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 team member Yesenia Wilhoite, who is celebrating her 5-year anniversary with StaxUP Storage.
Yesenia is the Professional Self Storage Manager at StaxUP Storage on Hill Street in El Cajon, CA.
Colby: What year anniversary are you going to be celebrating this year?
Yesenia: It’s been five years.
Colby: A milestone anniversary! This is a big one then?
Yesenia: Yeah, I get my awesome jacket this year at the Christmas event.
Colby: There’s a five-year jacket?
Yesenia: There is, so for five years you get a jacket and for ten years you get a bonus. I have been looking forward to getting my jacket for a long time.
Colby: Well, what was it that drew you to self storage when you applied five years ago? Did the job end up meeting the expectations you had going in?
Yesenia: I worked in storage before, so I had a rough idea what StaxUP Storage was going to be like, but I didn’t realize how great the company was. I had an idea of what the work was like beforehand, so when I ended up getting interviewed, I thought I knew what to expect. Getting to know Julie, Brandi, Chad, Don and the whole SPMI team has made me feel at home. You aren’t just a team member. You are part of the family and I was not expecting that. It’s such a great feeling to be appreciated and valued.
Colby: You always hope that you are going to find that when you are interviewing for a job, but it’s not that easy to find.
Yesenia: Oh, definitely, I have had several jobs prior to this job where I felt appreciated and there is no comparing money to that. So, once I found out how great it was to work here, I’m like, “I’m not going anywhere. I am just staying here.”
Colby: Do you have any stories from the last year that stand out that you’d like to share?
Yesenia: There are a whole bunch, so many interesting stories. There are positives and there are “I can’t believe that just happened” moments. On the positive side, the Christmas events at the end of the year are always very special. Don and Julie and Brandi give out awards and it just shows the recognition and value that they have for you. You are always somebody when you are working here. I think that is one of the most enjoyable experiences. They hire a DJ, it’s at a hotel with a bunch of food. It’s honestly just so much fun. So, there’s always great memories and stories there. As far as weird stories go, I was working in San Marcos with Chad and Brandi, and it was in my first six months. Brandi was talking to a tenant who was a hoarder, and I had heard of that but never really experienced one. And this hoarder would only store trash.
Colby: I have never heard of a hoarder quite like that. I am assuming you can’t just store trash up there right?
Yesenia: No, you can’t. Brandi just handled that situation in such an amazing way and really empathized with the tenant. It was just so odd, because I had never heard of that type of hoarding before.
“Yesenia from the very first day was an upbeat positive attitude to have working in my office. I watched her grow from just learning the business and asking lots of questions to being the wonderful manager she is today. One of my favorite things about her is she is always looking for ways to grow as a manager. Her bubbly personality kept the time I worked with her a fun office environment. I am lucky to have been able to meet Yesenia 5 years ago and am so glad that over the years she has become one of the best friends I have made.”
Brandi Fleming, Senior Team Member at StaxUP Storage San Marcos
Colby: Tell us a little about yourself. What are your favorite hobbies and what keeps you busy when you aren’t at work?
Yesenia: I am a new mom to a new 6-month-old, her name is Lorelai. She is a handful in such a good and positive way and we feel so blessed to have such a good and healthy baby. Honestly, right now my focus is that she has a good upbringing.
Colby: Right. That’s the biggest hobby of them all, isn’t it?
Colby: That’s a full-time hobby, but you must get out sometimes. Do you have a favorite restaurant around the facility? Is there a local place that you would recommend?
Yesenia: At the moment, I haven’t gone out and explored different types of restaurants. But I do have a go-to place called Bombay. It’s Indian food on fifth avenue and it’s so delicious
Colby: Oh, Indian food is my absolute favorite.
Yesenia: It’s not like a Starbucks, it’s like a homemade hole in the wall place. That’s always the best. Here is the craziest part: I am not a big fan of spicy food, but I love Thai food. I love Indian food, but I typically get things that are not that spicy.
Colby: See, I am the total opposite. I love spicy food. Is there anything else that would be worth a mention locally around town right now that has people talking or effecting the self storage industry.
Yesenia: At the moment, I know the city of El Cajon struggles a lot with the homeless, and there’s a homeless task force that I am thinking about joining. They find people homes and food and get them some help.
Colby: I would be interested to find out more about them to spread awareness.
Yesenia: Right and it’s really important.
Colby: I have one last question for you. Is there anyone that you would like to give a shout out to who has helped you out over the past five years?
Yesenia: Of course, Julie is just overall amazing. She just guided me and coached me on what to say and do to be a good manager. She helped me through a lot both in work and personally. The ways I have grown in my work life also affect my personal life. There’s also Chad, Brandi, and Christopher, and they showed a lot of patience for me. I still call all of them to this day for help.