A few temporary "driver helper" questions...

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by johnbirshire, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. johnbirshire

    johnbirshire New Member

    I had a couple questions about being a temporary driver helper through the Thanksgiving to Christmas season. I read through every forum post that mentioned the words "driver helper" and had most of my questions answered, but for these I couldn't find an answer:

    1. Do driver's appreciate helpers? Seems as if many drivers on this forum were saying to skip having a helper if you could, complaining about having to train helpers, saying they had helpers show up in miniskirts and high heels, etc. Is this true or just a small minority?

    2. I was told that I would be called, and the driver would tell me where to meet him/her. Does this mean that the driver is my boss, which is fine by me, I am there as a "driver helper" after all......but does this mean I won't actually need to visit the UPS location, I will always be meeting my driver someplace? Is it my driver who reports what hours I worked?

    3. They said I would be "on call", and that drivers worked anywhere from 8 am till 9 pm and would call if they need me. Does this mean that I always have to be available to meet a driver at anytime? What happens if I don't answer my phone, do they call somebody else and fire me? I plan on being available to help a driver at anytime, but if I'm in the shower or at a dentist or such for example, do I have to rush out the door? I won't ever know what days/hours I will work during the week, it will always be on a "moments notice" basis???

    I plan on working hard and being a great benefit to my driver, and am kind of looking forward to the experience despite some of the horror stories I've heard, but I just wanted to ask these simple questions first.

    Thanks much,
  2. uzibear

    uzibear New Member

    i just started as a helper in costa mesa, ca off the aliso viejo hub, so think i can help

    1. --i've had two different drivers; both where super cool, and were constantly thanking me for hustling; so far they've been real appreciative; i'm not even in shape, and i just have to move quick, and they've been super chill; but you never know, you could get an *******, but i wouldn't worry about it

    2----yup, you do what he/she says; exactly, you'll meet him wherever he tells you to, you might work with the same dude all the time, but probably get moved around a little at least; yeah, you'll sign in on the DIAD (the little electronic clipboard thing, ya know?) most like

    3. ---for me it hasn't been like this, they call me in the morning; they told me i'd meet a driver friday at 2pm and i did, and today i met a utility driver (they drive more than one route) at 11am; both days i worked about 5.5hrs; you probably will KNOW most of the time when you'll be working the next day; you'll probably work M-F; NO, NOT ON MOMENT'S NOTICE, here at least they call me hours in advance, and for most of the time i should be with the same dude and meet him at the same time

    -------oh, and my last thing; **** the "horror stories", i mean, bloody hell, it's not that hard; it's a bit of work, but heck, it's not so bad; i heard all these horror stories too, on browncafe and from the management; so far, i've been totally happy with the job; hard work and i'm definitely going to be losing weight which is cool, if you're in shape it will help a bundle; drivers have been super-chill, and i've just been enjoying it

    all i have to say is, go for it, it's a good job, don't let folks freak you out; it's really not that bad, at least what i've been doing (which is mostly residential admittedly); in fact it hasn't been bad at all

    if you really want to help your driver out (which really is THE thing that you want to be thinking about) you'll have a great time and your driver will love you; you make their job much easier if you do what you do well

    but whatever you do, be careful; make sure you look both ways when crossing the street (that's been a big one for me), and watch out for tripping hazards like sprinklers, steps etc.

    don't worry about it, just go apply and they'll most likely fall over themselves to hire you, then just do what you're saying (intending to help that driver out as much as possible) and they'll love you for it
  3. uzibear

    uzibear New Member

    oh, and if you want to chat email me at bryanbowerATgmail.com
  4. Brownnblue

    Brownnblue Active Member

    Every center runs things slightly different, but I have a reputation as being good with helpers, so I'll try to answer your questions based on my experiences.

    1) Your level of appreation by your driver will pretty much depend on how hard you work and how well you can handle the pressure. Your driver should be well aware that you are poorly trained (a fact he or she can readily identify with) and that he or she will have to train you from square one. This, coupled with the fact that management's vision of a helper is simply a device to add work to a route, leads to the drivers frustration over the helper system.
    That said, a helper who can follow a driver's direction, keep the mistakes to a minimum, and work at a good pace is greatly appreciated. I have helpers like this, I also had a helper who quit on me because it started to rain, leaving me to deliver 170 stops on my own and giving me a 13.5 hour day. Also, try to keep in mind that having a helper means having more work, which means having a total mess for a load, which means frustration trying to get everything sorted out. This might mean your having to run things off while the driver sets up; not uncommon.

    2) The driver and sup. set up a meet point at the beginning of the day, then the sup. will call you and tell you what that meet point is. Chances are you will not have to go to the center. While there are exceptions, you will probably go out with the same driver every day; in fact you will more likely than not get the same "runs" from the driver. The driver is not really your boss, think of it more as you being the running back and he/she being the quarterback. The driver will report your hours, in fact if you end up with the same driver all the time you probably will not have to call in, you can just set something up with the driver from day to day.

    3) Don't worry too much about missing a call, they usually call more or less at the same time every day. If possible, try to do the dentist and oil change errends on weekends or something. You will probably get into a work pattern where you won't have to worry about this at all, more sooner than later.

    Hope this helps. Good luck to you.
  5. Deuce

    Deuce Member

    odds are (usually at least) the driver will appreciate it if you put in an effort and have a good attitude, they will get frusterated if they think you are being lazy because the drivers are under a lot of pressure from management

    it's not that bad being a helper, there isnt much thought involved and its just doing what the driver says

    ex, the driver will hand you a box and say "deliver it to that blue house on the back porch" and off you go while they deliver a different box, or sort their disaster
  6. upsman415

    upsman415 Member

    Make sure your driver doesnt abuse you. Youre there to help not do his or her work. And make sure they treat you lunch hehehehe..