Amazon DSP driver here

Whither

Scofflaw
Hey y'all. I've been working for an Amazon DSP in the Kansas City area for a couple months. Just created an account here, but I've been lurking about BC for a few weeks to see if it's worth the trouble 'paying my dues' at UPS or else trying to get on with FedEx Express. There doesn't seem to be a lot of info re: Amazon in this forum, so ask all your burning questions, ha. I'd write a detailed review of the job but that'd be a TL;DR post.

For starters I'll say: it's not nearly as bad as I had expected. Took it because after 2 years I couldn't stand working in restaurant kitchens any longer. Was thinking it would serve as a source of stop-gap income until spring when I would have a chance of landing a union apprenticeship in one of the construction trades. Now we're on the cusp of spring. I have my eligibility letters from the bricklayers, plumbers, and pipefitters, but I'm having second thoughts ... since I actually like the job -- mediocre pay, other warts and all.

While I don't give a rat's ass about Amazon or my DSP (or any company for that matter, ha), I'm on the later side of my thirties and it's surprising to come home in a good mood after a long day's work. Didn't think that was possible. Maybe it's just the right amount of physical labor, since (for now) we don't deliver any over-50s, and (for now) the absence of micromanagement. Maybe extreme driver turnover (across all the DSPs at my station) is keeping the micromanagement at bay, ha.

Anyway. Enjoy reading the threads here, thanks for all the helpful info and laughs.
 

Zowert

Well-Known Member
Definitely worth paying your dues. You get the best healthcare plan in the country (at least one of the best) and a good pension if you put in the time. If you can land a job as a driver with UPS, by your 5th year you’ll be making $100k plus a year.
 

MAKAVELI

Well-Known Member
Hey y'all. I've been working for an Amazon DSP in the Kansas City area for a couple months. Just created an account here, but I've been lurking about BC for a few weeks to see if it's worth the trouble 'paying my dues' at UPS or else trying to get on with FedEx Express. There doesn't seem to be a lot of info re: Amazon in this forum, so ask all your burning questions, ha. I'd write a detailed review of the job but that'd be a TL;DR post.

For starters I'll say: it's not nearly as bad as I had expected. Took it because after 2 years I couldn't stand working in restaurant kitchens any longer. Was thinking it would serve as a source of stop-gap income until spring when I would have a chance of landing a union apprenticeship in one of the construction trades. Now we're on the cusp of spring. I have my eligibility letters from the bricklayers, plumbers, and pipefitters, but I'm having second thoughts ... since I actually like the job -- mediocre pay, other warts and all.

While I don't give a rat's ass about Amazon or my DSP (or any company for that matter, ha), I'm on the later side of my thirties and it's surprising to come home in a good mood after a long day's work. Didn't think that was possible. Maybe it's just the right amount of physical labor, since (for now) we don't deliver any over-50s, and (for now) the absence of micromanagement. Maybe extreme driver turnover (across all the DSPs at my station) is keeping the micromanagement at bay, ha.

Anyway. Enjoy reading the threads here, thanks for all the helpful info and laughs.
You'd be a fool to pass on a trade apprenticeship. You can make the same or more than a UpS driver in many parts of the country without the Bs.This industry is changing so fast I'd pass it up to get in on a trade if I were you.
 

Fred's Myth

Nonhyphenated American
You'd be a fool to pass on a trade apprenticeship. You can make the same or more than a UpS driver in many parts of the country without the Bs.This industry is changing so fast I'd pass it up to get in on a trade if I were you.
I agree, but from the sound of his post he would be a disgruntled tradesman. Amazon-grade standards of work are minimalistic compared to being a plumber, etc.
 

Whither

Scofflaw
I agree, but from the sound of his post he would be a disgruntled tradesman. Amazon-grade standards of work are minimalistic compared to being a plumber, etc.

Is there another kind of tradesman ha? My better half is an apprentice electrician with the local IBEW. She's going on 3 years. Pretty low morale among her coworkers.

I (would like to) think I'm among the fools at Amazon that works to a higher standard than the 'top' pay (ha) would merit ... it's clearly just a job, like most FXG routes, and not a career. Of course, it's not only the drivers that are incompetent, but also the management. This week my DSP announced that we must get sigs for every single package we deliver to a person, e.g., at residences, and since Amazon deals in $10 trinkets, I've yet to have any delivery with a shipper-required sig. Y'know. It would be a gargantuan task to discipline/retrain the drivers who deliver to mailboxes and mark 'delivered to customer'. (We've had 3 caught by USPS Sunday carriers.)
 

MAKAVELI

Well-Known Member
Is there another kind of tradesman ha? My better half is an apprentice electrician with the local IBEW. She's going on 3 years. Pretty low morale among her coworkers.

I (would like to) think I'm among the fools at Amazon that works to a higher standard than the 'top' pay (ha) would merit ... it's clearly just a job, like most FXG routes, and not a career. Of course, it's not only the drivers that are incompetent, but also the management. This week my DSP announced that we must get sigs for every single package we deliver to a person, e.g., at residences, and since Amazon deals in $10 trinkets, I've yet to have any delivery with a shipper-required sig. Y'know. It would be a gargantuan task to discipline/retrain the drivers who deliver to mailboxes and mark 'delivered to customer'. (We've had 3 caught by USPS Sunday carriers.)
Journeymen here in Cali can make $60+ hour.
 

Whither

Scofflaw
You'd be a fool to pass on a trade apprenticeship. You can make the same or more than a UpS driver in many parts of the country without the Bs.This industry is changing so fast I'd pass it up to get in on a trade if I were you.

The grass is always greener, though, right? I'm well-aware of the pay scales, bennies, etc. Almost nothing better than the Kansas City area in terms of trade union pay v. cost of living. Most trades top out around $40, not including benefits, and our housing costs are nothing compared to either coast. But logistics isn't the only industry that is changing fast, e.g., I could go be a tradesman for less pay than Amazon on the non-union side of construction, where almost 90 percent of the jobs are ... and certainly more will available after the next recession. The 'good jobs' are dying across the board.
 

MAKAVELI

Well-Known Member
The grass is always greener, though, right? I'm well-aware of the pay scales, bennies, etc. Almost nothing better than the Kansas City area in terms of trade union pay v. cost of living. Most trades top out around $40, not including benefits, and our housing costs are nothing compared to either coast. But logistics isn't the only industry that is changing fast, e.g., I could go be a tradesman for less pay than Amazon on the non-union side of construction, where almost 90 percent of the jobs are ... and certainly more will available after the next recession. The 'good jobs' are dying across the board.
It's even worse on the logistics side. If you have a trade you will always be able to find work. Union or non Union. Logistics is a dying industry for the common laborer. Do your research bro.
 

Whither

Scofflaw
When the hiring freeze lifts at my local UPS center, I'm gonna try and get my foot in the door. I figure you're a fool if you think there's long-term job security in any industry. That's not how our beloved economic system works. Look for the next crisis to be worse than 2008 and to wipe out what's left of decent-paying blue-collar jobs. The unions were only a stop-gap solution to quell major labor discontent, e.g., here, we'll give you a shot at owning a house, a couple cars, some free time, and not worrying every single day how you're gonna pay your bills. But major discontentment is a thing of the past. Besides, capital doesn't need us any longer. Machines don't have families, don't file grievances, don't go on strike, don't seek higher wages, etc. In China they've been trying to build the first 'dark' factory, e.g., completely robot-managed and operated, no human input required.

Anyway. I used to think that enjoying your job was a bull* idea coined by the PR hucksters. Yet, for the most part, I enjoy this job -- at least, compared to any other that I've worked. But don't tell my boss, let alone Jeff Bozo, I said that! Yes, I'm reminded a few times a day that I'm just another replaceable peon at the mercy of absurd policies (e.g., Amazon's terrible GPS-indexing), even if I'd rather log less hours and do so at times of my choosing, even when customers rush to open their screen doors and unleash the hounds after I've firmly requested they not put me at risk of a bite, etc etc. I find there's no need to run and gun, skip breaks, or drive unsafely to complete my routes accurately and on schedule. Would I want to do this for 30 years? Ofc not -- who would?! The physical wear and tear and tediousness are symptoms. The problem is, as always, the lack of freedom. But that's a part of every single job, all the way to the top. Even the mighty are slaves to capital.
 

Whither

Scofflaw
Recently was joking with a dispatcher about several drivers who don't take their breaks and treat their routes like a sprint race. This fool tells me, No, when you take your breaks you're donating your time to the company! I laughed and replied, My bad, dude, I forgot you never learned how to do math.
 

Whither

Scofflaw
You wont last a week at ups. The workload will blow your mind. Don't get me started on the micromanagement.

You're right. My usual 180-195 stop dispatches in a van wo shelves, no mail totes for sorting envelopes, no dolly for multi-pkg, heavy/oversized deliveries at businesses, schools, apartments, etc, and with a sluggish, p.o.s. scanner and Amazon's litany of catch-22 policies and dispatching system that rivals Orion, are walks in the park. Especially to complete safely and, most days, get home at a reasonable hour ... My plans are devastated!
 

1989

Well-Known Member
You're right. My usual 180-195 stop dispatches in a van wo shelves, no mail totes for sorting envelopes, no dolly for multi-pkg, heavy/oversized deliveries at businesses, schools, apartments, etc, and with a sluggish, p.o.s. scanner and Amazon's litany of catch-22 policies and dispatching system that rivals Orion, are walks in the park. Especially to complete safely and, most days, get home at a reasonable hour ... My plans are devastated!
I don’t play with dollies.
 

The Driver

I drive.
You're right. My usual 180-195 stop dispatches in a van wo shelves, no mail totes for sorting envelopes, no dolly for multi-pkg, heavy/oversized deliveries at businesses, schools, apartments, etc, and with a sluggish, p.o.s. scanner and Amazon's litany of catch-22 policies and dispatching system that rivals Orion, are walks in the park. Especially to complete safely and, most days, get home at a reasonable hour ... My plans are devastated!

Shelves alone would be a huge upgrade. Not to mention a bulkhead door and handcart. But our piece count can surpass 500, 10+ hour days, all year. At least you don't seem scared of hard work.
 

Whither

Scofflaw
Shelves alone would be a huge upgrade. Not to mention a bulkhead door and handcart. But our piece count can surpass 500, 10+ hour days, all year. At least you don't seem scared of hard work.

My contractor's rented sprinters don't have bulkheads at all. Accident waiting to happen, probably an OSHA violation too. Been pulling 50 hours weeks for a couple months now; never done that at another job, but here it's been by choice and so far I don't mind it, though prolly it'll get old sooner than later. I respect the UPS workload, above all the 150s. My average piece probably weighs 3 lbs, it's all trinkets ha; I know yours is considerably heavier. I'm usually the burbs with 225-250 pieces, and of course no pick-ups or serious commits. No problem to complete ~30 stops/hr driving and working safely, e.g., no running, using 3 points of contact, driving as if our vans were outfitted with telematics. It's just a matter of good habits and staying alert, focused, organized.
 

MAKAVELI

Well-Known Member
My contractor's rented sprinters don't have bulkheads at all. Accident waiting to happen, probably an OSHA violation too. Been pulling 50 hours weeks for a couple months now; never done that at another job, but here it's been by choice and so far I don't mind it, though prolly it'll get old sooner than later. I respect the UPS workload, above all the 150s. My average piece probably weighs 3 lbs, it's all trinkets ha; I know yours is considerably heavier. I'm usually the burbs with 225-250 pieces, and of course no pick-ups or serious commits. No problem to complete ~30 stops/hr driving and working safely, e.g., no running, using 3 points of contact, driving as if our vans were outfitted with telematics. It's just a matter of good habits and staying alert, focused, organized.
Sounds like a wet dream for @OrioN .:happy2:
 
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