Our two storage facilities are located in a small rural community in central Wyoming. I've worked here for two-and-a-half-years now, and I have never once had an incident where I feared for my safety. I came to the self-storage industry after 20 years in counseling. I have found that the knowledge I have about people has informed my current work tremendously ... However, with that said, we have still had angry customers and customers who appeared to be under the influence of something.
In those times, I am careful to listen more than I speak, so as to ensure the customer is feeling like they are being heard. I am also mindful of the design of the interior of the office. There is nothing within four feet of any customer that they could use as a weapon. I keep the phone right by my hand in case I have to dial 911. And finally, Wyoming is very supportive of the Second Amendment (and so are the owners), which means I carry a concealed handgun every day. Our desk is a very large built-in affair, and it would take someone very determined to get over it and to myself or my co-worker. In that time, I am certain that I could take steps to persuade them to re-think their intentions.
Truth be told, in my time here, I've only had two truly negative experiences with customers: one angry guy (who became angry because he was caught in a lie), and one angry woman (who became angry because of her own irresponsibility—it cost her more money due to late fees, and that was my fault). Once a person reaches a point of being SO angry, efforts to rationalize or explain go out the window. In those times, it's best to stop trying and ask the person to leave. If they refuse, then assertive action of calling 911 is made, with no warning or pleading with the customer.
But as another person noted, most of our customers are simply good people who conduct themselves with maturity, so they receive nothing but respect and courteous behavior from us!
~Senior Member Jim1970
I'd love to carry a firearm, but for now I settle with a nasty, large, snap-on box cutter strapped to my side, my phone, and wasp spray strategically placed around the office and on my utility cart when I'm on the lot. The phone in my pocket goes without saying. I've only thought I might have to use one a few times in my 20-plus years, but people seem to be getting crazier and bolder than ever. I'm keepin' my head on a swivel over here!
~Junior Member Trudy D
Once or twice working in self-storage I've been concerned enough to take protective actions. Once about eight minutes after their unit had been auctioned when a group of young men came striding toward the office waving money, and also when I encountered a group of guys out behind one of our buildings. But a 9mm, three knives and pepper spray are always at hand, so I wasn't afraid, just concerned.
~Senior Member dennybeall