Hello and welcome to Brown Cafe--our home away from home! Before we get started, please familiarize yourself with the "Search Forums" link near the top of the page. Most questions have already been asked and answered so you should review old discussions before starting a new one. Please don't "bump" an old inactive thread unless you have something substantive to add and if you don't think it will be disruptive to resurrect it. This FAQ is intended for hourly employees in the US however UPSers everywhere may benefit from it. Let's get started... Customers Q Can you help me with... A This site is not an official UPS site and is only intended for employees. If you have questions or issues as a customer, please click here for helpful resources: Prospective/Incoming Employees Q Can anyone tell me how long it will take me to...[get a driving job][hear back from HR][start driving now that I've been to driver school],etc. A No! Everything varies by area. Please don't ask on this forum as we can't speak for your area. Inquire locally. Q How many hours will I get? A That completely depends on what you'll be doing, where you will be working and what time of year. A package handler on average may work 3-5 hours per day. This may be considerably more during peak season. A new casual/temporary driver usually will work a full day of around 9-11 hours, but it varies greatly by center and by route. Q Will UPS make me take a drug test? A Feeder (tractor trailer) drivers are subject to random drug tests. All other employees are not given a drug test upon starting employment, however if management has reason to believe you may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol during work hours they can request you submit to a test. In the interest of the safety of your co-workers, the public and yourself please don't come to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol. UPS offers a confidential employee assistance program if you need help (800-336-9117). Q What are the chances of my seasonal/temporary job turning into a permanent one? A Very few seasonal drivers are offered permanent full time employment and contractually seasonal drivers can't be used after January 15th. It's more common for seasonal package handlers to be made permanent as there is a higher turnover, but don't count on any seasonal position being anything more than seasonal. There is no chance of the driver helper position becoming permanent as it is a seasonal only position, however if you wish to apply to be a package handler see HR or http://upsjobs.com Q Is it possible to be hired off the street to be a full time permanent driver? A Yes, but it's uncommon. Most union contracts limit the hiring to one off the street hire per six drivers put on the road. This slot is occasionally used on casual temporary drivers that management wants to make permanent, so it's pretty rare for that slot to be given to someone off the street sight-unseen. Q Can you teach me how to use the DIAD over the internet? A Sorry, no. It's not just a "press this button, then that button, then that button." You need to be properly trained in person then given some hands on, real-world supervised experience with it. Current Employees Q How do I go from part timer to driver? A In most of the country you would sign a list which is posted once a year. (Some areas just post a bid every time a driver slot opens). Once the list is taken down, it is then organized by seniority and HR uses it as drivers are needed. When a casual/temporary cover driver slot or permanent slot opens HR works down the list offering the slot by seniority. When it's your turn HR will order a motor vehicle history and a background check. If you meet the criteria you'll be asked to fill out a change of classification application and given a driving test where you usually have to demonstrate you can drive a standard. If you pass the driving test you'll be sent for a DOT physical. If you pass all of this you'll be sent to driving school which is usually 5-6 days long and can either be hosted regionally or at one of the Integrad facilities. Q What does it mean to "make book" or make seniority? A New employees must qualify for permanent employment. Each position has a qualification period in which you must satisfactorily perform to management's standards in order to reach the end of your qualification period. This period may be 30-90 days depending on the position and region. The most common qualification period for drivers is 30 working days. Once you have successfully reached the end of your qualification period, you are then granted seniority. Being a seniority employee basically means you have a job as long as you want it as long as you don't steal, lie, get into a fight, etc. You can not make seniority in the "free period" which varies by area but is usually the last 3 months of the year. If management feels you have not successfully qualified and your period is almost up, but they believe you might improve with time, management and the union can agree to an extension (usually 1-2 weeks). Q How do benefits work and when am I eligible? A It varies. There are different plans for different parts of the country based on what your local has negotiated for you in bargaining. A good part of the country has a new common health plan called TeamCare, but areas like New England have private health care funds administered locally, so everything varies by area. Many new employees now have to wait a year for benefits but check your contract or see a steward to find out when you're eligible for benefits in your area. Q What is the union and what are dues and initiation fees? A The union is an organized brotherhood of workers standing together in solidarity in the workplace. By banding together, small individual voices become one powerful voice resulting in fair pay, benefits, improved safety, job security and a vehicle to address grievances and effect positive change in the workplace. A union member pays dues, usually monthly which is a small percentage of that member's pay. Approximately 78% of these funds are used by the member's Local with the rest being distributed to the IBT. Dues pay for the cost of representation for things like bargaining with the company for your rights, wages and benefits as well as defending you should you need it and are set at a local level. Think of the initiation fee as the price of your ticket to come aboard and dues as the small cost to keep the boat afloat. Q I'm a driver...where can I buy UPS branded socks? A https://www.twinhill.com/upscatalog/Home.jsp Q I'm a cover driver. How do I get my own route and how long does it take? A Every center has different bidding practices. Some bid every year, some every other and some centers bid for life. Ask someone local how your center operates. As for how long it takes to get your own route, it's the same deal as how long does it take to start driving. It varies and depends on a lot of factors like who retires, goes to feeders or goes inside to a 22.2 or 22.3 job. Q I'm sick *cough* and need to miss work. Do I have to let someone know and how do I do that? A Yes, you have to notify management at least an hour before your shift starts. If you don't, it's an ANC (absent, no call) A.K.A. no call/no show which can cost you your job. You need to call your supervisor. If you're an adult and somehow have not made sure you have a phone number for your center and/or supervisor, you need to go to work and communicate that you are ill. New employees don't get any sick time and if you haven't made seniority yet, you really should do whatever you can to avoid missing time. Q What are the best work shoes/boots? A This is a matter of opinion/preference and has been discussed several times. The most popular range from Redwings at the most expensive end of the spectrum to Nike ACG boots in the middle to the cheapest like New Balance NB608 or Sketchers Keystone work sneakers. All employees need to wear footwear that is sturdy and non-slip. Additionally drivers' shoes need to be black or brown and have a polishable upper. Make sure the shoe fits you well or you'll be more prone to blisters. Generally you get what you pay for with work shoes. One thing everyone here usually agrees upon is that you can't go wrong with adding Dr Sholl's massaging gel work insoles. Q I'm a helper and need help with [uniform issues] [my assignment] [my paycheck]...who can help me? A You should have been given a phone number when you were hired of a contact in HR or a helper coordinator. They can take care of your assignment preferences and pay/uniform issues. If you are still an active helper you can ask your driver to see if they can help resolve your issue, but keep in mind your driver has a lot on his/her plate if they have a helper. Q Is that a camera hiding in my rear view camera's monitor? A No, we've confirmed via the manufacturer's reference material and by phone that it is an infrared receiver port for an optional remote control and not a camera or light sensor. Q I'm a full time seniority driver and I'm not getting worked, what can I do? A In most areas you are guaranteed 8 hours of pay if you report to work as scheduled, however management sometimes will make you fight for it. In some areas you may be able to displace part time or junior inside employees. Please refer to your contract and see your steward with any questions. Q Where can I find my contract? A You can get a copy of your contract from your local union hall or your steward should be able to obtain one for you. You can also view the national master agreement here and find other supplements and riders on http://teamster.org Q What is a warning letter and how does it affect me? A A warning letter is issued by management to warn of the possibility of future discipline for continued infractions. Click here for one employee's insight on the matter. Q Am I allowed to transfer to another location in the country? A You can apply for an educational transfer at management's discretion and the union has to sign off. Some regions allow you to sign a list to move within your region, but most don't. As a general rule, you can't easily transfer outside your local's jurisdiction. Q I'm thinking about taking the plunge and signing up for feeders. Where can I learn more? A There is some great information in this thread. Q What's up with the day after Thanksgiving? Do I have to work? Isn't it a holiday? A Previously this paid holiday wasn't a regular operational day and usually just air would get delivered on a voluntary basis. Management has made a decision to make it a regular work day. The day is still a paid holiday per our contract (if you have enough time in that you get paid holidays) and with the exception of two bargaining units our contracts do not have any provision to stop them from forcing us to work. See your supplement to determine at what rate you'll be paid for the time you work on this holiday. Q Is Christmas Eve a holiday? A Please review your contract for a list of paid holidays. Christmas eve is not a holiday. If it falls on the weekend, drivers are sometimes asked to work as a 6th punch. If it falls on a weekday it is paid as a normal day. Q I'm new and I think I want to quit. A Please don't post about this here. This job isn't for everyone and it takes a certain kind of person to do what we do. If you want to work your way up to making $80-$100,000 per year, you have to want it...and you have to work for it. If you decide to quit, do the right thing and pick up the phone and let someone know so your co-workers don't suffer being short-staffed. Q What does doing a route "blind" mean? What do I do if I have to pull a route blind? A Running a route blind means delivering with no training/area knowledge. Make sure you have a decent local map. If your sup can't provide you with one, you should probably have a local map book anyway if you're a cover driver. If there is something you can't find on the map, you can try to use a map program on your phone like Google Maps, but don't spend too much time trying to look up every stop on your phone or you a) will take too long and b) not learn the area as you'll just be depending on the phone. When you stop to look at your map, look at the next 5 stops so you get the idea of how you're going to be navigating through the streets. Also invest in a rechargeable small led spotlight. It will save you a ton of time and frustration. Q What is package fever? A This is the phenomenon which occurs when a driver realizes it's getting later in the day and there is still a lot of wood on the cart, which results in the affected driver freaking out, panicking and usually driving unsafely and/or getting injured. The key to avoiding package fever is taking a quick break to calm down and reset the head then continuing to work with a sense of urgency taking it one stop at a time. Q I'm new. Do I get paid for the holiday? A No, under most contracts you usually don't get paid for holidays in the first year. Check your contract. Q How do I request a letter of employment verification from UPS? A Call the UPS Employee Service Center toll-free at 1-800-UPS-1508 (1-800-877-1508). Q I've read about UPSers.com, how do I log in for the first time? A Your username is your seven digit employee ID. If you don't know it you can find it on a paystub. The starter password is the first 2 letters of your last name (lowercase), then the last 2 digits of the year in which you were born followed by the last two digits of your employee id. So Steven Tyler born in 1948 with the employee id of 4446969 would have the starter login info: Username: 4446969 Password: ty4869 Q How do I change my direct deposit information? A To change direct deposit info log in to upsers.com. Click on "My Life & Career", then click "View your paycheck" in the column to the right.