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 team member Justine Villarreal, who is celebrating her 2-year anniversary with Lockaway Storage.
You can meet Justine at Lockaway Storage, Airport in San Antonio, TX
Shannon: How did you learn about Lockaway Storage?
Justine: Through my brother. He was working with the company first and told me all about the benefits so I pretty much got into it because of him. It’s a totally different career field than what I was doing before. My previous job was in another customer service field, but it was more robotic, so I was ready for a new position.
Shannon: I feel you. Was working in self storage what you thought it would be?
Justine: To be honest yeah. You interact with customers, but, I mean, it’s different as far as actually meeting people in person. It is better to me than meeting people over the phone. You actually get to meet people and learn a little bit about them.
Shannon: I can tell you really enjoy getting to have in-person interactions with customers! So how has it been at Lockaway?
Justine: It’s been good. Occasionally you come across ones that are having some trouble and then you find others that are leading totally cool lives. You meet some inspiring people, and you learn from some people.
Shannon: Interesting. Can you think of a person who inspired you?
Justine: Yeah, a nurse. She worked in the Indigenous area. She would go volunteer and work with people who have low income and can’t afford healthcare. I think that’s really neat, because she’s working with people who are overlooked, I mean they have a name, but I didn’t even know. So that’s something that I learned, that and about how there are people out there who really care. Those are the kind of things that you come across in this kind of business.
“Justine always provides support and takes initiative when needed. She never hesitates to help out a tenant, from just being that person who listens while they vent, to actually giving a helping hand. Justine is a champ when it comes to collection calls here at West Ave.”
-Joann Garcia, Lockaway Storage Facility Manager
Shannon: Wow that is really touching. I feel like people don’t expect you to have those kinds of interactions and experiences at a job like this. That being said, do you have any advice for someone thinking about working in self storage?
Justine: Just have patience and be open to new things and new insights.
Shannon: Right on. When it comes to specifically working at lockaway, how has your experience been so far?
Justine: Really good. Very friendly people. I love who I work with. Don is my manager here, and I’m always learning something new from him every day. Joann, the manager at the other facility I work at is nice too. We all work together.
Shannon: That’s great to hear! So at the Airport facility, what is the area like surrounding it?
Justine: It’s a very beautiful location at Airport. It’s very nice. The only thing is that it smells like blueberries sometimes because we are near the Sterling Foods factory.
Shannon: That’s not so bad. But I bet it’s good to get away from it though at the end of the day. Speaking of which, what do you like to do when you’re not working?
Justine: I read, I write, I play piano, take care of my little one, and try to enjoy life as much as possible. Not that I don’t get to, but work takes up a lot of time, so I’m able to have a good time here at work and I like it, but in my off time it’s hard to fit in everything that I want to do. But I make the most of it. I like to do things that are good for the mind like nature walks and things that are worth a minute.
Shannon: I feel like that’s a healthy way to live! What are you reading right now?
Justine: Right now I am reading a book about blues scales for piano. Another book that I haven’t finished yet, because I feel like you need the whole space totally silent in order to really read, is called The Keys Enoch by Dr. J.J. Hertak and it’s totally crazy. It’s above and beyond I’ll say that much.
Shannon: Interesting! So you play piano then?
Justine: I actually go to school part-time, so I was doing that for a moment, but I feel like now since it’s summer I have time to keep learning and playing different styles. Blues is cool and so relaxing for the mind.
Shannon: Oh, I see. You go to school on top of all of that? What are you studying?
Justine: Right now I’m studying criminal justice.
Shannon: Of course, I assumed you were going into music, but that’s awesome!
Justine: I know it’s so funny. I was planning on doing music business in the first place, because I really have a passion for music. But we’re in a time where you gotta think right, or be rational. I don’t really know what that means, but I decided to listen to people’s advice. So I said to myself, I’m going to try to go for a job that can make me a lot of money, so maybe someday I can go on a nice camping trip in the future, haha!
Shannon: I totally understand! You gotta do, what you gotta do. Anyway, that just about does it for this interview. I have one last question though: do you have a shout out for anyone?
Justine: Yes, of course. My managers Don and Joann are awesome. Good people to learn from. Oh and Don Clauson, the boss of course. He’s an inspiring individual who makes you think big. Everybody in the company is just nice and friendly which makes it easy to maintain the good vibes and positive energy.
“When it comes to Justine she is a veritable sponge when it comes to self storage management and tenant relationships, a sponge that takes copious notes and uses them!! She’s the only assistant I’ve had here at LS Airport and don’t know what I’d do without her! Her easy personality is very popular with the tenants and other team members. Whether it’s work in the office or busting out a few dirty units, she’s always ready to do what’s needed, without even being asked. She’s that in-tuned with what’s going on here! I’ve never had to second guess any of her decisions. We make a great team, which is why we are in the mid to upper 90% range in units rented, square footage and economic.occupancy. She’s also part of why we’ve hit budget the first four months this year! THANK YOU, Justine!!”