Saturday, April 21, 2007

Book(ie)* Chick: Day Three

So here's the thing, I learned the other day that technically I'm not a bookie as the company doesn't allow people to bet with funds they don't have. Considering that I doubt the Oregon Gaming Commission would let them operate legally any other way, it makes sense. I'll have a little badge "graced" with the presence of my smiling face to prove this fact soon.

In the last two days (today being my third work day), I've learned a lot about the politics of who can bet, what tracks we run and why, and enough horse racing terminology to make my head explode. Daily doubles, trifectas, superfectas, exactas and across the boards. I've gotten calls from men demanding to know the weight of the jockeys, the state of the track and the daily picks.

For the most part my callers are (older) men who are a nice enough lot, some even willing to tell the new girl where to find the info they want on the website even if they're not above giving you a hard time. Their accents range from spanish-tinged West Coast to deep South to Midwest to one guy whose Jersey accent was so thick I could hardly understand him. Many of these men only bought computers so they can gamble which has lead to some long discussions about their computers and what they don't understand.

The little old ladies are the most amusing. Sure, some come across as tough old broads, but one customer shyly informed me that she was "putting a little fun money" in her account for when she wanted to treat herself, and then she giggled.

Giggled! It was adorable. It made me want to giggle.

Between calls they encourage us to explore the site and visit the free betting sister site to build bets with fake money. The races are on in TVs in various cubicles or we can live stream them at the internet at our desks. Having been surrounded eight hours a day for two days with horse racing, I can tell you two things: horses are beautiful creatures, and I still have absolutely no interest in actually betting on a race. I did some fake bets on the free site by just randomly picking horses in the most absurd combos I could.

I lost, in case you were wondering.

So back I go today, for another eight hours of horse central before topping the evening off with a soccer game** (something I'll go to as long as I'm not overloaded by angry calls from customers having account issues). Maybe the soccer game will be the catharsis I need because there's nothing like drinking beer and singing obscenity laced songs to brighten your mood.

Back with actual book news and views in my next post, this is the almost bookie signing off.

* In honor or Ann(ie).
**Go Timbers!


Robin Brande said...

What an interesting and varied life you're leading these days, BSC (or is it just Bookie Chick now?). Good luck with the fake bets!

Anonymous said...

You'll always be Bad Boy Bookie to me! Or else Luigi...

Kate R said...

you need a nickname and then you'll be the Real Thing.

Maya Reynolds said...

Bookie Chick! I love it.

Think of the great book you could write. I just finished the latest Dick Francis (read it out of nostalgia more than anticipation). He had an entire sub-plot about online betting.

Good luck.


Ann(ie) said...

Woo! I've been honored. I got tired of trying to decide whether to sign my real name or my pen name to posts and came up with Ann(ie). (I know, difference between Ann and Annie is negligible.)

Anonymous said...

Take a look at Bloodlines,the horse racing antho that Maggie Estep and Jason Starr co-edited. Fiction and nonfiction there, all set in the world of horse racing. I'm betting (!) you'll like it.