5 Things You Should Know From A Former Package Handler
Well talk about stupid. Has this driver been living under a rock? Didn’t he just see the fed ex guy throw a package and get caught?
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Well maybe he though he could get away with it to, since the fed-ex driver didn’t get fired.
I used to work for a MAJOR package delivery company. I was a truck loader, not the little delivery trucks, but the big semis that transport packages from hub to hub. I can honestly say that I never mistreated a package intentionally. I can also honestly say the job really sucked. Here’s a few things you may not know about what happens to your package.
1. Employees can be tired and grumpy. I worked from 10pm-2am. That was my shift. On top of that, I went to college full time. It sucked. I was generally unhappy everyday at work, because I was tired and the job was very physical and exhausting. Sometimes people take stress out on packages.
2. Don’t use little envelopes for important papers. The reason is that every package goes through miles and miles (literally) of conveyer belts. Sometimes the envelope slips off the conveyer belt and into a dark corner of the plant. Sometimes it ends up underneath the conveyer belt in the machinery. If you’re gonna ship something small, still use a box.
3. Fragile doesn’t mean a whole lot. Everybody puts the damn word “Fragile” on a box. I once had a box break open and steel plates came out of it. The box said fragile. So when we saw fragile boxes we didn’t tiptoe around with them. We treated them like every other box.
4. It’s not always the employees fault that your package got mangled. Like I said before, the packages travel through the plant and are sorted on conveyer belts. It’s really an amazing engineering feat on how it works. Sometimes packages get stuck on a chute and within seconds other packages slam into those packages. What you end up having is a rolling tidle wave of packages coming down the belt. Little one’s don’t do so well.
5. Packages get sent to the wrong city more than you think. On a typical night, I would load and scan about 3,000 packages. That’s about 15,000-20,000 packages a week. I averaged screwing up about 5 packages a week. If you look at the whole picture, it’s not that bad. But if you’re one of those 5, it’s inconvenient. Why does this happen? Sometimes the package is sent down the wrong chute and if the person doesn’t catch it, goodbye!
One thing I can say to the credit of these companies is they do not tolerate packages being abused. The management takes it very seriously. I went through a 25 hour training program on how to load a trailer – just the right way to stack boxes.
Since most of these workers are union (I was) it takes more than a one time mishap to get fired. Management does their best with the people they have. And believe it or not, the employees are paid relatively well. The minimum wage when I worked as a handler was $5.15/hr. I made $11.50/hr part time. Within a few years, if I had made full time I would be paid about 45,000/year. That’s not bad money for loading trucks.