Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Self Storage Manager, Pros & Cons

I really do like my job.

There are some really cool aspects. For one, I'm home all day. So, I can do all kinds of housewifery things that I've never really been proactive at, like laundry. I'm constantly on the look-out for crockpot recipes and wondering if it's nuts to think I need more than one. I'm not big on baking but the occasional pot on the stove cooking all day is pretty cool. Not having to rely on convenient fast food feels healthier too and probably less expensive. Also, I have two dogs, so they get a walk during the day whereas if I worked somewhere else that may not ever happen.

A lot of people see the commute as the big advantage, which is pretty cool, I admit. My favorite part is that my husband is also here with me and so we keep tabs on each other health-wise and mental-wise. We get lots of affection and can show each other all the affection we crave as long as we aren't making customers or the dogs sick!

In this particular situation we also have all the utilities paid, so don't have the worry about the power bill or the water/sewer/garbage. We take care of the cable and phone bill, but I know in some companies, that's paid for. Not much that I need my car for, occasional runs to the bank or post office, so that cost is greatly reduced too.

One thing that I really love is that on occasion, I'm right where I need to be. So many people are struggling, and this is technically an unnecessary bill for most people. I am able to help somebody, whether it's a listening ear in times of trouble (an elderly woman came in who'd lost her spouse to cancer the night before ~ I had to give her a hug), or directions to the nearest location for FREE moving boxes. A few weeks back, a prospective tenant was confused about what size unit she would need as she needed to get rid of a few pieces of furniture and didn't know how to go about that. I was able to help her photograph and post those items on internet want ads, which sold almost immediately, and she was able to get on with her plans right away.

My tenants have become my community, my neighbors. I get to visit with them regularly and even when they no longer need storage, we have smiles and get caught up when we run into each other in the store, or out walking the dogs.

There are times when I wonder if Self Storage as a career choice was really the best decision I could have made.

As I am a resident, on-site manager, there's a lot of people in the world that think our office is also open 24/7. The other day, a perpetually delinquent tenant pounded (literally with his fist) on all the doors to the office and apartment because he couldn't get in, which got the dogs all riled up and disturbed our dinnertime. For them, this quantifies as an emergency, I guess. There doesn't ever seem to be a time when I am considered off duty, which can make it hard to be social with family, or to get things done for myself that requires I leave the facility like grocery shopping.

Also, I seem to be viewed by people who don't know me as out to steal what's stored here (intent to keep what's here for my own), or to use their personal information maliciously. Nothing could be further from the truth. I really loathe the extra stuff that gets left here, there has been very little of value that I've acquired, and most of that I've purchased because someone said they couldn't use it anymore and it was something I needed. I have a nice, real wood dresser upstairs, and a oak rocking chair that were in units on the facility and became mine that way ~ pretty minimal acquisitions in three years. (Oh, yes, many people see me knitting at my desk and bring me yarn ~ lots of acrylic stuff I can use in blankets or something.) Somewhere in the world, some person in my position must have stupidly done things like that, because I get a lot of ridicule for it.

The absolute worst part is having to auction someones things. I work really hard, beyond what my company asks me to do, to maintain good contact with tenants, and to make sure they are aware what's happening with their account. Even still, I've had to auction a unit or two this year. People treat me as if I'd stolen their things, when nothing could be further from the truth. It amazes me that the people who attend the auctions are so cavalier about it, too. They start calling days and weeks before the scheduled date, trying to pick me for information about the size or contents of the units and when the day arrives, they sign-in at my counter with eyes glazed and dreams of treasures making their cheeks glow. I suppose it's just like with any number of business ventures, people trying to make a living off the misfortunes of others. It makes me very ill during those days leading up to it and until it's over, and resurfaces when the individual who's lost their things calls to ask about it.

I do wish my facility was two or three times bigger than it is, we would like to be busier than we are, but for the most part, I am pretty content with where I am. Especially afternoons like today, where I'm sitting at my desk admiring the sunshine and the initial autumn colors outside my window, with my knitting in my hands. I feel like a contributing member of the human race. And I have the chocolate on my counter and a smile on my face ready for anybody that walks through my door.

No comments:

Post a Comment