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 Armando, who is celebrating his 24-year anniversary with A-1 Self Storage.
You can meet Armando at our self storage facility in Downtown San Diego, CA.
Emma: Have you moved up in the company since you first joined?
Armando: Not necessarily. I have done many different jobs for the company. I started in landscaping and gardening, then I went to doing commercial renovation for the business units with Caster, getting them ready for new rentals. Then while Brian Louis was the district manager, he asked if I would come to Downtown and be the car storage tech.
Emma: Do you have advice for anyone thinking about working in self storage for the first time?
Armando: You need a lot of patience when dealing with the public when it comes to self storage. You need to be able to adjust to all walks of life or social status.
Emma: Tell us about a customer who left an impression on you.
Armando: I had a client who was an extremely amicable man, but extremely finicky with his vehicle. I learned to adjust to his needs, and stay a step ahead of him, and note everything prior to him leaving, things I wouldn’t necessarily note for other customers because their needs were different. Some can care less, others are somewhere in the middle, and then there are people like him that don’t notice the dings, scrapes, dirt, drips when they drop it off but definitely KNOW they weren’t there when they pick it up.
Emma: What makes you want to continue working with this company?
Armando: Because up to now I have been comfortable with the company, and hope it continues that way.
Emma: Can you tell us about a time that self storage changed someone's life?
Armando: A simple, kind gesture when someone is having a bad day, which happens a lot around self storage. For me, I handle cars for the most part. A lot of times people have to leave for seven months or one month unexpectedly and if I say “Don’t worry I will take care of your car,” it goes a long way.
Emma: What is it like to be a part of self storage as long as you have?
Armando: Great! It never ceases to surprise me how much I can still learn especially dealing with car storage.
Emma: Do you have any customers that you’ve grown close with over the years?
Armando: Of course! Hard not to, especially with those who I have been taking care of their car for so long. I learn about their family. They ask about mine. It is amazing how in a very short period of time in which we interact, when I hand off a car or they are dropping off one, how much you learn about that person.
Emma: How was your life 5, 10 years ago?
Armando: I was 5 to 10 younger! Haha! And I had a lot less gray hairs!
Emma: What do you like to do outside of work, do you have any hobbies?
Armando: Honestly spending time with my family, going out, hanging out or whatever is related to them.
Emma: What is the area around the facility like and do you live there?
Armando: Yes, I live there and it’s very calm and has a lot of businesses.
Emma: Are there any famous sights or points of interest people should take note of when visiting your facility?
Emma: What are your favorite restaurants around the facility?
Armando: Lucha Libre.
Emma: If you don’t mind, tell us a little bit about your family.
Armando: I have four kids, I am a grandpa, I still am grateful to have my father still around and my sisters in Puebla to see them.
Emma: Do you have pets?
Armando: I have fishes! I love them, and my son does too.
Emma: Do you have any mentors outside of self storage?
Armando: My father. He has always been my guide.
Emma: If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Armando: I would still sleep. I enjoy sleeping!
Emma: Would you like to give anyone a shout out?
Armando: I would like to give a shoutout to Barbara Culver and Brian Caster for giving me the opportunity many years ago and continuing to support me. Tom Kearney for taking the time to teach me the ways in construction that I didn’t know. And the team members that I deal with on a daily basis Emma, Justin, and Kaela.