Hopeful new hire that failed his road course before it even began :(

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by Lm602, Sep 30, 2016.

  1. Lm602

    Lm602 New Member

    Hey all, been on here a few times looking up what to expect and figured I'd post a type of thanks and farewell post. Little backstory. I worked for the USPS for about 4 months until Nov of 2015 when I was unfairly removed by a very bad postmaster. I was in my probationary period which management can fire you for no reason. I was good, everyone told me so. The best new hire they had ever seen. Learned 3 routes in 2 months (wasn't supposed to learn that many so soon) and ran 2 of them in under the evaluated time a few days. I fell slightly into depression over it, as I felt it was a job I could finally stay with, I was so tired of awful minimum wage jobs. It was nice to have a future. The fact that there was no real reason I was removed still bugs me to this day.

    I finally found the motivation and applied to UPS around the middle of august this year. I liked delivery, I thought UPS would be like the post office without some of the really terrible parts so I figured I'd try. I had a kind of interview that explained the job on sep 1st. I would be hired as a package handler that was trained to drive so I could fill in for drivers when needed. The package handling I wasn't interested due to my slightly long commute making it about not worth it (with driving time and fuel factored in my profit/hr was like 4.50). However the days I would drive would make it worth dealing with due to the substantial pay and daily hour increase. After my meeting I did not hear anything about my hiring for weeks. Until yesterday. I was called by a driver supervisor (I think was his title) and he explained the work further and asked if I could come in the next day for a road test. I said absolutely and thanked him.

    I was told all through the process that I needed to know how to drive a manual transmission vehicle. I have known how to do this since I was a young teenager due to dirtbikes and driving my dad's old FJ40 around his property. This ability was reinforced later in life by of course driving normal cars with manual transmissions. I never had a problem. Today was a different story.

    I arrived early, ready, and feeling pretty good about my test. Supervisor arrived, we went over daily checks and procedures, to give me a brief example of daily operations, then we got in the truck. He drove to a nearby industrial complex for me to get familiar with the truck before the road test. It was a perfect location for this as it was a dead end area, with a few perfect intersections that looped around to practice in. I took the wheel, started off fine, I liked how the truck pulled away as 1st gear was nice and short for starting out easily, made it part way around the loop, and came to an intersection with a stop sign. He explained to me then that you are not to shift in the intersection in case you stall, which would leave you stranded. He told me to start out in 1st, then as soon as it starts rolling, shift to second before you start to turn and use second to travel through the intersection. Easy enough I thought, but this one thing would ultimately prevent me from being able to be hired.

    The truck used, as I expected from reading on here, was probably one of the worst they could find. I understand the "if you can pass your test in this you can drive anything" reasoning, I just wish the worst one was a little better. Now as I said I was used to dirtbikes and cars that had fairly nice gear selection. I was SO unprepared for the play in the shifter, and the difficulty in finding and engaging a gear. 3rd would pop out while driving too, I was told to use it sparingly and use 4th instead. Also, the shift pattern was one I wasn't used to, but could understand, with reverse in the top left. Not normally a problem, but the play in the shifter made finding 2nd too difficult for me to familiarize myself with in the 10 or 15 minutes I had to practice before the test.

    I tried the intersection as told, using first to start moving a little, then shift into second, and then make the turn. Screwed this up pretty bad my first time as I would never shift like that in anything else. I would use 1st gear to make the turn, then shift into second when I needed to. First try at doing this I started out fine, went to shift to 2nd before I turned, couldn't find it instantly then stalled it, really frustrating. Instructor said something along the lines of this is why we're out here with no traffic, if this was on a road with traffic you may have been rear ended. Quite discouraging thing to say. Started it back up and made it to the next intersection, tried it again and stalled it again. I realized then I probably should have given it much more gas when shifting to 2nd but this was abnormal feeling as it's not what you would do in any other car, you would just shift and let off the clutch, then accelerate. Now I'm really nervous and getting pretty frustrated, never had a problem stalling anything else I ever drove. I think I only really did once when I was learning with a car on a hill. I could also tell the instructor was losing interest in me working for UPS really quickly. Started it back up, went for another loop, made it back to the intersection I stalled the first time and successfully made the turn with the shifting. Made it to the intersection I stalled the second time and stalled again. I even gave it more gas when shifting into second than I thought I should and it still stalled. It was at this time he said we might as well not ever start the actual test.

    That was a real punch to the gut. I had $40 in my bank account, would be $30 after I paid for the gas to get there. I actually drove my car that's 2 months out of inspection, needs brakes, an oil change, a new window motor, and who knows what else in the near future to get there, risking a fine that I wouldn't be able to pay in order to try and work. I needed this so badly. He took the wheel, we went back to the distribution center, shook hands and sent me on my way. On the way back I asked if all the trucks were manuals like this and if they weren't how often would've I been driving one. The real kicker was his answer, they actually had to borrow that truck from another location because every single truck at this location was an automatic. This made me think while I beat myself up on the drive home that maybe there were some drivers there working who might not be able to drive that truck I had to drive. I did not know this of course and of course mean no disrespect to them, but the thought of the possibility made it sting even worse. The supervisor offered to see if I wanted on a call list if they needed full time package handlers. I thanked him and said that I would appreciate a call, but this was just a formality as I said that wouldn't really work for me and would probably turn it down if offered.

    Now here I am, writing a book on a forum site that if anyone reads it all I'd actually feel sorry for them. Sorry and thankful, because this had really made today one of the most upsetting days since I was unexpectedly removed from my last delivery job. I understand the reasoning behind not being hired. I don't argue that at all. I would do the same if some 22 year old kid performed the same as I did. I knew the truck was drive-able as he could drive it without much problem; but I'm sure he had several hours in it compared to my 15 minutes. It's just so frustrating because I know I could've done it; and I'll really be kicking myself over it for a really long time.

    If anyone would have some words of encouragement (not sure if those are in great supply around here or not) or some criticism I could go off it would definitely not fall on deaf ears. Thanks.
  2. scooby0048

    scooby0048 This page left intentionally blank

    Good luck! Happy holidays!
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  3. scratch

    scratch Least Best Moderator Staff Member

    I'm sorry for your frustration, a lot of people fail the initial driving test. I failed it myself the first time I took it. I made an illegal left turn because I misunderstood the supervisor's instructions of where to pull over and switch to another driver. I had no problem driving a manual, my first two cars had four-speeds. Unfortunately, you won't get much sympathy here.
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  4. Lm602

    Lm602 New Member

    Thanks scratch and scooby. I figured as much on the sympathy from the few threads I've read. I feel like I would've had to problem with the driving part, and I can usually drive a manual no problem. This was the first time I've ever had a problem and of course it was the time that would cost me a job, one of the best jobs around here. You got any suggestions on what to do next?
  5. scooby0048

    scooby0048 This page left intentionally blank

    You do realize that you can take the test again as quickly as next week and all the way out to a year. Get with the center manager to reschedule.
  6. Lm602

    Lm602 New Member

    I wasn't given that option. Honestly it seemed like I wasn't wanted back after my performance. Don't really blame them either. I'll ask though next time I'm near the place. Thanks.
  7. klein

    klein Für Meno :)

    I was actually smart enough to ask a fellow driver who drove an old thing to take it for a spin.
    Most drivers didn't even use the 1st gear ! Started in 2nd all the time.
    But me , being just like you , wanted a perfect road test with sup.
    I had slight problems.
    Told sup others don't use 1st gear.
    And finally sup told me to just start with 2nd.
    All went well. Passed easily.
  8. By The Book

    By The Book Well-Known Member

    As you mentioned the supervisor didn't have difficulty driving this vehicle. Your chance to learn was watching and studying his driving to the area, shift pattern, when to shift,etc. Practice on an old truck of similar size and try again if they'll allow you to.
  9. Northbaypkg

    Northbaypkg 20 NDA stops daily

    Yeah everything you described was how my test and facility was. Well now at least. We no longer have any manual transmission trucks in our fleet unlike when I first started and 70% of the trucks were manuals. But folks still take the test on that manual POS truck. Like everyone else said, NO ONE uses 1st gear to start up. For your next try, try to convince them to let you start off in 2nd gear instead. If they won't, then just work on going from first to second quickly after it revs high in first gear. It won't stall out as long as you rev that first gear high enough, and it revs high fast. It's almost an instantaneous shift. Hold the clutch down and get that thing in 2nd gear. Those POS old manuals are hard to get in gear sometime but after awhile on the test you'll get used to it. Don't give up at getting another road test. Unless you really just need more recent time with a manual transmission.
  10. Lm602

    Lm602 New Member

    That was the only problem I had too was the short shifting. I didn't even think to ask if I could start in second, I assumed it wouldn't be allowed. Would've solved my problem. Is taking the intersection in first then after it, when the truck is up to the correct speed, shift into second an option?
  11. Northbaypkg

    Northbaypkg 20 NDA stops daily

    First gear is too slow to take an entire corner in. You'd be revving high at 5 mph the whole time lol.
  12. Lm602

    Lm602 New Member

    Thanks. I did try to learn how exactly he was driving it, it was only about a 3 or 4 minute ride to where I started though, couldn't learn a whole lot. He wasn't perfect either, just able. He grinded once or twice and missed a gear a couple times.
  13. Lm602

    Lm602 New Member

    I thought that might be the case. I also think I needed to give more room before the intersection so I get more of a run in 1st gear. From your experience did you need to slip the clutch at all shifting into second?
  14. mrbrownstone

    mrbrownstone Active Member

    I understand your frustration and would be upset in your shoes.

    Here's the thing. As a new driver and even a not new driver you can be in situations where you are driving multiple trucks aka package cars in one day.

    I have had plenty of times when I have done double trips and had a nice new automtic for one trip and a crappy old manuel for another. You have to be able to adjust very quickly im cases such as this. There is no prep time, it's a matter of being able to get in and go and do it safely.

    It sounds like you have a very good grip on why you did not pass (failing only sounds much worse) and that's good.

    The thing is as other drivers have said, that doesn't mean you give up. If you read enough on here and listen to enough UPS employees and drivers you will see that UPS is notorious for not making things easy even when they should be.

    If you really really want to drive be persistent and know that this is simply a test of your will power.

    UPS will never hand you anything on a platter but they will give you more chances of you show a strong willingness to improve.
  15. Northbaypkg

    Northbaypkg 20 NDA stops daily

    I sink the clutch with every shift. Folks say you can throw it in gear without sinking the clutch but I never do that. And usually on the test they want you to stop behind the intersection to where you can see both lines of the crosswalk. If you're doing that you should have time to make the shift before you get in the intersection.
  16. klein

    klein Für Meno :)

    Like others have posted- you'll get another chance at it.
    Yes , 1st doesn't even bring it to 5mph! Useless gear , unless your facing uphill
    My 2nd thought:
    They failed you on purpose. Saves them money on wages.
    If they really needed you as a driver. they would have helped.
  17. Lm602

    Lm602 New Member

    I completely understand that. I know you will be in many different trucks, this is why they make you use a rough one so you'll be able to use them all. It wasn't like I completely didn't know how to drive a manual, which is kind of how I was treated at the end of it. I do remember him asking if I had access to a manual I could practice on, I said no. This is probably where I would've been offered to come back but I think he thought it was no use. It was just the one maneuver I couldn't always get, because now I know I was doing it wrong. I was just trying it as told, as soon as it starts moving shift into second, which I was going to slow for because I did it too soon and I had to do it too quickly because I was too close to the intersection (most of the times I let the clutch out too fast because I already had to turn, obviously, that's why it stalled.)
    I really appreciate the encouragement though. Thank you.
  18. Lm602

    Lm602 New Member

    Your second might have some truth to it. On my interview information thing the lady (I think from an HR headquarters or something) must've really made the job sound better than it was because when I got the call about the test he told me that it wouldn't be as steady as she put it. It would probably be seasonal most and very unsteady the rest of the year. So I don't know. Next time I'm near I'll stop in and ask. Might not be for a week or so though, as I stated, I'm about as broke as it gets.
  19. Lm602

    Lm602 New Member

    The intersection was really strange. It was in a developing industrial park. So it was only a left turn, but it had a stop sign, it was like an intersection that wasn't an intersection yet. I guess they planned on adding on to it eventually. So like a newbie I stopped at the stop sign since there was no crosswalk, so it was close to the turn to start with, which was a mistake. I'll try again I think. I know what I did wrong. Thanks.
  20. KOG72

    KOG72 Well-Known Member

    Should've took him out in a Budget rental truck,that's probably what he would be driving.