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 Brittany Clark who is celebrating her 1-year anniversary with Lockaway Storage this week. All interviews are performed by Peter Soto.
Peter: How did you get started working in self storage?
Brittany: I actually got started working here because of Chevis Daniels. He’s the manager of the Huebner store. We were working at a previous job together and he came over to Lockaway and he just ranted and raved about you guys and he had a meeting with Don, Don came over to visit, and he asked if he knew anyone else that had his same work ethic who was looking for employment and he mentioned me and that was the end of that and here I am.
Peter: Well there you go! The best way to get jobs is through friends, right?
Brittany: I’ll say.
Peter: So you’ve been here for a whole year. How are you liking it so far? One thing I’ve heard is that Lockaway really gives their managers and assistant managers a lot of ownership over their facilities. Have you found that to be the case?
Brittany: I like it. It’s definitely a place that I like being. Yes, that’s something I can attest to. There are numerous occasions since I started working here where something needed to be handled and before I used my own judgement I called Amy or Thomas and they would say, “We trust you, Brittany. Just use your best judgement. We trust your judgement.” And usually, what my first thought was ended up being the solution. They definitely give me that. Once you’ve gained their trust they give you your own space to handle the property.
Peter: That’s great, so do you live in the San Antonio area?
Brittany: I live in the San Antonio area. Actually I work at the O’Connor store as well as the Encino store and I stay about 10-15 minutes away from both stores.
Peter: Nice. That makes it pretty easy if you need to cover a shift or help a renter on short notice.
Brittany: Oh yeah.
Peter: What’s your favorite thing about living in the San Antonio area?
Brittany: Of course, my driving factor is going to be my family. I’m from Michigan, but I was living in Phoenix, but my family is here. My sister’s a school teacher here in the ISD school system. My brother is in grad school in San Marcos at Texas State. Me coming here was a big deal for me and my son, to be closer to my family. I feel like San Antonio, the people for the most part are really friendly. Being from the Midwest and coming to the South, I have definitely experienced Southern Hospitality. And, of course, coming from Michigan, it’s nice not having any snow.
Peter: It’s so important to be close to family and San Antonio is a great place to have family. If I was coming down to visit, what would you say is something I have to do?
Brittany: You can’t come to San Antonio and not go to The River Walk or to the Alamo. I like history, so it was definitely an awesome experience. The River Walk is just cool no matter the time you go, the middle of the day, the night. It’s a lot of people. It’s a lot of good energy. The food down there is awesome. It’s a really cool place.
Peter: Sounds like it. I’d like to go back and talk a little more about the last year in self storage. Do you have any good stories or memorable moments?
Brittany: I’ve been an assistant property manager at four different locations during the last year: Converse, Crestway, O’Connor and Encino. There’s a different dynamic at each one. I did have one instance out at Converse. I had a customer come visit the office, a mom and a son, and she’s like, “Is there a manager here, because there’s a lizard running around back here.” And I was like, “Ooooooh, I’m the manager.”
Peter: So what did you do?
Brittany: I freaked out a little bit, but I made sure the customer wasn’t in front of me. I remained professional until they walked away and then I freaked out a little when I was on my own. Luckily there was another customer, a gentleman who is a mechanic who I had moved in a couple of weeks prior and him and one of his colleagues were out there and I walked past them and they were like, “What’s wrong?” and I was like, “I’m trying to catch a lizard.” but I looked terrified, so they caught it for me and took it outside. I was forever grateful for them. Apparently it’s a horney toad lizard and that’s something that’s popular in San Antonio. If you ask any San Antonio native, they’ll be like, “Ah, you saw a horney toad!” Yeah, that’s a big deal.
Peter: Haha. That’s a good one. Any other stories?
Brittany: One of the best things I can say that I experienced, that I still experience all the time in meetings is, shortly after I started, we had a quarterly meeting and it was my first time meeting Don and I was a little nervous. I was like, “This is the CEO. Oh my god!”, but he was so nice and down to earth. I went to shake his hand and called him Mr. Clauson and he’s like, “No Brittany, I’m Don. We hug.” and I’m like, “Ahhhh! He is so cool and laid back.” Everybody hugs, so it’s not something that they just say. It’s really the culture of this company to be like a family.
Peter: That’s the best thing I have heard today.
Brittany: I tell people all the time, I even went and told my mom and she was like, “What? You hugged the CEO?” and I was like, “Yeah! He told me not to call him Mr. Clauson.” I still do it and every time he wags his finger and he’s like, “Brittany…” and I’m like, “Sorry, I can’t help it!.”
Peter: Haha, he really is such a laid back guy.
Brittany: Yeah, I love him.
Peter: Do you think you’ll be with Lockaway for a while?
Brittany: As long as I am in San Antonio, I am looking forward to a long career at Lockaway.
Peter: Awesome! Is there anyone at the company you’d like to give a shout out to?
Brittany: Can it be more than one person?
Brittany: I do want to give a shout out to Danielle Hull. I haven’t had a lot of dealings with her and, also Angie, they are awesome. They are always on top of everything and the times I have come to them they handled everything so quickly. Danielle helped me with a really person matter. She helped me with childcare and was on top of it so quickly and so efficiently. I was like, “Wow! Thank you so much. You don’t understand how much you helped me make sure that I can get to work and my child can get to daycare.” And then there’s Denise Kilgore. She was my manager at the Converse store and she was awesome. With me being new she was so thorough and made sure I was getting assimilated to the culture, to the company, and making sure I knew everything. Martin also, just making sure, I was getting assimilated well. And then Eddie Carrasco. I’m teamed up with him all the time and I could not ask for a better property manager to work with. I also want to give a shout out to Thomas as well. Amy was my district manager originally and she is awesome, but Thomas has really made sure to meet all my needs. He gets back to me in a timely fashion. He’s always understanding. We can relate, because we’re both parents and we share our kids’ stories. He is an awesome district manager.