A New Direction

12 July will be my last day at VooDoo/Winner’s Circle. The next day, I will move my things to my new apartment in Louisville, and on 17 July, I will start my job as a hub systems operator at United Tote.

The job change started when I noticed I have reached my limit of maximum hours I can work per week. Despite being a hostess, a programs seller, and a mutuels clerk, due to budget and union regulations, I can only work up to 32 hours per week and most of the time, I am allocated about 28 hours on average. I thought I might supplement with another job, but it carried the risk of restricting the hours I can work due to inflexibility. I asked the managers about more hours, but we arrived to the conclusion that their budget (which is handed down from the corporate office) won’t allow me to get these hours. I did thank them for trying. We were all eager to get more hours, not just for me but for other employees. Ask my bosses, if there was someone that actually asked for MORE work to do, it was me. I get my energy from work, my motivation from the busy busy busy. I was the “All-Purpose Carol” who would run errands, organised expense reports, and do internet research.

You will NOT hear me complain about my coworkers or my bosses. I certainly do not have beef with my job. It was just that I have reached “Lvl 99” at VooDoo and I realised that if I needed more hours, I will have to apply for a corporate/professional position at Hoosier Park in Anderson.

Then I heard that Churchill Downs will move its Twinspires.com HQ from Silicon Valley to Louisville, bringing 70 jobs. I thought: maybe I have some chance. So I visited the Churchill Downs corporate webpage and found that their United Tote division needed someone to work behind the scenes with their tote system.

We have seen cartoons in which a horseplayer would place a bet at the window. But what happens after the bet was placed? It goes to a large pool that is shared by various horseracing facilities in the United States (or world wide). Horseplayers would bet at the last 5 minutes before the gate opens. What United Tote does are two main things. First, they develop and place these betting terminals, where electronically these bets are placed and ‘gathered’ into a large pool. Second, there are hubs of operators that would watch these races and make sure the placed bets are gathered correctly until the gate opens and they close the pool. The pool is calculated during the race and then the money gets divvied out according to odds once the race is official.

So I applied for the job one night, and the next morning, I got a phone call for a phone interview in a few days. Had the interview and they invited me for a in-person interview at the Churchill Downs HQ in Louisville. So I got my best career jacket and drove 4+ hours to the headquarters. And then I had my interview. I thought: There is bound to be someone more qualified than me and had a moment of “impostor syndrome” after I ate my lunch and drove back to Fort Wayne.

And the wait was tedious. Will I stay put and try other ways to boost hours or will I get this big break? Vacillating between optimism and pessimism. “I will stay…NO, I want to go!” And then, I got the call.

Whirlwind.

I bought boxes to pack my clothes. I drove back to Louisville to go apartment hunting and to attend Downs After Dark with WinStar Farms. On the way home, I stopped in Indianapolis and visited Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, and Williams-Sonoma. Got a cute LED fairy light sparkler lamp, canisters for dried fruit, and two ceramic knives. When IKEA opens at Fishers this August, I will get furniture there.

Located a confessional Lutheran church in Louisville. In fact, it is near one of the apartments where I applied.

Kentucky with its horse culture has been a major part of the last two years of my life. It was there that I found what I truly needed: permission to live my life. It was there where I saw the end of the wilderness years. I found respite. There is something about visiting the horse farms and meeting the horses that are the foundation of my employment.

And now, Kentucky is where I will live and work.

In the next several weeks, I will blog about my experience in moving and settling into Louisville. I hope you can join me as I am making this transition.