Tales From The Lower Valley

In this thread I will tell stories from my tenure as a Security Guard and later the Head of Security of a 487 acre Ex-Military property turned storage facility “The Lower Valley.” This will contain a mixture of bad coworkers, Employees and Even my own failures.

I will attempt to keep this updated so it doesn’t get closed.

Story 1

One of the things that we had on that property was a popular box truck rental and return site. Now, when the property was abandoned from 1993 to 2007ish copper thieves came through hard core. Thanks to this we did not have lights going down the main hill so we didn’t allow 24 hour rental returns. This restriction is, of course, listed in the contract when renting and also in a separate addendum. In our state you also cannot return trucks to any site, they have to be returned to the place you rented them from.

With 1800hrs being the return cut off time we commonly had people come after hours to try and return vehicles. We would always help people out if they were honest with us and always kept track of local traffic to see if there was any possibility trucks would come late.

If you were honest with us and said you just forgot, were running late, or you had a legitimate reason to enter the site (commonly people actually left personal vehicles behind to drive the trucks out and more than once these were members of the armed forces that had PT or something the next day). We, or more specifically I when I became supervisor, would be willing to do an escort run and answer any questions to property management about why we did so.

Property management was also understanding in this incidents.

Most of the time, though, people decided to lie to us and they would always say “The lady in the rental office said I could come and return until (always one hour later)” so if we were having the conversation at 8 they would say 9, 9 then 10, ect. This was an easy lie to crack because the storage facility itself was also just a tenant and could not authorize anyone to come onsite past 6pm.

These encounters were pretty constant and I am sure I will remember more in the future but the one that stands out the best was the following.

I must have been working a weird shift, possibly a 16 hour because I normally got off at 4pm and this lady pulls up at 7:30pm.

I have the properties main gates closed and locked up so she can’t get in but I can see the 15 foot box truck looming over the top of the gate.

With hopes that this would be another good encounter I opened the gate just enough for me to get out and approached the vehicle. I have already submitted this to NAR so if the following dialogue is different between the two iterations of this story it’s just because it was years ago, but trust me it is very accurate.

Driver: I need to return this truck.

Me: I’m sorry the property is closed. We close at 6:00pm

Driver: Even for truck returns?

Me: Yes ma’am.

Driver: I wasn’t told.

I literally have copies of the addendum and rental contract because of how common this is so I take my copy off my clipboard.

Me: On this addendum that you signed it states that the property is not a 24–

Her: I didn’t get that.

A lie, I had been in the office when she rented her truck, I watched her sign a copy.

Me: You didn’t?

Her: No.

Me: Ok, well maybe I can help you then, can I see your signed rental contract?

Her: With a wide smile Here!

I folded the contract open to the third page and recited from it: Renter acknowledges that the property at (address) is not a 24 hour return site and all vehicles must be returned by 6:00pm. Additional charges will not be added to the account until (storage facilitiy)'s opening the following day. Renter agrees to these limitations upon signing.

Her smile blew out like a light bulb, the storage facility had gone through the process of getting the truck rental company to allow changes to the service contract to use alongside the addendum. This wasn’t the first time that I had used this knowledge to thwart someone claiming they hadn’t signed it.

Her: Well, well, I-I-I didn’t see that.

Me: You signed it.

Her: Well, I still need to return the truck!

Me: I’m sorry ma’am, it’s an insurance issue, the main hill doesn’t have any lighting and it’s already past 7pm. I have a ditch on one side and a cliff on the other. We don’t allow rental returns due to the liability.

I hold her contract out to her with the page still flipped and she takes it and stares at it before addressing me again.

Her: This is unacceptable! I need to return this truck!

Me: I’m sorry, as I say, it’s an insurance issue and company policy. You can return the vehicle prior to 9am to avoid paying for another day as stipulated in the contract you signed.

Full rage mode, she starts screaming at me, I don’t remember what she said but I didn’t really care.

A silver Honda CRV pulled in behind her and a tall, muscular man steps out.

Him: What’s the issue?

Her: THEY WON’T LET US RETURN THE ***** ***** ****** **** ****** **** ****** TRUCK!

Him, to me: Why?

Me: We aren’t a 24 hour return site, it’s in the contract, you can return by 9am tomorrow.

Him: Oh, were we told that?

Me: Yes, it was in the contract, on a separate sheet and there are like 4 signs in the rental office as well.

He turns to the truck, his wife is now seething but hands him the contract.

Him, to her: You signed it, what’s the issue?

Her: I NEED TO RETURN THE TRUCK, (name)!

Him, to me: We’ll bring it back when you open.

He shoves the contract back through the window of the truck at his wife, gets in the CRV and leaves.

With her ride now leaving the driver of the box truck seems flabbergasted at this turn of events and puts the truck in reverse gear.

Me: We open at 6am, we will be happy to accommodate your return from then on.

Her: **** you, *****

The truck left, but I had the truck number, she got an ear full the next day from the storage facility and ended up blacklisted from renting across the box truck company’s system.

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