Better Than Coffee

       I was in my center one time, in the check-in area. It was about 7:50 am and, although I didn’t start until 8:45, I had come in early for a local hearing that we had scheduled for 8am on the other side of the building. Most of my group was crowded around, talking and waiting to go to work.
       I was holding 2 grievances I had just written for a driver who asked me if I could help him out before going to my meeting. That’s when the Division Mgr  walked up and asked, “What have you got?”
       I said, “A couple of grievances, this one is a supervisor working grievance ( I laid it aside) and this one charges harassment, over-supervision and requests that management stay off car until a local hearing can be held.”
       Mgr – Are you on the clock? Who authorized you to go on the clock and do Union work this morning?
       Me – I have a local hearing on boxline 6 at 8am.Nothing wakes me up in the morning like a good argument
       Mgr — Who did you tell, because I’m gonna ask them?
       Me – My manager.
       Mgr – I’m gonna ask him.
       Me – Go ahead and ask him.
       Mgr – I have the right to go out on car and train my people.
       Me – He’s been trained for 3 days and when he files an over-supervision grievance then you have to get off car until a local hearing is held.
       Mgr –I have the right to train my people and I can tell you right now we are coming out again today.
       Driver – I know the methods, I had a 2 day methods ride just 2 weeks ago, management is harassing me.
       Mgr – How are we harassing you?
       Driver – Saying things like, after I go the bathroom, can you go faster now that you dumped that big load? He’s harassing me about my in-car routine when I had a different car all three days.
       Mgr – I have guys out there jerking me around, taking bathroom breaks every half hour.
       Me – This driver knows the methods, let him go out and do his job.
       Mgr – He does? Look at these numbers, he’s a buck seventy-eight over and has 65 methods violations.
       Me – Nobody’s perfect, we all have methods violations, give the guy chance.
       Mgr – I’ll give him a chance, I’ll ride with him myself and if I tell him 3 times to honk his horn at a residential stop and he doesn’t do it a fourth time, I’ll fire him. How’s that? And here is something else–you think about how you are going fight it – Production rides.
       Me – I’m sure we will find a way to fight it.
       Mgr – The guy is an hour sevent-eight over, how am I supposed to dispatch him and keep him under nine-five? I have to pay him for 8 hours, don’t I? That’s in the contract.
       Me – Yes you do, but that only applies if he works under 8 hours, that has nothing to do with a planned day.
       Mgr – So how do I dispatch him to get him under nine-five is he doesn’t plan?
       Me – You send him out with what you show is seven and a half. Nothing wakes me up in the morning like a good argument
       Mgr – I’ll tell you what I’ll do, I’ll send him out with a planned day, tell him not to miss even one package and be under nine-five, and if he doesn’t do it, I’ll fire him.
       Me – I need to get to my meeting, it’s almost 8 o’clock.
       Mgr – I’m gonna ask who authorized that.
       Me – I was hoping to get these grievances signed before I went over there, do you want to sign them? 
       Mgr – No, you’re not on the clock.

       The whole group got to witness this exchange. Afterwards, several drivers told me it was a real eye-opener.
One guy said it was better than coffee.

      An argument in front of the group is worth ten behind closed doors.