After many years of working with Drivers, I feel comfortable in sharing some observations. Patterns suggest we can group them into key groups. Of course, I'm not a psychologist, nor, do I play one on TV, however, having said that, here are my observations in no special order.
The Bonus Center Guy – Known around UPS as a “runner/gunner,” this guy will instruct his helper not to use his seat belt, start moving the truck before the helper is seated & will be the only driver who welcomes the helper DIAD – so he can record while driving/idling without being caught, of course. When the helper has to use the bathroom, he will be provided a DR bag to poop in and some infonotices to wipe with. What the helper needs to understand is that he/she is only there to prevent the driver from earning excessive bonus, thus saving UPS money. In many instances, the only role of the helper will be to block the stack of packages placed within the cab from falling while the truck is in motion; the driver himself will run off (literally) every stop.
The Bluetooth Guy – This guy will spend every single minute of every single day talking on his phone. It does not matter if it’s the Helper’s first day on the job – Bluetooth Guy will expect him to be completely proficient, and will decline opportunities to communicate so as not to interrupt his phone conversations. For example, Bluetooth Guy may drop his first-time helper off at a Walmart; the helper will spend several minutes searching for somebody to sign for the packages only to learn that certain packages such as pharmacy must be delivered directly and receiving cannot sign for these packages. When the frustrated helper approaches Bluetooth Guy for help, he will become angry.
The Safety Guy – This guy will not speak with his helper, except to convey critical information, as it may cause a distraction; he will also require the passenger side door to be closed after every stop. He will ensure that his helper is proficiently following UPS safety methods, such as walking at a brisk pace while dangling an object such as keys and calling out “UPS, UPS” every step of the way. The first time a helper fails to use three points contact or walks in front of (instead of behind of) the truck, he will threaten to leave the helper behind at the nearest safest point (such as a McDonald’s) and call the center to pick him up. He will not care if it’s the helper’s first day on the job. Special Note: The Safety Guy often looks like Rick Moranis.
Seasonal Guy – Same profile as the Bonus Center guy, but the Seasonal Guy isn’t doing it for the money, but instead because management has guaranteed him a full-time job after the Holiday season. He may be a temp employee, or an inside employee with one-year seniority, it does not matter. Topics of conversation often include how great he is.
Midlife Crisis Guy – Like many (most?) UPS drivers, this guy’s having problems at home. He’s looking for a cute, blond haired, blue-eyed female helper about 5’, 80 lbs. and all of her body fat in her DD breasts. He dreams of pampering her while she sits in the truck and he does all the work. He will find fault in any other helper he receives, no matter how hard they work.
The Whiny Guy – This guy’s going to whine about EVERYTHING. He’s been driving for UPS for 14 years and is still swing driving. He went out with 247 stops. He didn’t get home until 8PM last night. He’s delivering in an area he doesn’t want to. This job's killing his body. UPS doesn't care about his health. He shouldn’t have to take a 30 minute lunch. Consumers are always ordering stuff and are never home to sign for them. The Helper showed up at 11:56 for a 12 start, but he’s been waiting since 11:55. And guess what? That whining will extend to YOU, his helper, when his day doesn’t go right.
The Urban Guy – The Urban Guy has only been driving for a few years, but he already has his own route because it’s in the roughest neighborhoods in the country. The Urban Guy likes the route, since he's comfortable in the area (after all, he grew up there) and it has less than a 100 stops. Generally one of the easier guys to work with, but hard to communicate over blaring rap station he refuses to turn down. If you have allergies be warned that he often brings flowers for all the ladies on his route during the last week of peak.
Military Guy – The Military Guy is an all-work, no nonsense, my way-or-highway guy – don’t try to joke around with him! The Military Guy is very critical of every aspect of the helper, from his attire to his strides to his placement of Infonotices (the Military Guy usually places the Infonotices a few centimeters from where the Helper did… how in the world is the consumer ever going to find it?) The Military Guy often maintains his residence on his route so he can work-out during his lunch. He shares that home with his, um, male “best friend” of 18 years. Note: ALWAYS, and I repeat ALWAYS, make sure you show up 15-minutes before your start time or risk infururating the Military Guy. Just don't expect to get paid for those minutes!!
The Labor Manager Guy – The Labor Manager Guy is your boss’s boss’s boss’s boss. He’s been tossed peddling packages either because a major snow storm wreaked havoc for your area, or because the seasonals just weren’t cutting it. He’s ticked because not only does he have to perform his day job, but now he has to do this. The Labor Manager Guy generally drives 50 MPH in a residential neighborhood, asks his helper to run & not wear his seat belt, sheets packages in low-density areas as “NSN”, etc. – anything to save time & get done. You know, all the stuff he generally fires people for.
The BrownCafe Guy – The BrownCafe guy spends all year complaining about runners/gunners online, then demands a helper who runs. After all, if he’s in a bonus center, this will be the only time he’ll make bonus – and that makes up for the $15 turkeys UPS took away 4 years ago. The BrownCafe guy whines & complains that his helper isn’t fully trained for the job, and then belittles the helpers who take the initiative – on their own time – to register for the website to better learn their job. The BrownCafe guy posts online blasting any helper who doesn’t share the same interests as him. The BrownCafe guy sits on his butt and makes no effort to improve the experience of the helper. Two stops across the street from each other? The helper better run them off! At $32+/hour (not including benefits & OT), the BC guy believes he’s underpaid … but simultaneously believes the $8.50/hr is too much for his helper, even though that person may have spent a full hour’s pay just on gas to work.
The Average Joe Guy –The Average Joe Guy welcomes helpers to take the edge of peak season. He has no preference in helpers, as he doesn’t expect the helper to work any harder than he usually does. He appreciates the opportunity to diverse himself, so he’s willing to engage in any conversation with his helper. He realizes the training habits are poor, so he does what he can to help the helper out. If there are two stops across the street from each other, he takes the time to peddle one off. At the end of the season, he tips his helper as a token of his appreciation.