Gambling with his free time

For most students at Central the weekend is a chance to relax and take your mind off school. While a good portion will go out and unwind at parties, some students might head back home.  For Joe Yancho, a junior from Montrose, there is no relaxing.

Joe’s weekend nights are filled with six to 10 hour shifts working at the Water Lily Lounge inside of the Soaring Eagle Casino. From Thursday through Sunday Joe sacrifices those cherished weekend nights in order to help pay the bills, and to put a little extra money in his pocket.

This particular Saturday shift starts out around 4 p.m. where he starts rolling silverware in order to prepare for that evenings dinner rush. Around 5 p.m. the customers slowly start rolling in. The restaurant is usually divided up between four to five other servers; all serving about four to five tables a piece. On this particular night though, two servers have called in sick, which is going to make Joe’s night that much more stressful.

He races around from table to table furiously scribbling down orders on his pad. He never stands idle as requests for drink refills and food orders keep rolling in. He moves as fast as he can to avoid displeasing his customers. Fortunately tonight there aren’t any serious complaints from customers, which is a nice relief considering his already extra stressful shift.

By 9:30 the crowd starts to die down, and Joe finally finds a few minutes to take a seat and cool off with a nice glass of ice-cold water. It’s not long though before the hostess comes in the back and informs him he has another table. He is quickly back on his feet and back to work. Those extra tables he had to pick up at the beginning of his shift are starting to take its toll. Luckily he is going to be the “first-cut” tonight and gets to leave first once business slows down. Tonight he is fortunate and made it out a little before midnight.

On his way out he takes advantage of his employee discount and orders a lounge club sandwich that is stuffed full of Turkey, Bacon, lettuce and tomato. He makes the drive home and when he arrives is greeted by some of his roommates hanging out in the living room watching TV. They all converse while Joe relaxes, eats his food and counts his tips for the day.

By 1 a.m. he feels his eyes start to get heavy. He starts to make the trip up to his bedroom while he thinks about what he needs to do tomorrow. He knows he has homework and studying to do, but he also knows he has another six-hour shift from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. to get through first. For most, Sundays are a day to relax and get some studying done. For Joe, it is another day of hard work, aching feet and hopefully some good money to help him with his final rent payment of the year.