I worked my last night at Harrah's Cherokee Casino on Friday. More mixed emotions. I was so happy to work my last section with the 20-pound tray propped on my shoulder. I am going to miss the beverage servers, the gaming hosts, the table hosts, the EVS personnel, especially Roger!
In the locker room prior to pre-shift, we were squeezing ourselves into our bustiers and I turned around for Michelle to zip up the back of my top. Just as I was thinking to myself, this will be my last time pulling my boobs up inside of my push-up bra, Michelle said to me, "This is the last time I will ever zip you up." I put on my wrist guards for the last time, slipped my feet into my uncomfortable pumps for the last time, and did a quick inventory of the contents of my tip cup: straws, sugar and sugar substitutes, matches. Not exactly rocket science, but it pays the bills and between my three jobs over the past year, I've saved more than enough money to move to New York.
The night was rather uneventful. Those, who knew it was my last night, said some good-byes and wished me good luck. I couldn't help feeling sad. Back in the locker room after my shift, I took off my uniform for the last time. I couldn't help feeling happy.
As I walked out of the back of the house and to the employee lot, I could not keep from smiling to myself. I looked up into the dark sky and felt light and free. I had a good 11-month run there.
Terrence came up from Atlanta to help me pack and move out of my apartment. He's also driving me and what I haven't sold, given away or thrown out to New York on Tuesday in a rental stow-and-go minivan. He'll stay in NYC with me for about a week. I am really glad that he will be involved in the beginning of this adventure.
Tonight, I took him to eat at the nicest restaurant in the casino - partly to thank him in advance for the coming week, partly because I had a $25.00 comp to Seven Sisters from working a snow day back in February, partly because I have been wanting to eat there since I started working at the casino, and partly because I wanted to return to say final good-byes that I didn't have time to do while I was working the night before.
After dinner and a lap-and-a-half around the casino, my beverage supervisor completed my exit paperwork while I cleaned out my locker. I threw my pumps in the trash can. I don't normally pay attention to the physical intricacies of the way a trash can works, but I think the image of my shoes going into the trash and the sound they made as they slid down the lining has permanently embedded itself in my memory bank. I signed on the dotted lines, she walked me to the back of the house and took my badge, and that was it. My life as a part-time beverage server was officially over.