In my neck of the woods, people occasionally talk about how lucky someone is to get a job at UPS. Sure, the pay is great, and the position is fairy secure compared to other private-sector jobs in an at-will state. However, UPS drivers earn every cent of their pay.
1. They’re always being watched.
UPS knows time is money, and it is obsessed with using data to increase productivity. Jack Levis, UPS's director of process management, told NPR that “one minute per driver per day over the course of a year adds up to $14.5 million,” and “one minute of idle per driver per day is worth $500,000 of fuel at the end of the year.” The hand-held computer drivers carry around, called a DIAD (short for Delivery Information Acquisition Device), tracks their every move. Ever wondered why your UPS man can’t stick around to hear your life story? He probably has between 150 and 200 stops to make before the end of the day, and he’s being timed. “You’re trained to have a sense of urgency,” says Wendy Widmann, who drove for 14 years. “Be polite, but you gotta go.” Sensors inside the truck monitor everything from whether the driver’s seat belt is buckled to how hard they’re braking, and if the truck’s doors are open or closed. All this data is compiled for UPS analysts who use it to come up with time-saving tactics.
And of course they are in a hurry: The trucks have no heat, A/C, or radios. But if you do a good job and stick around, there are rewards. Those are just a few of the things you’ll learn about UPS drivers in a list at mental_floss.
(Image credit: Flickr user Paul L Dineen)