The self storage industry has its fair share of absolute whackos, the sort of people that make you tilt your head when you first try to wrap your mind around what’s actually coming out of their mouths. Maybe they’re the crazy bird lady that always comes onto the property with her special parrot friend perched on her shoulder, alternately squawking at strangers and crapping on her owner’s clothes and on the floor. Maybe it’s the innumerable couples that you see in and out of their storage unit, sometimes screaming at each other so loudly that your security cameras pick it up, and sometimes coming into the office parading around in nauseating displays of affection. Maybe it’s the little 30 something man that has absolutely no legitimate whatsoever reason to be in your office except for the fact that his legendary loneliness has forced him to transfix on you as if you were a long lost family member.
Self storage assumes a certain degree of uncertainty: tenants are either moving, or not sure when they’re moving, or freshly kicked out of their homes by divorce or eviction, or perhaps they’re just confused and need a breather to figure out their next move. But the fact of the matter is that along with this uncertainty comes an inordinately high rate of insanity, human frailty, disgustingly pronounced degrees of emotional transposition of very intimate complexes to absolute strangers (see: poor and woefully under-prepared property managers), and downright sadness. The people that frequent self storage facilities together make up a rainbow of confusion and misbehavior that would inspire their embarrassment, had they only sufficient sense to realize how ridiculous they were being.
Oddballs and Self Storage Seem to Go Together Very Well
But they don’t realize how ridiculous they’re being, because they are incapable of doing so. They become, your problem. As one clever property manager once put it, “we have 650 units on this property and 650 personalities”. This is a diplomatic way of saying that managing a self storage facility can feel like you are running a daycare: you are underpaid to handle someone else’s poorly formed creation. At first it seems quite subtle, and you move quickly to put the first signs out of your mind as rapidly as they first occurred to you. You try to dismiss the strange interactions you have with some of your tenants as partly in your imagination. No, he can’t really be that insane, but it just seems accentuated because I myself am tired. But with time the signs become more and more difficult to ignore. Eventually you catch yourself in that moment; that one, irrevocable moment that forever transforms your outlook on what you are actually doing for a paycheck. And it happens exactly at the moment you realize that you are explaining, patiently and with fervor, to a grown-ass man twice your age, some basic aspect of social interaction that his own mother should have taught him decades ago.
You can’t climb over that fence at night to get into your unit and retrieve your bedsheets (Oh, my Lord, am I actually saying this outloud to him?) because: 1. It is very dangerous and technically trespassing and 2. It is 3am in the morning and you have just woken me and my wife up so that I could give you an unplanned lesson on why normal business hours are set up the way they are.
Welcome to Storage Drama Queens, the newest and juiciest feature on the Storage Auctions Kings news magazine. Whether you happen to be a self storage manager that’s stopping by for a little bit of understanding and catharsis, or you’re just a collector of pathetic tales of absurd human beings, you have come to the right place. Revel in my unpleasant experiences. Reap joy where I could only endure sorrow and shake my head in disbelief.