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Smokey Briggs


By Smokey Briggs

Tuesday, October 30, 2001

The best Boss' Day ever

Generally, I hate canned, made-up holidays. Every year we get a few more from the gee-whiz marketing boys on 5th Avenue.

It's getting to the place that there are not enough days in a year for all the add-name-here-days: Secretary's Day (oops I mean Administrative Assistant's Day), Grandparent's Day, Freckle Day, Left Handed Painter's Day, Get Anybody a Card Day, Bad Hair Day_ the list goes on forever.

All of these days are flimsy excuses for a special day created solely into guilting some large portion of the population into buying another portion of population stuff.

The greeting card industry probably invests millions in R & D designing the most heart wrenching, guilt causing events.

Which brings us to Boss' Day.

I did not like Boss' Day when I was a non-boss and until recently I was not fond of being on the other end.

As an employee I thought it would be more aptly called, Mandatory Suck-up Day. Everybody would get together and try to come up with something to buy for somebody they did not really know, and whom they did not really want to buy something for.

It always cost everybody in the shop a couple of bucks and I would have rather plunked what represented the earnings I had traded an hour of my life for on something more meaningful, like a couple of cold ones or a truck magazine.

In the least you had to spring for a corny card with some made up sentiment that was usually a far cry from the truth.

"To a wonderful Boss on Boss' Day" signed, all the peons.

What you wanted it to say was something like, "To our boss. You continually amaze us by remembering to breathe by yourself," signed, all the guys that carry you on their backs while you loaf and take all the credit and flirt with the cute gal up front.

And if you have a good boss it is still no good. He doesn't know if you really mean it, or if you are just sucking up hoping for an extra twenty come Christmas bonus time.

Well, most of the time.

My first year here at the Enterprise, my staff got me the obligatory card and flower. It was very nice. But I did not know them and they did not know me. I suspected they felt obligated to do something thanks to the guilt/fear factor inspired by the marketing guys still on 5th Avenue. (I wonder what they get their bosses on boss' day? Maybe another ten ideas for ways to bilk bucks out of the unsuspecting and well meaning).

Anyway, I got another nice card the next year. Both times the card and little sundry gift were very nice, thoughtful, and totally unnecessary.

Honestly, the whole thing embarrasses me.

Or it used to.

This year I had managed to miss the fact that it was The Day again. I was heading out the front door on some very important mission (lunch) when it became obvious that my ever so subtle staff was stalling me. (The second time they tripped me I got the hint).

Then I caught a glimpse of a cake.

I finally got it when one of my staffers handed me the card.

I was embarrassed. These folks have families to feed, mortgages, and car payments - more important stuff to spend their money on than getting me something on a made up day.

Then I got the present.

It was a big gift bag.

Inside was the nicest, most thoughtful boss' day gift I can imagine. Real thought and caring had gone into selecting this gift/gifts. People that knew me and cared about me had picked this stuff out. I was flattered.

Inside was a package of chewing tobacco (my brand), a new issue of Shotgun News, a bag of beef jerky, a six-pack of not-so-cheap beer (cold) and an almost dirty magazine - kind of a Redbook for men.

These guys know me well. And they care.

I still felt embarrassed. It's not necessary. I get my reward every day we put out a good newspaper and make payroll.

But I admit to feeling truly honored. Touched even.

Even when I discovered that my carefully stashed six-pack in the company fridge had been pilfered that afternoon.

I suspect the press crew.

Thanks guys.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Smokey Briggs is the editor and publisher of the Pecos Enterprise whose column appears on Tuesday. He can be e-mailed at:

Our View

First Choice needs to be the power provider for PBT-ISD

Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD needs to keep buying power from Texas-New Mexico Power Company/ First Choice.

First Choice is the newly formed partner company to T-NMP that will sell electricity under in the deregulated market while T-NMP will maintain the physical infrastructure needed to deliver the power to the customer.

With deregulation the district and everyone else can shop around for the cheapest price on electricity.

At the last school board meeting the point was made that the school district could save about $45,000 by switching to Energy for Schools, a consortium of school districts that have pooled together to buy energy at the lowest possible price.

While the district might save $45,000 initially, it may very well lose that much or more in the long run.

In fact we may be guilty of strangling the goose that laid the golden egg if we cut First Choice out in a shortsighted attempt to save a few bucks.

A few questions must be answered before a decision to switch power providers is made.

If the school district goes with the cheaper provider, what effect will it have on local T-NMP/First Choice employees? Will offices close? How many students, now and in the future, will the district lose if those jobs go away?

Of course, there is a domino effect. In an economy the size of ours, the loss of even one decent job is felt. Every business in Pecos has plenty of practice cinching up its belt a notch every year. Most are running out of notches.

We cannot take a chance on running good jobs out of our community without taking a real hard look at the situation.

Saving $45,000 may not look so good if we run $100,000 in salaries and five or ten school-age kids out of Pecos.

When you add up the potential losses, the move may very well end up costing the district, Pecos, and Reeves County.

At the same time T-NMP has been a good corporate neighbor. You cannot find a local event or group that does not receive support from T-NMP. From the West of the Pecos Rodeo to donations to numerous civic groups, T-NMP and its employees sow time and money back into this community.

The school district does not exist in a vacuum - it exists within the community. Before the district starts buying power from a non-local provider the school board needs to take a hard look at the real dollar costs to the district, and the intangible costs to this community.

Your View

Local citizens feel zoo needs to be cleaned up

Dear Editor:
My name is Rachel Lujan. I am 14 years old. I am writing to you to complain about the zoo. I really think it would a good idea if someone would clean up that zoo.

My sisters HATE going there now because it is an eyesore to see those animals in capitivity in such an ugly place. That bear doesn't even have a big enough cage to roam around. All you did was throw in a brick house with 3 walls and a small little tub as a bath or whatever it is.

Do you even clean that water? The animals there look SO sad.

It is pitiful.

If we want Pecos to have a good name, at least make the place look better. The zoo is a good place to start. Make these animals look happy. Make them feel more important and less like unimportant to society.

That's all I'm asking for.



Local band director appreciates his loyal staff

I don't intend to have a weekly editorial. However, since my arrival in Pecos, I have found that almost everyone has an opinion about the band program. In this atmosphere I want to be very clear on what my positions are.

Some have interpreted my last editorial as being an indictment of Mr. Goff. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Being the head band director in a small town is a very difficult job. It remains to be seen whether I can do a good job here. As I have told the kids my past performance means nothing now in Pecos. What matters is where we are right now. I do not want to get into specific issues about the band program in the past because it serves no purpose.

Before coming to Pecos I had heard from many sources about Mr. Goff. I could have used this second hand information to form an opinion about him. I believe this would have been unfair. God has never formed an opinion about me with second hand information. He has not only given me second chances but as many chances, as I need. Let me tell you what I have found from forming my own opinion based on my own experiences.

I believe that the only reason Mr. Goff is still working for Pecos-Barstow-Toyah I.S.D. is because he loves his family very much. This fact immediately makes my opinion of him very high. The facts about last year are a very sensitive issue for him and his family. In spite of what must be enormous personal feelings about last year I have found him to be professional, loyal, and competent. He has mentioned to me that he may not come back next year. I believe that this would be a terrible tragedy for Pecos, the band, and me.

Good teachers are hard to find. Good band directors are even harder to find. Whatever else may be, I have personally observed that Mr. Goff is a very good musician. He cares about the students like they were his own and he harbors no hard feelings towards any of our students.

I feel very blessed to have a co-worker that I can trust personally and professionally. I would be hard pressed to replace Mr. Goff on my staff with anyone equally qualified and I apologize to him and his family if my last editorial inferred anything other than my heart felt gratitude for his help so far this year. I want to do everything in my power to put last year behind us so that Mr. Goff can feel comfortable about staying here in Pecos and helping me build the Eagle Band into the kind of program we all want.

Director of Bands
Pecos Barstow Toyah ISD

Navy member reads local news on internet

Dear Editor:
I was quite surprised to see that you have sustained your publication of the Pecos Enterprise on the net. I totally kept myself informed about what was going on at home by logging on to your site. I even bookmarked you guys.

Sometimes on this mighty NAVY vessel I tend to miss home and where I was raised and wonder what is going on. If you could send me an email on how to subscribe I would greatly appreciate it.

Last thing, I would like to wish the whole community of Pecos a Happy Thanksgiving and may god bless all my family and friends there especially my mom and dad, Mr. & Mrs. Edel De La Garza, since I will not be around for the holidays.

Thank you Pecos Enterprise for your news up-to-date.


Several local athletes deserve recognition

Dear Editor:
We, the coaches of the Pee Wee football team the Vikings, would like to commend and recognize several of our local high school students and athletes.

The young men that we would like to acknowledge are Tony Trujillo, Abel Lopez, Freddy Torres, Mathew Levario, Joey Ortega, Robert Natividad and Barney Rodriguez.

These young men have assisted us in coaching our Pee Wee football team this season and have done a great job. These athletes go to school all day attend football practice then come to our Pee Wee football practice to help with our practice. If, you have never been involved with our high school athletes and student trainers you are missing a treat. These young people, male and female are very respectful and want to be involved in the community. It is a joy to watch these young men work with these fifth and sixth grade students.

Another point that we would like to bring to light is that our student athletes are being taught respect and responsibility. Athletic director Bubba Williams and all his coaches, junior high through high school, should be commended for the job that they are doing with the young people of Pecos. If you talk with a football player, volleyball player, baseball player or whatever sport that student is involved in, you will receive the utmost respect from that student.

Yes, everyone wants to win but winning will never take the place of what our athletes are being taught by the coaches of Pecos. We ask the above named athletes if they would assist us in coaching our team, and they have done a great job.

The same goes for any sport, if you ask, knowing our students they would be more than happy to help you with the up and coming Pecos Eagles, Nowadays, when you hear something about a high school athlete, it is always negative, but you never hear the good things that these young men and women do.

Again, we would like to thank the above named students and hopefully with their help we can go forward and continue to win in the Pee Wee playoffs in Ft. Stocklon.

We would also like to congratulate the Pee Wee Cowboys who will also be attending the playoffs in Ft. Stockton and Mr. Randy Baeza and all the Pee Wee board for having another successful season.

Thanks for all your help, the athletes and coaches of Pecos, you have our respect.


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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.

324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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