All posts by George

Make My Day

Every day that I worked at UPS I thought about how I would make my grand exit if I were to quit. Here is somebody who acted out that fantasy. I love this story…

Think you’re having a bad day?

Police say a JetBlue flight attendant who got into an altercation with a passenger on a plane arriving in New York City and deployed an emergency exit slide so he could flee has been arrested.

They say Steven Slater was arrested on charges including criminal mischief and reckless endangerment following Monday’s incident at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Slater faces up to 7 years in prison if convicted, according to WNBC.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police say Slater was working on a JetBlue Airways Corp. flight from Pittsburgh when he got into a heated argument with the passenger about baggage. They say as the plane was landing Slater used the public-address system to berate the passenger. They say he then activated the slide, slid down and went to his car.

The New York Daily News reported that he took over the intercom and called the passenger a 12-letter epithet beginning with m and then told everyone, “I’ve been in the business 28 years. I’ve had it. That’s it.”

The JetBlue Embraer 190 had just arrived at JFK from Pittsburgh.

Corporate Nationalism Is Dead

   AH, the old days  The days of Corporate Nationalism are over. UPS is a perfect example of how the “bottom line” drives a company away from caring about their employees in America.
     The company used to have what I call the “Jim Casey management method”. My impression of that method has always been that “we are all in it together, to benefit us all”. The Teamsters were invited in to organize the company to create a structured system to function by within the company. Everybody that worked there could expect the same treatment. No one had to fear favoritism from the boss. All opportunities were made available based on performance, not on how brown your nose was.
      The company showed the employees how valuable they were to the company through various award systems, and outside activities. The job was still tough, and the battles were still fierce, but an employee could still expect a fair shake if they demonstrated that they cared about the profitability of the company, and cared about working as a team to get the job done with their fellow employees. Team play was encouraged through softball games, and get togethers sponsored by the company. Becoming friends among the workforce was considered a “formula for success”. Employees were awarded for safe driving, safe work methods, volume development, etc. Now most of those programs have been tossed in the name of profit.
     So where are we today? I do not have to tell you the effect of Telematics and the way the company uses it to brow beat the drivers. I do not have to tell you how management has a total “do it, or be fired” mentality. I do not have to tell you how the company continues to attack the Teamsters, and the contract, continually, even when they are being unfair to one employee or another.
It’s strictly about the ‘bottom line”. I do not have to tell you about the “Lord and Master” type of management. 
      Employees are an expendable necessity for doing business.
      The management mentality is to do as little for the employee as they can, in order to improve profit for the public stockholders, and reduce the costs of operation. Doesn’t matter at what personal expense, or damage to people it does. People no longer matter.
     Think our world has not changed? Think we have not become a world of the giant “multi-national” corporations?
                                             Look in your own backyard!

Stewards Tend the Union Garden

       It’s important that we grow the company because it makes our jobs and our pensions more secure. But it’s equally important to grow the Union. Many people don’t know how to grow the Union. They think it takes a big organizing campaign to bring in new workers under the Teamster umbrella. But there are many things you can do everyday to grow the Teamsters Union. Here are a few of them.

      First, take your full lunch everyday. We are required to take a full lunch every day and each minute you don’t take and choose to work for free is time that should have been paid to a Teamster. Our building dispatches hundreds of routes a day and if just 8 of those drivers skip their lunch, they have absorbed an entire route that should have been dispatched and run by a Teamster. Don’t let the company reduce our ranks and weaken our pension by skipping your lunch. Every full-time Teamster on the payroll is another person paying into the pension plan.
        UnionUse your 8-hour requests. Every Denver driver gets three 8-hour requests per month. Our center has 45 drivers. If each one reduced their dispatch by one hour (from 9 to 8 hours), 3 times a month, that’s 135 hours a month or the equivalent of over 3 weeks of work that we could generate just by taking what’s is rightfully ours to enjoy. We could add a driver in our center if everyone used all of their 8-hour requests.
        Refuse to work excessive overtime. We have strong 9.5 language in our contract. Use it. Keep your hours under control and the company will need more drivers to cover the routes that we are running ourselves right now by working 10 to 11 hours a day. Just 8 drivers working an extra hour per day are absorbing a route that some part timer has been waiting years to start on. Excessive overtime weakens our pensions and hurts our families.
        Don’t work off the clock. Every time you work off the clock you are giving the company a false impression of how long and how many people it takes to get the job done. Don’t give away precious minutes that someone should be paid for. UPS made $3 billion profit last year, you don’t have to work for free to keep them afloat.
        Stop supervisors from doing our work. Go to your steward every time you see a supervisor working and have him investigate the reason for this violation. Sometimes the reasons are legitimate, sometimes not. If not, then file a grievance. Time slip grievances encourage the company to put on more people.
        And finally, grow the business. The company consistently refuses to hire more people because the growth is flat. They say it would be bad management to add people when the business isn’t growing. So, grow the business and grow the Union. 
        None of these simple ways to grow the Union require a degree in organizing or long weekends spent talking to unorganized workers. These are things we can do everyday at work to grow our Union and strengthen our pensions.


Thank God for Good Samaritans

There are times when UPS drivers need a little help. Here is one such time.

                     Passerby Helps Police Capture Suspects in Attack on UPS Driver

Burlington, Vermont – July 8, 2010

Nathan Noble’s work day was anything but mundane last Monday.

“It was pretty bad. I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said.

The 23-year-old Hilton Hotel employee had just dropped some guests off at the airport and was driving back to the hotel when he saw something out the ordinary; a UPS driver being pulled out of his truck and beaten to a bloody pulp.

“Yep, threw him up against the fence and all I saw as his head getting smashed in,” Noble said.

The driver tells police he was ambushed. He claims he was driving down Grove Street in Burlington when two strangers suddenly threw a large tree branch in front of his truck. When he stopped to confront them– he says he was attacked.

“Just stupidity; sheer, plain stupidity,” Burlington Police Lt. Emmet Helrich said. “I literally think they just threw the log in front of the truck to be wise guys.”

Nathan Noble was one of several drivers that watched the attack unfold, but to his amazement he was the only one to stop.

“They literally slowed down and then just kept driving,” he said of the other motorists.

Noble called 911 and then picked up the branch and went after the two guys. And when they took off he continued to follow. Soon after, police arrested 19-year-old Jason O’Reilly and 18-year-old Nicholas Gardner. Something they say they couldn’t have done without Noble’s help.

“This kid just saw it and he knew he had to do something. So he ran out, which is pretty cool,” Helrich said.

UPS officials here in Williston would not comment on the driver’s injuries, other than to say he’s doing OK, but is still recovering.

Gardner and O’Reilly are being charged with simple assault and disorderly conduct and could receive jail time if convicted.

Telematics=Management Scam

     Telematics is the new management scam. The company spent millions to implement Telematics just so they caI'm the Hotdogger From Hell n keep the fear of the “Lord and Master” in all the drivers. When they implement Telematics in a center, they usually make a big scene singling out offending drivers for seat belt issues, or excess breaks in their day. The idea being the drivers will cower in fear, and keep the idea that the “Lord and Master’s” constantly watching.
     Usually the end result is a major drop in “stops per on road”. When they feel that the drivers are sufficiently fearful, the managers go back in to their hot doggers and whisper, “don’t worry”, I’ll look after you. “Do it the way you always have!” The driver will breath a sigh of relief, and return to their humping and dumping ways, thinking they are immune from prosecution under Telematics. The managers breath a sigh of relief because their production shows a steady increase.
                                            But Wait!
     What most managers, and drivers forget is the trusted Minion of the “Lord and Master” can watch the Telematics printouts of any center, anywhere. They constantly look for gaps in time, excessive break, no seat belts, excessive backing, all the things that Telematics can report. A report is e-mailed to the center manager with a demand for the driver to be disciplined. The Minion has no “deal” with the driver, and doesn’t care if he or she is the “hotdog from hell” of a delivery person.
     The Minion of course is on his own “death watch” and has a “MAR” requirement issued by the “Lord and Master” to kill off a certain number of drivers a week. The center manager, who is also under “constant death watch”, must also respond to the Minions demands for discipline, or he will be removed for lack of management ability, and ineffective management.
     Usually it’s the hotdoggers that get caught under Telematics because they are playing games with the system. They often will split stops to improve performance, or play games with air commit times, or throw packages anywhere to speed up the delivery process, along with driving like idiots, and failing to use their seat belts, etc.
     After the implementation of Telematics in our building, 5 drivers were Terminated, and 3 never returned. All were humper dumper’s, one was even a scab from the strike days.
     The drivers that follow the methods fall from view of the Minion and live “happily ever after”. Of course that’s happily ever after with brown, where you never are “happily”, and “ever after” never seems to come.
                    “Ever after may never come to the hot dogging, humper dumper, now with Telematics!

Don’t Make Me Laugh

                                            that's funnyStewards usually have a pretty good sense of humor and enjoy a good joke. Here’s something that stewards often hear that always makes them laugh.  

      The joke goes something like this.

      I don’t use the methods but they wouldn’t fire me because: I run under for them all time. My supervisor likes me. Their numbers would go in the toilet if they fired me. I’d slow way down if they tried to fire me. 
      I skip my lunch for them. Nobody else could do that route like I do. I bring in big accounts. I don’t file grievances. I’ve never been in trouble. I don’t report injuries even though my back hurts all the time. I saved their butts so many times. Nobody else works as hard as I do. I don’t complain about excessive overtime. 
      I’m never late and never call in sick. I socialized with the boss before he went into management. Upper management likes me. Or the funniest one of all: They wouldn’t fire me because I’m the best driver in the center, they tell me so all the time.

Truck Driver Chokes On Pork Rinds, Ends In Ditch

        Those were some gooooooood pork rinds
        BLAINE, Wash. (AP) – A Washington State Patrol trooper says the driver of a FedEx tractor-trailer rig choked on some spicy pork rinds, lost control of his truck on an interstate and jackknifed it before coming to a stop in a muddy ditch.
        Trooper Keith Leary says Edward Sutherland was driving his rig southbound from Blaine near the Canadian border Monday when he began choking and veered from the southbound lanes across the median into northbound lanes of Interstate 5.

        The trooper says the truck didn’t hit any vehicles. Leary says the 42-year-old driver suffered minor injuries and will be cited for driving with wheels off the roadway.

    The 10 Most Dangerous Foods to Eat While Driving

        Drivers who are drinking and stuffing their faces while on the road are a serious problem. Hagerty Classic Insurance, a provider of classic-car insurance, began to look more closely at this issue after a DMV check on an insurance applicant turned up a “restraining order” against anything edible within his reach while driving. Eating while you drive is one of the most distracting things you can do, according to several recent surveys by insurance companies and data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). “It really seems it’s more the spill than the eating,” says Hagerty. “Anything that drips is probably not a good idea.” Hagerty and his staff decided to do a study of their own to see which foods are the worst offenders, and although Hagerty says he ruined a few shirts in the process, they found some interesting information. 

       The top 10 food offenders in a car are:

        Coffee — It always finds a way out of the cup.
        Hot soup — Many people drink it like coffee and run the same risks.
         Tacos — “A food that can disassemble itself without much help, leaving your car looking like a salad bar,” says Hagerty.
        Chili — The potential for drips and slops down the front of clothing is significant.
        Hamburgers — From the grease of the burger to ketchup and mustard, it could all end up on your hands, your clothes, and the steering wheel.
        Barbecued food — The same issue arises for barbecued foods as for hamburgers. The sauce may be great, but if you have to lick your fingers, the sauce will end up on whatever you touch.
        Fried chicken — Another food that leaves you with greasy hands, which means constantly wiping them on something, even if it’s your shirt. It also makes the steering wheel greasy.
        Jelly or cream-filled donuts — Has anyone eaten a jelly donut without some of the center oozing out?
        Soft drinks — Not only are they subject to spills, but also the carbonated kind can fizz as you’re drinking if you make sudden movements, and most of us remember cola fizz in the nose from childhood. It isn’t any more pleasant now.
        Chocolate — Like greasy foods, chocolate coats the fingers as it melts against the warmth of your skin, and leaves its mark anywhere you touch. As you try to clean it off the steering wheel you’re likely to end up swerving.

        According to a survey conducted by the Response Insurance Agency, eating while driving ranks as the No. 2 driving distraction. Fifty-seven percent of drivers surveyed say they eat and drive. The No. 1 distraction noted by 62 percent of surveyed drivers is tuning the radio, and No. 3, noted by 56 percent of drivers, is turning around to talk with passengers. Interestingly, only 29 percent of drivers surveyed listed talking on a cell phone as a distracting activity in which they engage.