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10/04/22 - The Pitboss and The Comfort Zone

Many Pitbosses have a so-called "comfort zone." You know what I'm talking about: that space at the pit stand where there are boundaries and you feel a sense of emotional security with your work and your decision making.

Simply, the pit stand is where the Pitboss has their break list, the pit scores, player win/loss and that ever important communication tool – the Pit phone. In brief, it also means it’s an area that the Pitboss feels most in control but this could be argued that the Pitboss is in the least control.


An ex-colleague was infamous for stapling himself to the Pit stand. Dealers and supervisors would come back from a break, he felt the key role was to read the table number to the waiting staff (rather entrust the staff to read it themselves) and then immediately after duck his head down for the next 20 minutes to decipher where the next batch of staff would go after their break.


In other words, away from players, from social nods and greetings to guests, pulling-up wayward employees who deviated from the company policies and procedures, verifying any pay-outs, this was his area of low anxiety and reduced stress.


Great for him, but a negative impact on the business as a whole;


  • The security aspect

Who assured the cheats and opportunists that they have a good chance of being caught in a misdemeanour?


  • Customer retention

How many of you go regularly to the same restaurant, predominantly because you like the food but also because the serving employees acknowledge you as a regular. Lord forbid that they start prying into deep conversations and personal questions but we all enjoy that recognition with a “welcome back”.


  • Employee corrective measures

Employees left to their own devices will create their own devices!


  • Team motivation

Employees not spoken to during their shift feel neglected. They may have something they would like to point out, to get off their chest or to make their own contact with their ‘boss’.




All in all, comfort kills productivity.  We lose the drive and ambition to do more and learn new things. We also fall into the "work trap," where we feign "busy" as a way to stay in our comfort zones and avoid doing new things. Pushing your personal boundaries can help you hit your stride sooner, get more done, and find smarter ways to work.


If you push yourself away from that pit stand now then you'll find it easier to push your boundaries in the future. Once you start stepping out of your comfort zone, it gets easier over time. As you step out of your comfort zone, you'll become accustomed to that state of optimal anxiety. "Productive discomfort," as they call it, becomes more normal to you, and you're willing to push farther before your performance falls off.


Trying new things can make us reflect on our old ideas and where they clash with our new knowledge and inspire us to learn more and challenge confirmation bias, our tendency to only seek out the information we already agree with. Even in the short term, a positively uncomfortable experience can help us brainstorm, see old problems in a new light, and tackle the challenges we face with new energy.



Here are some ways to break out (and by proxy, expand) your comfort zone without going too far:

  • Do your regular role differently. Open up the pit in a different sequence. Request (if necessary) from your manager and explain that you wish to try out and analyse a theory you have that you believe will affect the guests and staff in a positive manner. Whether the change you make is large or small, make a change in the way you do things on a day-to-day basis. Look for the perspective that comes from any change, even if it's negative. Don't be put off if things don't work out the way you planned.
  • Take your time making decisionsSometimes slowing down is all it takes to make you uncomfortable—especially if speed and quick thinking are prized in your work or personal life. Slow down, observe what's going on, take your time to interpret what you see, and then intervene. Sometimes just defending your right to make an educated decision can push you out of your comfort zone. Think, don't just react.
  • Trust yourself and make snap decisions. We're contradicting ourselves, but there's a good reason. Just as there are people who thrive on snap decisions, others are more comfortable weighing all of the possible options several times, over and over again. Sometimes making a snap call is in order, just to get things moving. Doing so can teach you to trust your judgement. It'll also show you there's fallout to quick decisions as well as slow ones.
  • Do it in small steps. It takes a lot of courage to break out of your comfort zone. You get the same benefits whether you go in with both feet as you do if you start slow, so don't be afraid to start slow




There are lots of other ways to stretch your personal boundaries. If you have a particular clientele or junkets who speak a language not familiar to you then learning greetings and acknowledgements can carry a lot in those customers remembering you.


I used to have a personal rule that if I eat in the casino restaurant then I would do so only with casino players. This pushed my own boundaries forcing me to make small talk with people I wouldn’t normally socialise with. However, the positive upside was that players felt appreciated. Also, they disclosed a lot of information regarding their own personal life and that of other players. Valuable information when you are building a rapport and which will assist you in any further disputes that have to be resolved.


If you feel you already have achieved all this and that’s by staying mostly at the pit stand then measure yourself:

Take time out to move around,

  • to observe games,
  • give recognition to players (Good evening, how have you been?),
  • take time to speak with a supervisor and try to elicit some feedback,
  • provide some development such as noting a dealers lapse in procedure and bringing it to the attention of the supervisor (or directly if no supervisor is present),
  • make some objective mental notes of dealer's performance and compare them with your previous perceived thoughts,
  • observe player's play and betting patterns always having in the back of your mind that you are looking for something out of the ordinary,
  • make mental notes of table play and swings in results from the last hourly score,
  • ask supervisors of present play and table results. This is an optimum time to demonstrate their value in the team and your optimum time to test their skills.



Now, add all those aspects and events together in your mental notepad. It should be quite a lot of events.

Who else would have had that input into your team and pit if it hadn’t been you?

Who would have made the players feel appreciated?

Who would have moved those employees that one step closer to being developed and feedback?


For further information on our Pit Boss training in productivity and optimisation CONTACT us now for details.


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