Here at A-1 Self Storage, we know our success is due to our wonderful team. The care they give our customers is unparalleled and we want to highlight their milestones along the way. Below is an interview with Emma, who is celebrating her 18-year anniversary with A-1 Self Storage.
Emma works at A-1 Self Storage in Downtown San Diego.
Shannon: What year anniversary is this for you?
Emma: Wow, I think it is 18. I was pregnant with my son when I first started...and now he’s 17. So I’m pretty sure it’s 18!
Shannon: That’s an easy way to remember it! Have you moved up through the company since you first joined?
Emma: You know what? When I started, I opened Chula Vista for them. Then I helped them open Midtown, Hotel Circle, and then Downtown. That’s what I did. I helped them open up stores. Then I ended up staying at Downtown once I opened it.
Shannon: Okay, gotcha. So what is your official title now?
Emma: I am the Manager.
Shannon: Awesome! Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about working in self storage for the first time?
Emma: Have patience. Haha!
Shannon: How so?
Emma: You tend to deal with a lot of customers that are in hard situations at times. Divorces and what not, so they may not be on their best behavior. You have to learn not to take things personally, and you’ll be fine.
Shannon: What makes you want to continue working at A-1 Self Storage?
Emma: I would say the owners, and the management. With three kids they’ve allowed me to work full time while giving me some flexibility to be with them. I think that if I wasn’t at a place that was family owned, I wouldn’t necessarily be able to do that.
Shannon: I see what you’re saying. What is it like to be in the self storage industry for such a long time?
Emma: It’s been pretty cool, otherwise I wouldn’t be here. You just have to take it in stride. Some people will be extremely kind to you, even when you thought what you did wasn’t a big deal. On the other end of the spectrum, someone may make you out to be the worst person in the world. You can’t take it personally. It’s just dealing with different kinds of people.
Shannon: What were you doing before you started in self storage? Were you involved in self storage before this?
Emma: No, no, no. This is my first experience. Honestly, when I got started it’s not like I was looking for a self storage business to work for. My oldest daughter was about to start preschool, and I wanted to work somewhere closer to her. Because I’m a neurotic mother, haha!
Shannon: Hey, I don’t think that’s abnormal! Haha!
Emma: When I got hired I was supposed to be a regular associate, and the person they had hired to open the Chula Vista store moved to a different branch of the company. So they no longer had anyone working for the company who spoke Spanish, and they wanted a Spanish speaker to be at the location. That’s when they offered me the job. That’s how I started working as a Manager!
Shannon: So you’ve always been a Manager?
Emma: Yeah! I think I was a regular Associate, for lack of better words, for less than a week.
Shannon: That’s crazy. Who helped you get into your role in the beginning, and throughout your time with the company?
Emma: Kim, who’s no longer with the company, and Dave. Both of them helped a lot. Kim and I still keep in touch. I think she moved to Virginia. Then Dave, even though we fight a lot, he really helped me. He used to be the District Manager and then he got promoted.
Shannon: Nice! Switching gears now to my last question; since you’re not always at work hopefully, what do you like to do in your free time?
Emma: If I have time! Haha. Probably just hanging out with my three kids, going to their sporting events. My husband likes to cook, so we don’t go out. He usually just cooks big meals!