FIRED FROM TRUMP
It was December 1990, just before Christmas. The world was coming closer to war in Iraq and I was expressing my feelings about how I was against it. I refused to show my support by wearing a yellow ribbon at work, so everybody there was calling me a traitor. It was also known that I was in school and looking to get out of the business. Just like in the past, with the people at Bally's Park Place, my co-workers at Trump Plaza were starting to outcast me. I was no longer the lifer they thought I would be. By this time, however, they knew I was not going to become one of the Boys and had given up trying after I got full-time.
I was on table 22, in pit 5, having a good time. Trump's had lost all its big action and was starting to become a flea joint. They were letting anyone off the street deal there. The table had two break-ins and one bruttle dealer. I was the only one who didn't have to be watched.
Sitting box was Sid Chapel. He was going bonkers because he had to watch those three dealers. For the past five years the only break-in dealers in the joint were in-house transfers. The supervisors never had to work. Now the place was crawling with them and those guys found themselves earning their pay. I was getting giddy and catching trails off the dice. I mentioned it to the Floorperson, an old musician from the 60's, and we had a laugh. Sid got all bent out of shape. He jumped up. "That's it," he said. "I've had enough. I'm going to write you up."
I looked at him as if he was crazy, "For what?"
"I don't know," he mumbled. "I'll make something up."
That hood did make something up. I don't recall what it was, but it was a lie. The second I got to the pit stand, to receive the write-up, the Pitboss started yelling at me.
They called him J.G. Like Don Blessing he was a duel/rate Pit/ Assistant Shiftboss. He was the worst motherfucker in the joint. He was from Texas and had a cocaine addiction. Everyone always said never mess with that guy because he was always wired on coke. On this night, I forgot that advice. He threw the write-up at me and while sticking his pencil in my face yelled, "When your Boxman tells you to do something you do it. What the hell do you think you're up to!?"
I looked right into his eyes and spoke in the same tone of voice he used on me, "I didn't do a goddamn thing."
He came right back, "Who the hell are you to speak to me like that?"
We continued the same tone and eye contact, "You just asked me a question and I answered it."
"You just sign this and go home."
Next to where it said "comments" I wrote something to the effect, I did not do this, Sid made this up because I made a joke about an otherwise suck-ass job. I gave him back the paper and went to sign out.
At this time, a Shiftboss named Richard Hood entered the pit and J.G. showed him what I wrote on the write-up. Rich called me back into the pit, pointed at the comment, and asked, "Did you write this?"
"I don't know," I said sarcastically, "let me see." I looked at the paper for about five seconds scanning the entire piece and then looked at Rich. With a snotty attitude I said, "Yeah, that looks like my hand-writing."
"And just exactly, what does this mean?"
"Oh, didn't I make myself clear enough?" I took the paper out of his hands. "Here, let me make it a little more clearer for you." I changed some of it around and added more before handing it back.
Rich Looked at it and asked, "Is this what you want to say?"
I nodded my head with quick shakes and answered, "Yeah, that pretty much says it."
I turned around and went home proud of myself for standing up to those wise guys. A day or two later, I returned to work to get another surprise from them.
I was called to the Casino Manager's office. I was told to sit down where I got a lecture from Paul Remerize and some other Shiftboss named Katherine. They told me how insulted they felt to read my comment about the job. Paul told me that he was proud of the job he did and how he was paid well for doing it. I didn't even want to touch that one as I thought of the Steve O'Leary incident. The man was obviously sick in the head to be proud of being a thief. For expressing my first amendment right I received a three-day suspension.
The suspension came during the holiday and gave me Christmas Eve off which I would not have had but did enjoy. It was also winter break. I got an A and a B at school. I couldn't figure out the B, but I was still happy. Now I was planning to take four classes in January. Since I was on break from school, Nicole was spending Wednesday nights with me and her mother was picking her up on Thursdays. Except for Bush's war that he was about to start, everything was going fine.
Just after that incident I lost it one night dealing blackjack. I couldn't help it--the job was getting to me. You would think the cards were not rigged, but they were. All the games were. (I dealt craps, blackjack, big six, and even mucked checks in the roulette pit and stood on buttons at each table.) There were buttons all around that game. I hated dealing it more than I hated dealing craps. There was a lady with the smelliest breath sitting straight ahead of me. She was showing a hard 15 and I a 4. When I got to her hand, she waved me off and I hit the next hand for a 6. Now the lady started tiffing that she wanted a hit. I knew she said no and I knew she would not hit on a 15 anyway since she had been playing the entire time according to the basic strategy. She argued more with me to the point where I snapped. I threw the closed fist of my right hand in front of her spot as I said with my index finger extended out at her to shut the hell up and play the game.
I couldn't believe I said that. It was the first time I ever yelled at a player. The Pitboss heard me, but she was from craps and a cool gal. She just walked away as did the floor. When the malodorous lady bitched about my comment to the floor, she stuck up for me. My Floorperson told the player she did not know what she was talking about and if she wanted a card it would have to be the next one because according to state law we could not back up the cards once they were out of the shoe. The reeking lady had to stay with what she said. I positioned my feet. She drew a 10. Good-bye.
On Sunday, April 28, 1991, just before two o'clock, I was pulled from my game to deal blackjack. It had been only four days since Mary said I could not see Nicole anymore and that was starting to get to me. My ethnicity class met in the morning, so I wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. It was 2:30 am when the table I was dealing on went dead. I worked my ass off running those people off the game so I could close it up and get home. I stole their money so fast they never knew what hit them or why. I told my Floorperson to inform the Pitboss the game was dead so I could get the go ahead to close it.
The Pitboss was new at her game. She would not make a decision without the word from someone higher up. The reason I was in the blackjack pit in the first place was to get out the six o'clock starts, who were doing overtime. Trump Plaza was inefficient. Rather than telling the players it was time to close the pit and call last shoe, they would leave it open because they were afraid the players might stop gambling and Trump would not be able to continue to steal their money. I could tell that if they did not close this game I would be working overtime and I didn't want to get stuck there until four in the morning. I was getting aggravated as I stood on that dead game for 25 minutes. At five of three, I got the word.
It took us fifteen minutes to close up the game. Sherry was the Pitboss. She was great. As a Floorperson she was the sharpest one in the joint as she could spot dealers making mistakes from the other side of the pit. She also won employee of the year and got to have her picture taken with Donald Trump for the company propaganda magazine. I looked at her when she said goodbye and told her that I bet I wouldn't be getting the overtime. She said that it was ten after three and I probable would.
As I walked back to pit 5 to sign out I saw Pat Tavormeanie doing the pencil. Now I knew I was not going to get it. We never liked each other because of reasons previously stated. Besides them, he was sexually harassing female dealers right in front of me and I felt like giving him a crack each time I saw it. Also, a very good friend of mine told me how he was harassing her. She mentioned that he brought her to the Atlantic City Race Course and blew a bundle on her in the clubhouse. He loved going to the track. In fact, while on my leave of absence after getting out of the hospital, my father and some of his friends took me there for my first and only time. Pat saw us and walked up like we were the best of friends. I said hi and then blew him off after not introducing him. Why should I have? He was a scumbag. He must have found out later from Bobby Roach, a dealer and self proclaimed one time numbers runner for the Mafia in New York City who I also saw that night, that I introduced him to my father but not Pat. My friend said the Shift Managers had been keeping an eye on Pat for sexual harassment and if she testified they would fire him. She was afraid to and told me he mentioned he was retiring in a few months. She didn't see any reason to ruin those last few months. I told her what a "dick" he was considered by the dealers and how she would be doing all of us, especially me, a big favor. She knew if she had done that, though, the other supervisors would have made her life there a living hell. She never turned him in and he never retired.
There was another reason why I did not like Pat Tavormeanie; he had a roommate named Johnny who took a couple grand off the games each and every night. Everyone in there knew this guy as Johnny, the dealer's hard four better. If the point was 4, Johnny would bet against the four and throw a dollar hard four for the dealers. (Like he really wanted us to win.) That was OK with some of dealers, though, because they shared in what he was taking. They all loved him. Even John Safadoon, the pit 5 Pitboss liked him and would talk stocks with him while stepping on buttons to help him win. Yeah, Pat's roommate was a shill and all the Boys shared in it. He used to work in the arcade room at the Hamilton Mall and would put quarters in the rides for Nicole if I ever ran out, but he found shilling more profitable. Most of the honest dealers or gamblers had no idea who this guy was or why he always played on Pat Tavormeanie's game. They just thought he was another compulsive gambler and good guy. I saw Pat at Mike's Deli one afternoon in '88. That was a place a little over two miles from where I lived. I had just started working at the Plaza when we saw each other in the store. We asked each if the other lived around there. He told me he lived on Key Drive with Johnny and another Floorperson named Pat (nicknamed Dad). (Every joint had a person nicknamed Dad. I don't know why, but I suspect they had something to do with being a direct link between the workers and the Mafia.) I didn't know who Johnny was at that time and he told me, "The player that always bets the hard four for the dealers." I guess he figured that since I was in the business for over four years I must have been on the take and looking for the connection at Trump Plaza. Rather, I lost all respect for those guys.
When I walked up to Pat in pit 5 to sign out he marked an eight next to my hours, handed me the pencil, and said in his rough, scratchy voice, "Okay, here you go Louie."
I was very tired. I looked at him and with a lethargic voice said, "It's ten after. Don't I get the overtime?"
"Not by my watch. It's only nine after. Now come on Louie, you know the rules." He tried to hand me the pencil, which I would not accept.
I knew I was getting nowhere with him, so I decided to jerk him off. I kept the same tired tone of voice until I left the pit. I said, "Then give me a quarter hour." I knew they would not do that, but in reality I had to start my shift at five of seven, so in all actuality I did work an extra 15 minutes.
Pat continued to be difficult, "Now you know we don't do that here. Here's the pencil, now sign out."
"It's ten after."
"Forget about it. If you have a complaint go see the Pitboss." Again he tried to force the pencil on me.
I looked around but the Pitboss, who was Chris Ford, was not in the pit. I gave a disgusted sigh, grabbed the pencil from his hand, and signed out with eight hours. I dropped the pencil down on the stand and said as I was walking out of the pit, "I knew I was going to get (either "screwed" or "stiffed" I can't remember which) out of the overtime...Especially when I saw it was you."
By that time I was out of the pit and on my way home. Pat didn't like me getting in the last word, so like a small child who had to get in the last word, he started calling me back to the pit. "What did you say? Louie Levite, you get back here right now."
I lifted my right arm and waved it in the air. "I'm on my own time now, see ya," and kept on walking.
"Louie Levite, you get right back here this instant."
Fuck him. That gangster jerk-off. All he wanted to do was bitch at me because I politely told him I didn't like him. It had nothing to do with the game and I did exactly what he said and signed out with eight hours. I was on my own time now. If he wanted to talk to me, man to man, let him do it the next time he saw me. I was not going back in the pit to listen to him cry.
Pat was on a power trip. The night before this he yelled at me after I sighed when a don't player opened the game at twenty of six in the morning while we were awaiting the boss' OK to bring up the lid. All I wanted to do was go home. We hated it whenever a don't player opened a dead game because they never tipped and could make those bets anywhere else. I never got disgusted whenever my game was opened, however, that night I did. When the gamed closed and I was the only dealer left on the game (because I was on stick) Pat started harking on me.
"You got lucky two times tonight Louie," he said sarcastically. "The first time when the Pitboss or a Shiftboss wasn't walking by the game when you sighed like that and the second time when I didn't write you up for it." Like, thanks for the big favor, you crony fuck. I just can't stand these guys.
On Tuesday mornings I had an 8:30 class, so I gave away every Monday if I could so I didn't have to work until four o'clock on Tuesday mornings. On Tuesday night I showed up for the six o'clock start I always had on that day and found out I was an extra.
They were not opening my game because the joint was dead like it had been getting for the past year. There were many extra dealers. They sent us to pit 5 to tap out day shift dealers. I wasn't on that game more than three rolls when I was tapped off and told to go to the Casino Manager's office. It wasn't even six o'clock yet.
On the way up I figured Jose was going to chew me out for insulting his man Pat on Sunday.
Jose was not in his office. It was the same cronies who suspended me in December; Paul Remerize and Katherine. The two of them started getting on my case about how when a supervisor tells me to do something I have to do it and then showed me a paper stating I was terminated.
What was this shit? I told them I did like he said and signed out with eight hours and how when he called me back to the pit I was off the clock and on my way home. I saw Paul put his head in his hands. He knew. They did not even bother to wait to hear my side of the story. It didn't matter. The paper was drawn up and they were determined to go through with it. I wanted to take the two of them and smash their heads together. Then I wanted to find Tavormeanie and pour sulfuric acid all over his body. It was all a fantasy. Fuck them. I'll take the unemployment and if they try to stop me, I'll make them pay.
I tried to get my job back through the company's board of review. When I called to discuss it they said no dice. (No pun intended.) They said that after reviewing my record they were not going to give back my job. I argued my points about being off the clock, but they did not care. I asked them if they thought unemployment would side with me and they said that they probably would, but I still was not getting back my job. Those asses. They were all a bunch of yesmen who were doing what Jose told them to do.
The next week I applied for unemployment. They told me that since I was not let go through no fault of my own it was an "issue" and I had to see a claims officer before I could begin to get benefits. The appointment I was given was over a month away. I had a couple hundred dollars and bills due.
I had a feeling the situation might get ugly, so I went to my bank and the casinos and took out cash advances on all of my credit cards. Money for a rainy day. If I didn't need it I would give it back.
At the meeting, unemployment sided with me and said I was wrongfully fired. Donald Trump contested my eligibility. The Plaza sued and I had to go to a hearing.
While at the office awaiting the case to be heard, I saw Chris Ford and Pat Tavermeanie, along with Trump's lawyer, waiting as well. I thought the lawyer was the guy I had to talk to. I walked over and asked if this was the place for the hearing. He told me to have a seat and they would be right with us. Pat acted like everything between us was fine and said, "Hi Louie." I just ignored him. At least Ford knew I viewed them as scumbag gangsters and didn't say a word to me.
In the hearing I let Pat and Chris know about my attempted suicide just to let them know what a mind fuck that job could really be. May-be they would help me get my benefits. But they didn't help and stayed on Donald's side. Someone must have been paid off. I found out, through the mail, some three weeks later, that I lost. I filed for an appeal and went home to work on this book. Those bastards thought they could just control me and toss me out without any compensation whenever they were through. PISS OFF!