Trying Too Hard to Do Too Much

slow down, be carefulA United Parcel Service truck tipped over shortly after 9:30 a.m. Thursday, shutting down eastbound Bear Valley Road at Seventh Avenue in Hesperia, .

No one was injured in the accident, according to initial reports, and the driver was able to pull himself out of the vehicle.

The driver was making a left turn from Seventh Avenue onto Bear Valley Road heading east when he clipped the center median and flipped his vehicle onto its side, according to reports from San Bernardino County Sheriff’s officials at the scene.  

Joe Namath Sued Over Claims Dog Bit UPS Man

A former UPS driver has sued Joe Namath, alleging he was attacked by the Hall of Fame quarterback’s dogs while making a delivery at his Florida home.

 Attorneys for David Gunter said he hasn’t been able to work since the 2007 incident in Tequesta, about 90 miles north of Miami. Lawyer Steven Slootsky says Gunter required four surgeries after suffering injuries to his neck, back and knee.

 The lawsuit was filed last week in West Palm Beach’s Circuit Court.

Gunter isn’t the only one to have problems with Namath’s dogs.

Complaints have been filed against two of them, and one was ordered last month to be muzzled and leashed full-time.


Bob’s Mountain Man Driving Tips

       These are just some tips I’ve come to know from years of driving in the mountains in heavy snow conditions. They pretty much apply when weather conditions have deteriorated during snowstorms. They are a little different from the regular safe driving techniques the company teaches, but they work. I have lived by them for over 30 years.

        harddriveWhen you pull in, back out in the same tracks. You didn’t get stuck on the ride in, so you will not be likely to get stuck if you back out staying in the same tracks.
        Do not try to turn around. While the company teaches you to back first under normal conditions, you are way more likely to get stuck when you get out of your tracks trying to turn around. Carefully back out following your tracks you made going in.
        Don’t be afraid to walk a package in, you’ve all ready wasted the time getting to the stop. Take the extra minutes to walk the package in instead of trying to drive it there. You are much less likely to get stuck parking on the road, than parking in the driveway.
        Use your emergency brake on downhill runs. If you set your e-brake halfway you will not lock up your steering wheels causing you to lose control. Practice using the e-brake in slippery conditions to get a better feel for how your brakes respond. You always need to steer. Using the e-brake slows you down without losing your ability to steer.
        When in doubt, chain up! Chaining up is not the last resort it is the first. If you think you might need chains, put them on. It’s much easier to chain up when you pick the time and place than to try to chain up after you are stuck. I put chains on early even if conditions are just marginal. They prevent you from having that surprise slide away that not only raises your blood pressure, but can cost you years of safe driving. Again, when in doubt, chain up!
        If it’s really bad, give up. My suggestion here is not to recommend you quit early just because you want to, but if conditions are severe, and deteriorating I suggest you contact your center, and tell them you are at grave risk of getting stuck, or having an accident. The company came up with, “emergency conditions”, just for this situation. Don’t be a fool and wreck the truck, or worse yet spend the night in it, just because you think you can be a hero. You can be a hero tomorrow when conditions allow it. Use your judgment wisely.

         Remember that they are not out there. You are. Tell them what you need to do, don’t ask. You are the professional out there in the field, not them.

Don’t Hurt Yourself

       One time I overheard a manager talking about why UPS drivers get injured at such a high rate, higher than the national average for this type of work. He was saying that one problem was our misuse of our two-wheelers. He said we didn’t secure them in the back of the car properly and then we tried to work around them, sometimes over them and eventually we collided with them and got hurt. He said they roll around the back of the car when we drive and they can be in a different, sometimes surprising, A danger to be aroundlocation when we open the doors.
       He blamed us for not securing them with bungee cords right behind the driver’s seat inside the package compartment. He went on to describe in great detail how we struggle getting the wheelers in and out of the car, how we don’t load them properly, and how we don’t keep the tires inflated. 
        He then blamed us for working too fast. He then explained why that is our fault too. He said drivers allow themselves to get behind by not using the methods or talking too much or succumbing to other distractions. Drivers put themselves in the position of having to hurry to catch up. Then they work unsafely and get hurt. If you fall behind and have too much work to do and not enough time to do it, it’s your own fault. And running to catch up is the source of injuries.
        When he launched into his belief that most drivers may not be in as good of shape as they think they are (and may be over-confident of their abilities), I stifled a scream. He said that most drivers quit exercising when they become UPS drivers because they think they get enough exercise on the job. He whined that some drivers don’t eat right and don’t hydrate themselves properly, 
         I think the company needs to take responsibility for its own part in the injury picture.  They still deny that every day they send every driver out with too much work on the car. Overloaded, overworked, overstressed drivers get hurt. That’s where the injuries come from, It’s that simple.

A Breed Apart

UPS drivers are a special breed RANDOLPH, N.J. — A UPS driver’s unscheduled delivery in New Jersey has made one retailer very grateful.

 John Piontkowski spotted a bank bag in the middle of the road while he was making deliveries in Randolph. Inside, he found $5,200 and a Bank of America deposit slip showing the money came from Stuyvesant Liquors in Jersey City.

 The driver took the money to the bank. He tells the Daily Record of Morristown that he never considered keeping the cash.

Store owner Don Knaus says he and his wife were busy running errands Wednesday and lost track of the money, which somehow landed in the road near their home. As they searched, their bank called to say the money had been found.

 The driver says the store owner gave him “a very nice reward.”

Putting a Manager to the Test

Giddy up         My old center got another new manager last month and again, this one was from Atlanta and his head barely fit through the door. Every new manager who comes out West brags that he’s an expert horseman. Fortunately, they had the opportunity to put this one to the test. I wasn’t there, but this is how the story was told to me….

        Arrogantly, the manager mounted the big beast unassisted. As he adjusted himself in the saddle, the horse sprang into action. As it galloped along at a steady, rhythmic pace, the Atlanta Wonder began to slip from the saddle. In terror, he grabbed for the horse’s mane, but couldn’t seem to get a firm grip. He tried to throw his arms around the horse’s neck, but to no avail. As he slid towards catrastophe, the horse continued to gallop along, seemingly unaware of its slipping rider.

       Finally, giving up his frail grip, the new boss attempted to push away from the horse and throw himself to safety. Unfortunately, his foot became entangled in the stirrup, and he was now at the mercy of the horse’s pounding hooves as his head was struck against the ground over and over. 

       Bystanders watched in horror as Mister Bigshot began to lose consciousness. Just as disaster seemed unavoidable, a quick thinking grocery clerk reached over and pulled the cord on the wild stallion.

Going Christmas Shopping?

     Here is a little something to think about this Christmas season as you and your family go out to do some shopping. MSNBC has posted up an Associated Press story that Get a spine, Boycott WalMartshows what happens when you speak your mind in China. One of their citizens co-wrote an ariticle calling for free elections, freedom of religion and free speech. He was thrown in jail without charges and has sat there for a year. His wife has been allowed to see him twice. 
     These are the freedoms that we like to beat our chests about. These are the freedoms our boys are fighting and dying for in Iraq and Afghanistan. These are freedoms we would kill for. 
      If you read the ariticle, you’ll see that the average citizen in China is unaware of what’s happening because of a “news blackout and Internet censorship”. These are a couple more things that Americans would consider repressive if they were happening anywhere but China.
      And why is that? Why do we march off to war in Iraq and then go shopping at WalMart where 80% of the goods on the shelves are “Made in China”? Are we really that morally weak? 
      Yes, I think we are. Think about that when you go Christmas shopping this month. It’s really kind of sickening.

Engineers Strung Up by Thumbs

thumbs up         United Parcel Service is said to be thumbing its nose at the once much acclaimed DIAD IV. While smaller in size and loaded with gizmos, DIAD IV has proven to be a real honker. In a business where time is money and keystrokes are measured in dollars, drivers are fumbling away the company’s profits.
        Problems first began to arise when engineers, more concerned about size than function, put letters and numbers on the same keys and added a “shift” button. “Size is everything,” design engineer Richard Head explained. “I’ve finally proved that smaller is better.”
        But the shift key has proven to be a real boondoggle, with drivers often having to break, stand off to the side and fumble with the keyboard. What was once a smooth delivery routine has turned into a battle of the thumbs, with some drivers even having to void out their previous work and go back and try it again. Communicating with DIAD IV has become a real challenge, drivers often typing lengthy messages only to accidently erase them with a single keystroke. “It’s a nightmare,” one driver recently complained as he threw his DIAD down, “whoever designed this thing ought to be strung up by his thumbs.”
        Apparantly UPS had the same idea. A recent audit of time being wasted using DIAD IV showed that the placement of the button that turns the signature screen around costs the company over a million dollars in lost time every month. It seems that one out of every 20 customers hits the button when they take the DIAD to sign. That causes the driver to take the board back, punch through the screens to return to the signature mode, and hand it back to the signer with the warning, “Don’t touch that button.” Placing the only active button during the signature process in the exact location where everyone holds the board was the last straw for UPS.
        Following in the Chinese tradition of simply executing anyone who causes emabarassment and financial loss, next month UPS will string up the entire engineering department by their thumbs. “It’s fitting,” a UPS spokesman boasted, “the punishment fits the crime.”

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