This week’s StorageMart Superhero has a superhuman ability to juggle. Not that kind of juggle (well, maybe that kind of juggle, we didn’t ask) but she’s been with us for about a year and a half, and most of that was spent splitting her time between seven different locations, supporting our store managers in busy times and making sure they got days off. During the span of a week, she’d spend time at just about every location in Columbia and Jefferson City!
It didn’t take long to realize Jessi Hynes was the kind of employee who was always willing to go above and beyond, whether it was jumping in to cover a shift or finding extra projects to keep each of the stores in her care continually improving.
In May, Jessi was promoted to the role of Property Manager, and she now devotes her time to our W. Worley location right next to the home office here in Columbia.
To kick off the interview, we asked Jessi to describe her typical day.
During this time of year no day is typical (lol), but if I had to describe one: I wake up, feed my mini pig (yes, I will also include a picture of her), get ready for work, suck down a cup of coffee and come to my store. I usually have on some gruesome murder podcast while I print off all my daily paperwork. I prepare for my day by evaluating the tasks that I have to do that day and preparing for each of them. Then I hit the ground running. Property checks, cleaning as I go, and then all necessary office work. Then I lift my head and it’s time to go. Crazy what a day is like when you like your job so much.
SM: Tell us about a time you were able to help out a customer that you felt went above and beyond.
Answer: I had a mother and student come in recently. They knew they needed storage but didn’t know the size or climate control or not. I had a lot of customers coming in and out as well. They were great customers, which made it easy for me. I was able to walk them around to multiple inside and outside units. Together we narrowed down what she would need, when she would need it, and get everything locked in. I was also able to help her husband via a picture. I guess he travels a lot for work and has a storage unit. She showed me a picture and I told her he could easily downsize because he had a 10x15 and really only needed a 10x10. She got a kick out of that. Also, it was a beautiful day so I feel like not only was the customer being helped, they helped me because I was able to stretch my legs and get some sun.
SM: What is the consistent highlight of your day? Workday highlight? Off-work highlight?
Answer: I have been consistently working since I was 19. When I say consistent, I mean it, there is not gap in my resume at all. My working life was quantity over quality. I was not happy where I was. I was unhappy with my job but stuck with it for so long because it was all I ever did. I was given a chance to interview for StorageMart and I was unsure on if I would get the job or not. On paper it doesn’t like it would be a good fit, but I was given a chance and hired. I can’t express the difference it has made in my life. I enjoy coming to work. I enjoy the work I do, that alone is a game changer for me. I like helping people. I like when customer comes in kind of downtrodden and I can get a smile out of them by the end because we have solved a problem together. It’s a great feeling to do that.
SM: What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your life? How did you deal/How are you dealing with it?
Answer: Hmm, I’d have to say the biggest challenge I have faced was getting my degree. I went to Stephens College and during the second semester of my senior year I was told I wasn’t graduating. Long story short I did not have enough credits and neither myself or my advisor caught that until it was too late. I had worked so hard, thrown myself into debt, just to be told I would not be graduating. I shut down for a while, but with the help of my lovely soon-to-be wife and a professor I consider family, I picked myself up. I finished the year out, and that next summer to a course at MACC. I was able to get the final credits I needed. I vowed I would not become a statistic regarding people who leave college with no degree and I was able to get my diploma two years later. I learned I can do anything with a little support and my stubborn attitude.
SM: What’s something you couldn’t live without?
Answer: I hate to admit this as someone who just turned 28, but I play more video games then I’d like to admit. On my days off, after my animals are cared for and the house is cleaned up, I am glued to a tv with a controller in my hands. My PS4 is on the list of things I’d grab in a fire. Its’ a fact I’m only mildly proud of.
SM: Name a person that has changed your life in a positive way? What did they do for you to make you feel that way about them?
Answer: At this point in my life I would have to chalk that up to four people. First my Fiancé Maggie. She has changed my life in more ways than I could even count. She has shown me what a meaningful fulfilling life can look like, and I will never be able to thank her enough for that. Second would be my mother. She taught me that hard work can get you anything. Stick to it keep your head down and you can have whatever you want. Third would one of my professors from college, Tina Parke-Sutherland. She very quickly became a surrogate mother to me when I needed one. She has given me more joy and advice then I know what to do with. Third would have to be our very own Jason Brooks. He really took a chance on me a year ago. I would not be here without him. Not only did he get me here, he showed me what a great boss could look like. (Don’t tell him I said any of this, you know how his ego is. Lol)
SM: If someone gave you an award because you’re awesome at something what would that award be for?
Answer: I mean besides everything? Just kidding. I am one of those people who will give someone my everything if they need it, but I had to learn that not everyone deserves that. So, Awesome Award for Personal Growth. Growing every day and proud of it.
SM: If you could give the special people in your life a gift what would that gift be?
Answer: That’s a hard one. I literally want to give everyone in my life everything they could ever need. I’d let them line up and just pick something.
SM: You work hard, what does a relaxing day off look like for you?
Answer: I gave myself away earlier. Usually I wake up, let the pig outside if weather permits (again yes there will a picture, I promise), and play video games for an undisclosed amount of time.
SM: Cake or pie?
Answer: That’s a hard both.
SM: What’s a funny thing you remember that happened to you as a kid.
Answer: My mother and I lived in the projects in Staten Island NY, where I am originally from. My mother ran out to get the mail from the hallway, 5 ft from the door, maybe. I closed the door, which locked automatically, and locked my mother out. She had to call the fire department to come unlock the door. Once they got in, I was dressed like the day I was born eating a piece of bread. There you go, one embarrassing story.
SM: What’s something you’d like to learn or take on as a hobby?
Answer: Wood working, or glass making. I am way to clumsy to do either of these things. I’d instantly lose a hand or something.
SM: What’s that one treasure you’re always hoping you’ll stumble up on at a thrift store or garage sale?
Answer: I like weird stuff. I am always in search for the weird thing at a thrift store. Basically, if I pick it up and my fiancé cringes, I’ve hit a gold mine.
SM: If you had a farm and could raise any animal you wanted what would you raise?
Answer: My dream is a mini farm. I already have a mini pig. I’d love to have a farm of just mini animals. Mini pigs, mini cows, mini goats, etc. All mini things.
SM: Are you happiest on country roads or living the big city life?
Answer: City life for sure! I need bustle and anxiety to thrive.
SM: We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know Jessi as much as we have! If you need self storage in Columbia, Missouri pop by and ask Jessi to help you out—you might even be able to persuade her to show you more pics of the mini pig!