I Have A Social Conscience
Pokie is an Aussie word used to describe poker machine. Pokies have been legal in this state for over 15 years. Hotels no longer need rely on live entertainment, food and beverage sales, or even return customers to make a profit, thanks to the lucrative gaming industry. The average modern day hotel has evolved from a place where locals could once have a drink and socialize, into a building consisting of an ATM bathroom and as many pokies as their licence affords, soulless dank and cold. The hotel I work in is in a working class suburb, money is tight. The hotel boasts 40 pokies and averages a staggering $250k a day turnover. From the cashier's cage I bear witness to people's addictions, people from all walks of life chasing the ever elusive jackpot. People with addictions often have more than one vice. Meth addicts twitching for hours on end infront of these god damned machines, chain smoking, fixated drones. Prostitutes who target winners. Asians who have an insatiable thirst for gambling and deeper pockets than you or I. Elderly pensioners who spend their entire welfare payment in one day. People with wads of hundred dollar notes (tell tale sign of proceeds of crime as most people use ATM's which only dispense 20's and 50's). Bored housewives losing this month's mortgage payment, panicked about the husband's likely reaction. I am alone in my sadness, my work colleagues do not share my despair. To them, the paycheck is all that matters and they go about their job with blinders on. I wonder how long I can continue to work in an industry which makes it's profits by enabling people's addictions. I admire those whose job it is to help people, create something, or in general have a positive impact on society.