If you’ve visited the Queens office chances are you’ve met Pamela – she’s the one who grants you access to the office – essentially the gatekeeper. Pamela began working at Little Flower in 1990 after hearing good things about the agency from her sister, Blossom Houlker, the Brooklyn office manager (a post she held for over 20 years until her passing eight years ago).
Pamela was hired as the switchboard operator/receptionist for the Brooklyn office, where she remained for 15 years. She then transferred to the Queens office, continuing her role as the switchboard operator/receptionist to this day. Pamela provides clerical duties such as: answering phone calls, transferring calls to the correct party, distributing metro cards, meeting and greeting clients, etc. “I am the first person clients see when they walk into the agency. There are moments where the natural parents are upset or emotional and I give a listening ear, which helps calm them down. Many times they come back and thank me for being understanding to their situation and treating them with respect when they weren’t at their best. This may be unexpected as the switchboard operator since I’m not the main point of contact or a social worker, but you would be surprised by how a moment of kindness can be remembered long into the future.”
Pamela’s 27 year history with Little Flower continues because she enjoys “working with people and being positive and encouraging in an environment that needs it. I’ve never had a negative encounter with any of the natural parents in the time I’ve been here.” And her team also makes it worthwhile as they are very supportive of each other and function like a family so that their department runs smoothly.
When asked about moments or events that will always stay with her, she remembers Father Fagan. “Whenever Father Fagan came to the Queens office he took time out of his day to stop at the front desk and interact with us. He was very cheerful and asked how everything was going. I think this is memorable because I understood that he was busy but still went the extra mile to try and connect with staff.”
Pamela’s work family may be large, but so is her actual family – she is one of ten children! When not at the office Pamela enjoys spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren, and catching the latest comedy in theaters!