Pam's 42 years at popular Chinese restaurant
THE future has been revealed for Lismore woman Pam Slade who is retiring from popular Chinese restaurant Mandarin Palace after 42 years of service with a smile.
After 42 years of eating Chinese cuisine some might be 'over' the food, but when asked what was her favourite dish she claimed, "that was a hard one", but said she couldn't go past satay chicken.
Pam started working when the restaurant was located on Molesworth St and it has since been through three families.
"I think my mother was doing kitchen work at the time in the restaurant so that's how I came to be there," she said.
"The food is pretty much the same, as the customers just like to stay with what they know."
One of Pam's collegues said: "I wonder how she gets her grocery shopping done - I am sure she just sees everyone as their orders."
"It's true, I can't go anywhere without someone knowing me," Pam said.
The current owners took over in 2000 and tears were flowing as Pam's boss and colleagues discussed her leaving.
Her biggest challenge? Not the customer service - but split shifts.
"They are a challenge for me," Pam said.
"There's a lot more cafes and restaurant now compared to what there used to be.
"There was only two Chinese restaurants back then including this one."
Co-owner Samantha Wu said she was very sad to see her go.
"Pam is Mandarin Palace," Mrs Wu said.
"She's one of those gems you don't find easily these days.
"She's almost been like a mother for our restaurant all this time.
"Especially through hard times, she's always there.
"During the floods she was the first one here and the last one to leave - she brought all her family in and was doing the cleaning and on her hands and knees."
Pam said in order to tell Mrs Wu she was leaving after 18 years of working together, she just had to rip the band-aid off.
"I said I've got something to tell you that you probably don't want to know about," she said.
"Time goes pretty quick."