This is one of a series of stories we are sharing to show what’s inside CubeSmart. You not only get a peek inside our customer’s storage unit, but also a peek inside what is important to them. Thank you to Matthew, customer of our CubeSmart store in Long Island City, for sharing his story with us.
Medical device sales rep Matthew Torchia has spent most of the day reorganizing his storage unit at the 30-25 Northern Boulevard, Long Island City facility. It's a big job because he works with some 26 hospitals and surgical centers around Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens and houses hundreds of tools and devices.
The son of a doctor, Matthew always had an interest in medical work, dating back to his childhood in Lancaster, PA. But he also had a competing passion that came first: breakdancing.
"My twin brother and I were both professional dancers. I did it for 11 years, in the Philadelphia area, in Italy, and in Japan. My brother lived in Africa for a long time. We performed a lot together. He still teaches private lessons and I do too, from time to time."
After a stint in restaurant work, Matthew scored his current job and relocated to New York City. He soon discovered it was no ordinary sales gig. "Many days we go to hospitals and meet with surgeons in the operating room to talk to them about the nuances of our devices and tools and we also go with them to training in the cadaver labs so they can learn how to use them."
Mainly Matthew works with orthopedic devices and tools used in sports injuries but he has lately branched out a bit into the trauma area. "I've seen situations where a guy was running from cops and jumped off an overpass and smashed his whole tibia. In surgery, the doctor has to put in a plate to put it all back together. I've also seen really cool orthopedic surgeries like a reverse shoulder which is when they switch the ball and socket, mostly for older patients. It's amazing to see things like that and learn about the latest and greatest procedures the doctors are doing."
Matthew says he was a bit squeamish at first but now he's gotten used to the more graphic aspects of his job. It also requires a certain type of gumption. "You really have to be confident and study the information. Some surgeons can tell if you don't know your stuff and they're going to bite your head off if you're telling them the wrong thing in the operating room."
The value of the work, he says, is in knowing that he can make a difference for the doctors, hospitals and above all, the patients. "You realize that if you can help a doctor find the right tool they can do a better ACL reconstruction on an 18-year-old soccer player, and get him back on the field sooner, and reducing the need for surgery in the future."
Matt has met most of his friends through the healthcare field—nurses, material managers, and scrub techs. "It's really become a lifestyle in a way." Within the time he's made the transition to this new line of work he's come to see that it's a good fit for his interests, personality, and life goals. "From breakdancing to this, it's been an interesting journey, to say the least."
We’d love to hear how self storage has positively impacted your life. Share your #HumansofSelfStorage story in the comments.