Famous Assistants: Why We Love Pam from The Office
Pam Beesly Halpert, played by Jenna Fischer in NBC's The Office, is by far one of pop culture most beloved receptionists. Though she started out as an insecure, bored office assistant, answering the phone with a flat "Dunder Mifflin, this is Pam," and dreaming about an art career, over the course of the show's nine seasons, she grew into a confident, poised mother-of-two who still got things done.
Here's why she'll go down in the books as an all-time favorite assistant.
1. She's reliable, delivering on the sometimes outrageous.
Despite her longing to pursue her art and all the relationship trouble she's had, she still managed to be there for her eccentric, uncontrollable boss, Michael Scott (played by Steve Carell). She answered every single one of his ludicrous demands with charm and, along with Jim, a lot of humor.
As a member of the highly disputed Party Planning Committee, Pam executed the details of many parties, often with little to no notification. Like when Michael outrageously demanded a luau after a his secret getaway in Jamaica with his then boss, Pam and the Party Planning Committee executed a fully decorated luau in just three hours (even trying to legitimately find all the things on Michael's list like a petting zoo and ingredients to Hawaiian poi).
Over the years, Pam also planned Christmas parties and birthday parties, even teaming up with her husband's office rival, Dwight, to plan something big for Michael's 15th anniversary party.
2. She patched things up for her boss.
After the countless times Michael messed something up or self-destructed in some way, Pam was always there for him, personally and professionally. Like in this conversation from Back from Vacation,
Pam: [on phone] Dunder Mifflin, this is Pam. Just a second. Michael, it's Jan on the phone for you.
Michael: Oh, God, no. No, no! Hang up! Hang up! Tell her I'm not here. Tell... tell her, I ran out for cash. I hit a deer. I hit a deer with my car. Tell her I hit a cat. Tell her I hit a cat.
Pam: He'll call you back. OK, great.
Michael: She bought it? [Pam nods] OK. OK.
Pam was often in the background, making things right for Michael and maintaining morale in the office, along with his sanity.
3. She's loyal.
Above all, Pam stayed true to Michael. In many ways, the Pam-Michael relationship was more endearing than the Pam-Jim story-line. In Season 5, when Michael abruptly quits Dunder Mifflin and starts The Michael Scott Paper Company, she goes with him to become a sales manager. After an ended relationship, in effort to comfort him, Pam tries to set him up with her landlady.
In Season 7, when Michael leaves Dunder Mifflin permanently, Pam goes to the airport for a final, emotional goodbye. Solidifying the end of a long and faithful duo.
We've learned a lot from Pam about being a great assistant. Like Pam, we're not afraid of going the distance, of being the ones to patch things up when you need it most, of filling in the blanks when you can't. We're here for you, even if you ask for a petting zoo.