Respect and Gratitude

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by Frunobulax, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. Frunobulax

    Frunobulax New Member

    I worked as a helper this year in Chicago, from November 23rd through
    December 24th, and since my seasonal stint is now over, I thought I
    would share my experiences and add a few words to the varied,
    interesting, and passionate conversation that you all have managed to
    create on BC.

    Since my hire date, on November 2nd, I have been lurking on this site,
    reading through almost every thread (and even some of the archives),
    because I wanted to learn as much as I could about the company and its
    operations, culture, and history. This site is positively--no other
    word--addictive; and I managed in six weeks to receive, among much
    else, a series of mini- (and in some cases maxi-) tutorials on
    management-labor relations, the lore of package car driving, and the
    importance of community, discipline, loyalty, and hard work. There are
    a lot of interesting voices here; and after a week or two of immersion
    in the site I was able to begin to identify and appreciate the various
    personalities and their unique perspectives, preoccupations, concerns,
    and quirks.

    Briefly, by way of background, I have many years of varied work
    experience and have run my own businesses since 2000. At the end of
    2008, I decided for a variety of reasons (stability, benefits, and
    others) to close down my law practice and to apply for a series
    federal jobs in my primary areas of expertise: law and commodity
    futures trading. The process took nearly eight months, from February
    to mid-October, and although I was selected as among the most highly
    qualified candidates and was interviewed, I was not selected. These
    positions, for those who know the Federal GS hierarchy, were GS-13 &
    14 level, and so not exactly entry level jobs. During this time, I ran
    through my savings, had no unemployment insurance since I was
    self-employed, had to write off tens of thousands in 2008-earned fees
    because my clients were suffering, maxed out my credit cards, and on
    and on. By late summer I was seriously scrambling. So by the time UPS
    called me I was (to rather understate the matter) delighted to have
    the work.

    I should note that I do not fit the profile of a typical out-of-shape
    "white-collar" desk worker. I am 6'3; 215 lbs.; I work out nearly
    every day, walk 25 miles a week, lift weights, and am in physical
    condition close to what I had at eighteen.

    I was prepared for an extremely demanding physical job; and the helper
    position did not disappoint. I worked a high-density urban (primarily
    residential) route with perhaps twenty high-rise condiminum buildings
    along the city's lakefront just immediately east of my own
    neighborhood. We averaged 240 stops and 600 pieces a day. Peak days
    were December 15th and 16th, when we banged out 680 (by 17:30) and 650
    pieces respectively, along with 200-300 end-of-day pickups at the UPS
    store. Several of these bulk stops lacked access ramps so I had to
    take the handtruck up six-to-eight concrete steps with loads between
    150 and 200 lbs. Once (and this was definitely foolish on my part) I
    had 400 lbs. on the two-wheeler on a Walgreen's delivery--6 65 lb.
    crates and three other pkgs.--but I forgot about the six-inch curb.
    Busy corner. Many people watching me. Really should have done two
    trips. Realized my mistake as I began to try to make the curb. Didn't
    want to shame the Teamsters and UPS by backing off the challenge. Went
    for it .... and ... got it up and over. Barely.

    I loved the work. I have tremendous respect for you guys (and gals)
    who are PC drivers. I liked everyone I met and worked with. (I briefly
    worked two other routes with three other drivers.)

    In fact, I enjoyed the experience so much that I am going to try to
    make a career with the company. Two drivers are going to recommend me
    to the center manager; and I'm going to see where it goes.

    I have learned a lot as a (previously) silent visitor to your
    community. Sorry for the long post. Respect to all of you. And sincere
    gratitude for the experience and the opportunity to contribute during
    peak.

    Oh, and by the way: Tieguy and Upssocks are not the same guy; "How's
    the View" is the greatest thread; DOL and airbusfxr will mend fences
    once the mechanics have a new deal; and as for who has the hottest BC
    female avatar ... diplomacy is required of newbies so I won't touch
    that one.

    Best on the holidays and New Year.


    Brian
     
  2. diesel96

    diesel96 New Member

    Not to be a dick, but why on Earth would you go from a commodity trading broker to a bottum feeder $8.50 hr temp job with UPS...

    BTW welcome and hopefully a more prosperous 2010 New Year for you...
     
  3. fethrs

    fethrs Well-Known Member

    Nice post, good luck with your quest for UPS employment.
     
  4. pickup

    pickup Well-Known Member

    wow, what a great post. But think about it , does ups want a lawyer working for them but not working for them if you know what I mean? An hourly that would know his rights and then some, is not something ups would like. Just my opinion.

    By the way, isn't fethr's avatar just so precious and cute?
     
  5. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    Nice post indeed. Welcome to Brown Cafe!
     
  6. pickup

    pickup Well-Known Member

    speaking of posts, you're creeping up to 10,000
     
  7. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    "Hello, my name is Ovah and I am an addict".

    I'm thinking of quitting at 9,999.
    I'll come back under a new name and start over. I'll be the one asking how to get UPS socks.
     
  8. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    That's probably the opening post for 37% of newbies.
     
  9. pickup

    pickup Well-Known Member

    you're a moderator, you can determine his password,use it and then change the password so that you own the name.
     
  10. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    Excellent idea! My last mission as Mod will be to steal any BC name I want!
     
  11. jenniferlynn

    jenniferlynn New Member

    I think?? I'd like to do the package car thing...or even "drive the truck"...but I can't drive a manual shift transmission :) ...you guys and gals get all the fun!!
     
  12. Moana Drifter

    Moana Drifter New Member

    Probably the same reason I went from a software engineer to a bottom feeder $9.50 job with UPS - the high paying job disappeared and the other alternative was a sub-bottom feeder $0.00 job sitting on my tail at home.
     
  13. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt You can call me Chappy Staff Member

    Welcome to the Brown Cafe Brian and an interesting first post.
    Always good to see another Zappa fan on BC.
    DS likes Zappa a lot as well.
    By the way, do you have a poodle dog that bites?
     
  14. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    some people just cant help themselves......:wink2:

    welcome to the new usa economy. where a lawyer who has clients that cant pay, has to work for a guy that never made it out of highschool, that makes 5 times more.

    its not just the fault of the current administration, but they have sure not helped it any either.

    brian

    look to see things change at ups over the next 10 years (and i am being very optimistic). only in the gooberment sector are wages and bennies shooting through the roof. nearly 20% of them now make a 100 grand or more. not a one of them, in my opinion is worth that.

    d
     
  15. Harley Rider

    Harley Rider 30 yrs & counting

    Great first post Brian and welcome to the world of UPS. I always did my best to get out of having a helper on my truck but I think you would have been the exception. I hope everything works out for you no matter what you end up doing.
     
  16. DS

    DS Fenderbender

    So eloquent yet humble, the way that you speak,
    UPS as a career? is your wise tongue in your cheek?

    No matter what reason,and there could be a few,
    Welome aboard,from the browncafe crew.
     
  17. DorkHead

    DorkHead Active Member

    zappa rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  18. JaxUPSHub

    JaxUPSHub New Member

    Maybe I'm missing the point here, but this is what pops in my head after reading your post:

    - Lawyer or Package Handler. Let me see here, what would I do...

    - Have fun working for $8.50/h and waiting for your insurance 1 year, etc, etc etc.

    - What are you goals? Wait 7 years to become a driver? Or become Management?

    I think www.oldhunks.com is hiring... thanks for a good laugh.

    Please let the negative rep points come my way. As I have received negative rep points for having a different opinion before.

    Again, YOU GO BRIAN!!!
     
  19. Frunobulax

    Frunobulax New Member

    Thanks for the comments, kind, appreciative, skeptical, jejune, and otherwise.

    My view of these matters is informed by the following facts and historical perspective.

    In the 1930s, my paternal grandfather, a highly educated and genteel individual (Northwestern: Class of 1903) lost his pharmacy during arguably the roughest year of the depression, in 1933. He died several years later, in 1938, when my father was fifteen, without ever getting back on his feet. My mother's father, on the other hand, a first-generation Italian immigrant with an eighth-grade education, survived the depression nicely driving a bread truck, an occupation he retained until 1965 when he retired with $300k in the bank.

    In my neighborhood, there are an appalling number of foreclosures; and many formerly highly-paid workers out of work. On the UPS route I worked, set among the $5-$25 million mansions, are the high-rises I mentioned. The USPS worker mentioned that for months she has been delivering scores of unemployment checks to these nice addresses.

    So, my view is that survival and paying my bills is preferable to the alternatives. Certainly, had it happened all at once, going from billing $350 an hour to working for $9.50, would have been a rude shock; but living for eight months waiting (alas) for the Fed. Govt. to (not) come through turned out to be less than a shrewd wager.

    Many thousands of lawyers across the country (a sizable portion who were earning comfortably more than I ever made in my best year) are also looking for work, albeit some have the luxury of severance and unemployment that I wish I had had.

    Jobs vanish and never return. My guess is that we're looking at levels of structural unemployment over the next half-decade that few would have thought possible. It would never have occurred to me, by the way, that anyone would think there was anything curious or shameful about honest work.
     
  20. blue efficacy

    blue efficacy Active Member

    Many of these government employees have skills and education that make them worth more than an unskilled truck driver.

    How much do you guys make again?

    Something to think about.

    Many UPS drivers would have more compassion for others if they were actually paid what they were worth. Maybe it's just my experience helping an anti-tax UPS driver who doesn't realise just how good he has it talking here.

    You had better not strike again (unless it is on behalf of the impoverished part timers... yeah right. the days of "part time america won't work" are long over...) If the public was made aware of how much you make, you'd have zero public goodwill, just like the public in general doesn't enjoy how much Union auto workers make.

    This is my convoluted way of saying that accusing gov't workers of being overpaid for what they do is the pot calling the kettle black.