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Rock-Solid Performance by UPSer Gets the Show on the Road
Murrary Wihlidal

Jerry Ross (aka The Compass Guy) originally shared this story at The Compass blog. It’s the first story in our month-long series of UPSers as Everyday Heroes.

Little ditty about Jack and Diane, two American kids growin’ up in the heartland.
Here’s how a UPS guy – a bit of a star – saved the day for a customer with a boat and a car.
Oh yeah, life goes on … our guy solved the problem with his brains and his brawn.
Oh yeah, life goes on … and service might improve when your former shipper has gone …

I admit it. The Compass Guy is no superstar when it comes to playing guitar. But I enjoy trying. And John Mellencamp’s “Jack and Diane” is a favorite because it’s an easy, simple classic. Without doubt, it’s definitely a tune worth turning the amplifier up to 11 for – when Mrs. Compass Expert is out of the house, anyway.

Now, UPS folks don’t enjoy a reputation as being the best in the business for nothing. And Murray Wihlidal, a UPS supervisor in Canada, is a rockin’ example of how the folks in brown also can turn it up to 11 – or even 12 – when it really counts.

From Last Mountain to last minute

It was a long holiday weekend, and Murray was backing his boat into Last Mountain Lake when he received a phone call about an important shipment that was sent from the United States on a Thursday for delivery in Regina, Saskatchewan, the next day, Friday.

The packages, shipped by Ticketmaster, a subsidiary of Live Nation Entertainment, contained T-shirts, posters and other merchandise worth thousands of dollars for the John Mellencamp concert taking place Friday night. And they were about to miss the boat.

Forging ahead, a boat behind

Unbeknownst to the shipper, those packages wouldn’t be delivered until Monday, three days after the concert, because that Friday was a holiday in Canada. This would have been a disaster for Ticketmaster, the artist and his fans alike. And, what’s more, Ticketmaster was a new UPS customer. It was time to swing into action and show what UPS is really made of.

Murray, a 20-year UPS veteran, pulled his boat from the lake, pulled out his cell phone and began to work to get the packages to the local UPS center. Then, he was off, making the 30-minute drive from the lake to the UPS center, trailing his boat behind him.

It’s showtime

With only four hours left before showtime, Murray located the 11 large packages containing the concert merchandise. Some of the packages, however, wouldn’t fit in his vehicle. But – hey – they fit in his boat! 

So, Murray used the boat to carry the critical packages to the concert venue, and he made it in time for the opening chords of one of the Compass Guy’s favorite classics.

Needless to say, the folks at the concert venue were thrilled to receive the merchandise and thanked Murray by giving him a selection of Mellencamp memorabilia.

What floats Murray’s boat

Murray says: “It gives you a good feeling inside to know you’ve done a good job and helped someone out. That feeling is the drive that keeps you wanting to do it again.”

Whether by truck, airplane, or, in this case, by boat, UPS people like Murray continue to demonstrate what distinguishes the folks in brown from the rest. As Shannon Wetmore, UPS area sales manager for Ticketmaster/Live Nation says, “This is the stuff that differentiates UPS.”

Rock on!

Additional reporting by Steve Vitale, Lari Wyzykowski, Shawn Butler and Mark Soutter.

Category: Logistics
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