If We’re Lyin’ We’re Cryin’ – Tall tales of Self Storage

Those of you who are diehard fans of Disney’s hit animation Cars will undoubtedly be familiar with Mater’s Tall Tales. A series of “cars-toons” where Mater the tow truck spins an unlikely yarn that turns out to have some truth behind it. Likewise, devotees of Gavin and Stacey will recall the moment when John Prescott appeared in the wedding episode as Nessa’s ex – part of a long running series of dubious back-stories for the larger-than-life, welsher-than-welsh character played by writer Ruth Jones. It’s the same with self-storage. There are plenty of anecdotes about life in a unit just waiting to be told, embellished and exaggerated a little. So here are a few. Of course, we’ve changed the locations and individuals concerned – just in case any of the real people involved were thinking of asking Google to deploy the new European Court ‘forget me’ law.

Mysterious moving contents… 

A storage facility in north America were about to auction off the contents of a unit that had not been paid for. On the morning of the auction the site manager found the lock had been cut and the contents gone. The previous evening a new client had arrived very late with a friend and a truck, and they rented a similar sized unit. The manager had left them to unpack after the facility had officially closed – as all they had to do was exit via an automatic barrier. The next morning the manager smelled a rat (metaphorically, not literally) and armed with a ladder checked on the contents of the new unit by looking over the top. Sure enough, there were the contents of the unit that was up for auction. Bold as brass the new customer (who turned out to be daughter of the renter who defaulted on the unit up for auction) had cut the lock and used their rental van to move the stuff into the new unit. Having been rumbled they were prosecuted for theft. If they hadn’t – just imagine that moment on Storage Wars when ‘Green Mile’ cuts the lock, the shutter goes up… and there’s nothing at all in the unit.

The Chief of Police and his Mistress…

Somewhere in North America, a gentleman was ‘visiting’ his Mistress regularly at a storage unit she was renting. Described in one local report as a love nest, their boudoir really wasn’t that glamorous and didn’t amount to much more than a couple of cushions, some sun-bed mattresses and half a bottle of brandy. Their meetings occurred during November and December in a part of North America where average temperatures are below freezing for 48% of the time. Fortunately they’d chosen a climate controlled facility. Unfortunately their dalliance was spotted by managers (it is against self storage policy for tenants to occupy units) who reported them to the authorities. It turned out that the gentleman involved was the Chief of Police. He ended up resigning. His mistress was a senior executive at a local Charity and also looked likely to lose her job.

The Storage facility who fired a customer…

In a european storage facility a customer with a long history of being difficult, rude and late with payment asked the storage advisor why a unit the same size as his was on offer cheaper than the price he was paying. The advisor explained that it was an introductory offer, for new customers and for a limited time. The customer said he’d like to move to that unit to get the better rate and the advisor explained he can’t – as to do that he would have to move everything out of storage – needing to completely vacate the existing unit and premises first. The customer appeared a few days later with a van and packed everything in his unit into it, then appeared at reception to say he’d vacated and would now like to move to a new unit at the lower price. At this point the advisor said no… we don’t want you as a customer, you are rude and upset our other tenants, but my manager said we couldn’t evict you, but I can deny you the new rental as you’ve moved yourself out.

We’ll keep our ear to the rail for some future editions of Self St0rage Tall Tales.

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