Physical Plant Employee of the Month, February 1983

Agnes Mae Washington:

Physical plant staff 1983 Mr Franco

Sadly, I don’t know what her job was. And that kid holding the plaque looks like Mr. Franco, doesn’t he?

We could not fulfill the university’s mission without these people. I’m personally grateful for the assistance I get from FE&P on a regular basis–they are my eyes and ears on campus (and occasional partners in crime).

Just for fun, here are a couple more shots. They aren’t dated and there are no identifications of the people, but some of these rascals are still around and might be able to help me figure it out.

Physical plant staff nd 2

Physical plant staff nd 3Bonus: P1080912


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11 Responses to Physical Plant Employee of the Month, February 1983

  1. marmer01 says:

    There are certainly some rascals in these pictures. Who’s that skinny guy in the back left of the second picture. He looks Danish…

  2. marmer01 says:

    Agnes Mae Washington, not Anna. Thought she looked familiar. She was a custodian, and I think later Lead, retiring in 2002 after twenty-one years.

    • Melissa Kean says:

      Thanks very much, Marty. Usually I leave my errors stand and let myself be corrected in the comments, but I’m going to go back and fix this one.

  3. Keith Cooper says:

    Without those “rascals”, events like the Centennial and Commencement would not be possible.

  4. effegee says:

    “… Kind of looks like…” Yep , a very young Eusebio Franco it is.

  5. Hannes Hofer says:

    Rascals? Back in those days they called us Gnomes, pronounced it “genomees”

    • Melissa uses “rascal” as a term of endearment for many people. But I certainly remember when Physical Plant workers were commonly called guh-no-mees. It didn’t seem at the time to be meant by the students in a pejorative way but eventually there was an effort made to discourage use of the term because it was perceived as demeaning. Perhaps this campaign could have been called “The Human Gnome Project.” 😉

      • The terminology was definitely not meant in any disrespectful manner by me or my fellows during the time I was at Rice. I felt it was a nod to the amazing ability for the Physical Plant folks to keep things running while being very unobtrusive. And they were masters of magic, because when I was a Rice, the real dollar budgets for their department were brutally thin,

        Keeping the physical plant running at any institution is a thankless job, because nobody notices what the team is doing very well; things work as expected. Only the small percentage of the work that does not go well gets noticed.

        So, Kudos to everyone at Physical Plant, past present and future!

  6. Sau Mei says:

    Agnes was a Custodial Supervisor when she left Rice. Beautiful lady.

  7. Matt Noall says:

    I was always very happy with the physical plant folks and very appreciative of their efforts. The cleaning crew at Sid always did an excellent job cleaning up. We always tried to clean up the college after a big party, but trash collection and putting things away (which we pretty much always did during my tenure) was only the start of the process. The university would rapidly fall apart without their efforts. I will echo Phil–the term gnomies was not ever meant to be derogatory in my experience. Looking back after all these years, I can understand how it might have been perceived as such. If the term was taken that way by any of the workers, please accept my apologies.

  8. Mark Kapalski says:

    When I was working at the Physical Plant for Brown and Root in 1992. I found it strange that some of the engineers there were graduates of A & M.

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