- the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
Working in a casino there is a wide range of people, attitudes and personalities that are there everyday. From the employees to customers. I can’t find the origin of the saying “don’t just another man until you have walked a mile in his shoes” but it’s a saying most of us forget. In this gaming environment as with most of society it is something that everyone could take a deep breathe and have some empathy for our fellow human beings.
These are a couple videos that stress “would you treat someone different if you only knew?” what was going on in their lives. They are pretty powerful videos and even if you see them we are creatures of impulse and really don’t take the time to look into the soul of another person instead judging to quickly. I am guilty from time to time and have taken great strides not to judge people right away. Even if someone comes to my table and starts bitching and complaining. I try and be polite, maybe overly nice sometimes just to see if someone treated them with respect and courtesy will it change their attitude? Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t but at least I tried. I see this quite a bit out of players at my tables as well, someone will play their cards the way they want to and someone else will take offense(because they got beat). I’ve talked about this extensively about not tapping the tank and scaring away the fish. This time I will talk about why you shouldn’t judge their play on a psychological level. What are you gaining by chastising another player? Does it make you feel better? Does it get your money back? What does everyone else at the table think of YOU? Poker players have the freedom to do whatever they want with their money, and the biggest difference in this gamble is the house has no financial interest in the game. Someone will LOSE every hand and someone will WIN every hand. Money is the root of all evil and if you lose money it hurts if you win money it makes you feel good. So every hand someone is hurt and someone is happy. So why would you be mad at the other player? They are there for the same reason most people are to PLAY poker. They take their hard earned money to come and enjoy themselves, who are you to judge them? Have you walked a mile in their shoes and no why they play the way they play? Act the way they do? Everyone has problems in their lives, some bigger than others. Watching these videos you see people walking around everyday and have no idea what is going on. They could be hurting and who are you to judge the way they play and attack them personally?
Sometimes I feel I do walk a mile or 1000’s of miles in the shoes of some of my regulars. I hear their stories, I know some of their backgrounds, I listen to the bad or good things going on in their lives. Even though they spend more time with us then their families I still try not to judge. Sometimes its hard. The other day a regular was whining about his bad day. He said “I’m Successful in business, I over achieved with my wife, I’ve been to 60 countries, I have nothing to complain about but I can’t get lucky at cards”. Well first off you aren’t a good card player. Second you stiff the dealers most of the time. So I sit there and everytime you stiff me on the $400 pot I think about your little spiel about your “great” life.
One of the big turning points in my view of players was a few years ago I have a regular that plays low limits and doesn’t tip much and I had a general dislike for this guy. Well driving through a fast food restaurant all of a sudden this guy steps up to the window and takes my order. He makes minimum wage, he works hard for his money. The little bit of extra he may have he is gambling with. Not that I’m mad he is gambling, but poker is an escape, an entertainment venue, something that he loves to do. There is a the guy playing for a living. He tips on big pots. Nothing on small pots. I used to get peeved but then I see him bring his own snacks, he grabs his own drinks and water. He doesn’t play bad hands or drink while he is playing. Every decision he makes is well thought out. This is his job. Tipping affects his bottom line, if he is married and has kids this is the money that puts food in their mouth. Even if he didn’t tip at all I would understand, I’m grateful now that he does tip.
One thing I would want for the players that piss and moan and get mad at the dealers and treat us like dirt is to walk a block not a mile in our shoes. See the way some people treat us and we have to sit there and take it. I know that these people with short fuses, misdirecting their anger for sure wouldn’t be able to handle it if the tables are turned and they have to sit there and take the abuse. Not only do we have to take the abuse, but we also have lives. We have financial struggles as you whine about how the 1000 pot should’ve been bigger and you stiff us. We have personal struggles with kids, spouses, bosses, tragedies and everything in everyday life that everyone deals with. Yet we sit there with a professional attitude running the game, taking verbal and mental abuse and blaming us because you can’t blame yourself. 1000’s of dollars in front of you and you won’t tip. Yep I’m judging you, I tried hard to make up excuses why you are the way you are. I’m thinking it was you were beat as a child and after a half hour I’m HOPING that was the reason. I’ve actually see quite a few of the douchebags and their backstory is they were born with silver spoons in their mouths. Trust funds or given everything. They grow up feeling that everyone is beneath them and their parents treat them like they can do know wrong. Parents should be teaching them empathy instead. We aren’t beneath them, it’s actually the opposite. They way they treat people puts them below us.
Will it ever change? I doubt it. Society seems to be getting worse and the empathy we feel for our fellow man is diminishing by the day. I guess we just have to grow a thicker skin and try not to become those that we despise. For the majority of my customers that are pleasant and nice to the players and dealers everyday, THANK YOU.