Editor's note: The following was recently sent to Inside Self-Storage as a letter to the editor. I thought it was a good idea to start a new tradition with this particular issue, the theme of which is "Managing Managers," to recognize outstanding employee performance in the self-storage workplace. There are so few opportunities to acknowledge the hard work of managers and other office-support staff. If you would like to commend a co-worker or employee in the magazine, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
My name is Geneen Gieseke. My fiancé, Bud Warner, and I are property managers for Stor-It Self Storage in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. Recently, Bud and I were scheduled for a vacation. Our regular relief managers, Patti and Paul Bitzer, were covering most of our days off. There were only two days they could not cover, and the home office sent our floater, Donna Abernathy.
Donna is a very energetic, dedicated employee. Sometimes, when there is need, she will work seven days a week. She loves her job and enjoys the people for whom and with she works. The morning before she was scheduled to work at our property--Sept. 11--she fell down the stairs at home, breaking her leg and fracturing her arm.
The day she was scheduled, I went to the office to say "hi" before leaving on our trip, not knowing what had happened to her. There she was behind the counter with her leg in a cast and her arm in a sling. I could not believe my eyes! I said, "Donna, what in the world are you doing at work?" She replied, "I would rather be at work than sitting at home doing nothing." She begged the doctor and the home office for a work release, even though she still had to return to the hospital to have further tests on her arm that evening.
The home office sent Warren Van Alstine to help her that day, and they rented a few units. Two days later, she was scheduled to work for us again; but this time the little trooper was on her own. She drove herself to work in her cast and took care of the property. She did not want to disappoint Bud and I, as we had not had a vacation in a long time.
Donna is absolutely amazing. Her dedication in this matter and all other situations is above and beyond the call of duty. She is a wonderful person and friend, and we would like to thank her for all her hard work and dedication. Without her help at all of our properties, things would not run as smoothly. I wish there were more people in this world with her work ethic and enthusiasm. She is a joy and pleasure to know.
Thank you, Donna. We love you!
--From all the employees at Stor-It Self Storage