Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Now meet MY Mandalay Bay

I consider Mandalay Bay the beginning of the end of my love affair with Vegas.  The Neon Beast and I had just moved here in 2004, and I thought I had made it big by landing a job as an usher at Mamma Mia.  I was excited to get something (kinda) in my field already, and I was optimistic.


Plot-wise, the show was pretty bad.  Basically it was an excuse to run together a bunch of ABBA songs.  But the cast gave it their all, and they were all really talented.  The set moved in ways my University theatre department only dreamed of.  I considered myself lucky to be a part of it.

I started out hitting the ground running.  I would be super nice, show people to their seats, and dance in the Vomitorium to all the dance numbers.  I tried to ignore the fact that all my co-workers seemed to hate me for no reason.  Turns out there was a reason; I was making them look bad.  Ushers are a part of the Culinary Union, and they were used to being able to just coast through their jobs.

There was one usher that disliked me more than the others.  She happened to be shacking up with the Boss's son.  That sealed my fate, and 3 months into my job, I was let go.  They cited that it was a probation period and I didn't pass, even though I had never said a bad word to anyone and always showed up on time and ready.  They also let another person go at the same time as me, and I guess I'll always wonder what it was that I did.  During my time there it seemed that everyone was taking a vacation, so maybe they just hired a couple of people to be able to make that happen.

It stung that I was fired, I'd never been really fired from anything before that moment.  Even though the rest of Mandalay Bay is beautiful, 9 years later I still feel uncomfortable going there.  When visiting Mandalay Place, I'll go out of my way to park at the Luxor and walk across so I never step on the property.  The experience did teach me a lot of about how the job market in Las Vegas went.  It was just the beginning of my journey.  I've had more jobs here in Vegas than I did in 24 years in my hometown.
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