Here at StaxUp 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 Riverside team member Dave Luyben, who is celebrating his 1-year anniversary with StaxUp Storage this week.
Dave is the manager at StaxUP Storage – Murrieta.
Peter: Hey Dave, thanks for taking the time to speak with me today. I understand it’s your 1-year anniversary. How did you get into self storage?
Dave: Yep, you know, it’s funny how it happened. I had a storage unit here and Tony Allen, the district manager, offered me a job one day when I was down at my storage unit. I had done 13 years of funeral work and resigned that after my divorce and at the time I was doing funeral insurance work, just subcontracting for funeral homes, just keeping myself busy. I was at my storage unit and Tony walked by with the sweeper in his hand. Ten minutes later we were just talking, I’m in the office filling out an application and here I am a year later. It was a Wednesday when he said, “Come in and fill out an app.” and I started Friday.
Peter: Wow, dang. That is awesome.
Dave: Yeah, it was a quick turn around. Wednesday I met him, Thursday I interviewed and Friday I started. I started doing UHaul. I’ve been doing the UHaul weekends here for the full year now every Saturday and Sunday.
Peter: How are you liking it?
Dave: You know, I like this job. What I like about storage is nobody died today. I did funeral for a long time and it’s always these situations you’re in where you kind of have to really watch what you say and be careful about your actions, you can’t be too joyous at work. It’s just kind of a weird world to work in. Storage is much cooler for me. I tease with the tenants a lot. I have a good time. I’m always cracking jokes and I can get away with it here.
Peter: That is a much different kind of customer service than working in funerals.
Dave: Definitely, but one thing I’ll say: nobody wants to meet the funeral director. It’s not as bad here, but nobody ever expects to get storage, nor are they ecstatic about picking up a UHaul truck. So I’m always working in industries where nobody is happen when they need you, haha.
Peter: Bahahaha. Yeah, it is definitely a need based service for sure.
Peter: After a year in self storage, you’ve probably met some pretty interesting characters. Are there any people or moments that stand out?
Dave: There’s a lot of stuff. I meet people who are just renting a truck or trailer or people who are moving interesting stuff, they have interesting stories about what they’re up to. The stuff that’s caught my interest the most are the more unfortunate tenants we have. Maybe they’re homeless or have some kind of mental or emotional disability. There are only a few, but they have been a really interesting part of the job.
Peter: I can only imagine. So you’re not always at the self storage facility. Do you have any hobbies people may not know about?
Dave: Yeah, I’ve got four children. My kids are a big hobby of mine. I get up every day at 4:30-5 in the morning and go to the gym, so I lift weights everyday. That’s something I do. I make music and I grew up liking rap music. I went to college and I have an audio technology certificate for sound recording and audio technology. I study music theory and play a couple instruments. On a funny tangent, I grew up in Long Beach listening to rap music and do you know who I met here at StaxUP Menifee who is one of our tenants?
Peter: Please tell me it’s Snoop Dogg.
Dave: No, it’s [name redacted for privacy]
Peter: What!? No way!
Dave: Believe it or not [name redacted for privacy] just came in about 20 minutes ago and dropped off a 15-foot long UHaul truck. He rented one two days ago from me and just dropped it off.
Peter: Holy cow!
Dave: Yeah, he has a storage unit here too and has been a tenant for a while. When he left, there was a guy in the lobby and I said, “You recognize that guy?” and he said, “No.” and I said, “That’s [name redacted for privacy].” and he said, “That is not [name redacted for privacy].” and I said, “Yeah, it is. He’s a client.” It’s funny, because one of my hobbies is hip hop and I grew up listening to it and the first time I met [name redacted for privacy] was at the counter taking his rent payment at StaxUp Menifee.
Peter: That’s incredible. I have been listening to [name redacted for privacy] since I was a kid. That blows my mind.
Dave: That’s what I said. I told him, I said, “Hey, [name redacted for privacy], I’ve been listening to you since I was 12 years old in 1994. I had a cassette. I had a Walkman. I used to ride my bike around listening to your music. My dad used to find your tapes and break them when he found them.” My dad used to say, “Would you play this for your grandma?” Haha, I said, “No I’m not playing this for grandma, I’m listening to it.”
Peter: That’s funny. All types of people need self storage.There’s not a type of person who doesn’t need it.
Peter: You guys are technically in Riverside, right? Do you live in the area?
Dave: I do. I actually reside at one of the StaxUp apartments. Which StaxUp helped me a lot with that too. I went through a divorce. At the time I was hired, I was at kind of a low point financially and StaxUp did me a huge favor. The district managers, Julie and everybody got me into an apartment, so I have a two bedroom at the Sun City StaxUp, so I’m no longer homeless thanks to StaxUp Storage as well.
Peter: I love that they support you like that.
Dave: Yeah, they’ve helped me out a lot in the last year. They even helped me out at Christmas. They did a toy drive and they got my kids a bunch of toys and stuff, so…
Peter: You’ve got to be kidding me.
Dave: Yeah, they’ve helped me out a lot. Jenn Allen and Tony Allen, they’ve done a lot for me.
Peter: I’ve heard a lot of good things about them.
Dave: They’re ok. No, I’m just joking, haha. They’re good people, man.
Peter: That’s actually a good transition to my last question. Is there anybody with the company you’d like to give a shout out to?
Dave: The team up here in Riverside. We’re all working hard together. We all get along pretty well. Everybody in Riverside district. Not to leave out anybody at SPMI, but everybody I work with up here are good people. Rick Davis is a great guy. Tommy Ruiz. Jim Carey, his wife Alisha Carey. Caleb is an awesome guy, I can’t think of his last name right now. I’m drawing a blank. Morgan’s cool. Everybody in our district, we seem to pull together and help out and do what we need to do.