By Justin Cox - 06/17/10 12:10 AM EDT
Title: Administrative assistant/office manager
Education: Bachelor of business administration from Marymount University
Last job: Intern at the National Business Travel Association
Philosophy on phone etiquette: Always be polite and courteous, no matter how angry and antagonistic the caller is.
Most bizarre incoming call: I had a gentleman call in and say he was Abraham Lincoln and had a solution for our healthcare system. It’s hard not to listen to someone who claimed to be a former president of the United States!
Most in-demand office supply: I would have to say batteries and Post-it notes.
Best-kept secret to keeping a congressional office running: A happy boss is a happy office!
Considering her family’s history of working for Congress, Theresa Gambo’s job as an administrative assistant and office manager for the House Education and Labor Committee’s minority staff seems far from surprising.
Gambo’s mother, who’s been at the Capitol for more than 30 years, works for the House Financial Services Committee, and she and her two sisters — Gambo’s aunts — began their careers at different times in Rep. John Dingell’s (D-Mich.) office. Gambo also has a cousin who interned at the Capitol Power Plant.
“It’s a family-business kind of deal,” Gambo said with a laugh.
When Gambo’s mother worked half-day Saturdays for then-Rep. Chalmers Wylie (R-Ohio), Gambo tagged along. She even has a picture of herself at the age of three sitting in the congressman’s chair.
Of growing up around the Capitol and her mother’s work, Gambo says, “It definitely caught my attention, and I just wanted to become a part of it.”
When she sought to fulfill that aspiration after graduating from college, her mother’s connections came in handy. Gambo’s mom heard through a colleague of an opening in the Education and Labor Committee’s minority office and told her daughter about it.
Today, Gambo continues what has become a family tradition: following her mother’s veteran advice to “be polite, be nice [and] do what they ask you to do … just makes things run easier,” she says.
And to the obvious question — who’s next? — Gambo laughs and says, “My dad has been trying to get a job here since retiring. So he might be the next in line.”
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