I had the 24-hour flu yesterday, but I decided to make it the 48-hour flu instead, so now I can write a tome about "professionalism". I'll start with my illness. 10 years ago, I never would have dreamed of extending sick time, because I felt an obligation to both my employer and my customers to be back as soon as possible, because nobody could service them like me. Besides, I was a valuable member of a team, right? Obviously, that is no longer the case. Lately, we're starting to get PowerPad messages and pep-talks about being professional. Wonder why that is? Might it possibly have something to do with the fact that most people no longer care about customer service AND all of our wonderful high-quality new hires? You bet it does, and rather than do something meaningful about it, FedEx management will "solve" the problem with slogans and maybe even a new acronym. Here's an example. One of our new hires brought-in a truck full of FedEx, UPS, USPS and GROUND along with his Express freight because he was too stupid (and poorly trained) to make a distinction between them. Hey, they all had barcodes, right? He was running behind, tossed it all in the truck, and figured he could scan it all at a coding party back at the station. Management was not pleased. We have courier/handlers running full routes, which isn't supposed to happen. Think someone with a bare minimum of training can be professional? Uh, no. Are customers getting quality service? Again...no. As I have always said, Fred is finally getting what he pays for, but what has changed in this equation is that the rest of the underpaid mid-range and below employees no longer give a crap because they've figured out they're getting a screwing. Sure, there are still a few gung-ho types that bleed purple, but most people are in survival mode these days. When some new corporate dictate comes out or MT3 bleats about something on Frontline or in a memo, it is either ignored or openly laughed-at. In a corporate culture where you mean nothing to the upper management "team", most people act accordingly and provide an effort commensurate with their pay, treatment, and working conditions. All of the Purple Promise, PSP and other hype that worked in the past, has stopped working. Memphis, being clueless and stupid, continues to press-on with the same old shat, perhaps freshened and repackaged, but still smelling bad and being rejected by most employees. As others have said, and I've been saying for quite awhile, Express is becoming Ground, which is what corporate wants from a pay perspective. However, they still want Express employees to go "above and beyond' like they always did in the past, but for less money. Good luck with that. The turnover rates and customer complaints indicate otherwise. And our wonderful Call Centers just add fuel to the fire with their sheer incompetence, overloading domestic employees in Dispatch and Customer Service because they don't have a clue in San Salvador. Most of them don't even understand how a package moves through the Express system, and frequently confuse the opcos. Oh, and when the problem gets shifted over to a US location, there aren't enough CSAs or Dispatchers available to deal with the issue because they've slashed personnel. How about our uniforms? I'm seeing stuff come out of peoples closets from the 90's, which looks great when the courier has gained 20 lbs or if the rags they are wearing have holes, oil stains, or are just faded to a shade of light blue. A lot of couriers look like they work for Bangladesh Express considering the rags they wear. Professional? Hardly. What message does it send to a customer when their courier looks like a bum? Finally...Ground. Running trucks, sloppy uniforms, nosed-in to residentials and docks. The list goes on and on. It's pretty hard to look at the average Ground driver and think "professional". These bums have done a great deal to take a formerly middle-class profession and drive it down to the level of a WalMart job. And Memphis is OK with that, because to them, we do the same job. This speaks volumes about the ignorance of our leadership, which needs to be replaced. The best thing that could ever happen to FedEx would be to have Fred, Matt, and Dave disappear on a 3-hour cruise to one of their private islands. To them, all that matters is jacking-up the stock. Screw the employee, screw the customer, and pretend that we're all just one big happy, dedicated FedEx family. We're a "family" all right...one that belongs on the Jerry Springer Show.