The Life of a UPS Driver: A Snowy Day

Art Prints

 

Written by Gary Wonning

The day began like many others, a chill in the air and a chance of snow. Soon after arriving in Vevay, the snow really began to come down and before I knew it, there was nearly a foot of the white stuff on the ground.

Knowing the roads would be a lot worse  in the high country, I soon became concerned I may not be able to get home. Occasionally, drivers had not been able to get back until after midnight on such days. On one such day, Don drove back to Osgood after midnight with no windshield. He  slid off the road and a tree limb struck the windshield, breaking it.

As I left Vevay and drove through Markland, it was getting worse by the minute. This road isn’t traveled much on a good day and there hadn’t been anyone through here for a while. Over a foot of snow covered the road and I had no idea where the edge of the road was. A tractor trailer was coming right at me and he didn’t know where the road was either. As he approached me, the right side of his trailer dropped off the road and it began to jack knife.

This isn’t going to be pretty. Determining how and where I was going to get out of his way, he suddenly got his truck straightened out, just in time. We missed by inches.

It became obvious I wasn’t going to be able to finish my day; the trick now was to just get home. I’m not sure how that is going to happen, eventually, I need to go up a hill but that will be difficult, I can hardly maintain any speed on flat ground.

The adventures and misadventures of a UPS driver.

capiture of a ups driver making a delivery

A UPS driver making a delivery to a beautiful blonde

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

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UPS Arizona style

capiture of a ups driver making a delivery

A UPS driver making a delivery to a beautiful blonde

Written by Gary Wonning

I was about to see another side of UPS. My aunt and uncle lived in Phoenix Arizona so I decided to go visit them in February of nineteen eighty-eight. My uncle had been confined to assisted living, so it was just my aunt and myself gallivanting around the desert.

One afternoon, a few miles northwest of Phoenix, we entered the little town of Wickenburg, at the edge of town was a small gas station. I happened to look over in the parking lot and there were four P-400 UPS package cars parked at a small roller conveyor with a roof built over it.

I had to check this out; I turned around and inquired at the station.  The attendant told me that yes it was a UPS center, there were only four drivers, each would deliver a quarter of the seven hundred population town and head out into the desert, going a different direction, serving mainly Indian reservations. There was a goose neck trailer in the back with a window air conditioner sticking out the side. This was the office, a manager would drive up from Phoenix in the morning, get things started and then drive back to Phoenix for the rest of the day.

After moving to Sedona a few years later, I was to discover this was common in the desert, with a climate that featured no extreme cold, very little rain, and a sparse population, only the essentials were needed.

Art Prints

In Camp Verde located in the Verde River Valley, they used what looked like a manufactured home with docks in the side as a center. The package cars were parked outside in the weather, of course the loading was done in the early morning hours before the heat of the day had set in.

Arizona also had state wide seniority whereby a driver could bid on an area statewide, I think the areas came up for bid every two years and if he/she had enough seniority could bid on any area in the state.  A lot of times drivers in Phoenix would do this to escape the heat of the low desert and to get away from the stressful city life.

Because of the distance Arizona was from Louisville and the three time zones involved, next day air parcels had to leave Sedona by two-thirty pm in order to arrive in Phoenix in time to make the plane to the main air hub in Louisville.

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

A Good Natured Prank

 

We were required to set the emergency brake at every delivery stop to prevent runaway accidents. This would lead to another possible prank. More often than not, someone would put grease on the underside of the emergency brakes of several drivers at once.

The driver wouldn’t use the brake until he reached his first stop, many times in isolated areas. The resulting mess was very difficult to clean up, and the perpetrators would spend the day chuckling about the presumed difficulties encountered by the victim. Most of us began carrying rags, just in case.

A good sense of humor was a necessity. It was all good natured fun, everyone laughed and no one got mad, (for the most part). It was back in the days before political correctness and people were still allowed to have fun and tell jokes, Gawd, I miss that!

Nowadays everyone is way too serious and often wear their feelings on their sleeves, just waiting for someone to insult them.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

Been in the Army Long

 

As I grabbed a parcel and jumped from my package car, I noticed an old gentleman wearing a tattered army fatigue jacket standing next to my car. The man was very old, had poor eyesight, obviously a retired world war two vet. He looked up at me in my brown uniform standing next to my brown vehicle and asked, “How long you been in the Army?”

I replied, “Just a few years,” and proceeded to walk into the bank. No further explanation was needed.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

 

Seeing Eye Dogs

Seeing-Eye Dogs

Two women were out for a Saturday stroll. One had a Doberman pincher and the other had a Chihuahua.

As they sauntered down the street, the one with the Doberman said to her friend, “Let’s go over to that bar and get something to drink.”

The one with the Chihuahua said, “We can’t go in there. We’ve got dogs with us.”

The one with the Doberman said, “Just follow my lead.” They walked over to the bar and the one with the Doberman put on a pair of dark glasses and started to walk in.

The bouncer at the door said, “Sorry, Lady, no pets allowed.”

The woman with the Doberman said, “You don’t understand. This is my Seeing-Eye dog.”

The bouncer said, “A Doberman pinscher?”

The woman said, “Yes, they’re using them now. They’re very good.”

The bouncer said, “OK, come on in.”

The lady with the Chihuahua figured ‘what the heck’, so she put on a pair of dark glasses and started to walk in.

Once again the bouncer said, “Sorry, lady, no pets allowed.”

The one with the Chihuahua said, “You don’t understand. This is my Seeing-Eye dog.”

The bouncer said, “A Chihuahua?”

The woman with the Chihuahua said, “A Chihuahua? They gave me a darn Chihuahua?!”

The Adventures of  a parcel redistribution specialist

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

Peak Season Frustrations, UPS

Written By; Gary Wonning

One of my first years on the job, I arrived back at the center about five o’clock on Christmas Eve. I was looking forward to going home and enjoying the evening attending church and unwrapping gifts with my family. I hadn’t been home before dark for a couple of months.

Lying in the middle of the floor of the center were a stack of parcels about four feet tall. There had been a late feeder arrive in Indianapolis that morning and consequently the parcels had missed the morning sort. The parcels were unloaded and sent to the extended centers during the day, and were waiting for us when we returned.

We were to find anything in the stack that was on our delivery area and go back out and deliver them. Man, I would sooner get hit with a blivet stick than go back out there. My delivery area is thirty five miles south of here, and I live fifteen miles north. But I knew I couldn’t enjoy my Christmas if I knew there was a parcel for some little kid in that pile and he or she wasn’t going to be able to get it before Christmas.

Reluctantly, hoping against hope I began looking for something. Thankfully, I found nothing that was on my area. I did find a couple addressed to my home town, I picked them up, grabbed a couple of delivery sheets and headed off to Batesville in my pick-up truck, delivering them on my way home.

The forgotten gifts were all delivered that evening; some drivers didn’t get home until after nine pm.

The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

Safety First At UPS

Written By: Gary Wonning

Before a driver is set free on his own he must first undergo five days of driver training during which time a  driver supervisor rides with him every day and instructs him in not only correct delivery procedures but safe driving and safe work habits and practices as well.

I was a young know it all rebel and I decided I didn’t really have to follow all the rules. Joe Mulford, my center manager kept insisting in the necessity to back into a delivery stop before making the delivery. It was safer because the driver would have the big picture as he came to the stop and could see everything in the surrounding area, thus making it less likely he would unintentionally back into something. Plus, it would give the customer time to come to the door as they heard us backing into the driveway, thereby saving us time.

photo of the Pilons

The Pilons, historic landmark in St. Lucia

For some reason, I decided this was a rule I didn’t need to follow and kept pulling into driveways. Finally, after maybe a half dozen of these deliveries, he suddenly yelled,”Stop, Stop, you just ran over a kid.”

He then proceeded to stand about a foot away from me and chewed my butt for about five minutes. It brought back visions of basic training at Lackland Air Force Base. I never pulled into a driveway from that day forward, I’ve  been retired for twenty years, I still don’t pull in.

The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome