May 4, 2017

In Which My Job Takes Me to Churchill Downs

My really hard.  That doesn't mean I don't like it, it's my dream job, but I've had to learn to be okay with a baseline level of stress in order to cope with it.  And occasional stress spikes.

A face that says "I might have just lost a million dollars in hardware and an entire virtual infrastructure and I wish I was someone else right now..."
But, that means when my job is awesome, I savor it and tuck it in my brain for later.  When my job is awesome, I take a few deep breaths and think "Damn, the tech industry is awesome," sip a glass of whatever alcoholic beverage is in my hand at the moment (because if there's one thing the tech industry does often and well, it's drink) and remind myself why I stay here.

Especially when 'here' is Churchill Downs during Derby week.  And a glass of Woodford on the rocks is in my hand, because, duh, Kentucky.

Every year my company rents out a big suite at Churchill and holds a massive event, where we invite our customers and our vendors.  The food is free, the booze is free, the swag and giveaways are plentiful, and everyone gets a voucher to get their feet wet with betting.  The entire city of Louisville basically never stops the party during Derby week, whether they care about racing or not, so it's very festive.

We also sponsor a race!
Our event was held yesterday, and it was the first time I've been invited, and oh man, it was awesome.  Beautiful weather, tons of socializing (some of it even productive work socializing that should end in $$), and ponies, so close to me!

Especially for the turf races.
This being Churchill during Derby week, the dress code was strictly enforced, depending on what part of the grandstand you were in.  For us, jeans, tennis shoes and athletic wear would get you turned away.  Dresses, blazers, sport coats, collared shirts, ties or bow ties, and nice shoes were highly recommended (though they noted you are allowed to wear comfy shoes to get to the suite, and then you have to change into nice shoes)  Many, but not all, women wore hats.

At the end of the day, after watching the entire card, we had to walk back to the parking lot because the shuttle wasn't running.  As I came out of the tunnel that goes under the track, My Old Kentucky Home started playing over the loudspeaker.  I immediately got chills and thought of my mom, for whom Churchill is like Mecca.  We've both been there separately now, we need to go together sometime!

Our suite was almost that entire green tent you can see behind Practical Joke in this photo.

A pretty good day of work, all things considered!


  1. What an awesome job perk!!!

  2. SWEET!!! I've never sat in a suite! Looks like that is the way to do Churchill!

  3. Sounds amazing! I feel the same about my job, I love it but it does involve a decent amount of stress. I, unfortunately, don't get trips to Churchill Downs though :)

  4. Do you get a +1? Bring me, bring me! lol