By: Antoinette Simonetti, Practicum Reporter
With the holiday season upon us, the stress to find the perfect gift for a loved one is at an all-time high.
This perfect gift may only be one click away, except who is going to deliver it?
It may not arrive from a heavyset man with a long white beard in a red suit and hat, but rather from your local UPS driver dressed like a potato. On average, UPS delivers 20 million packages and documents every day.
I have had worked for UPS as a driver’s seasonal helper for the past two years and, to say the least, it’s a difficult position. I’ve gained a tremendous amount of respect for UPS drivers.
The position requires employees to lift over 70 pounds, be able to work a long day outside in the cold, and be ready for the ultimate butt-whooping. In the job description, they try to educate and prepare you for the long, physical and energy-draining days to come. On the bright side, the pay is $20 an hour plus overtime.
My first day on the job, I was told to meet my driver at 3423 Rt. 206 at 8:00 a.m. sharp, and if I was late, the driver would be forced to leave and continue the work day without me.
Of course I arrived on time, bundled with two pairs of thick leggings, a fleece and winter coat, gloves (with hand warmers inside), and a thick hat with the addition of the very fashionable thin, brown UPS vest with yellow reflectors going down both sides. I was ready to go.
Envisioning this job as a workout, I felt more confident working at a fast pace.
At first glance, I couldn’t believe how many packages were stocked in the back of the truck. It was like the Great Wall of China except with Amazon boxes.
I thought to myself, how in the world are we going to complete this in 12 hours?
As the day began, I learned how to scan packages and become a productive member of the team.
The process of buckling the seatbelt, then .5 seconds later unbuckling it, grabbing and scanning a package, walking up a long, uphill driveway to deliver it in a discrete corner – and doing it over and over again – was becoming tedious and tiresome, especially in the snow.
With sweat underneath my clothing in the 10-degree weather after working only seven hours, I was exhausted, to say the least. It didn’t matter if I was tired, we still had a half a truck to go.
From 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., my first work day at UPS was near its end. With a stuffy nose, pounding headache, growling stomach, sore muscles, and no capacity to think, I was beyond ready to get in bed for the night.
It’s not any easy position, but the pay made it a worthwhile job during the holidays, especially for a college student.
Start getting out your checkbooks, people, and don’t forget to tip your UPS driver during the holidays. They do every day of the year what I struggled to do for one week. They deserve it.