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 team member Gilbert Raya, who is celebrating his 6-year anniversary with A-1 Self Storage.
You can meet Gilbert at A-1 Self Storage in Bell Gardens, California.
Colby: Good afternoon, Gilbert. Tell me, what anniversary this is? What year are you going into?
Gilbert: Six years!
Colby: Ok, so have you always worked at the Bell Gardens location or have you been at other places?
Gilbert: I started my training at the Paramount location, but I was hired to work at this location.
Colby: You’ve been there six years, so obviously you’ve gotten a lot of experience in the industry. What kind of advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying at A-1 Self Storage, or going into the storage industry for the first time?
Gilbert: First of all, you have to have patience. You have to deal with lots of different tenants, and some property issues sometimes too. Help out people and find out how we can best accommodate them and give good customer service.
Colby: A recurring theme that I hear from people in the industry is that one of the biggest challenges can be helping people who want to rent storage through tough transitions. Are there any stories that stand out over the last year of maybe a customer that you went above and beyond to help?
Gilbert: The most common kind of stories are people who are being forced to move, or being evicted, and they don’t have a lot of money, and a lot of items they don’t know what to do with. I try to point people in the right direction and help them figure out what to do when they’re in a tough spot, how to economize their monthly rental, that kind of thing.
Colby: You’ve been there for a little while now, so you’re probably pretty familiar with that part of town. Tell me a little about the area. What’s one of the best local restaurants to go to?
Gilbert: If I don’t bring my own lunch, there’s a place across from us called The Golden Bull. I frequent there a lot.
Colby: Any other advice you might give someone who isn’t familiar with the area? Any cool spots to go to that you enjoy?
Gilbert: The good thing is we’re right off the 710 freeway. You can hop on there, and go just about anywhere. We are in a unique location that connects three cities. There’s Bell Gardens if you come our way off Garfield. Or go up the street there’s South Gate. If you go further there’s the city of Downey, which has a lot of spots to go eat and drink.
Colby: Tell me a little about you. What are your favorite hobbies?
Gilbert: I started working out again.
Colby: I’ve got to get there myself! It’s April!
Gilbert: Yeah, I’m trying to make that a hobby. I also really like to play poker. There’s a game I like to play in with some buddies of mine. I’ll go to the The Bicycle Casino and try my luck there every now and then. It’s a really popular place.
Colby: Very cool. Is there anyone you’d like to give a shout out to that’s helped you along in your six years there?
Gilbert: My supervisor, Brian, who’s been a huge help. Also my former manager, Stephanie Gonzalez. She’s been a big help getting me the management position I have now. She helps me day-to-day with different things and basically just how to do my job more efficiently and better.