One of the best kept self storage industry secrets is the quirky sense of humor that many self storage owners and operators bring with them to each business day, even when the day feels like a comedy of errors. Sometimes that sense of humor comes out in funny jokes told to tenants, sometimes storage facilities try for a comic or humorous edge to their marketing efforts, and sometimes it comes in priceless humor generated by the tenants themselves.
Creative Self Storage Humor
Manhattan Mini Storage likes to inject humor into its advertising. One Manhattan Mini Storage poster shows a photo of a naked woman gazing into a closet that is devoid of clothing, next to the words, “Maybe we make storage too easy.” Another one shows an overweight man “pinching more than inch,” next to the words, “Liposuck your closets.” Many of Manhattan Mini Storage’s ads mix politics and humor with slogans such as “The Democrats cleaned the House…now it’s your turn” or, in an older ad, “Your closet’s scarier than Bush’s agenda.”
Mallard Mini-Storage, of Gridley, California, however, prefers duck-related humor. “Don’t quack up…pack up!” urges its website. The site’s blog is full of duck humor: people with special requests should call the office before 5 p.m., says one post, because “that’s when us ducks retire.” The blogger goes on to say, “We are here to serve you. It’s okay for a duck to serve people, but not for people to serve ducks. You should only serve turkeys. Just a little duck humor…”
Storage Texas, a website dedicated to Texas Self Storage facilities, pokes a little fun at Extra Space Storage in its “Storage Humor” section. An obviously tongue-in-cheek news article posted there claims that Extra Space is developing the world’s largest ever self storage facility, “Excessive Space.” “Each unit is big enough to hold an aircraft carrier,” the story’s author, John Stevens, quotes an Extra Space representative as commenting, “and some of them will.”
Long Days at Self Storage Talk
But most self storage operators do not need to make anything up in order to have a funny story to tell. In many cases, those stories walk right up and into the facility office — and some are caught on video by the facility’s security cameras. Many self storage operators and managers blow off steam after a long day by posting their most frustrating and funny experiences in the forums at Self-Storage Talk. “All arguments can be resolved,” writes Wayne of All American Self Storage in the signature line to his posts at Self Storage Talk, “with high explosives and humor!”
- Pat, of Jamestown Storage in High Point, North Carolina, wrote to Self Storage Talk early in June to comment that after listening to a rundown of Jamestown’s pricing plans, a prospective tenant asked, “How big is your 5 x 10?” “She may have meant how high are the ceilings,” Pat speculated, “but I so wanted to say, ‘oh, about 4 x 4!’”
- In March, Ian Johnson of Oklahoma City wrote to Self Storage Talk’s “Tales from the Trenches” section to remark, “You know you need a vacation when a burly man comes in wanting to rent a dolly and the first words out of your mouth are ‘Barbie, or Ken?’”
- A Daytona, Florida self storage operator wrote to Self Storage Talk on June 28, noting, “I love the chameleons….They eat bugs and are good to have around. When someone who is not from Florida sees them…I just tell them they are baby alligators. The looks on their faces is priceless. I do explain to them what they really are so they aren’t confused. Never lost a rental because of it — in fact the customer gets such a kick out of it they usually rent right then.”
Not all funny self storage stories make their way to Self Storage Talk, however. Last year at this time, Rob Shorten wrote to Daily ScrewUps to tell the story of a self storage tenant in the UK, who liked to dress up in costume as Dalek, from Dr. Who, and prowled the facility, surprising other tenants who did not realize that Dalek was on the premises. “Never has there been a more secure building,” Shorten writes.