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A TRIBUTE TO ROBERTA: WORLD’S BEST MOM AND OFFICE MANAGER (“MANGLER?”) Why Steve’s Mom Has Worked for Us Since 2001
(And I couldn’t be prouder of her for it.) As soon as I get on the phone, I get many, many questions about how she’s doing, if she’s safe, and what she’s been up to. I’m happy to inform you all that my mother is safe, healthy, and quarantining in her home in Cambridge. She’s been very cautious and only goes out for groceries. Other than that, she’s been home and occasionally gardening. A lot of healthy, caring people are on her side, including the mailman and everybody at our firm. We’re not making her work from home; we’re supporting her as much as we can.
over and take some calls for you,” she offered, “until you get a new employee, of course.”
You could almost say the rest is history. It might surprise you, but the transition of working with my mother wasn’t really that difficult. Roberta has always been the type of woman to speak her mind, but she’s an empathetic, emotional advocate for our clients. I’ve learned a lot from this characteristic of hers — not just from working with her, of course, but throughout my life as her son. She’s a good judge of people and character, and I like to think I picked up many of my people skills from her. I feel lucky every day to have such an incredible mother who was willing to learn a new job at her age just to help my business while I was worried about losing an employee. I remember teaching her how to join our fight for our clients by hunting down paperwork like medical bills and records, mortgage discharges, and lien certificates. We must have these important papers for many of our cases, and often she wasn’t sure who to follow up with. At one point I told her, “Mom, pretend these people owe you $100. What would you do to find them? Do that.” Man, that unleashed a fury within her in all the right directions. My mom’s past careers were always in hospitality, but if you were a medical recordkeeper or a tax collector, you might not be able to sense that right away. She's very passionate about following up and getting the files complete around here. For all those reasons and many more, I’ve always suspected that my clients love my mother a little bit more than me. But ever since COVID-19 broke out, I’ve realized just how true that is!
Not every attorney has the opportunity to work alongside their 80-year-old mother every day, but at Brooks & Crowley, I am that lucky. My mother, Roberta, has been working with us for the past 19 years. Let me explain here, even though you might already know the story from asking me in person. (Many people ask!) Back in 2001, Neil and I worked out of our offices in Charlestown. We had a very busy and hectic litigation practice with a productive young secretary who we thought would be with us for decades; however, a few weeks after 9/11, she and her sister decided to join the Army. She walked into our office one day and put in her notice. It was sudden, but we understood. Later, I was lamenting the loss to my mother. “I don’t know how quick we’re going to be able to find someone new,” I said over the phone. My mom was retired and lived in Cambridge, which was only a couple miles away. “I’ll come
“I’m happy to inform you all that my mother is safe, healthy, and quarantining in her home in Cambridge.”
“Wait, the mailman?” I hear you ask. Yes! Roberta is the type of woman who befriends everybody that visits the office, including our great mailman, Bob. She’d text him when our mail wasn’t on time (and it was only on his off days!). Now, Bob texts her to make sure she’s okay. And of course, so do I. I talk with my mom every day, so if you want another update about her, just give me a call.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!
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