Here is an interesting and entertaining first hand observation of what it’s like to be a Christmas Helper.
I applied and was hired as a Driver’s Helper and I will admit it was
told to me and all of us up front during an orientation meeting that
we might be working every single day. Be aware that there is not much
information as to the amount of hours one would be able to work and no
information I could find as to the rate of pay.
After the initial orientation you are notified that you have been
hired and are required to attend mandatory training. It is at this
time when we were told of all the great opportunities for working and
making some nice side money over the holidays. In fact we were told
that some new hires were actually taken from after the training and
put to work that very afternoon.
Now that United Parcel has you in training it is then and ONLY then
that you find out that you will be making a mere minimum wage. I work
out religiously in the gym five days a week, so the physical
requirements of the job did not hurt my feelings one bit. I get in a
work-out when I would be working. We then find out about the
appearance and clothing requirements. We have to have no-slip shoes in
black or brown and pants and certain color undershirts and a jacket
since it is obviously the winter season.
Upon completion of a nearly three hour training class we were all
informed that there were no pants and shirts available for the
“required” uniforms. The jacket was not thicker than a common wind-
breaker so since you were required to conform to the clothing
standards, you did not find out until the last minute that you would
have to go out with you own money and buy what amounted to about 80%
of the uniform with no reimbursement offered by United Parcel Service.
You were also told that if you wanted to work you had better be close
to a phone and available between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. each morning
Monday through Friday. We were told dispatch would contact us and tell
us where and when to meet the drivers.
Well friends, as it turns out the entire process turned out to be very
mis-leading and costly both in time and in money and here is why.
I had to buy thermal underclothes and pants as I had nothing in the
“required” colors and as stated before only a wind-breaker jacket was
The first two days I stayed next to my telephone / cell for almost
eight hours waiting for a call for work. At about 9:25 a.m. on the
second day I was finally called and offered a measly four hours of
work in an area twelve miles from my requested area of work. All this
at minimum wage.
My theory is, is that UPS over-hires for Holiday Driver’s Helpers
thereby saturating the job pool. When it gets busy they have a bunch
of chumps like me to chose from and we all have to share in a smaller
piece of the pie as concerns hours available for work. When initially
we are told that we have the opportunity to work anywhere from eight
to twelve hours per day.
So in summary, it has been my unfortunate experience that:
If you want to spend your own money buying your own “required” uniform
clothing with no reimbursement and no actual uniform and:
If you want to spend your own “required” time without getting paid
sitting next to your telephone or cell phone waiting for a call that
may or may not come that day to report for work and:
If you want to find out that you are offered only a small number of
hours to work at minimum wage when it has been promoted to you that
you will be REALLY, REALLY, REALLY busy during the holiday rush then:
THIS PIECE-O-CRAP JOB IS FOR YOU!!!! ( If indeed you get to have much
of a job )
I calculated that even being fair to UPS and I was able to work even
six hours a day before Christmas Eve ( which you are “required” to
work ) that I would make a paltry four to five hundred dollars during
December 2009. What a joke. And UPS on their website advertises why
you should come to work for them rather than one of those boring
retail jobs. My son is working in retail part-time during the holidays
and gets steady hours and makes over a dollar more per hour than what
I found the entire program to be extremely misleading and a borderline
scam. This is coming from someone who REALLY wanted to work. I turned
in the wind-breaker last Friday. To see what “Brown” can do for you, I
would advise you to FLUSH it as soon as possible as this really
stinks. Merry Christmas….NOT!!!