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Saratoga Operators

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  • Saratoga Operators

    So, since the telephone was invented, Saratoga Racecourse has had a small team of operators that answer calls during the racing season. Most recently, a team of four or five who answer questions, connect trainers to stables, owners to the dining and silks room, and tourists to information about how to park and buy tickets. They are really "Saratoga Central" and provide personized service, rather than "press one for directions".

    They were just informed by new NYRA management that they are likely losing their jobs this summer, due to the installation of an automated system, "like Aqueduct". Aqueduct averages 500 fans a day. Saratoga gets about 10,000 a day.

    On the 150th celebration of racing at Saratoga, doesn't this seem like a questionable management decision?
    "I am still under the impression there is nothing alive quite so beautiful
    as a thoroughbred horse."

    -JOHN GALSWORTHY

  • #2
    Who knew that continued to exist? I suspect any cutbacks are strictly to get NYRA's financial house in order. Although what may look like a dated service with no application in 2013 that has to be evaluated more closely. The tellers seem to be protected from on high so if cuts are to happen it won't occur there.

    Although time does move on - NYRA no longer has these hostess roles (c. 1968) at Saratoga although I'm sure they were once valuable.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Glimmerglass View Post

      Although time does move on - NYRA no longer has these hostess roles (c. 1968) at Saratoga although I'm sure they were once valuable.
      They look like stews.

      For betting, while you CAN automate, having humans involved (dealers at tables, betting-window tellers) can encourage bettors to keep playing (hiring for them involves personality as much as cash-handling skills) so I can see keeping them. For a phone system, who besides Ally Bank has live operators any more?
      Author Page
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      Steampunk Sweethearts

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      • #4
        Headdesk. It was always so frustrating dealing with Belmont/Aqueduct, and so nice to have a real person when making arrangements at Saratoga.

        And here's who's going to do it...

        http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-raci...nd-ceo-of-nyra
        But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all. H.C.Anderson

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          "He also cited as among his priorities enhancing the experience for customers at the track and recruiting new fans"

          That would make an argument against eliminating the efficient greeters that have been answering the phone since we can remember in Saratoga.

          Just a side story: one of the operators told me that one day an old gentleman came to find them in their office at Saratoga Racecourse. He had been calling them for years and never met them in person. But they always helped him each summer. He handed them a package and said "I didn't know who to give this to". He died a few months later. He was a retired jockey, and the contents include his treasures, racing programs, photos, win photos.
          "I am still under the impression there is nothing alive quite so beautiful
          as a thoroughbred horse."

          -JOHN GALSWORTHY

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by SaratogaTB View Post
            That would make an argument against eliminating the efficient greeters that have been answering the phone since we can remember in Saratoga.
            I'd assume the core group of people who could be eliminated should be voicing themselves. Clearly stating why they're a value added proposition and illustrate the effects of their removal. Someone above who simply saw that as a costly line item likely has no idea what service is being provided and if it still applies in 2013. Speak up or get swept away sadly is the way of the world.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Glimmerglass View Post
              I'd assume the core group of people who could be eliminated should be voicing themselves. Clearly stating why they're a value added proposition and illustrate the effects of their removal. Someone above who simply saw that as a costly line item likely has no idea what service is being provided and if it still applies in 2013. Speak up or get swept away sadly is the way of the world.
              Also the customers who appreciate the service. Too many people just assume that good performance/useful services are being rewarded until something like this happens, but they never bothered to fill out the comment card, drop a line to the head of the company/organization, or in some other way express that they consider that particular service and the people providing it important.
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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Danceronice, I agree with your point about letting NYRA know that we appreciate the service. Any idea where we could send an email stating that?
                "I am still under the impression there is nothing alive quite so beautiful
                as a thoroughbred horse."

                -JOHN GALSWORTHY

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  All of the Saratoga operators were let go today. They were told that Belmont's automated system would handle the calls. The end of an era.
                  "I am still under the impression there is nothing alive quite so beautiful
                  as a thoroughbred horse."

                  -JOHN GALSWORTHY

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well, that will be interesting asking someone at Belmont where to park while still waiting for a sticker, needing to get through to security about someone coming through, and if I could still get my seats when I left my tickets back at the house - a 2 hr drive.

                    No, SaratogaTB - the Racecourse is more a place to be seen, than to watch racing like you and I knew way back when...so they don't need personalized service. Much harder to watch the race when the bunch in front of you are standing and waving at their friends behind you during the race. They don't care about questions pertaining to horse racing.
                    But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all. H.C.Anderson

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