Not-Yet a Saratoga Insider? NYRA’s Job Fair, June 15-17 is Your Ticket to Fun–and Possibly–to Your Horse Racing Vocation. :)
I don’t do public service announcements often, but now-and-then I read or hear something that I think I should share. This is one of those times: NYRA (the New York Racing Association) will host a three-day Job Fair at Saratoga Springs City Center in mid-June, for the 2017 meet at our gorgeous, historic Saratoga Race Course. If you’ve EVER wondered what it would be like to be a Horse Racing Insider–this is an ideal way to find out. 🙂
At the end of the 1996 Saratoga meet, I saw an ad in The Saratogian, that NYRA sought extra employees for Closing Weekend. I had nothing else to do–would have gone to the track that weekend, anyway–so I applied and got a job as a “lamp grrrl.” (Honestly, I can’t recall the actual title: I blacklight-checked hands for people who had seats in the Grandstand area.) I made some “walkin’ around money,” and got to see the races all day, every day– ’cause I was posted on the trackside of the Grandstand. (And I can’t even describe, how smokin’ hot I looked in a white, short-sleeved blouse with Peter Pan collar; red NYRA vest and visor; bow tie and long, black skirt. Please, no autographs…) 😉
All-in-all, a really pleasant five days. One thing that I was told, was I was told that I couldn’t touch programs of patrons who wanted my advice, but it WOULD be OK if I “advised.”
I should have kept count of how many times people asked who I liked: I’d hold my hands behind my back, refusing to touch their Post Parades–then I’d look, and make a call. Most of the time, I got it right. (They should have given me a Finder’s Fee, right?) 😉
Another thing they did was train us in sexual harassment: the training started with the Very Wise Words, “Sunshine + Alcohol = Stupidity.” I can’t even BEGIN to tell you, how many times in the 21 years since then, I’ve quoted the brilliant woman who advised us thus.
So I’m not suggesting to you, that you do anything that I haven’t done, myself. I’d been a fan of horse racing for 36 years before that.
But wearing that NYRA badge, and being able to breeze through the turnstiles–yeah, even at age 40, that was a rush.
And the camaraderie of greeting and hanging out with other NYRA employees–both summer people, and full-timers–was a hoot.
And of course, it whetted my desire to be a real Horse Racing Insider. It added to my love for NYRA, and for my New York racing community. After 1996, I just had to work, live and breathe horse racing, 24/7.
So here am I, advising you: if you wonder what it’s like to work at a race track–if you’re a racing fan, a lover of our magnificent track–if you long to be part of the racing family as more than a casual bettor–get Thee to the Saratoga Springs, New York, City Center on June 15-17, and put your best self forward. (See press release, below.)
(N.B.: You need not be young to embrace this opportunity. Oh, PLEASE: youth and good looks never can add up to the value of age and experience. You’re retired? A teacher, on summer break? Over 40/50/60? GO FOR IT!)
There may be a job that’s tailor-made for you. There may be nothing that, at first blush, appeals to you, at ALL.
But either way–there probably IS a job at the world’s most beautiful race course for you this summer–and it’s a job that will provide you with opportunities and insights that you won’t have without it.
That job may very well lead to your casual meeting of a racing hero.
Or to you, discovering your real passion, and how your talents can lead you to YOUR vocation in horse racing.
And YES, your vocation–your calling–may very well be a road less-traveled. Your friends may not understand, or approve. (The only opinions whose opinions of YOUR calling are God’s, and yours.
You may find your Life’s Calling this summer, at Saratoga. But you won’t know unless you go looking for it.
Every opportunity for a new experience is a door into future connection. Don’t look at this as being “just” a job fair: THIS is a chance that you may never have again. Again I say, Go for it.
Open your mind, and thereby will open your heart, and your ability to see a part of yourself that you never knew existed.
Have fun–good luck–God bless you, as you explore NYRA’s opportunities, and your own dreams. This–this, my friends–may be your best summer, YET.
Photos, courtesy of:
Saratoga Race Course Early-Morning Workout–thanks to Skip Dickstein and the Times Union.
Newmarket Gin — thanks to Newmarket Gin.
Saratoga Race Course, Storm/Sun–thanks to North Country Public Radio
Saratoga Race Course, Clubhouse Turn — thanks to Adam Coglianese and NYRA