Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas past... present and...future?

That is me, fifth from the left, with the longer blonde hair. The place is the 'girls' locker room at UPS in Concord, the date- probably about 1980. What we are is 'Team-O Bitches, or lady Teamsters if you will. When I started, only the lady directly above me and one other were working as UPS drivers. We took a lot of flak! Men hated that we were there. I had packages thrown at me, I was cursed at, sexually harassed, and worked nigh to death! Luckily there were a few 'enlightened' men there that helped a girl out, and taught me a few things so I was able to last in the job for about 12 years.

During my time there I went through 12 Christmas's- all of them miserable. 12-16 hour days and nights and rain and cold the likes of which hasn't been seen since! I literally had to swim to a few houses to deliver the packages. I took several pairs of shoes and socks and shirts with me every day, letting the wet ones dry out over the motor case where it was the warmest. It was a pretty good paying job back then. I had Lil Mama to support and no hubby or child support forth coming. I was also a member of the Teamsters( thank gawd!) and though I was abused, at least it wasn't the worse-case senerio abuse! I got my paycheck every week, and I earned every nickle.

UPS makes it's money on time-management- each SECOND is managed when you are a UPS employee- from how you put your pen into your pocket and how fast you can multi-task putting on your seatbelt and starting the engine.

Now in todays paper I see that UPS has gone retro- they are using bicycle messengers with trailers in 'select ' neighborhooods.


On one day I did 400 stops. That is one or more packages per stop. It takes several hours to do that, and you'd be hustling! UPS wouldn't put more people on the road, cuz that would mean more money spent on employment, benefits and the like. Less people, more work, less time, means more money for UPS. They don't call it the Big Brown Machine for nothing.

These bike UPS'rs are making 25-30 stops on a friggin' bicycle! The company claims it is saving money by not using the gasoline or diesel for their trucks and the neighborhoods like it better. They have most people believing that I reckon...

I say horseshit!

UPS only pays those bike messengers HALF of what they pay the drivers, about $10 an hour. That is how they are saving money- they could care less about the 'green' aspect of the whole thing! No benefits, no medical, nuthin' and they are putting an actual Teamster out of a job- one with a mortgage and a family to feed, one that is being abused on a daily basis year round,paying dues and working hard,trying to keep their jobs.

UPS will not change its spots as far as time management- so I know they will be doing time studies on how quickly they can make these messengers haul those 200 pound trailers around with the bikes,how quickly they can load and unload them, how fast they can put down the kick stand, write on their diad boards and steer at the same time.

All I can think of is, " How tired are those people's legs going to be at the end of a long rainy Christmas week of delivering packages?"

Well, that's not true- I also wonder why the Teamsters is putting up with this stunt!

Since UPS is going retro- I thought of one more thing. I have lots of experience in delivering packages for them, and I can go even more retro-

What do you think?
Would they hire me?