The Myth of the FedEx "Family"

Discussion in 'FedEx Discussions' started by MrFedEx, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    One of the biggest lies that FedEx has traded-on for years has been the myth of the FedEx "family". This is supposedly where everyone (including the company) comes together to confront a crisis, whether it be an illness ,operational challenge etc.

    The trouble is that while the employees almost always come through, FedEx does not. If it costs anything, you can be sure Fred will somehow avoid paying for it, even if it is for cancer treatment, a house fire, or some other calamity that has total merit. The employees hold a car wash, bake sale, or some other event, not the company, which could donate in many different ways but doesn't. You put forth all of the extra effort and FedEx happily takes the credit. Sound typical?

    The United Way campaign is another example of where Fred wants you to do something for the community that makes him and FedEx look good. Never mind that you are living paycheck to paycheck on your enormous FedEx wage. Most charitable events are full of managers directed to attend...or else. You will serve food to hobos at Christmas,or you're gone, is pretty much it if you are a manager.

    So, if you croak while doing your route, the company will put up a big banner retiring your route number with a picture of your smiling face that "loved" FedEx so much. BFD, and nobody really gives a rat's ass. Really, they don't.

    Yep, we're just one big happy FedEx family, but unlike a real family, don't expect a whole lot out of your uncle (Fred) and his kin.
  2. LTFedExer

    LTFedExer New Member

    And this is different than other big businesses how?
  3. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    This is different because FedEx presents itself as being "different", when it is not. FedEx is just like every other business in that regard and has no special consideration for it's employees. PSP, "FedEx Cares", and all the rest is just PR that means nothing.
  4. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    It means nothing only if noone (not just MrFedex and a few others) buys it.
  5. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    True. The trouble is, that a lot of people do buy it. In the sense that FedEx gives a crap at all about it's employees, it is completely meaningless.
  6. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    Right. Alot of people buy "colon cleanse" products too. Might make them feel good but little more.
  7. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    If I cleanse my colon, will I get rid of my persistent Fred?
  8. LTFedExer

    LTFedExer New Member

    So, as you say, FedEx is the only company that gives the impression of caring. Yet, everything they do is contrary to that philosophy?
  9. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    All companies try to give the impression of caring. FedEx beats the "caring" drum louder than most, yet does very little. Lots of PR and spin, but little action.
  10. LTFedExer

    LTFedExer New Member

    No comment on any other companies?
  11. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    I'm afraid that with your symptoms the only remedy is surgical removal.
  12. quadro

    quadro New Member

    I cant speak for others or their experience but here's something to think about. If FedEx gives (I should say openly gives) money for cancer treatment, a house fire, some other calamity to one employee, what happens when another employee says "I want some of that"? Have you seen that show Undercover Boss? I don't see how those executives give bonuses, promote, etc an employee just because they felt sorry for them other than to garner goodwill on the show. Where does that leave the company in terms of liability for discrimination? What happens when a minority employee says "my situation is the same and I got nothing because I'm __________"? Having said that, I worked with an employee who had a house fire. We raised money at the station and it turns out that FedEx does have a fund for this type of thing. The employee got about $3k in addition to what we raised.

    If you can't afford to donate, then don't. Nobody is making you. For those that do donate, some do it for the right reasons, some because they feel guilty, some for whatever reason drives them to donate. Whatever those reasons are, I feel pretty good that FedEx and its employees are able to raise millions to help those that need it. In a society where you are judged by your actions you have to toot your own horn sometimes.

    Maybe you don't give a rat's ass but I've had the misfortune to attend a few funerals in my time. Funerals for FedEx employees and I cannot tell you how moved I was by the number of fellow employees (yes, including management) that showed up. Not everyone is as miserable as you.
  13. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    I've been to my share of FedEx funerals too, and lots of employees do show-up. That's because they're decent and caring has nothing to do with FedEx. Managers show-up a lot of times because they are expected to. I've been to several where I know that the deceased would not have wanted their manager at the service because they couldn't stand them.

    You're never going to see "Undercover Boss" feature FedEx because there would be too much exposed that would make the company look bad. If I wanted FedEx to look really bad, all I'd have to do is bring a hidden camera into my local ramp when I do FO or a shuttle sometimes. Another way would be to show the "pee bottles" some couriers have to use on certain routes.

    You are quite good at rationalizing what FedEx does..and doesn't do. United Way is the perfect example of how two-faced FedEx is. Over at Ground, there are plenty of FedEx non-employees who qualify for food stamps and other services because their wages are so low. That's a direct result of the way FedEx chooses to conduct business. Yet, the company crows about how it gives X amount to United Way every year. That's called hypocrisy in action.

    Also, the fact that I choose to stand-up against FedEx doesn't define me as a "miserable person". Unlike you, I have a great deal of concern and compassion for those employees less senior than me who are getting screwed every day. Like you, I'm topped-out, have over 25 years, and don't have a lot to worry about financially. Every day, I see employees who bust their ass for FedEx being paid $16-$17 per hour with no real retirement plan. They're 35 or 40 years old now...what are they going to do when they "retire" from FedEx? And how much can you save on $16 per hour...not much.

    In other words, you're doing fine, and you could care less about the rest of those who happened to hire-in 15 years later than you did. I'd say that's a pretty "miserable" attitude.
  14. quadro

    quadro New Member

    That wasn't my point. I agree with you that we are not likely to see FedEx on that show. However, my point was that on the show, executives show favoritism towards the employees they work with. I'm just curious how that doesn't open them up to discrimination lawsuits. Building on that thought, that's why I think FedEx doesn't just give people money to help with a house fire etc. As I said, there is a fund for it but I'm not sure what you have to do to get the money. I'm sure something has to be filled out and approved.

    I do care about other employees and I see people working hard. I also see people who are topped out and should be kicked out. It's too bad that it's so hard to get fired from FedEx based on performance. Also, I don't kid myself into believing that being a courier is anything more than an entry level position that only requires a GED or high school diploma. I'm quite happy driving around all day and moving boxes. Never in my career has anyone at FedEx suggested that being a courier is a career and I don't look at it that way. I don't expect to get paid an executive's salary for doing an entry level job.
  15. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Maybe being a courier only requires a HS diploma, but being a good one takes a lot more, and it isn't an entry level job based on the high level of performance and compliance expected. FedEx and UPS jobs used to be called "pink collar" positions because they were somewhere bewteen a blue collar entry level type job and a white collar managerial position. In other words, it took some above average skills to be good at it.

    Over the years, FedEx has evidently determined that the courier position isn't a "career" based on what they're willing to pay, and what they will accept walking in the door these days. As Cactus says, "WalMart on Wheels". He's right.
  16. quadro

    quadro New Member

    A courier position is, pretty much by definition, an entry level position. Some people are good at it and some aren't. You can normally tell pretty quickly who has the natural ability to do it. I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with people that can't do it, but just like every job out there, not everyone can be good at everything.

    I hadn't heard the term "pink collar" before so I looked it up. Pink collar refers to jobs that are typically done by women. As the saying goes "another year older, another year closer to making $h1t up".
  17. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    What an odd thing to say. You say no one has ever suggested it's a career but then you call it "my career." I've heard the job called a career many times.

    Who is asking for executive pay? I just want to be fairly compensated. A courier deals with freight, traffic, customers, weather. Every job has an entry point, but you appear to be saying that a courier job is always an entry level job. Apparently gaining experience with the above, becoming efficient and productive has no value to you. Tell me, in a company where most employees are couriers, what does "entry level" lead to? The primary focus is the picking up and delivery of pkgs. Are you saying that the company never intended the main job in FedEx be a job that would decently support a family, have a future? Apparently they don't intend it to now, but there was a time when they promoted courier work as having a good future. A job with prospects of good pay, benefits, and retirement sounds suspiciously like a career to me. Why you would justify what is going on by denigrating our many years of hard work and faithful service as just an entry level job with low expectations is beyond me.
  18. quadro

    quadro New Member

    You're right. I didn't word that very well. What I was trying to explain was that I've chosen to remain a courier and therefore make it my career. At the same time, no one (meaning management and above) has ever suggested to me that I should make being a courier my career. What they have suggested in many ways is to make FedEx a career by promoting into other positions that lead to more responsibility and therefore more pay.

    By your own admission, couriers deal with the same things that many people deal with and so there's nothing unique about the courier job. Yes, a courier job is and always will be an entry level job simply because it meets the definition of an entry level job. Just as a service agent, handler, etc. are also entry level jobs. Of course gaining experience and becoming efficient has value but that doesn't suddenly change the definition of entry level. If someone takes that experience and uses it to get promoted, then good for them. Entry level leads to whatever you want it to lead to based on your education, experience, goals, etc. I know many people who have moved up into management, a couple of couriers that became pilots, some people went into sales, some accounting. Just depends on what you want to do.

    Being a courier can and does support families. It just depends on individual circumstances. No matter whether you are midrange, topped out, etc., you will always find two people who have the same pay and same family dynamics, yet one is struggling to survive and one isn't. Life throws a lot of curve balls. Many people remain in entry level jobs at FedEx and do a lot better than entry level jobs at other companies. I really can't say what FedEx intended but certainly this job does support a family and have a future as I'm living proof of that.

    Whether a job with prospects of good pay, benefits, and retirement sounds like a career or not is somewhat irrelevant. People choose what they want their career to be. You could have a job with poor pay and no benefits but make it your career if you want.

    I'm not denigrating anything. I can't help that the courier job meets the definition of an entry level position. If someone thinks that the courier job is a highly skilled, technical position, then they need to take a step back and re-evaluate. Just because it is an entry level position doesn't take anything away from the hard work and successes of many people over many years. Think about it. Most companies are built off of the hard work of the entry level workers but you cannot dismiss the guidance by executive management.
  19. UnsurePost

    UnsurePost making the unreadable unreadabler

    What's worse, a company like FedEx that says one thing and does another (employees living near poverty while they parade around the UW "giving" farce in the community), or UPS, railroaded into paying a fair wage while also parading around the same false self-promoting image?

    I don't think there is much of a difference personally. FedEx is being more honest, if anything. :D
  20. snackdad

    snackdad Member

    Our station used to promote the Station Picnic every year at a local park. I used to bring my reluctant wife along to show support for management that HAD to be there. My attendance was optional, theirs was not.
    My wife asked me "why do you feel like you need to go to these things"? I told her because if nobody cared and nobody went to support management it would mean that complete Apathy had final come to the station. Every picnic we went to the attendance got lower and lower.
    The last picnic only about 5 employees out of 70 showed up. All the managers were there as required along with cheap Costco burgers, generic brand hotdogs and absolute cheap junk food. They all stood around staring at each other. The fat, sweaty manager suffered over the grill cooking for phantoms. One employee showed up with a home cooked meal to add in but when he saw the attendance he threw it in the trash and left. I felt sad and embarrassed when I saw him do this. It was the LAST company event I attended. Any feeling of family and camaraderie has been bled out of the company I used to know. Management used to be involved with couriers when I started 20 years ago. It was not as much of US vs. Them as it is now. You are only as good as your last delivery in my station.
    Everybody in the region knows that this station is the Armpit of FedEx!