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Benefits of Two Wheels: Florida Driver Stephen Cortes Explains How and Why He Became a Bike Commuter
Steve Cortes

I initially started riding my bicycle to UPS way back in the late 90s. My van had broken down and lacking the funds to fix it right away, I decided that my 10-speed was my best option. I hadn’t missed a day of work during my first year; and I wanted to complete a year with no absence from work. It was a 16-mile ride in each direction at that time, but on occasion, my preload supervisor, Debbie Fried, would meet me along the way; and I’d throw my bike into the back of her truck.

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Dog’s Best Friend
dog

Driver saves Jack Russell terrier with mouth-to-snout resuscitation

Package car driver Reynaldo Alcantara is being called a hero by his coworkers for saving the life of a dog while on his daily route.

Thanks to Reynaldo’s quick actions, knowledge of animal emergency procedures, and his love of animals, he successfully administered “mouth-to-snout” resuscitation to a choking Jack Russell Terrier. The procedure is similar to traditional mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for humans, with the main difference being that the person performing the procedure closes the dog’s mouth, and then breathes into its nose. 

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Reporting Live from the Holiday Frontline: A Day in the Life of a UPS Driver Helper, part 3
DIAD V

During my short spell as a driver helper, the most invaluable resources have been the drivers, who have a reflexive knowledge of their routes that borders on clairvoyant. They can tell you not only where they will be in 30 minutes, but where all of the other nearby drivers will be, which customers will need extra time, less time, one push cart or multiple ones. If something throws a wrench into the flow of their day, they are already three steps ahead of the problem and are calling other drivers for support so nothing interrupts the deliveries and pickups. The second most valuable resource is their DIAD scanner, which they have been showing me how to use throughout the week.

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Reporting Live from the Holiday Frontlines: A Day in the Life of a UPS Driver Helper, part 2
UPS driver

My stint as a driver helper passed Wednesday last night. The pace has been rapid-fire as the cargo volume heats up closer and closer to the holidays. Deliveries number in the multiple hundreds and pickups from the major retailers at the end of the day are even more numerous. Throughout all of it, I have enjoyed the experience, despite a disagreement with a delivery cart yesterday that ripped the backside of my brown pants (more on that in another blog post.)

What has amused me the most is the constant interaction a UPS driver, or anyone in a UPS uniform like myself, receives from the general public. I’ve taken to calling them “pickup” lines. Most of them are pretty common – “What can brown do for you!”, “Whoa – HOW MANY boxes are you dropping off?!”, “Whoa – HOW MANY boxes do we have to pick up?!” (That last one was me, in case you didn’t notice.)

There are the unique encounters though that make the day entertaining, and here are my top three “pickup” lines from this week as a UPS driver helper.

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Reporting Live from the Holiday Frontlines: A Day in the Life of a UPS Driver Helper
UPS Package Car

This year, for one week at the height of the holiday shipping season, I’ve left my office in public relations and become a UPS driver helper to lend a hand delivering a few of the millions of packages UPS will process leading up to December 25th. My first day was December 12th. The Friday before, I received my safety training and a few minutes learning how to use our DIAD package scanner. In the race to get the packages out, UPS hires driver helpers in droves and Atlanta is no exception. They tossed me a brown UPS pullover which isn’t quite long enough for my arms. I was reminded of stories my grandfather tells of being thrown a pair of boots that didn’t fit exactly right during boot camp in World War II. Yeah, it’s kinda like that, but once the day begins those concerns disappear.

I met the driver I would assist at a major shopping mall here in Atlanta. The first task was deliveries to some of the stores inside. Pretty straightforward. The driver would scan, I would stack. Then we’d roll ‘em over to the location. But very quickly, his vehicle was empty and it was 5 p.m. Don’t be fooled. No one was going home. That’s when a UPS driver’s day just gets started! Now it was time for pickups from the major retail stores. We navigated his brown UPS package van into the underworld of the shopping mall. Loading docks and narrow passages. Offloading the hand trucks and heading into the hallways behind the many stores. It reminded me of that scene in Terminator 2 when John Connor is in the back hallways of the mall running from that evil robot. Any minute I expected Schwarzenegger to burst through a doorway yelling, “Get down!” Yep – exactly like that. Read More »

Heisman Trophy Finalist Tyrann Mathieu Raised on UPS Values
football

It’s possible that one of the most famous 19-year-old college football players learned his best moves from his dad.

Just watch UPS driver Tyrone Mathieu, age 44, manuever a package car through the tricky streets of the French Quarter in New Orleans. And deliver a package with a bright smile, much the way his celebrated son, Tyrann, delivers the football to a ref when crossing the goal line after one of his astonishing punt returns.

Tyrone has run packages for UPS in New Orleans for 20 years. His son Tyrann, aka The Honey Badger, has run down receivers and outrun punt coverage the past two years for the Louisiana State University Bayou Bengals, the No. 1-ranked college football team in the nation. Tyrann has proven so talented as a cornerback and punt return specialist that he’s a finalist for the 2011 Heisman Trophy, awarded yearly to the best player in college football. This year’s ceremonies take place Saturday evening in New York  City.

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How UPS Drivers Stay Safe During Summer Heat: Hydration is the Key

Summer has delivered its annual blend of heat and humidity to most parts of the U.S. For UPS drivers – who spend most of their working hours outside – staying safe during hot weather is crucial.

Here at UPS, we take a comprehensive approach to safety and wellness with hydration as a key element. In fact, our hydration program is a year-round effort that includes a hydration self-check card. According to UPS Occupational Health Manager Janice Hartgens, “Hydration is fundamental to our safety process. We would like our employees and their families to develop hydration habits that become second nature.”

So what are the best practices that UPS employees follow? And how are they useful to others? Read on.

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Like Father, Like Son

Donald Scales, a UPS driver for more than 30 years, worked closely with his son, driver-helper Keith Scales, during the holiday delivery rush. It’s their fourth consecutive holiday season working together.. Hear what they have to say:

Santa’s Helpers Wear Brown

I have found stories in the UPS Archives that go back to the 1920s of drivers being asked by children if they delivered for Santa Claus in addition to the local department stores. Often, the drivers would confess to the hopeful child that, yes, they do help Jolly Ol’ St. Nick make his deliveries. 

The challenge for these drivers – and to some extent for the drivers today – is to get these deliveries past any children who are at home and safely in the hands of the parent. A December 1929 article in UPS’s employee publication, the Big Idea, addressed this challenge of maintaining the secrecy of these important deliveries – especially when in those days, tricycles and dollhouses came assembled without a cardboard box to conceal them. 

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UPS Pioneer and Lifetime Urban League Partner: Profile of Ken Jarvis, 1st African American UPS Driver

A 1957 introduction by a contact in the National Urban League’s San Francisco office led Ken Jarvis to a position as UPS’s first African American driver. Jarvis used the opportunity as a stepping stone, ultimately serving as a vice president of UPS human resources.   But this was not only his opportunity. By continuing to build and maintain relationships with civic and community organizations, Jarvis worked to open the doors of UPS to thousands of qualified and diverse applicants throughout his 37-year career.

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