TRUMP: THE ART OF THE STEAL
At the casino I was getting a first hand lesson on what Leif was explaining to me about selling change and wanting to become a dealer. Slot players were the laziest bunch of the lot. They were just as greedy as the table players only not willing to work as hard or invest as much. All they did was stand in front of a machine or two or three, put in coins--not fast enough--and pull a lever. Sometimes they just pushed a button.
You could tell the really sick people by the color of their hands. The coins were filthy dirty. The more they played, the dirtier their hands became. The cashiers kept towellets for that bunch. They could not lose enough with one machine; so some had to have more than one.
Selling change wasn't the only duty of a change cashier. There were four in all. But one of my favorites was working the cash advance booth.
That was a clever idea. Inside the casinos were machines, which a person could use to get a cash advance on their credit card for a very high fee. There were such companies there as Fast Cash, Comcheck, and Western Union. The way it worked was simple. A greedy gambler would go to the machine, pick up a phone receiver, swipe his card threw the gizmo, and follow the instructions over the phone. If they were approved the company would wire a check to the cash advance window and the person would pick it up. I have seen some sick people accept a $12 fee just so they could get a $30 advance. Of course, when they got their bill it would be for $42 and at a very high interest rate.
I used to like working that gig because once and a while a check came up instructing the cashier to repossess the credit card. It may have been stolen or late on payments. Either way, most of the people didn't stay to argue. The cashier would also receive a fifty-dollar finders fee, which was paid, in cash, off the books, the next day, by the check company. On a busy Saturday night, one could easily pick up two or three of those. It was said because of that potential to make a couple hundred tax-free dollars a week that had some of the cashiers paying off the supervisors to work the window every weekend and almost every night.
One evening, while working the cash advance window, I got a scare that sent a chill up my spine. It happened when a man who looked a lot like Nicky Scarfo came to my window to collect his money. The name on the driver’s license and credit card was Salvador Testa. The moment I realized it, apprehension filled my body. I knew he was a gangster from New York and that was exactly the address on the license. It was for $2000 and any amount over $1200 had to get an approval from our supervisor. However, my supervisor was not in the exchange, so I got on the phone and called him. I told him I had one for two grand that needed his initial on the check, but he did not want to be bothered by it. That was the only time that had ever happened to me when doing an amount over $1200. I just did like he said and handled it on my own. The man at the window never uttered a sound. He just nodded and left once he had the cash. I felt a bad karma all over the pen he used and had to immediately throw it away.
I liked the fact that I lived with a woman who knew what went on inside the casinos. I didn't have to lie and deceive her and it was a given that she understood what it was I had to do for a living. But when I told Mary I gave Sal Testa a cash advance and how upset it made me she couldn't care less. (I could always go to her for empathy.)
Testa wasn't the only wiseguy name to ever step foot inside the Plaza that I knew of. I heard the story from everyone about how a cashier got fired for saying something to the wife of Nicky Scarfo just before he was convicted of murder. He got canned after going up to her while she was playing the slots and saying, "Hey, I hear they're going to fry Nicky. What are you going to do if he fries?" That guy had guts.
If there was one lesson taught by doing the cashiering job it was that I did not want to spend the rest of my life doing it. I had to get my second game and get it quick. The quicker I could get away from those people, the sooner I could go from making $52 a night to $130 a night. I had to get into blackjack school.
At first I really didn't want to get another game on my license. I was content dealing what I knew and was looking to get out of the business, not to expand. I asked around and found out if blackjack were on my license I would get pulled every night to deal that game and it was no fun. To me that sounded like I would be a more valuable employee if they could use me on both games and that might help me to get full-time quicker. I had seen a lot of my two game friends getting full-time shortly after they were hired, so I didn't think it was a difficult obstacle to overcome. Also, blackjack class would cost under $300 and only take four weeks. With all that in mind, I applied to go to Casino Dealers School of Atlantic City.
When I took the job at Trump Plaza I chose to work the swing shift for the first time. I had heard a lot about how much more laid back it was compared to day shift. Also, I was used to the hours after working for Domino's Pizza and liked them. The stories I heard were true. The people on day shift were mostly married people who wished they had real nine to five jobs. All of them would sweat the job. But the people on swing shift were mostly swingers (pun intended). They were much more laid back when it came to the game and losing money. Even the players were better; people who knew what they were doing and hardly ever beefed.
Trump had action. I'm not just talking black and purple action; I'm talking orange and gray. There was action I had never seen before and players the likes of which Bally's and the Tropicana only dreamed of.
There were players there like a man named King. This guy looked like a bum walking around the casino, but it was said he made millions a year. He is the guy who owns King World and distributes TV shows like Jeopardy and Wheel Of Fortune. His name is always shown at the ends of those programs. Trump loved stealing his money. He was a sore loser too. If he wasn't shooting dice he was playing in the bac pit trying to get things his way. A guy I knew was dealing roulette to King, in pit 7, the bac pit, when King reached over and grabbed the ball because he didn't like the spin. When the dealer lectured him about breaking either a state law or a house rule (I'm not sure which), the dealer got chewed out by management. There was a saying in that business and particularly at the Trump Plaza that went; the money talks and the bullshit walks, words we all had to adhere by.
Another player Trump sucked dry was a man named Robert Libutti. According to the Atlantic City Press he was a horse trainer from New York. He was yet another big baby who frequented Trump's. Whenever he lost he would throw a fit and sometimes throw the dice at the chandelier. It is ironic too because when I was reading Trump's book he wrote about seeing such a player do that. No doubt he was talking about Libutti. One thing Donald Trump didn't tell his readers was that he sent Libutti a brand new Rolls Royce each Christmas so that he would keep coming back for more punishment. At least, that was the talk. One night they let me steal forty grand from him.
It was after 3 am and we were closing down pit 3 and moving everything to pit 5. Libutti was in that weekend being a jerk as usual. We got the word that he was coming to the pit and wanted "his" game opened. The pit was almost closed down and that game already was, but for him the money talked and the bullshit walked. They reopened it and kept the pit going.
I was pulled by a Floorperson named Pat Tavormeanie. Pat was a real "dickhead" with a reputation for being one. The old fart was around 55 years of age, balding, with a large potbelly, and an ego to match. He was only a dealer not too long before this and always bragged about how he used to work in the New York City casinos. He didn't like me because I was not one of The Boys. He thought it would be funny to put me on that game because Libutti had a reputation for being a real ass-wipe to the dealers. (He caused a lawsuit with Caesar's because it was alleged that he would not allow blacks or women to deal on his game.)
While the game was in progress my relief had come off break, but he just stood behind the stickman rather than tap in. I became annoyed watching him do that for over five minutes. Finally, after the seven out rolled, he tapped in and I received my break seven or eight minutes late. When I came back, the same stickman would not allow me to tap in. It turned out that Libutti would not permit the dealers to tap in or out of the game when someone was in the middle of a hand. I heard some people lost entire breaks because of that show-off. And since he was such a rich sap they did whatever he said so they could keep him there. This made me mad. All I wanted to do was take him for every dollar he had. We sucked his bankroll dry and he left the game in a huff.
Afterwards, Pat came to me and gave me slack about something of no importance. It didn't take long to figure out that it was him keeping the seven out from rolling just so he could get a laugh jerking me off and stiffing me out of half my break.
There were others as well. Like Angel from Brazil. One evening I gave him $90,000 in less than an hour. The Pitboss, Johnny Safadoon, complained and tried to blame me for giving it to him. Angel took out $90,000 in markers that day. If they did not want him to have it back he would not have gotten it. But my favorite person, who I took personal pleasure in beating, was a guy we called Uncle Miltie.
Milton was his real name. We called him Uncle Miltie because the initials on his monogrammed shirts were MB. He was an old, fat, balding, red-faced, cigar-smoking, miserable Jew who thought when he spoke his word was God. I remember the night I really laid into him. I was on the stick when he started giving me lip about how he didn't want me to ever put the dice on a hardway number. He was very nasty about it. So nasty that I had to teach him a lesson about manners. Ten or fifteen minutes later and Milton walked away in disgust. I think he got the point.
A lot of guys got the point when it came to arguing with the dealers. It would usually end up with them getting beaten very badly. In my years as a dealer I have often seen one player yell at another to stop beefing with us. He would tell the idiot, "Stop arguing with them. Do you want us all to lose?" And then he would either leave at once or wait to see if the point/sevens were going to roll.
Another rich player who was a big sap was Tommy VanScoy, owner of VanScoy's Diamond Mines. He was a creep and a stiff, but Trump could steal so much money from him that we had to kiss his ass. I loved beating him because not only did he not tip, but he also dealt with South Africa. He also thought he was the shit and loved showing off. His wife was addicted to the slot machines. That pair lost so much that Trump let them win a major slot jackpot because he knew he would get it back. (Most people who won major slot machine jackpots were either in on a fix or stupid enough to give it back, so they were allowed to win.)
Watching all of those rich men become poor men reminded me of the stories I had heard about Leonard Tose. He used to own the Philadelphia Eagles football team. That was, until Resort's International stole all his money. I used to wonder if he was arranging to fix football games to repay some of his markers. Don't put it past them.
You shouldn't feel sorry for all of those people; most took up gambling because they were weak and greedy. The sorry part is that they believed gambling was OK in light of its legality and that there was a fair shot of winning when they never had a chance.
Greedy rich assholes were not the only people Trump Plaza attracted; there were celebrities by the score. Some would come in occasionally to gamble. Don Johnson and Dennis Hopper would come in together and play big money blackjack in the bac pit. One night, Latoya Jackson was playing dice on the table next to me and I didn't know it until she left. Mary even told me a story about how Bruce Willis was playing on her game when she dealt at Caesar's. When I worked at the Tropicana I had numerous breakfasts with Bowzer of Sha-Na-Na who also worked there doing a nightly oldies show. But besides thinking Judd Hirsch might have been on my game at Bally's, the only celebrity I ever dealt to, other than some pro wrestlers who were in for Wrestlemainia and who I never heard of, was Mike Eruzione, the star of the U.S. Olympic hockey team which beat the Russians for the Gold Medal in 1976 or 80.
It was midnight during the winter on table 4 in pit 3. I was dealing on third base. There was a group of friends shooting dice and getting drunk. One in particular was very drunk and having the time of his life. They called him Bear and he was the life of the party. He was standing straight away to my left. In front of me, standing next to the stick, was another gentleman who was with that crowd. He was quiet though. Bear kept calling him Mike and telling him to bet more money. Then he called to me and asked if I knew who that guy was. I shrugged my shoulders and Bear said he was Mike Eruzione. I was impressed, a little. I had seen him in the Olympics, watched him receive the gold medal, and remembered him from being the talk of the town. Then the guy standing next to Bear had to point out to me that Bear was Bear so and so of such and such a professional hockey team and that all those guys played for the NHL. I took another look at Bear and all I could think of was the movie Slapshot.
It was getting late and the girl who was sitting box wanted to close the game. There were still a couple hours left in the shift. Those guys were pretty cool and I didn't see any reason to run them off. When I told her who those guys were and that Mike Eruzione was on the game she didn't care. She said she had never heard of him and told me to get rid of them. They quickly lost. Sorry guys, but the bitch ruled.
My first glimpse into the world of the famous came my first summer there. It was the Tyson-Spinks fight. The fight was on a Monday night, but the people started arriving that weekend.
I was working the slot booths that weekend. I noticed a great increase in the amount of hookers working the casino floor. The slots were the area where they were usually kept until needed. They were all over the place. Someone said Trump had them bussed in from New York. I wouldn't doubt it. Those girls were not your typical street whores you find on Pacific Avenue or working the peep shows on Forty Second Street. They were high-class hos whose prices had to start at least at $500. As Monday drew nearer, their numbers increased.
Whores were constantly in the joint. I remember one in particular who had an attitude and thought "it" deserved better. She was standing with a gambler named Ray. Ray was a complete idiot who was goofy looking with thin, light, curly hair, a pale complexion, and a very round face. He always took shots when it came to paying juice. His scam was to buy the 4 for $50 and drop the $2 vig, then place another number, then buy the 10 for $50 and drop a $2 vig. Both bets were made before the roll and the total amount of the buys was $100. Five percent of $100 is $5. I would tell Ray to drop another dollar and he would argue in a crabby tone. Depending on how much ass the Floorperson kissed, he either got away with it or was made to pay. The first time we had this run-in Pat Tavormeanie chewed me out for doing my job by asking Ray to drop the buck. On this particular night, though, Ray was with a half man, half woman. That was a whore who had the operation except for the penis. Some guys (like Ray) got off on that. She (I guess) had her purse on the rail of the table. The stickman noticed "it" was with Ray and asked the Floor if he should tell her or did the Floor want to handle it. The Floor passed the buck and the bitch went off.
"You mind your own business," she yelled at the dealer.
The Floorman came to the dealer's rescue, "Ma'am, he is just doing what I asked. You're not permitted to have anything on the railing."
"You mind your own business too," she screamed right back, "I'm not moving this purse."
"I am minding my own business. It is my job to let you know the house rules and to make sure nothing except checks are kept on the rails." Never once did he lose his cool.
Ray stood there silent like a little boy with no control. She was attracting a lot of attention.
She became louder, "Who do you think you are? Do you know who I am?" Yeah, we all knew. We all knew she was a man/she The Boys hooked Ray up with. She continued, "I'll let you know that Mr. Trump wants me here."
Ray started perspiring from the forehead. I was on the opposite base trying to keep the grin to myself. We all knew it was possible that Trump could have arranged for "it" to be there. We did not know what was going to happen next. She started showing off.
"What is your name," she demanded to know. "I want your name!"
The Floor walked over and showed "it" his badge while she wrote down the information.
I went on break immediately following the incident. When I returned, Ray and the whore were gone.
Over the fight weekend I saw Herschel Walker with Tony Dorset. A friend I knew from Bally's and who now worked at the Plaza was telling me the story of when they were on his game that weekend. His table was a ten-dollar blackjack game when management raised it to a $25 minimum. Tony complained about how he did not want to bet that much money. My friend looked over at him and said if he was whom he thought he was then he could handle the $25 minimum. He looked back at my friend and said, "Why, who do you think I am?" My friend answered that he knew his friend was Herschel Walker, so that must have made him Tony Dorset. Tony looked at him and said he was right.
Other stories I was hearing were from the people who dealt to Sugar Ray Leonard. They all had the same thing to say; Sugar Ray was nothing but a show-off. Every time he was in the casino he bet $500 a hand playing blackjack. He loved being the center of attention.
On the night of the fight I had a six o'clock start. When I got to the locker room I heard the dealers telling stories about how much action was up there. Some were talking about how they had so much money in their drop box the paddle was sticking out of the table. Others were talking about all the celebrities they saw or dealt to. It made for excitement and I was actually looking forward to working.
The first celebrity I saw was Charles Barkley. Now there is an example of how the system plays favorites. This man was caught speeding on the Atlantic City Expressway while going home from the casino one night. He was also caught in possession of a handgun. In New Jersey that carried a minimum sentence of five years, no questions asked. But since it was the famous basketball star Charles Barkley of the Philadelphia Seventy-Sixers, and since he had friends with lots of money in powerful places, the judge took any excuse for having the gun in his car and let him go. (He probably didn't have to pay the speeding ticket either.)
The fight started later than it should have. The casino was only open until four, so we expected a fix for a short fight. We figured a few rounds. How typical of Trump to have it last 91 seconds. He wanted every cent he could steal that night. And did he steal a lot.
It was pump, pump, and pump, up until the start of the fight. Then there was a lull in the joint. The lowest game minimum was $25. Only two out of twenty-four craps tables had that. Everything else was $50, $100, and $500 minimums.
That night I saw Don Johnson and Dennis Hopper. I believe Bruce Willis and his wife Demi Moore were with them. Richard Prior walked by the game wearing a top hat and a beard. An entourage followed him. I also crossed the path of Larry Holmes as he was going to the chip redemption.
On one break I went up to the cafeteria via the Convention Center entrance. That was where everyone was entering the fight from. Donald stood to steal millions that day. He shared it with us in the form of steak and shrimp. I got my fill and went back to my game via the same route.
Once back on the casino level, I watched the line going into the fight to see if there was anyone I could recognize. When I turned around I ran smack dab into Mr. T. He should not have been standing there. We were inside a roped off section used to get upstairs. He gave me a look and snarl and I just apologized and went to my game.
I met Mr. T. on another occasion when Donald threw a party for the employees on account of we stole over $33 million that July and set an industry record. Trump hired some entertainment company to be there. There were two people dressed in dice costumes, which everyone kept asking if Donald was in. There was someone giving computer readouts of your personality based on your name and date of birth and another next to him doing funny chalk drawings of who ever could wait in line long enough. Mr. T. also worked for this company. He was there walking around, shaking hands, signing autographs, and having his picture taken with whoever wanted. I went up on each of my breaks to the ballroom where there was all that plus Haagen-Dazs and a buffet too.
I remember Mr. T. He was much smaller than I thought he would be. He was shy too. A friend and I joked around with him while we ate dinner on tables next to each other. On one visit I decided to have my picture taken with Mr. T. to give to my little cousin Patrick. He was a big fan of ours, so I thought I would give him a pitcher of his favorite cousin with his favorite idol. I went to T., introduced myself, told him how my cousin was a big fan, and stated how I liked his style and what he did for the kids. I told him what I was doing to enlighten people and spoke of the Heavens Above! mural. He said he would look for it and we had our picture taken together.
Donald Trump liked to take care of us for stealing for him. There used to be players who would come in and play blackjack in pit 7 (the bac pit) who not only bet $500 a hand for themselves, but for us as well. We could maybe make $20,000 off of those customers if the dealer was good. And the dealer was not in that pit if he wasn't good. There would be talk about it in the locker room. We all figured that Donald gave them the money to bet for us to keep us happy. A win like that could mean another $1 per hour in our pay check. A couple of guys like that and we would have an extra hundred coming to us at the end of the week. Like I said, Trump liked to take care of us and that was why we performed.
That was also the reason why we all loved working for him. And there was so much action that we never had to worry about losing. The Plaza had the largest drop in town, some $800,000 a day. That was almost twice as much as Bally's Park Place did when I worked there.
I could not wait to get out of the slot department. When I told the casino administration I was getting my second game as soon as the CCC approved it they told me I had to talk to Bob Morris about getting out. That guy ran the slot department and had a reputation for being difficult and a sexual harasser. He told me it was up to the casino Shiftbosses. I went to them and they told me that the game had to be on the license. Two weeks later I got the license and then they said it was only on an "as needed" basis and they had no need for a permanent part-time dealer--then it was only if Morris had no further need for me. It didn't take too long to find out I was getting the run-around and that Donald Trump ran his casinos just as the rest.
What bullshit I was hearing. It was obvious that they just did not want me as a dealer. I hadn't paid all my dues yet for walking out of the Tropicana.
At the end of the summer it started getting to me when the slot department had me training other cashiers. I didn't want to stand behind some eighteen year old kid fresh out of high school without a clue as to what really went on in there and watch them for ten hours. I would ask them why me. They said because I was good. That made me even angrier. I was so good Morris was not going to let me go. I was a crab to the poor people I had to train. Then one night when I showed up for work and tried to find my schedule for the following week the secretary in the cashier's office asked me if I knew I was being transferred to games. I was elated. I was finally out of that department and away from those gamblers.
There were other things that bothered me about getting my transfer that I brought to the craps pit. I saw other duel/rate cashiers getting out before me and getting full-time - some even before they had completed their 90 days. Most of them were Asian. One girl in particular was the laziest kid I ever worked with. She had just come from the Atlantis. She spent many hours sitting on the floor of the booth to avoid work. When she was caught, nothing was said.
A lot of the Asians were getting special privileges over the rest, as was anyone who worked at the old Playboy, then called the Atlantis. That was because Donald Trump had hired a man named Bobby Yee to be the casino manager. He was one of the people who helped run the Atlantis into the ground. (The same thing was starting at the Plaza after he showed up.) Trump also hired many of their ex-casino employees as well.
Just because the joint was Trump Plaza did not mean that dealing there was going to be a picnic. It started out great; everyone I worked with loved it there. They didn't have to worry about the PC-- well, the nice people at least--and everyone told me I would love it. They were right. Most of them were very warm and friendly people. Trump treated them well and it reflected back. But that place was none-the-less filled with gangsters.
The same exact occurrences, which were happening to me at Bally’s, were also happening to me at Trump Plaza. It was only a matter of time before they would no longer put up with me and start breaking my balls. That was still to come. What I found difficult in the beginning was getting full-time.
They changed the rules. A dealer now had to apply for the promotion if they wanted it. And, however, they weren't taking applications at that time. I stayed part-time into the winter.
On every occasion that I put in for full-time, I never got it. It was aggravating me. It got to the point where I could not tell Mary when I was in line for promotion because all she did was yell at me for not getting it. She would tell me that I better start doing whatever it took to get it. That woman knew what it meant to get full-time. But I was not about to sell my dignity, my self-pride, or my soul. I got fed up with the whole promotion system one night after listening to a girl with an attitude tell me how she got full-time.
Her name was Shelly Dubois. I used to work with her at Bally's Park Place and she was the protégé of Eddie Course. Her attitude came from being a black woman and knowing that because of it she could get away with anything. I had almost one-year seniority over her when she came to swing shift after being promoted to full-time. (Swing shift was another sacrifice besides selling your morals that every person had to make when they accepted a promotion.) She was on the game telling us, in her cocky way, about the night she got full-time. "I was on my game when someone tapped me on the shoulder and told me to go to the shift manager's office. I thought, 'child, you gonna get it now.' I was on double secret probation for having eight call-ins. I thought for sure they were gonna fire me. Instead, I got promoted." She gave a heavy snicker and said, "Ain't that a bust?"
I wanted to rip her tongue out. I had been there longer than her, was as good a dealer as she, and had no call-ins. I saw this happening everywhere. I knew it was personal and that I wasn't liked because of my moral veracity. This time I decided to speak with Don Blessing.
Don was an assistant Shiftboss and Pitboss. I asked him what the deal was and why I kept getting passed over (for the fifth time). He took out a piece of paper to demonstrate the quota system.
It was according to race and sex as set up by the law he said. There might be eight blacks, six women, and five Asians who have to be promoted and maybe there was room for four white males. If they had already taken the four white males then they could only promote the "minorities". Now, even though a dealer in that category had less experience than me, or less time with the company, the house would still take them over me because of the quota. I told Blessing that was a bunch of bullshit and called the CCC to find out what I had to do to sue Trump for reverse discrimination. They would not help.
One night, when I was in the dealer's lounge looking over the scheduling board, I found out something that made my actions the talk of the casino. I came across a name I did not know with an employee number so high that she could not have been working for the Plaza more than six months. When all the part-time dealers were getting two days a week she was getting five. The next week she had the same schedule. I asked around and found out that this girl, Beatrice, used to work in scheduling. I could tell she was full-time, so when I met her I asked her what her days off were as if it didn't matter to me. Without thinking she had anything to hide she told me the answer. She was a break-in with no experience, yet she had full-time. Something wasn't right.
I was getting fed up. I was watching pit clerks and other female break-ins get full-time because they had tits and ass while in the meantime I was kept under. Promotions were not based on record and experience, but on popularity. According to the new method, whenever it was time for promotions, the dealers who wanted full-time and were eligible according to company guidelines put their name on a list. That list was distributed to all the full-time supervisors and they voted on each person. They were asked to put a number from 1 to 5 next to each name. Everyone always told me they gave me a good mark, but when it came time for the Shiftbosses to choose I never made it. Either every one of my friends was lying to me, or there was a conspiracy to fuck me over.
One evening, Beatrice was dealing on my game. I didn't like dealing with break-ins because they held up the game. When she was on stick she could not pay a simple $5 horn high yo after the ace/deuce hit. For two minutes she starred at the bet trying to figure out that the answer was $11. The Floorperson had to tell her, but he did not seem to mind. I was fumin'. Just then, Howard Dritzer, who was the new casino manager, walked behind the game and started watching her. He was accompanied by Jose Castineda (I think that is his last name) who was the second dirt bag in control. She used to work for those guys upstairs in the office, so they were joking with her and asking how she liked the new job. I blew up, turned around, and yelled, "Why is this stupid break-in full-time while I'm still part-time!?"
Jose's face flared. He clenched his teeth, pointed his finger at me, and said with a rough tone, "You see me on your break and I'll let you know."
I knew that was an order. Nat Holten, the Floorperson, walked over to me and said, "You did it now," he gave a chuckle, "they might give you the cement shoes."
"I don't give a shit," I replied in anger, "I'm sick of this job."
Howard and Jose were, at that time, outside of the pit walking past the game. Jose overheard me say that to Nat, walked up to the game, pointed his finger at him, and in the same tone he had with me said, "You get this dealer off the game right now! I want to see him in my office!" Nat gave him a yes sir and I was pulled off the game by a floater.
I was nervous. On the walk to the office I kept wondering if they were going to put out a contract on me. I had to think of something to say to save my life long enough to write this book. Those were the big boys. They were not going to play around with me.
When I walked in the office, three of the big guns were there: Bill Bradshaw, George Garman, and Jose Castineda. As soon as I stepped through the door one of them said, "That was a very stupid move you made out there in front of Howard."
I decided on the kiss-ass approach. "I know, you're absolutely right. I don't know what came over me. It will never happen again."
They bought it. They called me in and asked me what was on my mind.
I told them everything. I told them about Judy, the ex-pit clerk who was given full-time because everyone who voted for her thought they were going to get in her pants. I mentioned how she turned out to be the biggest call-in they ever had. They were quick to point out that she was fired for that, which I knew, and that they put down on her record "not eligible for rehire". So what, she was still unfairly promoted ahead of me. Then I mentioned Shelly and her story, but they said they could not find her file. I told them what Don Blessing explained to me and how I felt like suing. They said Blessing was wrong, had no right to say that to me, and that he was talking out of his ass. Still, Don never spoke to me after this encounter. And then I mentioned my family and how Mary was always nagging me about getting full-time and those were the reasons I lost my cool. I thought that if they knew I had a little girl at home they might not kill me. The story about Mary was true. I also told them how I got "chewed out" by her that very day after my schedule was changed by scheduling and after we had already made plans for me to take Nicole to the doctor. They were screwing up everything. I needed full-time to shut her up.
After hearing me out, Jose told me that Beatrice was full-time in the scheduling office and that was part of the games department--it wasn't like she was starting over in a new department. It still didn't make sense or sound fair to me. They took out my file and said my rating was not good enough to be promoted. That was total bull. Then he asked me what they did to my schedule. When I told him he said not to worry, to see him tomorrow and he would take care of it. It was weird, we all made friends.
When I walked into the office I was ready to go to the FBI if they gave me a hard time. When I left, I was all choked up over how nice they were. I thought how lucky Donald Trump was to have Jose kissing my ass. He saved his business. Well, for the time being.
When I later saw Beatrice I apologized for what I did and said on that game. She said she understood what I was going through and that she felt just as sorry. That was OK, because a few months later she figured out what the job was really about and I could see the looks of disgust she had with herself for wanting it so much. It was the same look Danielle, the woman who hired me at Bally's, had a few months after she started dealing. It was that look of regret.
I still hated those gangsters for what they did to people. Getting passed over for promotion all the time got me angrier with each passing day. I wanted to get even with them, so I started writing again.
The next spring I got full-time. And this was after I had called in sick on the previous Christmas. But I knew it was going to happen. It was the first time they did promotions since I bitched. In other casinos if you were quiet and did a good job you might get the promotion. At Trump's it was the opposite, especially if you were not Mafioso. Their motto was, "the squeaky wheel gets the oil." I was never into approaching those gangsters about it before, so in a way it was a good thing I lost my cool that night. After I got full-time I never complained again. I had everything I wanted from them only a little late.
I remember the crash that killed three of our top cronies. A friend and I drove by it on the way to a concert. He was also a craps dealer at the Plaza. We were wondering whether it was an accident or a hit. You never could tell in that business.
I got very angry after Donald Trump renamed the arena at the Taj Mahal the Mark G. Etess Arena. It was named after Mark Grossinger Etess, one of the gangsters who died in the crash. I may be sorry to say this, but hit or accident, those three deserved it. They were nothing more than Mafia cronies who stole millions of dollars from decent hardworking people. For Trump to memorialize that hood by naming an arena after him made me sick to my stomach.
On page 19 of The Art Of Survival, Trump begins to praise the gangsters who were killed in that crash. Then he patronizes the families by saying he was going to be on the flight with them. Those men were as Mafia as they came and helped Donald Trump steal millions and millions of dollars from honest hard working people foolish enough to walk into a Trump property. Jon Benanav, Mark Grossinger Etess, and Stephen F. Hyde, were crooks. Gangsters all of them who wouldn't think twice about killing me to see to it that this book is never published. Those guys learned the meaning of the saying, "What goes around, comes around." In his last sentence of chapter one he wrote, "I'd like everyone in my organization to remember that there were once men named Steve Hyde, Mark Etess, and Jon Benanav who worked there--and that they were great, and ultimately showed us how fragile life really is." He forgot, how fragile life really is and how to steal millions of dollars without a gun.