20 Years Working at a Bingo Hall

20 years of My Life

This is about customer relations, not about bingo. I'm not here to promote gambling, no way. The story you are about to read, and the song I wrote could easily be about a restaurant, or even a club or a church.

I had the same job for about fifteen years when the song that follows was written. I had seen volunteers and customers come and go. My boss said there was a "revolving door" on the place. For my part I often quoted Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz: "People come and go so quickly here."

I guess I should tell you I am not your average worker. I have taken a mind power study course by Harry Lorraine called "Instant Mind Power" which I had found in the attic after my father passed away. In the course you learn various memory techniques, one of which is remembering names and faces. At it's height of popularity our mailing list was 2000 plus names. Stuffing the envelopes I could call up a face in my memory for every single one.

In various places, regulars have their own chair. Some like to sit close to the action, like people in a diner sitting at the counter, some like to sit all the way in the back. Some regulars will look for each other and sit together. In all businesses, the regulars come in for certain specials. Like the painter who only goes to the hardware store if paint or rollers are on sale. Or the Ice Cream shop that rotates their flavor of the day, our business was no different.

I tell you all of this as, if you have not been in a bingo hall, you will think it is different, but it isn't. Our regulars were so diverse, if I could name names here, I have collected money from the relatives of several famous figures in show business. It is against the law to divulge peoples names or take photographs inside the Hall that shows anyone who does not give consent.

When someone wins a game, they shout Bingo! some shout Beano, because that was the original name given this French game. They used beans to cover the numbers. Walking across a parking lot, or in a mall, customers would often hail me by calling Bingo! so I would turn and wave, or go over and say hello. This we call their "Bingo Cry" each one is unique, no two alike, as different as fingerprints and snowflakes.

Now everyone has "favorite" or "lucky" numbers. Even a fortune cookie is not complete without them. They will hope to see these numbers, and hear us call them, even if it does not make them a winner, why I do not know. Perhaps it makes them think they will win later, if they hear their favorite. Mine is 27. It was my server number in the restaurant and has seemed to follow me all of my life.

With all of this information, now I will tell you about why I wrote the song.

Customer Service

In the service industry we work for tips. Bingo is like a restaurant in that the happier the customer, the heavier the tips. In this way one can truly take control of ones income. I did! I made sure I was a favorite among my customers, oh yes I loved them, but I would even make friends of those who "despised" everybody. I am not bragging. It was my goal, as i am a people pleaser. I had many who I could never win over. I had many who could hate my kindness so much that it would make me so angry I would cry. How people could hate me for being kind is one I could never fathom. I tried so hard. I kept doing everything I could to make them happy and in the end when there was nothing more i could do and they still loathed me, I would get angry enough to cry.

For a while I cried every night when I came home from work. I was so defeated. 

Fifteen years and I was practically famous. Everyone knew my face, even if they didn't remember my name. Seasonal customers especially would call me Kay, or Diane... Kay I get, but Diane? Who knows. I knew most of their names, due to Harry Lorraine.

One customer came in on a day when I was sure I could smell pork roasting and was trying to figure out which business was doing it. No one in the place seemed to smell it but me. This lady however, did. i knew her by name, but not her story. We became fast friends between games. Her deceased husband had been a chef, and since he had passed away she hadn't had a home-cooked meal. They had been well off, and she wanted for nothing... But she and I both had a hankering for a good roast pork dinner, about now. That evening I went and bought everything, the next day I checked to make sure she would be coming in at lunch time on the following, as usual. I prepared the tenderloin, stuffed, and mashed potatoes, gravy, peas, applesauce. I made two extra plates to take to work. At lunch time I heated up her portion, and mine, and the entire place was drooling as we had our lunch.

When they asked why I didn't make enough for everybody I said, "Well since she and I were the only ones who could smell it I thought we were the only ones who needed it."

The following spring, when she passed away, I was the last to know. I wrote this song, with her in mind, and all of the other faces, of the people I used to know.


Where Have You Gone

I work in a local Bingo Hall, Lots of people know my name.

You'd think after so many years, Each day'd be much the same,

But I remember the faces, of those I knew before,

For those not seen in a long time, I daily watch the door.


Where have you gone? And why haven't I seen you for so long.

Did you find another place to go, or something else to do,

Do I cross your mind at all, or am I just a fool

Do you have any idea at all, how much i'm missing you?


I look often to your favorite spot, and I see your empty chair.

No one has mentioned anything, it's a wonder that you're not there.

I call your favorite numbers, announce your favorite game,

Somehow without your smiling face, this hall's just not the same.


Where have you gone? Did one of us perhaps say something wrong?

Are you off on a vacation, or did you move away?

Are you sick at home, thinking we wouldn't care anyway?

Now you know we can't know all of your names,

But your absences are noticed just the same.

We cannot say we're sorry, and make everything right,

for you have just gone away and disappeared from sight.


Where have you gone? Can I hope one day you might hear my song?

And will it bring you back again where my love for you is real,

Did I miss the last chance I'd ever have to tell you how I feel?

Each time the door opens wide, I still can see your face

I still remember your Bingo Cry, and I hear it... Every place.


Some day these empty seats will fill with unfamiliar faces,

No record there to show those who once, sat in their places

You know I won't take the risk of leaving things unsaid

The words I should have shared with you, I'll say to them instead.


You see I've learned a lesson, I know I'm not made of stone,

In the end, when we meet again, I'll never walk alone.

I know we'll know each other, on that day up in the sky

If not by our appearances then by the

Familiar...

Bingo Cry.


About the Quarter

Originally there was a line that said;

  • "I'd give you back your quarter, without even a fight,
  •  If you told me you were short changed,
  • And came back in here tonight."

My boss made me take it out. There were always people arguing over a dime, nickel or quarter. It was a game called 10 Cent Bingo, and we would make change for the customer while they played, then turn around to collect the next game.some games would go as fast as forty seconds, and we would barely finish collecting before the next game would start.

Just in case the song ever did anything, my boss didn't want all these people coming in demanding all their lost money back.

I hope you can see the similarities to regular customers who come in to your place of business. There will always be new ones, but the regulars deserve to be noticed, recognized, revered. The day may come when you don't see them any more. I wouldn't want you to miss the chance to tell them how much you value their business. Business that you know could evaporate overnight if you do not give excellent "customer service".

Finally

My husband let me tape the song in a single take. I do not have that copy as I lent it out and never got it back.

He said there was no market for a song about bingo. Later a country singer came out with a song about being "stuck in Seminole Bingo" and try as I might I cannot find it. I found a Warren Zevon song but that isn't the one. My search will continue. For now I found the following to be a rather cute song, to leave you with.

Not the Song I was looking for, but I couldn't help it

Helping Mothers and Others

I wish I had found this program all those years ago when I was working in the Bingo Hall.

If you would like to earn tangible residual income each month within a year, please contact me. You will be making a commitment to help others.

If you need help with anything from coping to writing please feel free to contact me as well. I do not charge for my knowledge. Just tired of seeing everyone taking advantage of others. Contact me (Faybe Bay) via HubPages through the link at the above right.

Have a great Day, thanks for reading, and if you like my writing please help me by rating me up, and sharing my page by clicking below.

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Comments 25 comments

Iðunn 6 years ago

love this Hub, love Bingo and such a great insiders view.

I was a customer, quite loyal for a time, many years ago at a favourite bingo hall and I kept playing because, ahem, I kept winning. I got on a big losing streak and quit because I'm not really much of a gambler.

So now you know where and why one of us went :(

I loved Bingo. I once dreamt that I would win on number 42 and the next day at bingo on a double bingo corners count I got down to only needing N42 to win, corners and the N line all in a row from the start.

Guess what?

You know.

I lost. And N42 was in the hopper. I was hopping mad, btw. True story. :)

Most things, one would say "if you don't play you can't win". Me for bingo, "if you don't win, you can't play".


creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 6 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

Thanks for a fantastic hub, I truly enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing. Godspeed, creativeone59


Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 6 years ago from Florida Author

Iouun, I am so glad you enjoyed this one too. I know we lost some customers because they wised up. I agree, Bingo is only good if you win, and the only way to win is not to play! I have the same luck, as long as I don't play I am always the winner. I was told, if you can afford to throw money away, then go ahead. I (and no one I know) can afford to throw money away. What hurt was the ones whose family would not tell us had passed on. These were people I spent up to twelve hours a day serving, while their families lived far away. They thought we were doing some harm to the parents or grandparents they would see only once a year. I invited some of them to my home for dinner, or was invited to theirs. My heart broke when they would tell me they would spend the holiday alone. We were like a family, separated from our own, we formed this bond. I never stayed for the money, it was the bond that kept me there so long.

Creativeone, it is always a good day when you stop by! I have to start catching up on your Daily Word! I love that you encourage us every day. Whenever I think I don't have a hub in me, I think of you, putting out at least one, if not two inspiring hubs each day, and it makes me dig deeper to finish something! Thank you for your kind words, Faye.


Iðunn 6 years ago

it was so fun, though. I miss it. such a girl game and before the machines, making perfect little coloured spots with the markers on a double set of 9 ons.

my 'lucky' colour was midnight blue. :p


Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 6 years ago from Florida Author

Ironic, I only won if I was using pink! LOL, It is a girl game, but some guys are really "wild" when it comes to Bingo.

We had one guy bring in a Chain Saw! I could write a book!


Iðunn 6 years ago

or a whole lot more Hubs. who doesn't love Bingo?? :D


Iðunn 6 years ago

to your addition, yes to the community bond, there definitely was one, even between customers sometimes.

I never thought about how with so many old people, some of them passed away. :( that is really sad.

no, I don't think bingo is always bad. some people might spend more than they should, but most people, they just budgeted in as far as I know and considered the losses entertainment or even comraderie, and quit going once it wasn't worth it to them anymore. it was fun for me when I evened out, less worth it when I lost all the time.


Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 6 years ago from Florida Author

Yeah, I went to try and get back in when I knew the lay off was coming. I spent like five dollars in four hours. I won and tipped and spent some back. It was great to see so many friends, getting all of those hugs and well wishes! And the best part, we were all happy no matter who won, because we all loved each other. I will keep trying to get at least art time.


Iðunn 6 years ago

I'm glad you found a way to make the lemonade. You get the joy of community even out of a loss like the recession. Good on you, hope you get your part-time if that is what you want and all the enjoyment that comes with it.


Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 6 years ago from Florida Author

Thank you. I felt a little defeated as they didn't have an opening yet, but it's okay. revolving door like I said, if it is meant to be I will get in.


Iðunn 6 years ago

have some faith

also, if you keep doing such excellent writing here, you may earn enough extra income it won't be as important. :)


Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 6 years ago from Florida Author

I do, but it takes a long time. A year probably. I don't have a brain for the web sit and blogging and back links. I know I will learn, but I wish I had more know how.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

I liked your hub as it was very interesting. Keep hubbing and things will improve. It is a slow road in the beginning but persistence pays off.


Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 6 years ago from Florida Author

I know. I am happy here. I knew from the beginning it takes time! Thank you for reading, I am glad you liked it.


Kerman 6 years ago

I am really touched,nice article on customer relationship.

Welcome to our Bingo Prizes Page. There is no other page which exists on the net purely to inform players where they can win the best bingo prizes available. Each time we hear of a new prize being offered we update this page.


Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 6 years ago from Florida Author

Hi Kerman, I will definitely pass your page on to some bingo places in my area! Cool set up you have there!


Kerman 6 years ago

Thanks a lot Faybe Bay!


online bingo for money 6 years ago

Hey Faybe Bay,

another page here, have fun and also earn some money.


Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 6 years ago from Florida Author

Welcome, good to see you back!


tammy 6 years ago

liked your story a lot :) i love bingo!!! how did you get a job at a bingo hall?? I always wanted to work at a bingo hall but never knew how I could???? Please help~


Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 6 years ago from Florida Author

Tammy it is just a matter of going in and applying. You won't usually get the job the first time out, but keep going in, keep applying. They will realize that it is what you really want the job, you will get hired. You must have an impeccable work history with no suspicion of theft of any kind, even a candy bar. The reason is because you are handling other people's money whenever you make a sale or go get someone change. You must have never quit a job without notice, or have never been a "No call, no show" at work. They count on your being there. I was just lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. Accept part time and you will eventually get full time. Good Luck!


Bingo Babe 5 years ago

Hey Faybe, just stumbled across this hub. It was a great story to read, very genuine. Thanks for taking the time.


Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 5 years ago from Florida Author

Thanks Bingo Babe, I do miss them all, in spite of the fact that I wasn't supposed to get attached


pinky 4 years ago

hi bin wanting to do this for my regulars for yrs dont have a clue. bin running the same place for 17 yrs would love to do bingo in summer for regs


Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi Pinky, it's pretty easy, but you have to check local laws governing your situation. Some places have a sort of pool; contributors donate the prizes or sponsor the games in exchange for the advertising. Other states require there to be a non-profit involved. You can use cards and chips and pay out according to the money collected for each game. It's great fun. One person sits and draws the numbers, calling them out for the players to cover with beans or chips. Some cards even have a slider built in to cover the numbers. There are electronic machines and there us the paper and ink type of Bingo. Contact your local gaming commission for more information.

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