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I made a tough decision this weekend. I informed my December employer that I’d be unable to go to North Carolina to work. I probably burned a brand new bridge in the process. If I’d dealt this poker event, it most likely would have led to 3 other events this year and $10,000 in new income. But my paperwork was overdue along with over $50 to apply for my gaming license, the work would short me 5 weeks worth of Amazon work, force me to spend money on repairs for the trip keeping my savings depleted, and embark on yet another journey where I could ill-afford any breakdown — all for a break-even proposition in the short-term considering lost work, travel expense, and coming right back to the Central U.S. I had this strange sense when I did it that it may be the beginning of the end of my career as a poker dealer*.
It was simply complicating matters too much. Especially when all indications are that I need to come back to this neck-of-the-woods. My best work prospects include Texas, Nebraska, or Arizona. My backup plans include leaving straight from here to Oklahoma or Missouri for “permanent temporary” type of work. Summer could be Vegas again.
The money is trickling in incredibly slow. Overtime is only a rumor at the moment. This will be a long, long grind. I’ll breathe only a tiny bit easier each paycheck.
But I have to look at it like this: I’m meeting a lot of terrific friends who are providing me with a wealth of resources and knowledge. After all, there a lot of full-timers here willing to look for very little, definitely not snowbirds — these folks are true workampers! Also, I’ll get to spend the holidays in small-town Midwest with these folks — kind of cool.
Right now my work days are Tuesday through Friday, working 10-hour nights until 4 am. This means I’m worthless on Saturday and then waste Sunday, as well — on football. But after next week my shift changes to Wednesday through Saturday. This will work much better because I’ll only waste Sunday as my rest/football day. Hopefully I’ll have my cell phone/internet issues resolved by then so I can really get back to work.
I really cherish the weekends. Cable TV and my fishing rod have turned out to be terrific investments, saving me lots of money in my estimation.
Yesterday we had a cookout and chili contest here at the campground. It was an amazing autumn day. The leaves were starting to change, good food, good company, and a nice fishing outing with my original neighbor from the Big Chief campground — Mick. The pond was so still there was not a single ripple, and it seemingly brought out every creature in the area! Fish were jumping everywhere, waterbugs entertained us with some incredible skating maneuvers, turtles were plentiful, and baby water moccasins were gliding about in every direction you looked. And, like music to my ears — dozens of crows on a power line. It’s good to be in the Eastern half again for a season change.
I’m relieved I’m not making the trip to North Carolina. The reward may have been greater, but much less risk and chaos, as well. While this is going to be a long, humbling grind — at least I know what I’m into. I’m living rent-free so, despite my meager income, I do have the ability to budget. And talk about motivational…