Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Career decision in the making


Need prayer for guidance, folks.

I am considering making a career move. A month before I got fired my mother sort of challenged me, pointing out that this is a town with a great economy and job market and that I could be making a lot more money. She told me how much she was making as a casino dealer. I was flabbergasted!

I had no idea about the tips some of these casinos bring in. She owns three houses and is currently adding to her real estate holdings. I'm struggling to make rent.

Now, it will take years to make half the income she is making. But half of what she is taking in is almost twice what I was making before my demise. Now, I am at a crossroads. I could go back into the banking industry and be a collector in a call center. But I would still be living a crap shoot. I literally have to make bonus just to cover my monthly nut, and making bonus is not guaranteed.

Now, I have an opportunity to live at a place for about 6 months practically rent free, thanks to the Catholic Worker (btw, my landlady told me today that I could stay- it felt good to tell her that I may go anyways). You see, to get started in the dealing business you have to start at a break-in house where you earn squat in tips. I have dealt blackjack before. I figure in 6 months of dealing I could work myself into a casino that would pay $100 a night in tips. This would put me at the level where I was last month in collections. The rest would be working on my games and improving my skills and graduating to higher paying casinoes.

So, I want the Lord to check my motives and to keep me clearheaded so that I don't do anything foolish. Last time I dealt I loved working with the people. I was a natural entertainer. The spotlights are on me and everybody is facing me and well, I like to make people feel good and I am good at it. The moral climate, however, wore me down. The prevalance of pleasure seeking females, the proximity to gambling and my status with my bipolar and impulsivity served to bring me down. Nowadays I am happily celibate, no longer driven by inordinate desires, am steeped in prayer via Adoration and the Divine Office and it truly seems I have been healed of my bipolar symptoms- have I shared that miracle with you? There are many level headed dealers in this town who are making killer money and living responsibly, my mother and stepfather, for example.

I was rather anxious this morning when I thought that the way casinos dominate your schedule that I would have to give up my first Saturday of the month for the Carmelites until I called my mom and she pointed out that day shifts are hard to come by as a newbie and that I would most likely work a late swing shift which would leave me enough time for my Carmelite meetings. That was a relief. I didn't want to have to give up my spiritual growth for this new career. RCIA may be a problem, though. And that causes me to grieve.... Wednesdays are slow days for casinos so maybe I could get them off.

So, gentle readers, here I am at a crossroads leaning on your prayer support. Ask the Lord to give me wisdom as I discern my future here.

Thanks in advance.


Anonymous said...

I will pray that you can discern God's will for you in this.

Not living in Las Vegas, I do not know much about what a casino job is like. But, for what it's worth, from a distance they seem rather un-savory to me, both because of their origin in organized crime and because they seem to prosper by tempting people's weaknesses.

On the other hand, it sounds like you have a family to support and perhaps not too many options are presenting themselves right now. That's a difficult spot to be in. Perhaps you know better that there are positve things about casinos that are less apparent to those of us who've never been to one.

In any case, if you found yourself weakened by the casino life in the past, I would proceed with caution. It's good to hear that you feel strengthened in the Lord, and that you feel you can rely on him to keep you safe. But it's also the case that we have a moral duty to avoid "the near occasion of sin" and not be foolhardy about our own weaknesses.

Keep praying for insights! God knows what's best and he will never leave your side for one moment. Perhaps a spiritual director (a Carmelite?) could help you to sort through this question.

Tracy said...

Good advice...I don't necesarily think that casinos are the root of all evil (been to Vegas a few times), but Tim, I can tell you have a very gentle heart. I can't imagine you being a part of someone's addiction (and no, not everyone that gambles is an addict, but many are).

I know you will surely pray and discern what God's will is for you. Is there something else that God will lead you to in time, and is this the Devil tempting you away form it?

Many, many prayers for you!

Adoro said...

Here are my thoughts, for what they are worth.

You cite the trouble you had before when you were a dealer...so for you, this could be an occasion of sin. You have experienced a conversion, and thus, this could not only be a test as to where your true loyalties lie (God or money---you cannot serve 2 masters. You will love the one and despise the other), or is it a temptation by the enemy? You are in a difficult place, spiritually, going through RCIA, and this puts you in a position of spiritual battle...intense battle.

The very tone of your post gives me the answer for your dilemma...walk away from the money signs and towards God. He never promised that we'd be rich, in fact Jesus cautioned against riches. Money leads to pride..and pride is the root of much sin. And pride leads us to think we are above God.

I dont' think you're prideful, and I don't necessarily think that you will return to old ways...but you cannot deny the temptations you may face.

I understand this dilemma as i am also facing a version of it, so I pray that you will make the decision GOD wants you to make.

Where does God want you? Searching your motives is good. If your answer is "money", then you will know to run far, far away. Only go to where the answer is "God's will be done".