Better than the World Series of Poker.

Four days this week, I got paid to play cards for the better part of the day. No, there was no gambling involved. Yes, my employer is fine with this. I picked up a new client this week, and one of the first things that one of her regular caregivers asked me was, “Do you play cards?” I learned rummy, euchre, and poker as a preteen more than 20 years ago, so I’ve had a lot of practice, but not nearly as much as my client, who is the same age as my grandparents. She beat me consistently.

This was especially rewarding because my client is hearing-impaired, and I don’t know American Sign Language. (She does lip-read well, though, and we also communicate in writing.) Playing cards was a way to communicate and get to know each other. She told me she’s looking forward to my coming back on Monday.

While the pot may not be as big as the ones professional gamblers win, there’s a priceless payoff every time.

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