Dead Dogs Don't Roll Over
Written by: Alex Sandell


Chapter 11
Hell in a Nickel and a Cruel Choice from Rich

Everyday you are assigned a change bank. Most of the banks deal in quarters. Two banks are located in high-stakes and deal with $5.00, $25.00, $50.00 and $100.00 dollar tokens. The remainder service "Nickel Hell." Nickel Hell, where the lowest of the low go when they’re down on their luck. Nickel Hell, the elephant graveyard of the gambling community. Nickel Hell, more a form of torture, than a job.

Not only is the nickel-section the worst area to work in, it’s also damaging to a change dealer’s reputation. If you’re assigned to nickels, you are considered a "bad" person. People automatically assume that you must have done something wrong to be put in such a shameful spot. No one ever considers an unfair and manipulative manager that’s let power go to his head.

Nickel Hell is the change person’s Auschwitz. The other change dealers look at you with a great deal of sympathy before breathing a sigh of guilty relief, "at least I wasn't sent there today."

I stand for a minute looking into Richard's beady eyes. I observe how much his thick, black mustache clashes with his puffy, red cheeks. He is not overweight, making me think he must dabble in a bit of the booze.

A wanna-be dictator with a drinking problem and a chip on his shoulder. Pure hatred emanates from every stinking pore of his body. Butterflies fill my stomach at the very mention of the name "Richard." If the eyeball I saw in the camera were that of a beast's, Richard would be its monstrous body.

Every time I look at him, I can see the tiny little wheels in his head turning and those Satanic little rat-eyes observing my every move. I turn to walk out of the office, trying not to reveal my anger. Every time Richard is in charge of assigning banks, he chooses to put me in number 14. The most dreaded change bank in Nickel Hell and, the busiest, most difficult bank to work at, in the entire casino, period.

The anger that I was trying so hard to hide gets the best of me and I accidentally mutter the words "Nickel Hell" under my breath. "Do you have a problem with that?" Richard's nostrils flare, revealing his garden of nose-hairs. His face turns as red as the blood I’d love to see gushing out of his throat.

Although he is quick to send employees their as a subtle punishment, Richard is the only manager who refuses to accept "Nickel Hell" as bank fourteen's proper name. Even Paul Connor, the head slot manager, will let a small chuckle sneak past his lips, having a little fun with the words, "Nickel Hell."

Getting a chuckle out of Richard is as difficult as getting an honest confession out of chronic-liar. If he does laugh, it's more of an evil cackle. I run out of the office without answering Richard's question; yes, I do have a problem with that, still, screaming at a wall can get tiring. "I’ll see you on the floor," Richard yells out just as I exit the office. I can hear Jenny, The Incredible Human Peanut, laughing as another chocolate-concoction hits my head. I turn around to see Richard is the one holding the treat-bag. "I’ll see you there," I say through a sneer, as I duck out of sight.

Resentment bubbles up in my mouth like foaming bile. This is the day something is going to give. Today, one of us will go down.

Go to: Chapter 12

1997 Alex Sandell but, if you're a book publisher and, you wanna get this puppy out, please get in touch with me, hand me a nice, big contract and, of course, a 12 pack of Grape Soda and maybe we can do lunch.

You know the routine, just click it.


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