used and she inquired as to whether I would like to join them. I thanked her for the offer but explained that I was actually very tired. She explained that she could wake me up quite effectively and I replied “that’s what I’m afraid of.” I really don’t know quite what I meant by that but it was the first response that came to mind and she accepted it. If she felt unduly shunned she did not show it.

They exited a floor below me and I said something fairly inane. “You kids have fun,” or something to that effect. And that was the end of it.

The next day I talked with a friend who has knowledge in such areas and inquired what specifically I could have expected to get for $100. “At the Borgata or the Taj Mahal?” he asked. I explained the situation and he gave me a couple broad possibilities but thought that $100 was fairly cheap for the Borgata, unless there was some sort of group discount being offered. I mentioned that there were two women and it might have simply been a performance piece of some sort. I don’t know.

All I really do know for sure is that all of a sudden I really do want to know exactly what I was offered. I really doubt it was anything I would have bought (and the chance of Christi authorizing such a purchase would be rather slim) but still I am curious. At this point I wish I had offered that woman $20 just to explain exactly what the $100 was for. I’m not saying it was necessarily anything really good, like a “tuna melt,” but the fact that I’ll never know does vex me. Oh well.


Chris Fargis said...

The last time I was at Borgata, I had one of those conversations you wish you had recorded regarding their full stack chip policy:

"So let me get this straight. This is a casino, right? I'm going to give you ten hundred dollar bills, and you can't give me ten black chips??"

writerman said...

Glad to see you're back. Was beginning to wonder if you, like Shane, are allergic to compliments. I need both you guys blogging your asses off and saying nice things about a certain book of which you are one of the stars...

Mike May said...

Sorry I haven't been blogging as frequently as I should be. I've just been too entranced with all the posts on the "What You Do And When You Do It" blog to do any of my own writing, SmartAss.

As far as the black chips go I'm just going to buy $2,000 and sell back $1,500 whenever I need 5. Does it make a lot of sense? No. Will I do it every single time I buy chips, even if I don't want 5 chips? Obviously.

matt k said...

mike may, why do you make such a big deal out of things?