While we were in Kentucky last year working for Amazon, our friend Rod was down here in Florida delivering packages for UPS. When he told us he was a driver’s helper, I envisioned him riding along with a driver in a big brown step van. While some helpers do that, he had a job where the driver delivered packages to a pod and he then loaded them on a golf cart and trailer. From there, he delivered them to houses in a gated community on his own. At the time, all I could think was that I was working my tail off in a shop in Kentucky while he was zipping along on a golf cart in Florida. It intrigued me enough that I decided to give it a try this year.
We arrived in Melbourne Beach on a Saturday, and by the following Tuesday I was sitting in a group interview with UPS. From there, we did an individual interview, from which about half of us were called back for initial training that afternoon. At that point, we were ‘on call‘. I had stressed to them that I wanted a golf cart job, as Rod had mentioned that the step van ride along job was tough the few times he did it. After not getting a call for a week and a half, I feared I had been a tad too demanding. Lo and behold, they called with a golf cart position this past Monday! I went to the UPS Service Center to complete a little paperwork and get my vest and mobile device.
They have a policy of black, brown or white shirt, black or brown long pants (my grey pants are acceptable) and black or brown shoes. No hats allowed, no facial hair beyond a mustache, and no visible tattoos or piercings. The mobile device is a Samsung phone that is set up to act as a DIAD (Delivery Information Acquisition Device)…the brown electronic unit UPS drivers carry. It’s pretty slick, to say the least!
My pod is located near the ‘X’, along with a pod that services the southern portion of the subdivision. Each circle has gates with codes, and the main roads that connect the communities have golf cart paths. I fuzzed out the names of the developments for security purposes.
Each house has a covered entrance, similar to this. That eliminates having to use the clear plastic bags in rainy weather. Yes…don’t let that blue sky fool you; my second day of training was a torrential downpour. Just like the U.S. Postal Service, we deliver in all weather. While my L.L. Bean raincoat performed flawlessly, my Gander Mountain rain pants were a total failure. As soon as I got home, I placed an order with REI, as Bean didn’t have the pants I needed. 🙂 Rain also means that the load needs to be tarped, which is a hindrance, to say the least. Most days are dry, though.
And all those ‘smiles’ they told us were were delivering at Amazon? Well, I actually get to see them this year. 🙂 One house put a basket of goodies out for the delivery people. One woman even ran out on the lawn to take my photo, as she thinks the seasonal golf carts are so cool. I handed a package to another man and he excitedly said “It’s Christmas…the UPS golf carts are back!” So for all of my friends working at Amazon this year, know that your work really is appreciated! People truly love to get packages. 🙂
This is the pod I work from. As of yesterday, I have had around 60 packages to deliver, and they want me to keep a pace of 20 an hour…which I’ve been keeping up with. Rain obviously would factor into that. I am told to expect the quantity to really pick up beginning this next week. We have to be off the road by sundown, for safety reasons.
Here’s my trusty cart, minus my trailer. The aluminum box on the back holds quite a bit, and the trailer holds even more. The carts are gas powered, and they move along about 10 MPH.
My first solo run, all ready to go! Rod taught me a few tricks to make things go smoothly, so I have had a very easy launch. We will see how this year goes; my first impressions of the job are positive. I’ll work until at least Christmas Eve, and possibly into mid-January. Judging by the fact that Amazon stock surged 2.6% on Friday due to strong Black Friday sales, I’m going to most likely have a full pod each day. 🙂
Be sure to stay tuned to see how this job progresses, and for any other cool things we find in the area. Until then, have a great beginning to your holiday season!
Disclaimer: Any and all opinions expressed here are my own, and are not the opinion of United Parcel Service.
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