There is a trend amongst most college towns where the streets and shops become much less lively during the summer months, serving mostly locals and those staying over the break. The yearly drop off is a large factor in the summer hiring and firing decisions for local businesses that thrive on week-to-week sales.
Students who have spent consecutive summer breaks in Portales have likely witnessed how the city has a certain atmosphere that tends to shift drastically around mid-August. Brent Trujillo is an Eastern New Mexico University student who has spent several years in Portales, and noted a few major changes he seen in his property management work during recent months: “Because of Covid I had to work from home a lot more in the beginning, We actually work with a few managers that connect remotely from states like Nebraska.”
Brent believes that the pressure brought on by the pandemic has given some businesses the opportunity to find unique solutions. “I think that overall, it made us better as a whole. We had to take some different approaches to things, but I am glad that we’ve stuck it out the way we have” said Trujillo.
Bailey Puckett is a Portales local and student employee working at the Eastern New Mexico University IT department help desk. “I’ve had to work entirely from home. I’ve had to go from a desktop computer with two monitors to a laptop screen” said Puckett.
The transition to working from home can be difficult for even the most tech-savvy among us. “I’ve never answered phones using a headset before, so that’s been an interesting learning experience.” Bailey shares a similar enthusiasm for the future with Brent, expressing his readiness and excitement for conditions to improve and for his work to return to normal.