A Day in the Life of a Slot Technician

Julie3.jpgJulie Bennett has worked at Grand Casino, Hinckley for 21 years, all of them in the Slot Mechanics department. “But what I’ve done for the past eleven years is different than what I started out doing,” she clarifies. Slot technicians go out on the gaming floor, responding to calls of breakdowns of slot machines, and other problems with machines, such as bills going in, but no credit given for it. Bennett takes care of memos from their department’s project manager and creates work orders for other slot technicians. “The work orders inform technicians which games need to be added or removed, what conversions need to be made, what needs to go where,” she says. “Today we are adding sixteen new games.” Everything is based off of serial numbers, Bennett explains. Work order sheets also tell the techs which game to go to, and once they get there, they have a checklist that they follow. Bennett pairs the work orders with sheets from accounting.

“I prepare project sheets, take care of software for the games, and I’m responsible for filing paperwork into electronic files,” Bennett says. Behind her are metal cabinets loaded with software. This software goes into games, or they come out of games that get pulled off of the casino floor. Bennett checks software in from the receiving dock, and then puts them into these storage cabinets in her office. When it is time for the software to go into the machine, she retrieves it from the cabinet and prepares the software to leave. And if the software is obsolete, then she destroys it.

When Bennett came to the casino, she started out as a floor slot technician. On days when she was caught up with her work and when she had some down time, she worked on software inventory. “It was all handwritten then,” she laughs. Bennett’s supervisor was so impressed with the way that she got the inventory organized, that as a result Bennett was offered more office duties. She became responsible for filing paperwork and keeping track of software. “At that time I didn’t know how to use a computer,” she explains. “But I had help from everyone in the department, and I also took a crash course from the casino’s Learning & Development department.”

Bennett likes that the technology is always changing, so her job is never the same. “We’ve come a long way,” she says. “Technology keeps advancing.” Her favorite part of the job is that it is never boring. “I’ve never run out of things to do,” Bennett says. “I have at least 2500 pieces of hardware to audit, and there’s always paperwork to be scanned into the system.” She says that every day is different and the pace is always steady.

Bennett started out working the overnight shift. Later she transitioned into the swing shift, and now she works the day shift. Her advice to new associates is to take lots of notes, to always be ready for the unexpected, and to learn as much as possible. She also has a sister and cousins who are casino employees.

Before coming to the casino, Bennett worked in a factory, where she rebuilt starters, alternators and generators. “Machines now are more computerized,” she says, “whereas back then they were more mechanical.” Bennett always enjoyed performing troubleshooting skills, and has always been mechanically-inclined. “I grew up with the idea that if you didn’t have the money to fix it, you did it yourself,” she says. Bennett likes that the casino is close to home, and that the health benefits are good.

Bennett was born in the Sandstone hospital, and has lived in Pine County her whole life. “I love it here,” she says. She enjoys camping, fishing, watching car races, relaxing and listening to music. Bennett is also busy these days preparing for her upcoming wedding. She proudly shows off the lucky guy’s photos on her wall.

Bennett’s slot technician job complements her natural talents and abilities. The casino strives to match applicants with jobs that align with their interests and aptitude.