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, TX team member Lyle Cooper, who is celebrating his 4-year anniversary with Lockaway Storage.
You can find Lyle managing the Lockaway Storage location on Rittiman Road.
Peter: [00:01:21] How did you get started with Lockaway Storage?
Lyle: [00:01:25] Well I rented a unit over at the O’Connor location and that was back when Don Dodge was the manager there and Thomas was the assistant manager and he and my buddy were looking for a place to practice with the band as well. We were a little more active back then. Thomas rented us the unit and we were practicing there and then I saw Don posted a sign that he was looking for an assistant manager, so I asked him about it. I think he had filled the position already. Then that assistant manager quit not too long after that. He was like, “Hey, if you’re interested.” So basically Don got me hooked up with Lockaway, but it was because I had a unit there and we were practicing.
Peter: [00:02:31] Right on. Nice, nice. Are you still playing with that band
Lyle: [00:02:37] Not really. I mean we haven’t done anything and while. I do some other stuff at that time that band was a lot more active, but now it’s not so much anymore. I still play and I still do session stuff. I still do some work for other people, but not for that band.
Peter: [00:03:07] What kind of instrument do you play?
Lyle: [00:03:11] I play the drums. Mainly I play the drums. I play a little bit of everything, but the drums. I recently just bought an electric it for my house, because my son was born back in June, so I can’t play my acoustic kit, so I had to invest in an electric kit.
Peter: [00:03:29] Oh yeah that makes sense don’t want to wake up the little one now that he’s there.
Lyle: [00:03:32] Yeah, exactly
Peter: [00:03:35] Well, I’m just going to scootch back over to self-storage questions and then I want to dive into some more personal stuff. Let’s see. What so what drew you to self-storage. What was it about self-storage that caused you to want to work in this industry.
Lyle: [00:03:50] Well it was kind of just right place right time like I said. Before then I was playing with this band. We were doing a lot of gigs and I was traveling a lot and it slowed down and then I ended up quitting that band and I was kind of just looking for some part-time work and originally that’s what I thought it was going to be, but them when I went through the interview process. They were saying well we’re only hiring for full time. It was a little more time than I wanted to dedicate, but I’ll give it a shot. I just started working full time and kind of moved my schedule around and was able to fit it, so I thought I would stick with it. So it kind of started off just needing part time, extra work, I mean, I was practically living there, we were practicing so much. I got to chatting with Don. It was kind of just out of necessity, I guess
Peter: [00:04:58] I got you, that makes sense. After four years, I mean, you’ve probably seen a lot of different things and probably have some decent stories. Do you have any nice stories that you tell people when they ask what it’s like to work in self-storage.
Lyle: [00:05:17] I mean, I don’t know if I have any specific story. I mean I guess kind of how I got the job. It’s not too crazy. Yeah, I mean, I never thought I would be working in self storage. I don’t know
Peter: [00:05:57] Well, no worries, no worries. Which facility are you at now
Lyle: [00:06:03] I’m the manager here at the Rittiman Location. But I originally started out as the assistant manager for Military W.W. White, and Rittiman and I would cover the managers days off for those stores. And that was the first year, year-and-a-half or two years that I was here I was doing that. Then we moved into the apartment over at Loop 410. Then I started taking just Mondays working there for Andrew’s day off. Then I started here as manager close to two years ago.
Peter: [00:07:17] So would you say that you like it pretty well or is it kind of a take it or leave it kind of deal
Lyle: [00:07:22] Oh yeah definitely. I like the store. I like managing here. My assistant manager, Mason, is great there’s some construction going on next door that’s a whole ordeal that I could deal without. It’s creating a challenge here, but I am up to the challenge.
Peter: [00:07:41] Tell me a little bit about the Rittiman location. Is there anything unique about it or that sort of stuff
Lyle: [00:07:50] Well it’s a pretty good size facility. Close to 500 units. It’s kind of a unique in the fact that we share the property with another shopping center, so that also creates some extra challenges. We’re right across the street from Fort Sam Houston, so it’s a military base. We have a lot of military customers, which I think is really cool. I get to hear a lot of different stories where people are coming from all over the world. You meet a lot of interesting people
Peter: [00:08:38] Oh yeah, I bet being that close to a military base you have people from all over come around there. Well, that was kind of everything I wanted to ask about self-storage wise and we kind of got into some personal stuff. One of the questions I always ask is do you have any hobbies outside of work? So you play the drums. Do you want to speak more about playing the drums or are there other hobbies that you do have
Lyle: [00:09:01] Well right now I’m trying to dedicate time to play and then I also do session work where I get paid to play on people’s stuff, different gigs and things like that. Studio time. Sometimes I’ll do live stuff, but it’s rare. Me and my wife bought a house this year.
Peter: [00:09:27] Congratulations!
Lyle: [00:09:34] Oh, thank you. A lot of my personal time has been going into that house. It’s kind of a fixer-upper and I’ve put a lot of time in it since my son was born. He’s about seven months actually in two days. He’s been real fun to play with and taken up a lot of my time lately. Other things? I guess I like to cook, play video games sometimes. I love sports
Peter: [00:10:08] Do you live in the San Antonio area? Are there any good restaurants by you? I forgot to ask.
Lyle: [00:10:13] Yeah I just live a little bit northeast of San Antonio. It’s not far at all. I only live fifteen minutes from Rittiman, so, I mean, I love Tex Mex and I’ve had all the tried and true Tex Mex spots here. That’s probably my favorite. There’s a Las Palapas by the house that we frequent, but we try to go to the farmer’s market to get fresh produce, try to eat healthy Try to cook at home a lot too.
Peter: [00:11:20] Yeah. When you guys are cooking, who normally does more of the cooking: you or your wife
Lyle: [00:11:26] Oh I guess we both have our dishes that we that we like to cook.
Peter: [00:11:31] What’s your go to dish
Lyle: [00:11:34] It probably is just like a pasta with homemade sauce. It’s pretty easy.
Peter: [00:11:50] Does your wife have a go to you that she normally turns to when it’s her turn to make dinner?
Lyle: [00:12:06] Well she’s I guess she’s more like the breakfast maker. She’ll usually make pancakes, because usually I am sleeping in. Yeah, she’ll do breakfast: pancakes, omelets, French toast, stuff like that.
Peter: [00:12:28] Man, I have not eaten lunch yet. You’re making me so hungry right now. I should’ve asked that question.
Lyle: [00:12:36] What time is it where you’re at
Peter: [00:12:37] Oh I’m in the Central Time Zone so it’s 1:30. I just haven’t eat anything yet today.
Lyle: [00:12:41] You need to get on it, man
Peter: [00:12:43] I know, right? Shoot. I’ll probably go grab something after we jump off the phone. Let’s see. I want to go back to my list and make sure I don’t forget anything. So as far as like leisure time activities. I know you’re a new father and you’ve got the family going. I mean you probably don’t have a whole lot of leisure time to begin with, but when you’re trying to relax what do you do? Is there something that you and your wife normally like to do to to chill out, whether it’s watch a TV show on Netflix or have a game that you guys play together or anything like that
Lyle: [00:13:16] Yeah, a lot of Netflix and HBO Go. We try to get into different TV series. She knows a lot about movies, so she always knows what’s coming out. I guess the Oscars are coming up, so we watched some of the movies that were up for awards.
Peter: [00:13:43] That’s always nice.
Lyle: [00:13:45] Yeah, we watch TV. Lately we’ve been using our extra time to work around the house,but we really like going for walks, so we really like to go to the parks here. They have some pretty nice parks here. There’s Eisenhower Park, which is on the northwest side of town, kind of in the hill country, so it’s fresh air and trees. We go for walks in our neighborhood too. There’s a cool little trail and a couple smaller parks that we like to walk around, so we definitely like get outside when the weather’s nice
Peter: [00:14:43] Oh that’s going be so much fun with your with your new kid. Just getting to go and do all that stuff as he grows up.
Lyle: [00:14:49] Yeah, exactly. We plan on taking him camping and all that. We just we got a little backpack that we pretty much just strap him to our back and go for walks, hiking, whatever.
Peter: [00:15:06] That’s awesome.
Lyle: [00:15:08] Yeah, I don’t have to carry an extra 25 pounds on my back.
Peter: [00:15:11] Keeping you in shape. And then as he grows now you just got more and more weight to carry.
Lyle: [00:15:18] I know, right?
Peter: [00:15:19] Really cool. I think that was basically all the questions that were on my list. At the end of these, I like to ask if there is anybody at Lockaway Storage or at the Home Office who has helped you out that deserves a shout out. Is there anybody that deserves a shout out on the team?
Lyle: [00:15:41] Don Dodge for getting me the job. He was the one who told me about the job. I mean, shoot, everybody: Don, Tristina, Ashley, Thomas, these are all people that I worked with that kind of helped me out to get started in self storage. I learned a lot from them. Yeah, it’s hard to just pick out one person. What’s cool about Lockaway Storage is that everyone on the team, if you have any problems with anything, everyone here is going to try to help you out. I think that’s probably the coolest thing. You can call up anybody and they’re going to help you
Peter: [00:16:40] I love it. That’s awesome.