L&I officials have trouble getting UPS information

TheNewsTribune, Tacoma, WA

State Labor and Industries officials say shipping giant United Parcel Service Inc. is resisting efforts by state inspectors to investigate a crash that badly injured a local UPS worker last year.

The state Attorney General’s Office recently sued in Pierce County Superior Court, asking a judge to force UPS officials to turn over records inspectors think would help them determine what caused the wreck.

The company has refused to release the records despite numerous requests and the issuance of an administrative subpoena, the lawsuit states.

“The department properly issued and served a subpoena duces tecum upon UPS in order to support a lawfully authorized investigation of risks to the safety and health of the concerned workers,” Assistant Attorney General Robert Hatfield wrote in his pleadings asking a judge to force the company’s hand.

UPS is not providing the information because the accident was investigated by local police and L&I lacks “appropriate jurisdiction to revisit the matter,” spokesman Dan McMackin said Friday.

“UPS remains open to discussion with the Attorney General’s Office,” McMackin said.

The crash occurred Dec. 14 after a UPS driver and his co-worker parked their delivery van on a steep hill in Federal Way. The driver later told L&I inspector Ann Benson that when he was ready to leave he buckled his seat belt, released the emergency brake and tried to start the van using its keyless ignition system.

The van failed to start and the driver’s attempts to use the brakes were futile, state records show.

“The package car gained speed until it struck a tree at the bottom of the hill, severely injuring the co-worker,” Benson wrote in an affidavit submitted as part of the recent legal action.

On Dec. 22, L&I received a complaint from Teamsters Local 174 reporting “problems with the keyless start system used in UPS package cars,” Benson wrote. Some drivers reported the brakes did not work if their vans weren’t running, she said.

Benson said she later talked to other local UPS drivers who expressed similar concerns.

Union representative Matt Webby told The News Tribune last week that he has not fielded any complaints since the initial reports made to L&I.

UPS last year installed keyless start systems in many of its vehicles as an efficiency measure. The system controls the ignition and unlocks a bulkhead door that gives drivers access to packages.

UPS Chief Operating Officer David Abney told The Wall Street Journal in September 2011 that the automatic door-opening system would save 1.75 seconds per stop or about 6.5 minutes per driver per day.

“We’re obsessive about efficiency,” Abney told the newspaper.

Benson wrote in her affidavit that she asked officials at the UPS facility in Pacific for documentation related to “written procedures for use of the keyless start system; UPS’s training documentation on the use of the keyless start system; and any information related to what to do if the package car stalls on a hill and how to get the vehicle started.”

Benson said she was told the company would not turn over anything without a subpoena. She delivered a subpoena to the company in March, but no records have been turned over, she said.

At least three state officials tried to negotiate the release of the documents with UPS attorney Carla Gunnin, but she declined to turn over the materials, court records show.

“On May 7, 2012, Ms. Gunnin emailed me to communicate that UPS believed (L&I) had no jurisdiction to investigate the issue of the keyless start system,” assistant attorney general Robert Hatfield wrote in an affidavit.

The state then decided to go to court.

“Based upon Ms. Benson’s investigation, the department has reason to believe that the keyless start system may have played a role in the workplace accident,” Hatfield wrote. “As the records requested by the department are essential for the department to fully conduct its safety and health inspection, the department now seeks judicial enforcement of its administrative subpoena.”

A hearing before Judge Thomas Larkin is scheduled for September.


But Did He Punch Out First ???

A UPS delivery driver has been arrested in San Diego after a woman found him in her hallway watching her bathe after he had just dropped off a package at her house.

Police say 43-year-old Walter Flowers was arrested for investigation of peeping, prowling and trespassing – all misdemeanors.

U-T San Diego ( bit.ly/KQJnwQ) reported Flowers had dropped off a package at the woman’s house. Police say the victim, who is in her 20s, was in the bathtub for about 30 minutes when she saw Flowers watching her from the hallway.

The woman chased him from the house and he sped away in his delivery truck. Flowers later surrendered to police.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/05/24/4515628/ups-driver-arrested-in-san-diego.html#storylink=cpy

How Many Aliens Per Hour Did You Do Today?

    That's a Good Lookin UPS Truck NILAND, Calif. (AP) — It was a special delivery indeed — 13 suspected illegal immigrants from Mexico stuffed in a phony UPS van.
     The U.S. Border Patrol said Tuesday that agents stopped the van Friday as the driver tried to circumvent a highway checkpoint near Niland, about 150 miles east of San Diego in California’s Imperial Valley, near the Mexican border.
     The van looked like a legitimate United Parcel Service Inc. delivery vehicle, except the company decal on the back door was slightly crooked.
     The driver, U.S. citizen Daniel Lopez, was charged in federal court in El Centro with illegal transportation of aliens, authorities said.
     Carlos Goens, the driver of another truck, was charged with the same crime after being detained at a Border Patrol checkpoint. He is suspected of coordinating with the UPS van.
     Migrants told authorities they had agreed to pay between $5,000 and $8,000 each to be smuggled into the United States, according to the criminal complaint.
     An agent reported seeing Goens leave a suspected stash house for illegal immigrants in the town of Brawley, leading authorities to the UPS vehicle. Another agent pulled over the UPS van at a mobile home park in Niland.
     Attorneys for Goens and Lopez did not immediately respond to phone messages Wednesday.
     Border Patrol agents recently began visiting Imperial Valley businesses and government agencies to warn about smugglers cloning their vehicles, said spokesman Adrian Corona. Telltale signs include misspellings on agency or company logos and crooked decals.
     In recent years, smugglers have used fake vehicles of the California Highway Patrol and Imperial Irrigation District.
     Last year, a white van filled with 13 illegal immigrants from Mexico dressed as clean-cut Marines were stopped at a Border Patrol checkpoint near San Diego.
     A Border Patrol agent who had served in the Marine Corps wasn’t fooled, especially when the driver didn’t know the Corps’ birthday.

UPS: Brown & Gold or Scaredy Cat Yellow

I buy everything online. I would rather wear a dress, pantyhose and high heels for the rest of my life than go shopping in the physical world. And let me tell you, I would look like a drag queen in that outfit — it’s not pretty and I’m doing everyone a great service by staying out of stores. Anyway, because I shop online so much, I usually have a consistent stream of packages arriving at my house.

I have lived in my house for almost ten years and have had four dogs for just about the same amount of time. For ten years I have had UPS and FedEx deliver my online orders with no issues. Moreover, both the UPS drivers and FedEx drivers bring treats for the dogs and get out and pet them. The dogs tails wag in everlasting love as they happily soak up the attention — and snacks.

Fast forward to the middle of 2011 and our neighborhood is assigned a new UPS driver. All of a sudden my packages stop being delivered. Instead of packages, I receive a tsunami of paper notifications that cite the packages are undeliverable because the “dogs were out.”

Now let me immerse you into reality of this “dogs were out” situation. My dogs are not like Cujo — the rabies-ridden St. Bernard who unleashes a reign of terror on a family. Two of my dogs are chocolate labs. Have ‘ya ever seen a lab? They are incredibly sweet and the only terror they unleash is if you happen to turn your back on your food — they will swoop in and consume it like a seagull. One of my dogs is a Shiba Inu. She is small and looks like a fox. She wags her tail so crazily she looks like a middle-aged woman doing the chicken dance at a wedding. Our forth dog Indy is a rescue dog. We went to the shelter and told them we wanted the dog that nobody wanted and had been there the longest. We think he is an Australian Sheppard/Spaniel mix. He is definitely a barker, but certainly doesn’t foam at the mouth.

I was finally able to catch the UPS driver one day and asked him why he wouldn’t deliver the packages. He was surprisingly rude and actually barked at me when he responded. He said he was not going to risk his life to deliver my packages. Excuse me? I never recalled reading that a lab had killed a man. Just to be sure, I Googled “lab kills man.” The only lab that ever killed a man was an exploding meth lab, not a dopey chocolate lab.

I went on to tell the driver that we have an electric fence for the dogs, so they couldn’t get on the front walkway or grass. As such, all he needed to do was drive down the driveway and step out his driverside door and directly onto my front walkway. The electric fence means he would never have to be within 10 feet of any of my harmless dogs. He barked at me again and said he refused to do that.

I called the local UPS distribution center and spoke to a supervisor. I was very reasonable and calm while I explained the situation. She informed me that this particular driver had been bit by a dog and now feared them. While I empathized with his situation, I explained that I thought that should be UPS’s issue, not mine. A quick Google search identified that 39% of US households own at least one dog — that’s 44.9 million households who own 78.2 million dogs.

So here’s my question: Should the customer who owns a dog/s suffer the consequences of a UPS driver who has a fear of dogs or should UPS deal with this issue because the driver is incapable of performing his duties? I’m pretty sure if a person was afraid of water (Aquaphobia), they wouldn’t be hired as a lifeguard. Or if someone was afraid of riding in a car (Amaxophobia), they wouldn’t be hired as a limo driver. So if 44.9 million households in the US have dog/s, how can someone with a fear of dogs (Cynophobia) be hired as a UPS driver?

Do you think UPS brand colors should be brown and gold or, perhaps more appropriately, brown and scaredy cat yellow?

Posted on the Kel Kelly Blog

What Can Brown Do For You?

An interesting series of events took place recently with United Parcel Service (UPS).

I arrived home from work the other day to discover a package sitting in a flower bed near my back door. It had a UPS-generated address label, made out to our address, but using my wife’s maiden name (which she has not used since the 90′s).

I took the package inside and we opened it up. To our surprise, the package contained several bottles of prescripion medications. I recognized some of them to be blood thinner, blood pressure and cholesterol medicines. We also noticed that the patient’s name on the containers were not my wifes, but rather someone else with a different first name and the same last name as my wife’s maiden name.

We then got to looking closer at the mailing label. We peeled it back and discovered an original mailing label that was addressed to the same person who’s name was on the prescription bottles. Her address was different than ours, and was located in a city some 60 miles from where we lived.

We couldn’t imagine why UPS would take it upon themselves to cover up the original mailing label and generate a new one, for a person with a different first name and address, and in a different city. I called the prescription company who shipped the package, and they too were at a loss as to why this might happen.

The prescription company thanked me, and said they would send their patient out a new package immediatey, and I assured them I would send the package back.

A few days later guess who shows up at our door? You guessed it. UPS…with yet another package for the same poor lady, again with the original mailing label – showing a different person at a different address – covered up with a new UPS label changing the recepient to my wife’s maiden name at our address.

I explained the whole story to the driver and he indicated he would return the package to the shipper.

The next day I took the 1st package to my local UPS Store to have it returned (I hadn’t been in a hurry to drop it off, since the pharmacy was sending out a new package to the patient).

I handed the package to the clerk behind the counter and explained the problem, and that it needed to be returned to the sender. He looked at the label and said, “I can’t take this, if I scan the label into the system it will just come back to you.”

By this point I was frustrated and quipped, “At this point I don’t care if you throw it in the trash. It’s not my problem, and it wasn’t my screw-up. Do what you want with it” and I walked out.

So yeah Brown, I got something you can do for me…

               And the followup posting……………….

My fellow BS’er Bill gave me some good-natured (and deserved) teasing the other day as a result of my recent What Can Brown Do For You? post.

Well, I guess we had this coming…

Several weeks ago my wife placed an online order for some new shoes, to be shipped to the elementary school where she works. Imagine her surprise today when my wife received an email from a man named Mark Craig who lives in Canada. Seems he received my wife’s shoes, in a package with a UPS-generated shipping label, showing his name and address. He had opened the package and found my wife’s name and address on the enclosed paperwork, Google’d the school name, found my wife’s email address, and sent her the note.

Out of curiosity, when she emailed Mark back, she asked him if there was an original mailing label under the one directing the package to him. She asked if there was a label that showed her name and address. He responded yes, there was such a label in place.

So this time UPS didn’t just redirect a package to a different woman’s name, at a different address, in a different city 60 miles away. This time they changed the address label from a woman’s name to a man’s name – and shipped it to a different country.