A Shot to the Head

     I love it when UPS shoots themselves in the head. I don’t know how many years you have to go to college to lose contact with the real world, but UPS management must be in a post graduate program.  Shoot, shoot

     Here is the latest brainstorm by management. Anyone who works 3 days over 9.5 hours has to take the 4th day off. That’s punishment. A day off without pay. They always think that anyone working excessive hours is doing so intentionally to rip off the company. And the best way to punish that scumbag is to send them home without pay. 

     They never even consider that maybe the dispatch is f****d up and that maybe they are sending this driver out with too much work. Oh no, this guy is ripping the company off and they are going to pay him back by sending him home. 

     The part that they don’t understand is that anyone working 3 days over 9.5 probably WANTS the day off. And they can afford it.  And it’s a contract violation since the drivers are guaranteed eight hour a day. 

     Unless you mutually agree to go home without pay, a simple grievance will get you paid for that day. So what they think is a great way to punish the drivers they don’t like is really a contract violation and a welcome blessing to any driver working too many hours. In fact, maybe you could go over 9.5 every Tues, Weds and Thurs and get a nice 3 day weekend whenever you need it. 

     It must take a college education to come up with this kind of a program.    

10 Things I Love About Retirement

     I’ve been retired long enough to realize that I should have done this a long time ago. I drove for 30 years and there wasn’t a day I didn’t think about retirement. I thought my day would never come, but it did. 

     Here are 10 things I really like about retirement.

     1.  I can take breaks whenever I want. Nobody says I have to be busy every minute of every day. Take a break, knock off early, get sidetracked, who cares. 

     2.   Nobody examines my work except  me. There is no WOR or Telematics or 3 day rides. If I have a non-productive day, then that’s what I have. Nobody beats me up for it except me. 
      3.   I don’t have to wear brown. I know a lot of guys who saved a few old uniforms thinking they would wear them if they were painting or changing the oil in the car. I don’t know of anyone that has ever put one back on. 

      4.   I can travel in December. My first Christmas I took my wife to the Cayman Islands. I felt so guilty I could hardly enjoy myself, but I tried. 

      5.   I can volunteer at my nephew’s school. Going on a field trip with 28 second graders may not sound like fun, but it is to me because I missed all of that with my own daughter.  UPS came first, family came second.

      6.   I don’t live in fear. I’m not looking over my shoulder all day long wondering who’s tailing me, who’s watching and criticizing me and wondering if I’m going to be nailed tomorrow for something I did today.

      7.   I can set my own daily schedule. Sometimes I sleep in, sometimes I stay up late. I eat whenever I want. I can start early and quit before I’m done.

      8.   I make the rules. There are no methods. I try to work safely and stay healthy, but I don’t carry my keys on my pinkie and I even make left turns sometimes.

      9.   I can have sex on weeknights. Enough said. 

     10.  I’m “off the clock” FOREVER.

What Comes Next

   The New Corporatist  Life at Brown has been interesting over the last couple of years. Given the economic downturn, a number of things have happened due to the financial stresses the company has been under.
     Management promotions have essentially been stopped. The usual movement of management has also been stopped. Everyone basically has been told they will be successful where they are or they will be gone. The question would be, what has happened to the drivers? The most noticeable would be the lack of new hires, but everyone continues to work, and through attrition, no one has suffered an extended layoff.
     Management has had to pay more for their benefit package. Their “out of pocket” cost has increased in order for the company to offset some of their costs of providing benefits. What have the drivers faced? No change in the benefit package and it’s cost to the drivers. It’s a very good thing at a bad time. Of course it raised the eyebrows of management.
     Management has taken a decrease in wage levels. No raises were given, and rumor was that most management actually took a pay cut. The drivers on the other hand not only kept their wage levels intact, but were awarded all contractual wage increases provided for under the contract. It wasn’t for the lack of the company asking.
     Given these changes that have occurred in the last couple of years, what would you think will come next?
     Let me again remind you of a very special year. 2013. That is the year of the expiration of the Teamster/UPS contract. July 31st to be exact. Would any self respecting driver expect that management will take all of these cuts, then turn around and give the hourlys wage and benefit increases? Also with the competitive climate the way it is, would any driver expect the company to maintain wage levels when the nearest competition is taking wage cuts, and benefit cuts across the board?
     There is such a thing as pricing one’s self out of the market. While you would never hear the Teamsters make such a forecast, (it would be political suicide), the worries have been expressed behind closed doors.
     So back to that “self respecting driver”. Without involvement both politically, and within the Union, the s.r. driver is going to take a hit in those contract negotiations. The support can’t suddenly come on the 30th of July, 2013, it has to happen in the years preceding the expiration of the contract. The more formidable front the Teamsters present, the less demanding the company will be upon negotiation time.
     That includes an increase in Union membership outside the company. One of the biggest fears of large corporation is the “boots on the ground” mentality of the Unions. If the corporations are successful in reducing the membership of the Unions to a meaningless number of people, they will win. Your wages go down, your benefits disappear, and you get to do the job of being a driver with the same amount of hassle, for less, and less benefit.

     We all need to wake up to the “Ogre in the den”. The corporations want you to believe the “Ogre” is the government. 
                             The “Ogres” are the Corporations. Wake up!

In My Mind’s Eye

   I know everything!  I love to look into my mind’s eye. As long as I hide out inside my head, I am whatever I want to be. When I’m in there it’s easy for everyone else to see what a wonderful, thoughtful, all knowing, tough, individualist I am. 
     I am never influenced from the outside because I know what’s right and wrong in my mind’s eye. I am terribly intelligent also in my mind’s eye. I get to treat other people the way I think they should be treated in my mind’s eye.
     I am the toughest person on earth in my mind’s eye. Since I know best, I get to spout whatever I want. I know I am right to be a racist in my mind’s eye. Since I know everything, I get to tell everyone how screwed up the government is, and what the solution to everything the government does, would be. My mind’s eye tells me who is right, (they’re right if they agree with my vast intellect), so I know what and who to listen to, and who is a truth distorting jerk. I know all of that in my mind’s eye.
     In my mind’s eye I believe the Unions are all crooked. I believe what I have heard about them because I once had that thought, and they take my money every month, and of course I know everything in my mind’s eye. When I heard some talking head radio guy say it also, I knew he was right because my “all knowing” mind’s eye had already had that thought.
     I am so worth the money I get for what I do, I don’t need the unions to negotiate on my behalf. It is how I see myself in my mind’s eye. I am the best driver ever, and no one can compare to how expert I am at whatever I do, in my mind’s eye. The company would pay me double what I get, if they only knew my value the way my mind’s eye knows my value.
     Listening and learning are not necessary for me, because I am the smartest person on earth. Nobody that disagrees with me should ever question what I think. Don’t they know I am the smartest person in the universe in my mind’s eye? I know how stupid everyone else is, and by damned if they try to question what I think and say, I have the obligation to shout them down, and call them stupid. I know I’m just a driver, but I should be king of the universe, and control all thought with my incredible powers in my mind’s eye.
     I hear people say that I am easily influenced by what I hear, and that I wouldn’t help my own mother cross the road. What they don’t know is that I would let them all starve to death, but my mother would never have to worry in my mind’s eye.
     I want my mommy, in my mind’s eye.

     We all know people with this type of mentality. They usually hide in the background, but leap to the front when they feel empowered. They will never come forth for the people that fight on their behalf because their ego is such that they think they are owed what they have. After all, they are the most important people in the world “in their mind’s eye”.
                We all know where they keep their “mind’s eye”.

The End of the Gravy Train? 2013

     I can see it coming. The end of the gravy train is approaching. The 2013 contract negotiations will tell the tale on the Teamsters that work for Brown. My prediction is that the company is prepared to stomp the living daylights out of the drivers. They are after all the highest paid and compensated drivers in the small package trades division.
     The company has all ready set up the, “we need you to give back for us to remain competitive”, mentality. Given the layoffs, and production pushes currently going on, the only end result can be give backs by the employees.
     We have talked long and hard on these pages about supporting your union, supporting your negotiators, and voting “Labor friendly” politicians. Many drivers just continue to ignore the need for the support of the rank and file.
     Many drivers think the union isn’t necessary, and are in for a rude awakening when the wrecking ball comes to town in 2013. It will be interesting to hear them whine when they reduce wages by 5 bucks an hour. It’ll be interesting to hear them whine when they have to pay 3 grand a year for their healthcare per person. It’ll be interesting when their pension benefits are reduced, or better yet, dropped entirely.
     What a waste of a good thing. What a waste of many good Teamster’s efforts.
                                                      What a waste of a good life!

Are You Getting Enough Exercise?

     Are you keeping in shape by working at UPS? I always used to think that the job provided me with enough exercise that I didn’t have to worry about staying fit. Afterall, no one out there physically works as hard as a UPS driver. And if the exercise doesn’t get you, the suana effect will. 
     But not everyone agrees that a UPS driving job provides an adequate amount of exercise. In this article, The Top 5 Fittest Professions , some experts don’t call what a UPS driver does “exercise”. They call it “movement”. 

     “According to Dan McMackin at United Parcel Service, the average UPS driver walks about 4.5 miles and moves thousands of pounds worth of packages each day.

     Our experts disagree on whether or not this counts as exercise. Michael says yes: “If you’re lifting correctly, which these guys are instructed to do, then you’re using your glutes, you’re targeting the biggest muscles in your lower half, and also forcing the rest of the body to work in order to help balance you out.”


But fitness instructor Matt Probst of Akron’s RP Fitness counters, “I wouldn’t consider it exercise. I would consider it movement. In order to fully stimulate a muscle to grow, it must be pushed to the point of failure. You’d have to carry the packages until you physically can’t take another step.”

     Obviously the fitness instructor from Akron never worked for UPS. If his definition of exercise is being “pushed to the point of failure” and  “physically can’t take another step”, then working for UPS certainly qualifies as exercise.

     It’s the holy grail of exercise.


Corporate Supported Hypocrisy

     Let’s start this thought with a look at the past. Most of us started out with the company looking for decent work. Maybe we were inThe Many Faces of the Hypocrite! college trying to get by, or maybe we had been laid off from some other menial job. We saw an ad about working for Brown that offered decent wages, and benefits, and paid vacation, and even retirement. Wow, we thought, “too good to be true!”
     We jumped at the opportunity and soon we were wearing the Brown zoot suit, pushing the big brown truck, and living the good life. No where in all of this did anyone ever explain that all of this was also courtesy of the Teamsters Union. We thought the company just gave us these benefits out of the goodness of their hearts, and because we are such fabulously valuable, self important, heros of the working world.
     We wondered why the Union would ask for “dues” when they had done nothing to earn them. We asked why the Unions supported “Labor friendly candidates” when these candidates did not necessarily support the issues we had with the world. We could not understand why the Unions would not support social issues outside of what was important to them. We began to listen to the “right-wing”, “anti-union”, talking heads that told us our money was being sent to crooked hoodlums bent on destroying the earth.
     We believed their flapping gums, (no one lies on the radio) and started to protest having to pay those dues to an organization that has done nothing for us. We understand that the company will continue to give us the highest pay in the small package industry, and the best benefit package available, out of the goodness of their hearts. We know we are worth more than the ‘bottom line” of the company.
     We actually are fools. We continue to vote against ourselves, yet believe that what we have, will be there forever. Of course we tend to be very self-focused, and worry only about ourselves when it comes to the world around us. We can stand there and spew the hate filled rhetoric of the union haters, yet continue to pocket our solid paycheck, and use our healthcare, that was negotiated for us by the Teamsters. Of course we are special somehow, and did not need the Teamsters to fight for us.
     OK, actually I shouldn’t call us fools. Many of us are just hypocrites. Corporate hypocrites. We support corporate hypocrites. We vote for the “Society of the Bottom Line”. We are being sold out in the name of the corporation, and loving it. All because some lunatic says we should. All because we can’t see past our own nose. 
       Keep it up and we will lose it all! Wake up! You are a peon when it comes to the bottom line!
                                              You will be the first to go!