Our spotlight this week in our “Meet Wharf Hill” series is shining on Pam. There is seriously nothing she can’t do; she keeps this place chugging right along. I actually did her interview last week, but was a total slacker and not posting until now…
Name: Pam Brock
Birthday: December 16th
Position: General Manager
Birthplace: Rescue, VA
Favorite Beer: Bell Ringer
Favorite Food: I like it all!
Education: Smithfeld High
WHBC: How long have you worked at Wharf Hill?
Preston: Since we opened. Robert called in January last year because I told him if he ever opened another restaurant, to call me and I’d be there in a heartbeat. I worked for him at Battery Park Grille.
WHBC: What did you do before working in this industry?
P: I had a desk job before; office administrator. I worked at Nistem Corporations, an act manufacturer, for 16 years.
WHBC: So why the switch after so long?
P: I switched because we decided I would take some time off to homeschool the kids. I did that for a year, then started working at the Grille serving and bartending part time. The kids went back to school the next year, so I started working full time.
WHBC: What do you like about working in a restaurant?
P: I like not sitting at a desk for 8 hours! There’s a fast pace and it can be stressful for a short time only. Other jobs it’s constant stress!
WHBC: How do you help pull the staff through stressful moments here? How do you get through them?
P: I take a breath and tackle one task at a time; prioritize. When it’s all said and done, you’re only one person and can only do so much at once.
WHBC: What’s best about working here?
P: The staff! Other places I’ve worked, the staff doesn’t work as a team. Here, most everyone pulls together. I have never worked with a better staff.
WHBC: Of all the hats you wear here, what is your favorite?
P: I actually like it all. Managing, office work, bartending; doing different things makes sure I don’t get burned out.
WHBC: Do you have any customers who stand out in your mind?
P: 3 o’clock Bob, Ed, Don & Candie; I’ve waited on them all for a while now!
WHBC: You’ve been in this area all your life, right?
P: I have. I grew up in Rescue and moved to Suffolk after we got married. We’ve lived there with our 3 kids for 26 years.
WHBC: What do you all do for fun?
P: Camping! I love hanging out with my family and everyone once in a while taking a girls’ night out. When we go camping, we like hiking and riding bike trails. Our favorite is Jellystone; there was always a lot to do for the kids like fishing and crabbing on the river.
WHBC: So when you were growing up, what did you want to do?
P: I wanted to work with computers. My first job, I learned programming in DOS. I’m telling my age there! I did that for about 5 years, but then moved to my long term job to make more money.
WHBC: Is that something you still want to pursue or is what you are doing now your career?
P: I don’t really deal with computers anymore; everything has changed since I learned. A few years ago, I played around making websites, but that’s about it. Where I am now is where I think I’ll stay.
WHBC: So do you have any funny restaurant stories to share?
P: One day, a woman came in with a group of 3 other people. She had a little Pomeranian service dog with her. We sat them, and next time I looked around, I saw she had the dog sitting at the table in the high chair on a cushion. I thought, “Now I’ve seen it all!” It was pretty funny.
WHBC: Haha! I’m not sure how I would react to coming around the corner to seeing something like that. Haha. So last, question. A request, really. Please impart words of wisdom on anyone who is joining the restaurant industry.
P: Are you crazy?!?! Haha. Seriously, it can be rewarding and stressful all at the same time. Just take it one day at a time, and enjoy that it’s always something different.
So read on to see what Pam’s coworkers have to say!
Tom: “She is one of the best people I’ve ever worked with. I kinda followed her from restaurant to restaurant.”
Brooke: “Everyone is equal in her eyes and it shows, ask her mother. There’s no guesswork; she’ll tell you as it is. She craves cooperation and will work with you. Pam is very professional and sometimes silly; a pleasure to work for and with!”
Preston: “When I first started working with her she was the most intimidating person at Wharf Hill, but now that I’ve befriended her she is one of my favorite people to work with. She is always there and always behind the scenes doing so much to make Wharf run smooth. And she knows her cocktails! haha”