Here at Lockaway Storage, we know our success is due to our wonderful team. The care they give our renters is unparalleled and we want to highlight their milestones along the way. Below is an interview with San Antonio team member Chevis Daniels who is celebrating his 1-year anniversary with Lockaway Storage this week. All interviews are performed by Peter Soto.
You can find Chevis at Lockaway Storage – Huebner.
Peter: How did you get started working in self storage?
Chevis: Well, I was in the military for seven years and when I got out, I moved back down here to San Antonio. I was working for CPS Energy doing meter reading. That wasn’t too good. I was just out walking like 13 miles a day, got chased by dogs, so I left there after a few months and I started working for At&T doing tech support for them. Pretty much, you call and try to fix your internet or cable over the phone. That usually got me yelled at a lot of times, so I left there and I was like, “I need to find me a good, healthy mix of indoor and outdoor work.” Something that wasn’t going to leave me stagnant, feeling like I was doing the same thing everyday, so I looked at the job description and thought, “Hey, this is pretty cool.” I thought the hours were good, because I’m also a full time college student, so I have a busy after work schedule. After six, I go to school at seven o’clock at night, so I needed something that wasn’t going to leave me totally drained every day, like walking was or working at AT&T when people call you with their problems. That can leave you emotionally drained and the other job would leave me physically drained. I stumbled across this and had the interview and I liked the way the interview was. I like the concept they had of “family first.” Hey, a year later, I’m here.
Peter: That’s great to hear. During this last year with Lockaway Storage, have you learned anything different from things you’ve learned at previous jobs?
Chevis: I would say it’s not so much things I haven’t dealt with before, but it’s allowed me to kind of sharpen the skills I had relating to people. That’s the biggest thing. A lot of times when people come, 90% of the time people come to get storage, it’s not because they wanted to get it. It’s because they actually need it. They’re moving from home to home or maybe they lost their home, maybe someone passed away. You want to make sure that your experience with a person is a lasting experience. You don’t want your experience to be part of the extra problems they already have. I try to empathize with people and treat them the right way. This job really opened my eyes to the different types of situations people go through.
Peter: You definitely get all types of people in self storage. Everybody can use it.
Chevis: That’s the biggest thing, a big difference in clientele. When I was in the military, I worked in a hospital, and talked to a lot of sick people. When I was at AT&T, i talked to a lot of people trying to fix their internet. Here you get a good, healthy mix of everything. I like that.
Peter: Yeah, it keeps it fresh every day and kind of keeps it fun.
Chevis: Oh, yeah. That’s what made the year go by so fast.
Peter: Haha, nice. So, you’re a college student. Where are you going to school?
Chevis: Right now, I go to Hallmark University where I’m in an accelerated bachelor’s program. I’m going for business management with a specialty in health care.
Peter: Do you feel like working in self storage lets you manage your own small business? It seems like Lockaway gives you a lot of control over how you run the facility.
Chevis: Most definitely. Everyday I go to class and we’ll bring up topic, I can use an example from the things that go on here and use it during the discussion in class. I’m a manager and it doesn’t get bigger than managing a business. That’s what I’m doing, no matter if it comes to accounting, to managing our occupancy rate or just interacting and trying to get sales. It all goes into what I’m learning in school. This job actually made me move my focus. When I started school, I was going to ITT Tech and I was going for network systems administrator, the IT field. This job made me feel like maybe I am more equipped to handle the business side of the world than the IT side.
Peter: That’s great. Do you think you’ll be sticking with Lockaway for a while?
Chevis: Yeah, a lot of people have their motivations for why they do things. Some people are motivated by money, some people are motivated by the location, you know, whatever it is. My thing is, I like loyalty. If you make me feel like this is a family atmosphere and that I’m needed and wanted, then I want to stick around as long as it’s a healthy relationship between both parties, that’s what I feel like I have here. When they told me I’d been here a year, I was like, “Man, has it been that long already?”
Peter: Time flew, huh?
Chevis: Yeah, when time is flying like that, it means you must be enjoying yourself, so I don’t want it to stop any time soon.
Peter: Right on, right on. Well, I hope Lockaway Storage keeps giving you the platform to pursue your studies and practice what you’re learning in class and grow professionally.
Chevis: You know, especially Mr. Clauson… Don, and Tristina are really supportive of me going to school. I actually talked to Don today. He came in here, he actually stopped in and I don’t think a lot of people can say that they talk to the CEO of their company face to face. I’ve had at least eight to nine different visits with him. The first thing he asks me is, “How’s school going?” Having your CEO actually care about your education was a plus.
Peter: You can really tell how invested he is in your personal and professional development.
Chevis: Oh, yeah. No doubt, no doubt.
Peter: With one year under you belt now, do you have a favorite moment or story from your time working in self storage?
Chevis: Every day is always something different… not any specific story, but I remember I was working over as assistant manager over at Bandera and in May and July we did more than 200 some rentals. That was something big. We were moving six, seven, eight units a day. Talk about getting your feet wet. I got pretty deeply entrenched in that water. That experience alone, those couple months, helped me…after you do so many rentals in a day, anything else that’s thrown at you is nothing compared to that. On top of those rentals people come in to pay, people have door problems. All kinds of things happen throughout the day and if you can take that, everything will become second nature to you at this job.
Peter: Sounds like this job really teaches you to hustle. You probably don’t spend all of your time at work. Do you live in the San Antonio area?
Chevis: I do. I live here in the medical center, so I work at Huebner, which is pretty much located in the medical center. I live about two miles down the road, so it’s pretty good for me as far as my commute to work every day.
Peter: Say I’ve never been to San Antonio and I want to do some lesser known, quintessentially San Antonio things. What would you suggest?
Chevis: If you’re visiting? I’m a big food person, so if you need to go to Lulu’s to get you a cinnamon roll.or places like that. Pappadeaux is one of my favorite restaurants. I love sea food. I go there That’s one of the major chains. Chacho’s You get get a Chacho’s anywhere else but in San Antonio.
Peter: What is Chacho’s
Chevis: They have four or five different locations. They have one right here, down the street on Bandera. They have excellent Margaritas.
Chevis: Chacho’s. Really good.
Peter: Ok, ok…I’ll have to try Chacho’s next time I’m in San Antonio.I’m always down for a good Margarita. Those were all of my prepared questions. Would you like to give a shout out to anyone from the company or from life? Maybe shoutout Mom and Dad?
Chevis: Yeah, I’ll shoutout my Mom, my Dad. They did a great job of raising me. My brother, my sister In the company? Misty was the one who did my second interview and she actually was the one who made me want to take this job. When I learned she was going to be my boss, I knew I was going to be in good hands. Andrew, Andrew was the best manager I had. I still call him to this day. Now that I’m my own manager here at Huebner, I still call him from time to time to get help. Michelle Jackson. She’s also at Bandera. And also Brittany Clark. She followed me over here from AT&T. We came from there together, so she’s here now.