Is There Life After UPS?

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by RockyRogue, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. RockyRogue

    RockyRogue Agent of Change

    I'd have to say there is. I'll deliberately keep specific details out of my post in some areas but those I've corresponded with privately are welcome to message me for any details they'd like. Enjoy......

    I left UPS in October 2007 after a second stint that lasted about 10 months. After putting up with management bullying, manipulation and falsehoods, I decided I'd had enough. What finally sent me out the door was, "Hey, watch your handling! I'm getting radio calls about your missorts from X and Y belts!" I said, "Excuse me???" The supervisor repeated, I laughed and got a puzzled glare in response. I said, "Listen, chief, I've put 3 packages on those belts all day. Go hassle somebody else, OK?" He knew he'd been caught and said, "Hey, brother.....I'm just passing along the word." I laughed again and he booked. I knew I'd had enough. I left UPS on the 11th. I'd been trying to figure out how I was going to beg for a couple days off after I got out of school for the term and my departure immediately erased that need. Classes wrapped and I skipped down, boarding a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 for the Pacific Northwest. I flew into Seattle, Washington and took an Amtrak down to Portland for an overnight visit. I couldn't have done that if I was still with UPS. No, Peak started the week following that trip and the volume was SKY-ROCKETING when I left. Since then, I've taken two trips: Chicago for Christmas and a long weekend for Spring Break in South Florida. The latter would NEVER have happened if I was still at UPS, particularly given the number of vacations around that time. Life is GOOD when you work for a government contractor! :happy-very:

    I left UPS for a work-study job on my University's campus. No, I didn't have the vaunted union protection nor the health insurance but ya know what I had?? I had my sanity back! For those that have lost it (or felt like you were at UPS), you know how good it feels to have that back. The night I left UPS, I got my first good night's sleep in almost 8 weeks. My mood improved overnight. My schoolwork was showing signs of stress and fatigue in addition to the beginnings of distraction, which immediately reversed. I finished the academic term with the highest GPA I'd ever had. And I really should touch on the health insurance that keeps so many employed by UPS. I was walking into work the week before I turned in my notice when I started talking to a co-worker. I found out the insurance was an 80/20 split and the deductible was something like $2K. Not sure if the deductible amount is true and if it is, maybe its just true for my neck of the woods. I was appalled. It really prompted me to start thinking about jumping ship. You see....American higher education requires health insurance, no matter how old you are, no matter what kind of health you're in. The cost for health insurance from my University was close to the deductible for UPS's health insurance. I went looking for my own health insurance the next day. I found one for about $100 a month. Not great coverage (major medical) but enough since I'm in good health and don't do stupid stuff on the weekends, etc. Their went my last reason to stick around UPS. Career advancement? Solidly quashed in the Spring of 2007 because of a family member in management. School aid? Denied because I was in graduate school and it was only for undergraduate education. Experience? See above about career advancement. Convenience? Nope. It was a 45 minute--each way--bus ride. Money? Nope. For $10/hr, declining quality of management and aforementioned mistreatment, it wasn't worth it anymore. I haven't looked back :happy-very:.

    I had a relative living with me in the second half of 2007. Five days after I left UPS, he said, "You look better than I've ever seen you, dude. You peace. I don't know any other way to describe it. Have you lost a little weight in the last week?" Twelve days after I left UPS, I woke up late after having been on-campus til after midnight working on a research project. I checked my e-mail and did some other stuff on the web. I suddenly realized, "Wait a second. Where's my phone? I haven't checked it yet this morning." I found it beneath a grocery bag and flipped it open. There was a missed call AND a voicemail. I was still kinda sleep fogged but the prefix rang a bell. I shrugged and checked the voicemail. IT WAS A JOB OFFER IN MY PROFESSION!!!! I danced a little jig in my room and would have looked like a complete fool if someone had seen me. I started that job on November 19th. I spoke to my folks the week Peak started and my Dad asked, "So....regret leaving UPS?" I laughed and said, "Are you kidding me? I'm sitting in a quiet, heated office making twice what I did at UPS; the guy I work with is classy; my boss has already approved taking the week between Christmas and New Years off so I can come home and has specifically told me that if there's a school conflict, that school comes first. No, I don't miss UPS in the slightest." He laughed in response and said, "I didn't think you'd miss UPS. Had to ask." it is 4 months after I started that job. I now know its not going to turn into a full-time job after graduation, which I'm 100% OK with. I miss the 'people' aspect of my life too much. Only seeing a handful of people everyday is doing a number on me mentally. I don't mind the office environment per se. I actually like it! I just need personal interaction. And I think I'll find it, too.

    Without giving too much away, I've applied for two jobs in Channahon's and 705Red's area. One is an academic institution, the other a municipal department. The academic institution happens to be where I and a number of my relatives have been educated. I applied for that job on a Thursday night and at 9:03 a.m (Central Time) the next day, I received confirmation of receipt of the application and a request for additional information required for a complete application. Four e-mails were exchanged in less than 5 hours with the recruiter and the department chair. In addition, as I was leaving the office that day, I found a voicemail from the department chair in which the position works. Keep in mind this is long distance and a time-zone away. I was impressed. People with experience in HR and hiring practices/policies say I have a very good chance with this particular job because I attended the institution. Those of you that deliver to higher education institutions probably know how excited these institutions are to have an alum return as an employee, particularly one that works with students. At the above institution, I remember seeing the news plastered on the front page of the school newspaper. At my transfer institution, it was plastered all over the front page of the school newspaper for a week. In addition, the newspaper published an interview with the new employee the day before they started. For students, there's nothing quite like hearing the schpiel, "I attended XYZ for two years, transferred to ABC where I earned my Bachelors in Arts before being admitted to CBA for a Masters." Trust me....I've gotten that schpiel before. The instructor immediately had the class' undivided attention. A walking, talking success story is the best advertising there is! The municipal department is on the same side of town (general area, anyway) as the CACH hub.

    Graduation is rapidly approaching. I came back from South Florida and sent my folks a two sentence e-mail: "Back in Denver. The 90 Day Countdown started Friday." It has been an exciting four months. I wouldn't trade it for the world!

    I really like Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow. The character fits him like a glove IMHO. So....once again, I'll sign off with his closing words from Pirates of the Carribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl as he's looking at his compass, "Now....Bring me that horizon!" I can see the squall line ahead but this ship has made it through the horrors life has thrown at it thus far! -Rocky
  2. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    Would somebody please wake me when he reaches the part "...and we all lived happily ever after."?
  3. rod

    rod retired and happy

    I've had 3 friends quit UPS and they all seemed to be happy- that is until I retired at 53 - now they all say "I sure wish I would of stayed because I would be retiring too." Sux to be them:happy2:
  4. UPS Lifer

    UPS Lifer Well-Known Member

    Good for you. It does take courage to give up the type of benefits UPS has. But... UPS is not for everybody. The problem is that some folks never figure that out! You did!

    I hope you succeed in your future endeavors and stay in touch with the folks at BC!
  5. disneyworld

    disneyworld Active Member

    No More Questions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  6. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND


    Hows that for straight to the point?

  7. Channahon

    Channahon New Member


    It's great to see a young person like you, pursue your dreams and have the stamina to work not once, but twice for UPS, while going to school.

    You are a perfect example of some of the advice given by some members, whatever you do get your education, and then decide if UPS is right for you.

    I'm sure you will be a successful young man in your career, based on your work ethic and education. Along with your positive attitude toward life and personality.

    Best of luck in your interviews.!!

  8. Channahon

    Channahon New Member

    What?? You are joking, right?

    I thought I was living the American dream. No alarm clock, nowhere to be, unless I want to be somewhere.

    Thank the good Lord for another day, when I wake up and do whatever I feel like.

    I thought everyone's retirement life would be the same, after being paroled from UPS at retirement age.
  9. ups_vette

    ups_vette New Member

    Rocky....I wish you the very best of luck in the pursuite of your goals. I feel confident you will reach that distant shore that you set your sails for.

    It was refreshing to read that there are still people who refuse to allow the temptation of a high paying job (UPS Driver) deter them from the goals they set. Too often the Part Timer sees Drivers making $70,000 to $90,000 a year and thinks that's the job for me, and gives up on their goals. Then after they been a Driver for several years realize they made a mistake in giving up on their dream and feel trapped because they based their standard of living on a drivers wages and can not afford to leave. Many times these are the same drivers who find fault with everything UPS does because they are dis-satisfied with their life and rather taking responsibility for the mistake they made, they blame UPS.

    Being a Driver for UPS is a very honorable and respectable way to earn a living. However, not everyone can, or wants to, do that for a living.

    The original intent of Part Time employees for UPS was to have a workforce for a 3 to 5 hour shift, particularly for a Preload operation, to give the driver a full 8 hours on the road to deliver, rather than loading the car. Also originaly UPS only hired college students for the Part Time positions. This gave the student the opportunity to earn a wage while continuing his/her education. in the field they had chosen to be their lifes work.
  10. 12 Hoggin

    12 Hoggin New Member

    Rocky, thats a great deal, I am hoping to up and out in the next 5 years or so...I am very burnt out and tired of looking like I have been up for days on end...probably because I only get 4 hrs of sleep M-F and have to play catch up on the weekends, but glad to hear you broke free
  11. UPS Lifer

    UPS Lifer Well-Known Member

    Got to agree with you !!! I still pinch myself every day when I wake up! There is nothing like retirement and the FREEDOM it brings to you!

    My kids are Gen X & Y ers and you can see the difference in their values. They want to enjoy life now and don't want to wait for retirement. They want their work to mean something and don't want to feel like they are shackled to corporate America. ...and that is OK!

    Each person has to weigh what is important to them. I admire someone with the courage, passion and desire to pursue their dream. If it is not working, try something else.
  12. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND


    What, you mean the managers at UPS and the union both lied to me? They always told me that without them both, I am nothing, would have nothing, and would allways be nothing.

    So they lied???? Damn.

    So all this time while I have been doing something with my time that I enjoy, I thought it was just a dream I was having. That when I wake up, there I would be in brown again................

    Life is what you make of it. Before UPS, During UPS, and after UPS.

    I am working sometimes longer hours now than I did for UPS. BUT usually I can choose the hours I work. The money might not be as good, but sometimes it is better. But at the end of the year, I get to look back and see what I have created and it is good.

    So yes, I was joking.

  13. RockyRogue

    RockyRogue Agent of Change

    I'm going to respond very specifically to a couple posts publicly. I hope no one minds.....

    12Hoggin, I was never management. But I know what you mean about being burned out. I was the one to blame for this but I didn't transfer to my four-year institution because I allowed UPS to 'enslave' me. I kept saying, "Oh, I'll get up to the high school tomorrow" to send my high school transcripts. Somebody at UPS had their eye on the calendar. I was brought in almost immediately after my classes would end (about 3:00 p.m.) every day for 6 weeks. Week 7 it stopped cold. I went to grab my keys to get up to the high school when I saw they were closed for the Summer. I transferred a semester late. I, too, was playing catch-up on the weekends because I was working like a frigging slave between UPS and school. I overdid it. GET OUT BEFORE IT DESTROYS YOU!!

    Lifer....your kid's generation is very different from any other. Its part of the evolving economy and culture. There's nothing wrong with wanting to enjoy life as you go but one needs to exercise restraint financially, etc. I told my folks 6 months after I started grad school, "My goal is 3 cities in 5 years." I refuse to be shackled to one company for life. I made noises about not transferring to another academic institution 3 years ago and my father went APE. Part of his argument was premised on not being 'shackled to one employer for life.' Its all well and good until the world falls apart (GM, Ford, countless steel plants).

    Ya know, Vette....its funny you should write that last sentence. Fifteen months ago, I left a Denver restaurant to take the UPS handler job. When I tendered my two weeks, my manager at the restaurant gave a schpiel about how respected I was by my co-workers and management, what quality work I produced, etc. He closed with, "I think you've learned a lot in your experience here. Take that with you. You should go far, no matter what you decide to do. It was a pleasure working with you."

    Oh, the temptation was very real, Vette. Even in Illinois 3 years ago. I weighed my options and I stand by my decision. I worked as a helper two years in a row Peak 2005 (in North Illinois) and Peak 2006 (Rocky Mountain). I worked with a couple drivers with college degrees in both regions. They all said the same: STAY IN SCHOOL! After our blizzards at Christmas 2006, we were still dealing with cleanup when classes resumed. I made noises about skipping class to help my driver. He stopped the car cold, turned to me and said, "Ohhh, NO! THERE WILL BE NO SKIPPING CLASSES ON THIS PACKAGE CAR!" Some management told me the same kind of thing. Last fall, I was pulling a double one night and started talking to a full-time supe at break. I told him I was in grad school, etc. He said, "Don't let UPS mess that up, dude. You do that and I'll have to put a hurtin on you." It was meant as a joke and I laughed, which I sorely needed that night :happy-very:.

    I really want to be clear on this: it isn't that I could NOT handle UPS. I could. I did it for a little over two years in two different regions of the U.S AND worked as a helper in those regions. No, I can hack it with the best of 'em. I just found something else that's not as hard on the body, is mentally stimulating AND provides career advancement. My degree is such that I could wind up ANYWHERE. H* ten years, I could be a labor consultant for a major transportation company dealing with a prickly union contract settlement. So beware! :happy-very: -Rocky
  14. dillweed

    dillweed Well-Known Member

    Congratulations on your success Rocky! I've always enjoyed your posts and hope you keep coming in to share. Sounds like UPS was good for you. It strengthened your spirit while giving you a good reason to pursue your education. I'd love to have you on my team, no matter what position.
  15. HazMatMan

    HazMatMan New Member

    Kudos to both of you, I can't wait for that day I will be in the same boat as you both. I hear too many people asking "what will you do when you retire"? I give them 2 responses, "anything I want to" and "absolutely nothing"...

    BLACKBOX Life is a Highway...

    I am so paranoid about the day when I'll retire. I just don't want to retire broke. When I see the people on my route that are retired I always ask how they are dealing with retirement. It just seems like everybody's retirement is better than UPS's. Am I wrong to feel this way??
  17. Channahon

    Channahon New Member

    I can only speak from my experience planning for retirement. Save as much as you can in 401K's, IRA's and other investment opportunities as provided by a financial planner or advisor.

    Then I minimized as much debt as I could before I left UPS. Not always an easy thing to do based on our standard of living, but nonetheless, attainable to a certain extent.

    Then about 5 years before retirement, ensure you have a diverse portfolio. Start small and work your way into diversity with your monies. Hard to do, especially for me in management with UPS stock, (Bears, Stern is a good example) About 1/3 of their stock was held by employees, over a year ago, the stock was at $180.00 and dropped to $2.00 when the company was sold. So you never want all your eggs in one basket, so to speak.

    Now I have never turned over all my finances to any investment firm, although that is their goal.

    Anyways, UPS retirement as far as I know is one of the best around, for both management, non management and union employees.
  18. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    Max out your 401k, minimize and/or eliminate your debt, pay down your mortgage, and establish a budget so that you can track income and expenses to "get the big" financial "picture". You would most likely be amazed at how much money you actually "waste" on a monthly basis. I did and I was blown away and made immediate changes, which allowed me to double my 401k weekly contribution percentage to 20%. When you get closer to retirement, do what you can to further eliminate debt and ask yourself what you plan to do during your retirement, whether it be travel, start a business, volunteer, or play golf each and every day, rain or shine, and work to ensure that you will not be limited in these pursuits by financial constraints. Social Security will still be there but should be thought of as gravy. When you turn 62 look in to a reverse mortgage and see if that is a viable option for you in your particular situation. Above all, stay active--we have all seen or heard of retirees who simply stop and are dead within 6 months of retirement.
  19. RockyRogue

    RockyRogue Agent of Change

    Thanks, Dill. Be nice to the ties out there, eh? Not necessarily at UPS but the ones you see running around community college campuses? One might be someone you've spoken to on BrownCafe.

    Don't no 'absolutely nothing,' Haz. Its the express ticket to the grave. My grandmother was semi-retired for three or four years before she died. She lived a full life after retiring: traveling, working as a meter-maid-type position in the town she lived in in SoCal and any number of things she wanted to do. She couldn't beat liver cancer and died in February 2003.

    Don't be paranoid. Be careful about your financial resources and you'll be fine. Remember....there are unlimited wants but limited resources. Bearing that in mind will only help you.

    Good advice, Chan. Personally, I make a rule to keep my credit card's credit limit artificially low. I pay it off every month :happy-very:. I have student loan debts totalling about $30K and no other debts. I graduate in June and, once I find a job, things should fall into place relatively smoothly. I'm predicting 30 months to debt-free financial planning. I'll be 24 in about two weeks and not quite 27 when I finish paying off my student loans. I hope to buy a home a year or two later :happy-very:. -Rocky
  20. tireknocker

    tireknocker Member

    reverse mortgage, only in a hardship situation!!!