Friday, March 15, 2013

on not winning a million dollars

It was a shitty day at work today, more so than usual. It was the last day of four people who have worked at the hotel since it opened, including one of my favorite co-workers there. Their departure made me aware of my own stasis, made me very aware of my own lack of a departure. So there was that. I was already feeling a little mopey. Add on to this, having to talk to one of my bosses about this management position I had applied for and being told that they had filled it with an outside candidate. It wasn't even that I wanted the job, because lately I have not, lately I am pretty set on trying to go to advertising school in July, but I would be lying if I said it didn't bum me out a bit. However, bumming me out even more so was the entire process - having one manager ask me if I was interested in it and telling me that I would be interviewed for it the following week, and then that following week finding out from someone else that they had already hired someone. So today, I told my boss my frustrations with all of this, how I found it pretty disrespectful to not even have the courtesy to interview me for a position that someone else asked me if I was interested in and encouraged me to apply for, that they could at least pretend to interview me even if they were intending to hire someone else all along.

So there was that and I was very happy to leave work today. I stopped at the convenience store on 5th Avenue that I stop at occasionally after work on days when I am really sick of working in hospitality, and bet a couple dollars on lotto tickets, on hopes of getting rich quick.

I bought some Powerball tickets, which may still save me from working yet, but I also bought a scratch-off ticket, some poker game. I played it once I got home and really struggled to figure out if I had a winning poker hand, pretty unfamiliar with the rules of poker. I was really wishing I had picked a different scratch-off, that this one seemed a bit beyond my gambling knowledge. At some point though, I realized that I had a straight flush in one hand, the hand that was the jackpot prize - one million dollars. I told myself that surely this most be wrong, that the dealer's hand must beat mine. I was sure this could not be right. But then after looking at the card again and again, I could see no winning hand that the dealer could make other than a pair of 7's, which my straight flush beat. I had won one million dollars!

Calm down, I told myself. I turned the card over, read the rules, and followed its instructions of writing my name on the back of the winning card. I was already planning on making the call into work, letting them know I won the lottery and that they could suck it! But this can't be right, I told myself. But someone has to win these jackpot prizes, I told my doubting self. But you don't know poker, you're missing something, doubting self said. Take it to the convenience store and have them scan it, both voices said, trying to prove the other wrong.

I was nervous to walk down the street with this piece of paper worth a million dollars, was nervous to hand it to the guy to scan. Not a winner, he said, handing it back to me.

He's lying, the positively insane side of me said. You don't know anything about poker, the doubting side said, getting pretty proud now that it was seemingly right. I looked at the card again and again and saw a proper flush that the dealer could do. I learned that a flush beats a straight flush, that I was no longer holding one million dollars, that instead I was simply holding a losing lotto ticket. Not a winner. I did not get to call into work, I did not get to quit, and most sadly of all I did not get to tell my employers to suck it.

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