Do You Like Your Job?

       People used to ask me what I liked most about my job and I would say I liked 4 things. I liked the money, I liked the challenge and I liked being on my own all day and I liked interacting with my customers. Today if someone asked me what I liked about my job, I say the money. PAS and Telematics have removed the challenge, I’m never really on my own anymore and I’m only supposed to talk if I’m making a sale.
       3 wishes I read an interview with a UPS IE person who said that PAS and Telematics will tell every driver the most efficient way to run the route everyday.  He said that drivers had always “customized their routes” on a daily basis to accomodate their customers or to get the bulk off first, and often these decisions were not good decisions. Allowing the drivers to customize their routes was driving the company into the poor house.
        So I was told not to think of my route as my route. It didn’t even bear my name anymore. It was 31A and I just happened to be the person who was running it. The personal reward that I got each day by taking the route out and getting it organized, satisfying my customers and getting back in safely and successfully is gone. I ran the route the way the computer told me to, I couldn’t customize it to satisfy a customer and I didn’t think about a better way to do it, even though years of accumulated area knowledge told me that there was a better way. I did as I was told. That’s how you survive now at UPS.
        And, you’re never alone. Management has the technology now to watch every move you make. They have reports on everything you do and what time you did it. They know the service class of every package you handle, what time you delivered it, where the truck was sitting, if it was turned off, if you backed in first, how many stops you have off and how many you have left. They might as well be sitting in the seat next to you all the time.
        I was on the same route for over 25 years and I knew all of my customers. I knew them because I took a moment here and there to show them that I cared about them as people and as customers. That kind of caring is what UPS built it’s reputation on. UPS’s own surveys show that what customers like best about the company is usually the driver. But with PAS and now Telematics, you are required to just grab and go, do more stops, no talking, hurry up, run and gun. But that’s not what made UPS special. It’s not our efficiency that the customer likes about UPS, it’s that the driver takes the time to address them by name and even learn their kids’ names. But IE puts no value on what has endeared the UPS man to his customers and that is; taking a moment to show you care.
        It’s not that I didn’t like my job, it’s that the things I liked about my job disappeared.  Now when people ask me what I liked about my job, I say “the money”. The challenge is gone once you surrender yourself to PAS and Telematics. You are never on your own and you’re not supposed to talk unless you can make a sale.
        That’s a shame. Thank God for the money or there wouldn’t be anything to like about the job.