Management; they shoot their wounded and eat their young.

Discussion in 'UPS Partners' started by soberups, Aug 23, 2009.

  1. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    The knives are out and the blood is flowing in my district.

    A whole bunch of on-car sups and center managers are now on "60 day probation" for their production numbers.

    To drive the point home, an on-car sup from a nearby building (Swan Island) just got fired for "dishonesty". His crime? Supposedly, he helped out a driver who had a family situation and needed to get home early by delivering a few stops out of his personal car for the driver and having the driver scan the packages in his DIAD.

    This sup was a pretty popular guy among the drivers and had a reputation for being fair and decent...which is probably why he was a 54 yr old on car sup with no hope of promotion.

    At 54 yrs of age, he was less than one year away from being able to retire with paid medical benefits until medicare elegibility at age 65. Now he is screwed, he will have to pay for medical out of pocket plus his pension is reduced. Thanks for your 29 yrs of service, now dont let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

    He is the second 54 yr old sup to get whacked in the last few years on a trumped-up "dishonesty" charge. Stuff like this happens all the time and is condoned or at least overlooked when done by younger sups...but the 54 yr old who is almost eligible for medical bennies gets thrown under the bus to set an example for the others (not to mention saving the company $120,000 in medical expenses over 10 years.)

    I'm not advocating what the sup did, but his intent was to try and help another human being, not to defraud the company. Whacking this guy months shy of his retirement was nothing more than a cold-blooded way to put some fear into the hearts of the local management. The punishment inflicted was out of all proportion to the act, especially in light of the fact that the upper level management who whacked this guy got to the level they are at by doing the same kind of stuff. There is no honor among thieves.

    Show me a management person who has never fudged a number or cut a corner in his entire career...and I will show you a 54 yr old on car sup who sits in a cubicle auditing paperclips who will never get promoted. UPS management is like a stagnant pond; the scum will always float to the top while the decent ones tread water and try not to drown.

    I guess I shouldnt feel too sorry for him, or for the other sups who are on "probation"; they knew or should have known what they were subjecting themselves to when they chose to go into management. But I hate seeing a decent human being get fired by people who are every bit as "dirty" as they are making him out to be. And it isnt fun working for management people who are fearful and scared for their jobs.

    Anyone who has a problem being a union member or thinks that UPS would be better without a union needs to take a long hard look at the way UPS treats its own management people. And with Telematics and the decrease in volume and profits, things will only get worse.
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  2. overallowed

    overallowed Active Member

    I think you have painted an accurate picture of ups management. Or 99% of them anyway. We had a driver sup in our center fired right after peak last year because the DM was in the building and saw him give $20 to a driver to get into a football pot. I think a lot of the reason he was relieved of his duties was because he was popular with the drivers and percieved as not being an a**hole.
    But you make a valid point. They knew what they were getting into when they went into management. Why anyone who is hourly would not want to belong to the union is totally beyond me. They could be coming for you next.
  3. 1dayatatime

    1dayatatime New Member

    i really dislike when people say " I would feel bad for them , but they know what they got themselves into" . Well I pretty much didn't as I was a loader for 2 months before being promoted into management and I didn't fully understand the intricacies of the daily grind.
  4. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    Now, having said that, do you regret your decision?
  5. overallowed

    overallowed Active Member

    It sounds like you didn't test the waters before you jumped in. I have over 20 years in, and I have seen so many driver sups come and go I couldn't name half of them. It seems as though a large amount of them are released for falsifying expense reimbursements. Or thats what the rumor mill cranks out. I thought about going into management when I was young and full of piss and vinegar. But I began to notice a lot of them last about as long as goldfish.
  6. hurricanegunner

    hurricanegunner UPSPoop

    That is a terrible thing to do to a manager who was just trying to help one of his drivers. I bet all of his drivers appreciated the fact that he was even willing to do that for them, and they probably went the extra mile for him as well. It's sad that managers who respect and help their drivers get fired, managers who treat the drivers like dirt get promotions.
  7. kpasa1

    kpasa1 New Member

    We had a full time sup get fired a few months ago for something stupid too. He was one of the better sups we have had. Upper management expects center managers and on car sups to do "whatever is necessary" to make the numbers, but just NOT to get caught! There is no way that management can make their numbers in an honest way!

    When people start working for UPS down here there is a push for them to become part time sups. At the time they think it sounds like a good idea because they will make more money (even though it is only in the beginning). And some of them think that they can make a difference and change things.

    One guy who is on his way to becoming a part time sup told me that "he will never treat employees disrespectfully like the other sups do". Apparently, he doesn't really realize the pressure and stress that it involves. Unfortunately, he will find out fast. We have all tried to warn him cuz he is a really nice guy! Oh, well. Live and learn.
  8. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    Its always sad to see the ones who go into management with the best of intentions and who truly believe that they will "make a difference". Those good intentions and beliefs slowly get ground away by the one brutal fact of life as a management person at UPS; that their very survival depends upon producing impossible numbers by any means necessary. Dignity, honesty and ethics are all impediments to that survival, particularly when they approach retirement age and there is a huge financial incentive for UPS to get rid of them prior to attaining eligibility for the retiree medical benefits.

    I have often wondered if there is some sort of "bounty" for successfully terminating a 54 yr old supervisor. Assuming $12K a year for medical coverage times the 10 yrs between age 55 retirement and eligibility for Medicare, that adds up to a $120,000 expense involved in providing benefits for that sup after retirement. If his immediate superiors are able to whack him before he can collect, I wonder if Corporate gives them a "cut" of the resulting savings?
  9. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    Any way you want to paint that picture, its gambling. Something that UPS can fire you over if they desire if done on company property.


    I liken going into management to going into politics.

    They go with the best of intentions, to change the world, to better what they see is wrong with things. They have stars in their eyes.

    Then reality sinks in. You are told if you want to get to this level, this is what you have to do. And while they are not really up front with the explanation, you have to leave other things behind. In some cases its your family commitments, personal integrity, money acquisition, prestige, dominion over others......the list is endless. They find what areas you are vulnerable with, and exploit them, or you let them exploit you.

    There are a lot of management that still have some integrity, but for the most part, they have advanced about as far as they can go. I have seen several that have made it to center and division level, only to quit as they didn't want to play the game further up the ladder. Notice I did not say they did not want to get promoted and do the work needed for that promotion. I said they didn't want to play that game any longer.

    There are several management posters here that I respect, some even have serious titles. Some are as honest as the workday is long.

    But I would venture to say that even they have done things they shouldn't have.

    I can see where maybe the sup that got canned for helping the driver might have done things differently, but to fire him for it, that really is a low thing to do.

    It used to be that at UPS, any other UPSer had your back. Not anymore. It began before we went public, but it sure has gotten worse since then.

    Instead of having your back, they bury something in it.

    Its not the UPS of times past, thats for sure.

  10. Eclipz

    Eclipz New Member

    I've seen these changes in personalty too on a driver that was kind of a cool guy before he got promoted. Rather than make a fair judgement on a little mistake it seems like an sport to expose a mistake and blow it up for all to see and get a pet on the shoulder for being sharp on UPS rules. Lost all respect for him but I guess it's a blessing and a curse in one when promoted into management.
  11. UnsurePost

    UnsurePost making the unreadable unreadabler

    That is even worse; You did not even stop to think about what you were getting yourself into. You jumped head first into a swimming pool without looking to see if there was water in it.

    That is how most part-time sups are hooked in. There are a few, but very rarely does a long-time union hourly go into management. It's generally the new blood that does not know better; and thats how the company wants it.
  12. pretzel_man

    pretzel_man Well-Known Member

    While its easy for everyone to jump on this bandwagon, I have a much different perspective. I went into UPS management over 30 years ago. I worked in multiple districts and regions and had a few corporate special assignments.

    I have kept my integrity my highest priority over my 33 year career and the same is true for nearly all management people I know. I'm not a supervisor auditing paper clips, nor am I sitting in a stagnant pond.

    The thought that there is a "bounty" on older management is untrue. In fact I have seen the opposite due to fear of lawsuits.

    While I do not know the details of what went on in this situation, neither does anyone else here. I have never seen a termination taken lightly, so I believe there is more to this story than what you have been told or have heard.

    If some supervisors are not properly handling their operations, a 30 / 60 / 90 program is appropriate. There is nothing wrong with a deserved warning letter, and nothing wrong with a deserved management warning.

    Many threads here complain about poor UPS management. Many threads complain about the "old boys club". You can't simultanerously complain that UPS management is poor and then complain if district management tries to do something about it.

    Going into supervision is a career change. The best driver does not necessarily make a good supervisor. The skills needed are different. The job is different.

    Being a good human being and being a good supervisor are not incompatible. Sometimes you complain that management takes care of each other. Sometimes you complain that we "eat our young".

    Being a good management person takes a thick skin. I have one, but thought I would let you know that their is another side of the story.

  13. RedThunder

    RedThunder New Member

    We also had a center manager fired with just under a year left to retirement. He was the best sup we have had in my 21 years at UPS. He was hard working and demanded the same from his employees. At the same time he was fair and looked out for his drivers.

    He sued ups and won getting his full retirement and benefits.
  14. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    Depends upon what you mean by "properly handling their operations". Placing expectations upon someone that are impossible and totally divorced from reality... and then threatening their job for failing to meet them... is a pretty cutthroat way to run a business, especially when the only ones who ever get whacked are by some strange coincidence only months away from a decent retirement package.

    Theres a big difference between the "poor" UPS management and the "almost ready to retire and cost the company $120K over 10 years" management.

    This isnt about getting rid of "poor" management, its about intimidating those who survive into meeting ever more impossible goals by any means necessary.

    When the decent guys get whacked and only the cutthroat ballbusters are left, its pretty tough to create the atmosphere of trust, respect and cooperation that is going to be necessary to help us work together and get UPS through these lean times.
  15. anonymous6

    anonymous6 Guest

    be proactive and consult a good attorney while you are still here and somehow let the higher ups know about it.

    a good defense is a strong offense.

    always has worked for moi.
  16. redshift1

    redshift1 New Member

    UPS usually gives complete retirement benefits to fired management who are within 1-2 years of retirement to avoid lawsuits. Under the current conditions many management people refuse to make any decisions at all without approval, everyone's hunkering down in their foxholes.
  17. Jones

    Jones fILE A GRIEVE! Staff Member

    Sounds like a lot of the drivers in my center, the smart ones anyway :wink2:.
  18. pretzel_man

    pretzel_man Well-Known Member

    Again, you are assuming that you know all the appropriate facts here. In my 30+ years in management, I have NOT seen "decent guys get whacked". I have certainly never seen anyone target those close to retirement.

    In fact, in my own group I have many 50+ individuals reporting to me. There is zero pressure to have them leave the company.

    I certainly do not know details for those management people you mention. I doubt you do either. If they are being disciplined due to unrealistic expectation, I would agree with you. If they are not taking care of their responsibilities, they should be disciplined.

    With all the complaining about management, there is a large chance that it is the latter.

  19. DS

    DS Fenderbender

    Ive been around awhile and I think this is one of ups's biggest problems.
    Its personality conflicts.It's not all management,it happens everywhere all the time.One guy is well liked by some upper management person and dislikes another and "gets rid" of them any way they can.It could be a center manager hating a driver or a DM that gets told he's wrong by an on car sup.
    I don't really believe theres any correlation to anyone not getting thier retirement benefits just to save money,or that theres a bounty paid.
    I appreciate pretzel man's view,and respect that he has managed to keep his integrity through so many years.All in all good drivers are a dime a dozen,good sup's are very hard to find.
  20. Ms.PacMan

    Ms.PacMan Well-Known Member

    In my neck of the woods, UPS has taken on this weird cult-like feel in the last couple of years - management specifically.

    Our safety message Friday via the diad was "We can trust each other, but not the public. Be aware of your surroundings today." That's just weird.