Ethics and personal responsibilty

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by dannyboy, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    The Fourth of July, Independence Day. And rain, Blessed rain. And some time to spend at the computer.

    I had another poster send me a PM that got me to thinking a bit. It goes well with some of the other threads that have been in action this week. Here is part of that PM.

    “Where in the world has the ethics and morals gone? Not even that, where have they gone within this company? This company was built on ethics and codes of conduct. And it means nothing. There was a time when a handshake and a promise meant something. Nowadays, it's nothing more than whitewash on a deteriorating fence. It looks pretty but there is no substance or foundation to it.”

    I just got back from Sam’s, got a large crowd that I am feeding tomorrow. Hamburgers, fruit salad, chicken and swimming pool time! Anyway, I happened to end up at the men’s room, which the guy had just cleaned. He was pushing the mop bucket out and had opened it back up.

    Anyway, I was inside one of the stalls, when someone else came into the bathroom. They walked to the far side, and then backed out. I could not help but notice that the individual was peeing in an S pattern on the floor as he backed up.

    Now to my point.

    There is a group of you that have just read the post that derive pleasure, admiration for the pee-er, or just get a kick out of chaos in general. The group that has long given up on trying to be the best that they can be, and have settled for being (in the words of one here) the “worstest” they can be.

    There is also another situation, that of McDonalds. While not considered fine dining by any means, they have a standard. They live and die by that standard……’s called consistency. While the food you have might not be great, it’s the same day in and day out. The big mac you eat today tastes just like the one you ate last year, and will eat 2 years from now. Consistency.

    Same with UPS. They have standards, which over time, have been borne out by results. One of those is the appearance and the productivity of the driver. Also to an extent, the demeanor of said driver. That is what the customer has come to expect, and what they demand. What they have lacked is an overall consistency. That is partially due to management allowing freedoms to the drivers due to self governing of those drivers.

    Over the last 5-10 years or so, the shift to more outwardly self expression has become popular in our society. Some of that is to be expected, some goes a bit overboard. But this is America. You can self mutilate yourself if that is what you want to do. Poke holes in your ears, nose, lips, tongue, ink up your body all you want. Be belligerent, obnoxious, etc all you care to be. Sure, get in the mans face and tell him no. And by all means stand up to all those that would put a curb on those things you do or do not want to do. It’s your right, your God given right, nailed down in blood by those that came before.

    Problem is that when the culture clash comes to a head, then things get ugly. And the younger employees want to participate with an “in your face” zeal that is more vocal now than in the past.

    Take our center. Until this year, tats and other body mutilations were not an issue. Most drivers either had them covered, or didn’t make a big deal out of it. But that was not good enough. Some of the newer drivers saw what everyone else was getting by with, so they started to push the edge.

    So starting this week, any one with exposed tats will be sent back home. Without pay. You will be required to cover them at all times while on duty. No ear rings (with the exception of the ladies), no lip, nose or tongue jewelry. Shoes to be polished, hair to be cut to standards or a cap worn over the hair with it being tucked up under at all times. No non-standard UPS clothing to be worn (this in response to several of the younger drivers wearing caps other than brown, and wild colored clothing that was longer than the UPS uniform i.e. shirts and shorts that showed past where the uniform stopped).

    To the majority of the drivers, its business as usual. For the ones that it affects, the crying and moaning started. And several talked about discrimination.

    Sorry, not its not discrimination, its called market share protection. Protection from a bunch of circus clowns (actually the case could be made to call it more the circus freak show), that don’t understand personal responsibility for their actions.

    And it was not enough that UPS allowed a certain level of this behavior to go without pushing back, they had to try to go further.

    Yes, that 1800 dollar art work you have is very nice and great detail too! (sure does let every one know what side of the sexual fence you are on as well), but it is a bit too graphic for UPS to allow you to make deliveries out in public. And they do have the right to decide what image their drivers will portray in public. Notice, I said their right, as certified by legal action.

    So it is up to the person to decide, artwork, personal statement, self aggrandizement, or a career at UPS, undeniably the best delivery company in the world. Maybe not the best employer, but that is another subject. And to have become the best, they had to uphold their core beliefs and standards.

    Over the last few years, there has been a lot of slack given in many areas. Look for that to decrease over the next year. Self governance has not worked in many areas, so look for management to enforce things that last year were not an issue.

    And for those that have made it their life’s ambition to be the “worstest” look for the next few years to be very tough.

  2. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    To add to what D was saying about personal responsibility, I was in Reagan National Airport yesterday waiting for my connecting fllight to Albany. As I am sitting there, this older couple and their son sit down near by. The gentleman had a banana peel from the banana that he had just eaten tucked in to his newspaper so that he could throw it away later. Well, when he went to sit down, the banana peel fell on to the floor. I figured he would just bend down, pick it up and find a trash can. He did bend down but then just pushed it further under his chair. I glanced over and started to say something but thought better of it, knowing that it was not only not the smartest thing to do but that it wouldn't make a difference whatsoever.

    I am sure we all have stories similar to mine or D's, which is sad.

    Personal responsibility.
  3. Diegotron

    Diegotron Hater

    Great post. Period. But about that "pisser", I probably would've had a calm word or two with him.

    And yeah, I have plenty of stories similar to both of yours. Like customers at a McDonalds leaving as much trash as possible on a table. Yes the employees are paid to keep the lobby clean, but that doesn't mean you can't pick up after yourself.

    Leaving Lowes and watching as a group of guys pass someone struggling to load something onto their vehicle by themselves.

    Watching tons of cars drive by a woman and her child as they walk to the grocery store in freezing weather. You could see the little girls ears practically glowing red.

    Although some of the examples above aren't about personal responsibility, they do have have to do with how self centered people have become.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2008
  4. Leftinbuilding

    Leftinbuilding Active Member

    Absolutely outstanding post Dannyboy. Impossible to agree more! I just hope this new enforcement of LONG-STANDING rules is across the board nationwide. No one is forced to work here. Shape up or ship out!
  5. sano

    sano New Member

    As someone considering a career at UPS, this post is the most encouraging I have seen on Brown Cafe.
    I have to admit all the post about "sticking it to the man" and people taking pride in working slow, have me questioning if I can make the transition from owning a small business to working for UPS and fit in.
    Very refreshing post!
  6. atatbl

    atatbl Active Member

    Great post D!

    Upstate, you bring up a good point. It is NOT personal responsibility to help others (or so some in our society think), so some people just don't care. I am pretty sure that I had that attitude at some point in my life.

    I have found that just going out of your way a LITTLE bit to help people has great overall effects. Like the examples you gave, if anyone were to help those people it would not take much time or energy out of their day. It all comes back to you ten-fold. You can call it religion, karma, or whatever you believe. At the end of the day, what you put out usually comes back to you. There are exceptions, everyone will have bad days and bad things happen to them. Even the most giving of individuals get the short end of the stick sometimes. But overall, we reap what we sow.

    The irony of it all is that when we act selfish we are doing it for personal gain, inherently. But, when you give to people in any way; monetarily, time, physical work, or emotional support it actually does benefit YOU more than the opposite action would.

    Just my take on life.
  7. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    :woohoo:Way to go Dannyboy !!!!!
  8. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    Some people think that I am a bit long winded, so here goes

    dannyboy say be careful of fights picked, when pants are around ankles:wink2:

  9. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    I have always felt that UPS has the right to set reasonable grooming and appearance standards. The problem starts when management singles out certain "favorite" people for enforcement of those rules, or comes up with a totally arbitrary and unfair definition of "reasonable."
    I have a tattoo, but it is not visible unless I pull my shirt sleeve up. Its fine to have a no visible tat rule, but it is unfair to inform the driver of that rule 15 years after you hire him with the tattoo already in place. Some sort of grandfather clause is required here. For new hires, it is entirely reasonable to say no visible tats is a condition of employment and they can make their personal choices accordingly.
    As far as piercings go---we have a reasonable rule here, which is that both men and women are allowed to have earrings only, one per ear, but those earrings cannot be large enough to pass a dime thru. No nose, lip or other visible piercings allowed. It is unfair to allow women but not men to have an earring, but it is a resonable and safe compromise to have a size limit on that ring.
    As long as UPS is fair and consistent in their implemntation of an appearance policy, I am OK with it.
  10. Bad Gas!

    Bad Gas! Active Member

    It used to be a standard to have shoes polished and looking groomed to recieve a check on friday..Now our on-car sups have to chase misloads and run splits to get there drivers within range of 9.5's...We had a driver sent home this week with no UPS logo on his socks while wearing UPS shorts...But the problem is 4 other drivers weren't sent home with the the same non-logo brown socks.As a previous post said, they need to be consistent with everyone..The sent home driver is grieving the 8 hour paid day for inconsistenty..
  11. Mike Hawk

    Mike Hawk New Member

    He should gerive those on cars too! why not make it a 8 hour day plus some double time?
  12. But Benefits Are Great!

    But Benefits Are Great! Just Words On A Screen

    I made the move from lifetime self-employment to UPS a month ago - so far, no regrets at all. Nothing better than leaving work at work.

    I too had questions about some posts here - my questions on advancement were called arrogant, comments on common sense I was told to "dry behind the ears" before I made more posts.

    There are many here that are full of knowledge AND common sense AND happy to see you succeed. When they post, you will know it.

    There is much information here for us new UPSers. And real life, common sense wisdon, such as dannyboy's post is good to hear. Remember, its all just words on a screen - wade thru the "holier than thou" posts & find the gold.
  13. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    Agree with Dannys post, and I hope UPS does pull back to the old ways regarding "image".

    UNIFORM. There are several definitions of that word. The one everyone thinks of first is the browns that we wear.

    But also it means "uniform in appearance". We all should dress the same, have the correct hair length, not show tats, etc. I hate how some guys have long sleeve t shirts under their short sleeve browns. I hate the red tshirts under the browns. I hate the worn out browns (they're FREE ya know, get new ones!!)

    And someone mentioned shoes shined. Pet peeve of mine. I still shine my shoes everyday. I think I'm the only one. No one seems to care anymore, including management.

    I think we should look sharp out there. It does seperate us from the competition. It's actually an EASY way to seperate us from them.
  14. leastbest

    leastbest LeastBest

    The problem I have with shined shoes and other 'uniform appearance' is that it is more important than the real issues.

    We have sups who are more concerned with the color of our underwear (gray t-shirts) or shined shoes than the fact that we can't get the sort wrapped, can't get our NDA into our first section, can't get 0/70's labeled properly or get a decent dispatch.

    The place is falling apart and the big worry is whether our shirts are buttoned all the way.

  15. Thorn

    Thorn New Member

    I have to agree. Shined shoes seems to be more important than misloads or businesses pal'd to splits for after 5 o'clock delivery. Oh well. I guess as long as you look good while you're having missed pieces.
  16. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    How 'bout you grow up and shine your shoes like you're supposed to, and then the sup will have more time to work on important issues instead of being your mother.
  17. Diegotron

    Diegotron Hater

    Was thinking the same thing. If you do what you're supposed to as far as uniforms go then they have one less thing to worry about. Not that they'll take care of the more important things, but it'll make them have to find something else to do.
  18. Thorn

    Thorn New Member

    Oh yeah, shining my shoes is sooooooo important. How many accounts did we lose last year due to dirty shoes? I think I read on foxnews business that the number 1 reason why businesses go bankrupt is because employees won't do what mommie says and shine their shoes... or was that not covering up tattoos? I forget now.
  19. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

    One of our beliefs. take care of the little things and the big things will fall in line.
  20. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

    Remember the old RPS delivery guys. I wonder how many accounts they lost because they looked like a bunch of dirtballs.

    Our uniform appearance presents a positive image that allows us into the front door of businesses when many trucking companies are directed to the back door or loading dock.