“I Love My Job”
by Dennis Conrad

“I Love My Job”
By Dennis Conrad

Her name is Julie. She is a masseuse at the spa in a downtown Reno casino where I like to play craps. She is a native born Nevadan and lives in a rural city, from where she drives 3 hours every Friday to spend the weekend kneading the sore and tired muscles of Reno gamblers. While Julie has been a masseuse most of her adult life, this is the first time she has ever worked at a casino.

And Julie gives the best massages I have ever had in my adult life.

Now don’t get me wrong – I make no claim at being an expert on massage. Like most people, I get entirely too few massages. Even if we’d all like to have our bodies rubbed down every day, there is a certain limiting cost and time factor. But I’ll bet I’ve had 100 or so massages in my life, so grant me that I know a good muscle minder when I see one, or rather, feel one.

And Julie is in a league by herself.

I discovered Julie almost by accident. A lucky run on the dice tables for a few weeks allowed me to accumulate quite a few “comp dollars” at this casino. As Reno is my hometown, I didn’t need any hotel rooms and even my wife could stand only so many lobster dinners and bottles of wine with me at this casino’s fine restaurant.

And then I discovered the spa. Thankfully, spa services were on the list of players club benefits (incredibly at some casinos with spas, they are not included as point perks), so I went up to the spa level of the hotel to claim my soothing largesse.

My first visit was non-eventful. The masseuse was fine, like dozens of others that I had encountered, and I certainly left the spa feeling refreshed. But frankly, it wasn’t so refreshing that I would begin to spend any hard earned points there with reckless abandon.

On my second visit, I was assigned to Julie. She came into the quiet and dim waiting room and ascertained that I was her client (patient? customer?) and led me to the massage room. She wasn’t gregarious, but carried a calm and assured manner that made me feel that my muscles and bones and joints were in for a rare treat.

I’ll spare you from the “rub by rub” account of my first massage from Julie, but suffice it to say that the entire time, I had a smile on my face and knew I was in the hands (literally) of a true master of her craft.

And when my 60 glorious minutes of massage from Julie was completed, I had such a complete and relaxing glow over my entire body that I didn’t want to leave. I could have dumped my entire comp point balance right on that massage table over the next few hours.

So I told Julie how great that experience was and what a marvelous skill she possessed. She stopped, looked me in the eye, thanked me for the compliment and said very directly and confidently “I LOVE my job.”

“I love my job.” Those words stayed with me for the next several days as I pondered clients’ dilemmas and pored over that pile of paper and legions of phone calls and pages of emails that we call “work.”

“I love my job.”

As I thought about the need for solid casino marketing strategic plans and effective use of marketing technology and the importance of creating customer loyalty, it occurred to me that perhaps it really might be as simple as finding casino employees who can “love their jobs” as much as Julie loves hers.

“I love my job.”

It makes me wonder, if we asked all of our employees, “Do you love your job?”, how many would honestly say “yes?” Would there even be one? I know we’d probably hear things about some uncaring supervisors, rules and procedures that inhibit serving guests, companies that utilize employees’ bodies when they could get their minds and hearts too, for the same price.

“I love my job.”

Is Julie just some random blessing that companies (if they are lucky) experience from time to time? In the real world, do we even think we can honestly weave enough managerial, or cultural, or resourceful human magic that will make a cage cashier, a dealer, a security officer – actually “love” their job?

I don’t know.

But I do know that where the rare individual manager, or the rare department or the rare casino property, even the VERY rare casino company, truly cares about engaging their employees and making their work matter – then it really is possible to find employees who “love their jobs.”

And for every Julie in our casino world, there will be hundreds of casino customers who will have experienced a marketing result that no ad, no players club, no loose slot machine and no direct mail offer could produce.

Thanks Julie, for loving your job and giving me something to take back to mine.

Date Posted: 03-Jul-2008

Dennis Conrad is the President and Chief Strategist of Raving Consulting Company, a full service marketing company specializing in assisting gaming organizations. He can be reached at 775-329-7864 or e-mail dennis@ravingconsulting.com. Visit Raving’s web site at www.ravingconsulting.com.

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