Operational Need

Discussion in 'FedEx Discussions' started by MrFedEx, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Lately, there have been a few regulars who claim that their jobs at FedEx Express aren't very stressful. I politely disagree, and could cite hundreds of stressful situations that occur each and every day. It is by nature a stressful and unpredictable business, so I've got to really wonder about the authenticity of anyone who claims otherwise.

    One of the biggest causes of stress is the "Operational Needs" clause in policy. Sometimes it's also referred to as "Operational Necessity". Whatever it's called, it means that you basically have to do whatever they want you to whenever they feel like it. To do otherwise means you can be terminated for job abandonment, insubordination, or anything else management can come up with to say that you somehow ignored operational "needs". To say that management takes advantage of this would be a severe understatement.

    Most of us have been screwed by this policy at some point during our FedEx careers. I can honestly say that it has created some very trying situations for me over the years, including being asked to work over 60 hrs per week, report back to work with as little as 4 hrs off, and do other DOT-illegal tasks in order to fulfill the needs of the company. Funny how they look the other way when it saves their bacon, isn't it?

    Over the years, I've missed many important occasions because someone else screwed-up and I got to take up the slack. One can't really make up for missed birthdays, anniversaries, or other important events very easily, and over time, your friends and associates begin to wonder if you're lying to them when you can't show-up...again.

    I'd like to see this policy go away, and hopefully it will be on the bargaining table when and if we get a union and contract talks begin. It would be different if extraordinary efforts were recognized at FedEx, but they aren't. You are just expected to place your personal life in the toilet if you are FT and the company "needs" you. This is a leftover from when going above and beyond was part of the pride in being part of FedEx. Unfortunately, those days are long-gone, and it's time for "Operational Necessity" to go the way of the dodo...just like P-S-P.
     
  2. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    I find it hilarious that someone tells us how stress free this job is and then it comes out that he is a foot courier handling mostly documents. Want to talk stress? Back in '92 was sent out in a tropical storm that had just been downgraded from a hurricane, told to do the best we could. Had to drive 70 miles to delivery area, looked like midnight at noon except for the lightning, power lines and limbs down. I've been on mountain passes at 9000' in Colorado, 300' drop-offs next to road with no railings, snow falling so hard couldn't see more than a few feet in front of my hood. I've made it a point to transfer to an area with mild winters. Once had a flat tire 2 days before Christmas in 70 below windchill factor. Had to change it myself, truck slipped off jack twice due to being on ice. I can't begin to imagine what couriers in the upper midwest and other hard winter areas go through every day with blizzards, etc. And that's just the weather. I've found transferring around that the rt that's open is severely heavy. FedEx mgrs will look you in the eye and tell you all rts are equal. Couriers know better. Every station has alot of roughly equal rts but there are always super easy rts, usually held by very senior employees who took those rts as others retired or quit, etc. And there's always a few rts where one must run like a dog. Some real fine coworkers seem to take delight in rubbing it in that I'm working twice as hard as they are. In situations where it appeared it could be 5 years or more before I could get a better rt I've transferred. Those same couriers looked awfully stressed when they realized they were going to have to help on my rt until a replacement came in. And then of course there are the many wonderful mgrs who believe in their hearts that it's their right to screw over their employees. I've known some great people in mgmt over the years, but they weren't the ones causing stress. You never really get over being put through the ringer, especially when at the corporate level they are terminating your pension and telling you that your work will never be worth what the topped out couriers' are worth. Yeah, there's no stress in this piddling little job. Hell, we should be paying FedEx for the privilege of working for them. Unbelievable.
     
  3. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    Of course it's stressful. Not Iraq/Afganistan stressfull. Not air traffic controller stressful. Not brian surgery stressful. I guess it is what it is and one either lives with it or moves on.
     
  4. LTFedExer

    LTFedExer New Member

    I don't remember seeing anyone say it wasn't a stress FREE job, only not stressful. Are there stressful days? Sure. I'd be a liar to say that after 10+ years I have had NO stressful days. But, those are far and few between. I'll agree there are things that should be changed. But, I doubt anyone here can do it.
    I've been through 3 stations in 3 states, 5 Senior Managers and 14 managers and I, for one, have NEVER missed an important event because of running a double, 'operational need', late freight, etc. Lucky? Maybe. Managers/Seniors that listen to me? Maybe. Is it my attitude, work ethics or am I just a nice guy? I have no idea. All I know is I haven't had a manager/senior that has not listened to what I had to say and worked with me.

    vantexan - I'm going out on a limb and say the situations you cited didn't happen everyday. But, that would just be a guess. I'll wager in the 'X' years you've been with the company, there have been MANY MANY MANY MORE days you look in your truck (assuming you're an AM courier) and said to yourself 'Cake day'.
     
  5. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

     
  6. Cactus

    Cactus Just telling it like it is

    I would have had a "chat" with corporate safety before I even started going over on hours and especially before starting another shift with only 4 hours off in between. Throw the word "lawyer" around in that conversation and they would've been on the phone with station management in no time.
     
  7. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    I can honestly say that the route I'm on is a great rt. I'm busy, but it's about miles, not stops. But most of the rts I've done over the years were anything but cake. I've done more transferring than you, and the reason there's an opening is usually a bad rt, a bad mgr, or a combination of the two. I've been chewed up and spit out. For that reason alone I feel I should be paid better. But at this point I'm just hoping the company will see it's way to pay us better. If that takes a union getting in so be it.
     
  8. FedExer267

    FedExer267 Member

     
  9. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    This was about 14 years ago, and the legal climate has changed. Back then, you were just supposed to play along when the crap hit the fan in the operation. If I had said "no" to the manager in this case, he would have made my life miserable. He was completely gung-ho, and eventually got fired for a minor issue. Today, I'd just go home after my shift and say "too bad".

    Speaking of snow, I've heard that there is a new policy that allows you to refuse to hit the road if conditions are too dangerous. I'm guessing someone sued (and won), so now we supposedly have an out. I've never called-in sick because of bad weather, but it may be time to give this new "policy" a try.
     
  10. FedExer267

    FedExer267 Member

    Heck ya delivering FedEx Packages for 10 bucks a hour which is what it averages out too is not worth my life. If my boss wants it done he can do it himself. What good does it do anyone to be sliding all over the road and taking our lives into are own hands with bad weather. Luckily for you, you get supplied with chains my cheap contractor probally tell us to buy them ourselves.
     
  11. Cactus

    Cactus Just telling it like it is

    About the only time FedEx changes a policy is when someone sues and wins. So that's the most likely reason.

    You sure as hell don't see a manager putting on a uniform and helping out in inclement weather.
     
  12. LTFedExer

    LTFedExer New Member

    We had a snowfall one afternoon.. No joke, I could NOT see 5 feet in front of my truck. Since I knew where I was going next (I was helping a few different couriers in different areas), I called the courier in that area to see what the conditions were (around here it could be different one mile to the next). He said don't bother, he's going to deliver a payroll, then head in. The next day, the courier next to him refused to go on the road stating that conditions were dangerous to drive in. I helped the courier doing her route when I was done. Temperature that day was sunny and 50* by 9:00 and 60* by noon. As far as I know, not a single courier had any problems because most of the snow had melted. She had no repercussions except the fact that they had her count all the supplies in our station. No way they were going to pay her for going home while everyone else went out.
     
  13. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    I think it's a policy that they would prefer you not know about.
     
  14. LTFedExer

    LTFedExer New Member

    Kind of like not having to wear a back belt anymore? That policy disappeared very quietly.
     
  15. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Yes, it did. Next snow day, I'm going to give it a try and see how they respond. Actually, where I live, we sometimes get freezing rain, which is bad enough that it should probably scare anyone into not hitting the road.
     
  16. FedEx2000

    FedEx2000 New Member

    You know, for a 7.0 courier, you sure put a lot of work into getting out of work.
     
  17. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Given some of the ridiculous stuff I've done for the company over the years, the answer is yes, I am going to start taking advantage of the company instead of the other way around. They don't appreciate the extra effort anyway. By the way, what is the official policy, since you seem to know everything?
     
  18. FedEx2000

    FedEx2000 New Member

    First off, thanks for finally acknowledging that I do, in fact, know everything........far from it really.
    For which question?

    The backbelt policy was rescinded by corp. safety last December after they determined that they do not help prevent injury, but we still provide them to employees that want to wear them....I have a few.

    Regarding the refusing to go onroad due to adverse weather conditions, I have never done so nor had an employee refuse to...so I am not 100% sure. The closest thing I found in policy is P1-22 (Business Closings/Inclement Weather), but it deals more with employees not being able to get to work due to weather conditions rather than the refusal to go onroad due to safety concerns. I would have to talk to our district Safety Specialist to find out for sure.

    I think it's kind of a sissy move, but I grew up in the midwest, so I drove on crappy icy roads all the time and in CO blizzards when we got 3+ ft of snow in a couple hours......only got called in off the road once due to weather, this was pre-powerpad days and of course the truck I was in had no DADS unit. Didn't find out they called everyone in until after I had finished and called dispatch to clear...they didn't even know I was still out there. I didn't really think it was that bad, I was in a sprinter which is even worse than a 700, just a lot of snow......it was kind of fun really b/c people were amazed when you showed up at their house......it was 3 days before Christmas if I remember correctly.
     
  19. Fedex Driver

    Fedex Driver Banned

    exposed!!
     
  20. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Pretty cocky from someone who has to be driven to their job.