Saturday, June 7, 2008
Karyss' New Job
Well, it is official . . . . my wife, Karyss, has now quit Wells Fargo (woo hoo!!!) and is working at the MGM Grand hotel pool. For those of you who don't live in Las Vegas, and even for some of you who do, this may come as a surprise . . . . that a pastor's wife would work at a pool on The Strip. However, my perspective of Las Vegas has really changed in the last year that I have worked here.
I want to preface all of this by saying that I do not by any means endorse what "The Strip" represents. It represents greed, lust, getting drunk, and just an overall materialistic culture. The old saying "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" represents that it is a place to come and make whatever choices you desire without any consequences. Again, I do not support this at all!
However, working at a church in Las Vegas, we are reaching people who's reality EVERYDAY is The Strip. At Central, we don't necessarily reach those who come in for a weekend fling and then leave. We reach the dealers, cocktail waitresses, dancers, musicians, DJs, artists, strippers, pit bosses, poker stars, gambling addicts, alcoholics, orphans, and EVERYTHING else that comes along with the culture that the Strip tends to produce. Not to mention working with the kids and students of those people. The reality of what takes place on the Strip is a daily reality to many of the people who are a part of Central, and this is why my perspective has been changed.
Also, what I have learned about MGM/Mirage through Karyss' orientation and a conversation with a good friend that works at MGM has been really healthy for me. The employees alone, not the company, donate 1.7 million dollars annually to organizations around the Las Vegas Valley. Also, any processing fees that go along with donations to non-profits (and they are out there) MGM will cover so that every dollar from the employee goes directly into the organizations hands. Also, a huge part of Karyss' orientation was education on gambling addictions and the harm that it can bring to a person's life.
Again, none of these things justify what happens on The Strip on a nightly basis, but it brings into perspective that there are real people . . . GOOD people, who work there. My friend who works at MGM has no family in Vegas (quite common), and he describes his co-workers at MGM as his family.
How has your perspective changed in the past year?