Our Gift to Our Children

     Every parent wants to provide security for their children. A good home, food on the table and a bright future, these are just of few of the things that parents work hard to supply. Any UPS driver out on the road for 11 hours a day will tell himself that he’s doing it for his family. He’s working like a dog to give his children a shot at a better life.
     But when it’s all said and done, are we leaving our children a brighter future? I fear not. I’ve always judged a bright future by what it promised in the areas of comfort, security and wealth. The more of these I could obtain, the brighter the world seemed. But I’ve watched with apprehension for the last 20 years as comfort, security and wealth became less obtainable for the average man.
     UPS today seems to be one of the last really good blue collar jobs left. It’s the kind of job where you can walk in off the street with no college education and in 3 years be making $70,000 a year with free health insurance. There used to be a lot of jobs like that. Auto workers and airline workers are just two of the many jobs that provided comfort, security and opportunity to thousands. But through apathy and indifference, our generation has allowed the American Dream to slip away for children. We’ve sat at home and watched American Idol instead of taking our demands into the streets. We’ve argued amongst ourselves while the captains of industry marched away with the money. And our children will pay the price.
     In a telling aritcle entitled “The rise of the permanent temporary workforce”, Peter Coy, Michelle Conlin and Moira Herbst detail the coming era of the disposable worker.

“You know American workers are in bad shape when a low-paying, no-benefits job is considered a sweet deal. Their situation isn’t likely to improve soon; some economists predict it will be years, not months, before employees regain any semblance of bargaining power. That’s because this recession’s unusual ferocity has accelerated trends — including offshoring, automation, the decline of labor unions’ influence, new management techniques, and regulatory changes — that already had been eroding workers’ economic standing.

The forecast for the next five to 10 years: more of the same, with paltry pay gains, worsening working conditions, and little job security. Right on up to the C-suite, more jobs will be freelance and temporary, and even seemingly permanent positions will be at greater risk. “When I hear people talk about temp vs. permanent jobs, I laugh,” says Barry Asin, chief analyst at the Los Altos (Calif.) labor-analysis firm Staffing Industry Analysts. “The idea that any job is permanent has been well proven not to be true.” As Kelly Services, CEO Carl Camden puts it: “We’re all temps now.”

Peter Cappelli, director of the Center for Human Resources at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, says the brutal recession has prompted more companies to create just-in-time labor forces that can be turned on and off like a spigot. “Employers are trying to get rid of all fixed costs,” Cappelli says. “First they did it with employment benefits. Now they’re doing it with the jobs themselves. Everything is variable.” That means companies hold all the power, and “all the risks are pushed on to employees.””

     It’s sad to contemplate. It’s not what I had planned as a gift to my children. How bad will things have to get before the American worker wakes up? I don’t know, but it’s not going to be fun to watch, I can tell you that.

The Systematic Destruction of “Personal” Freedom

     WhStand up for the potatos, I mean people!atever political ilk you come from, it’s happening. It’s the systematic takeover of personal freedom in the United States. The latest Supreme Court decision has put a retail price on speech, and control in the media. In other words the corporations win. The decision to give corporations rights as a human entity will mean the end of human rights. Our Supreme Court has just sold us out, lock stock and barrel, to the Chinese, and the Japanese, and the German corporations. They will be allowed, without restriction to interject themselves into the politics of the United States.
     Look at the Teabag revolution, which is totally funded by Corporate Interests. These people have the right idea to stand up for the American way of life. They have the right idea to take on a government they disagree with. They know something is dreadfully wrong with our government. The trouble is, they are being led to believe that their plight will be improved by supporting the corporatist’s in our society. Right on to them for standing up. Sad they are so easily led down a road by big money.
     Where are the decisions that will support small business, or start up business, or the little guy on main street. Those people are forgotten. Take a walk down mainstreet in Mid-America if you don’t believe it. Why? Because our government is about the corporations of today, not the “people” of America.
     Health care reform will never happen because of the billionaire business of the multi-national corporations. They own our politicians, right, or left.
     Small business tax breaks will never happen because our politicians are owned by the large multi-national corporations, both right and left.
     Home ownership support will never happen, because it is not in the interest of the multi-national corporations.
     Legal representation for the indvidual will never happen because the corporations will control the courts. Any law judge or lawyer can be driven out of law practice because the Multi-national corporations will control all of the judge appointments in the country. Your freedoms as an American individual will be lost forever.

      Our media will never keep us informed with the truth, because it is controlled by multi-national corporations, and spouts only the agenda that benefits them. Now with the supreme court decision, only the multi-national corporations will be able to afford to pick a candidate for any office in the land. Only multi-national corporations will be able to afford “free speech”.
     You will see the return of corporate emanate domain. Your land can be taken from you by private entities simply because they want it for their own. They own the politicians, and they own the courts. You lose.
     Your jobs and benefit packages will disappear simply because the multi-national corporations have no interest in improving the health, and well being of the American citizen.

     Our legislators will cease to pass laws to improve the rights of  individuals because individual rights are not in the interests of multi-national corporations.
     Hitler would be proud of the America he sees today.
     The answer is simple. Don’t be led down the hole, like lemmings, of todays politicians. Demand your media spread the truth. Turn off the mouthy idiot, racist, jackasses, perpetuating the lies of the multi-national corporations. None of them have your interests at heart. None of them care about your rights, or your freedoms.
     Be demanding about what you expect from your representatives. Write them. Call them. Stand before them, and demand the rights of the individual, and the real return to the American way of “We the people”.
     The cartoons are showing the re-writing of the constitution to “We the Corporations”.
Believe it!
Understand the Teabag Backers

Boise Man Awarded Almost $1.5 Million

A federal jury in Boise on Thursday awarded a Boise man almost $1.5 million award after he claimed United Parcel Service, Inc. fired him in retaliation for reporting federal violations.

In 2007, Darel Hardenbrook filed suit, claiming the company violated state policy by terminating him for reporting federal transportation rule violations. Hardenbrook, a supervisor, said the company required employees to drive trucks after working too many hours.

The jury deliberated less than two hours before returning its verdict. U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge presided over the weeklong trial.


What UPS Drivers Have to Carry

Lazy Supervisor’s Success Guide

My manager Tim called me over to his desk one day. He was designing the layout of his swimming pool in Visio, and he wanted my opinion on the design. Tim had sold all his UPS stock to have the pool built, which at UPS, puts you in a promotion purgatory. UPS expects their managers to maintain a sizable portion of company stock, and if you don’t, your chances of being promoted in a timely fashion are nil. I suggested to Tim that he go with the dark blue pool walls – I’ve always preferred dark blue walls for that tropical look. We discussed the position of decorative rocks, the BBQ grill, and the diving board. I never realized what such a great landscaping tool Visio was until that moment.
Eventually, I got bored and went back to my desk. I performed my hourly check of the online conference room reservation system, hoping to find a meeting that was ending. I was a food shark, swimming in after the meetings were over to pick up stale donuts, before the food service people removed them. I tended to stay away from the larger conference rooms – they had the larger coffee pots heated by Bunsen burners that tended to burn the coffee. The smaller conference rooms featured non-heated carafes which didn’t burn the coffee. Unfortunately, there were no meetings going on. It was looking as if I might actually have to work.
Luckily, Larry Jaworski the networking guy stopped by. Larry’s job consisted of creating network accounts for new users – good job if you can get it. Most of the time, he walked from cube to cube talking to people. He carried a piece of paper as a prop to make the management think he was doing something important like hand-delivering an important fax. He also maintained a map in Excel of the UPS hotties; it was like Google Maps, except you used it to locate the cubicles of attractive women. Larry and I sat around for 20 minutes, discussing what was new since his last visit earlier in the morning.
At 11:00, the lunch group started the daily email thread to decide where we were going to eat. I had intended to automate the “pick a lunch venue” process by creating an internal website, but never got around to it. Getting the group to agree on a lunch destination was like getting Halliburton out of Iraq – a very slow process. After about a 20-minute email exchange, we settled on a place. To avoid unwanted managers from tagging along [it’s amazing how an irritating manager can dampen a good lunch], we had a silent departure procedure, practiced to the point of perfection. At exactly 11:30, we all stood up in our cubes, looked around like prairie dogs, and then took off in separate directions. I took the back stairs down to the fifth floor, crossed the Oz Nelson memorial garden to building three, then met the others at our secret rendezvous location at the Wachovia ATM.
During lunch, we complained about management, complained about our jobs, and complained about the low pay. You’d think that all the complaining would be cathartic, but since we complained each day, I guess it wasn’t. After lunch, we stopped by Starbucks on the way back to the orifice. Fred the Lebanese chemist was there as always, sitting out front, blowing cigar smoke in the customers’ faces. His son worked for FedEx, and he reminded of this daily. When I get old and crotchety, I think I’ll relocate to a Starbucks.
After lunch, it was back to the grindstone. My co-workers and I spent thirty minutes recapping lunch conversation at my desk – a debriefing if you will. It gave us time to enjoy the coffee. Eventually, Larry stopped by again, and we discussed what was new in the world of technology since his mid-morning visit. Soon, I ran out of triple venti vanilla 2-percent extra-foam latte, so I looked at the conference room reservation system again for potential coffee targets.
There was the three o’clock break to look forward to. We were entitled to two fifteen-minute breaks. The actual rule was lost in translation at corporate, because everyone typically took a 45-minute breakfast and a 45-minute afternoon break; I always arrived late to work, so I missed breakfast. Break consisted of more complaining, leering at attractive women, and discussing the relevance of various random employees. It would work something like this: an unfamiliar employee would walk by, and someone at the table would ask “Who’s that?” Someone else would reply “That’s Dick Zimmerman. He’s a manager with a cleft palate from the Georgia district. He was then transferred to China on special assignment. He’s here today to attend the bell ringing ceremony. I used to report to him. He’s a good guy.” Employee trivia was an important part of UPS culture.
Alternatively, an attractive secretary would walk by and one of us would motion to the others with our eyes to look in her particular direction; “She’s hot,” BradBrown.com would say. “Yeah,” replied Beavis. Larry Flynt would be proud. I suppose I should have reported myself to HR, but I figured the line would be too long.
4:45 came early that day. I sent a couple of “I’ll get to it tomorrow” emails out to my important customers, threw on my sports coat [from 100 yards, you’d swear it was a suit], hit the elevator, walked past the United Way progress penis, and sneaked out to the parking desk. Supervising…it ain’t easy! That’s why they paid me the big bucks.


The Lord and Master Lives

  The Lord and Master   The company is headed for management from afar. I have predicted for years, that most dispatch, and management functions, will occur in one centralized location, with local managers, or supervisors, on-site just to crack the whip, manage driver issues, and to make sure everyone shows up.
       Jobs they haven’t learned to replace with technology, “yet”. 
  My understanding is, most of these jobs are division level jobs, and that most of these managers are on the “buy out, or get out” bubble.     
         Many of these management people are the major players in the “soul selling” this company has done in the last decade. These are the people that have done away with the “James E. Casey” form of management, and gone strictly to the “bottom line” philosophy of corporate management.
     Sometimes you reap what you sew.
     Telematics is the major reason the company no longer needs these managers. The company will be able to keep one guy, with a whip, to run 50 to 60 people.
     The company, as always, is in a technological transition. The last 5 years have seen incredible changes. Who knows what the next 5 years will bring.
    Management is overhead!

Have You Seen a Telematics Printout?

Sort aisle Have you seen a UPS Telematics printout yet?
Do you know what’s coming?
Are you prepared?
There is a website called The Truckingboards where one person had the balls to post up a Telematics Printout. Good going!!
I heartily encourage you go to the site and take a cold hard look at what’s there. You have to scroll down about a third of the way on the page before the pictures start. You’ll know it when you see it.
It shows all the stuff Telematics records and reports on. It’s an actual Telematics printout. It’s sobering that they can gather this much information without ever leaving their warm little offices.
I would never copy and knowingly distribute UPS documents like this.
I almost got fired and dragged into court by UPS for doing that once.
But that’s another story.