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View Full Version : UPS: How They Manage Us


weatherman
02-21-2010, 09:39 PM
the dean of a very elite prep school took it upon himself to teach his charges a simple, yet very effective form of management.

during meal times, the students always enjoyed a wide variety of condiments like salt, pepper, hot sauce, mayo, honey, peanut butter, jellies and other items. suddenly one day, all the condiments were removed except the bare minimum of salt and pepper. the students, as expected, complained to the dean, but he said that he had to cut costs, so he removed all the condiments from meal time except the bare minimums.

the students were not satisfied, so they organized a protest by writing letters to the dean, getting signatures, writing parents, making posters and doing all the things that they felt would help their cause. morale at the school was horrible for weeks, and it was generally a miserable place to be for teachers and students alike.

after much negotiating, many meetings and weeks worth of protesting, the students came to breakfast one morning to find that all the condiments had been returned. the students were elated, happy, and proud that their protests had worked. morale improved immediately; in fact, morale was off the scale. the students had never been this happy before.

after letting it sink in for a few days and enjoying the renewed and pleasant atmosphere himself, the dean walked into breakfast one morning and he asked, "what have you gained?"

"we gained our peanut butter back and our hot sauce back and everything else back," one student replied.

"wrong," the dean said, "you've gained nothing. you have exactly the same things that you had a few weeks ago. but now you're thrilled with them, and you also feel like you've accomplished something extraordinary. and all i did was take these things away from you, and give them back a few weeks later."

_____

after working for ups as long as i have, i have come to the conclusion that ups manages us by design, and it is a very simple, yet effective form of managing our expectations to keep us satisfied with what we have and never expecting nor demanding anything more. think about all those pilots in the bottom 300 that have spent their entire careers at ups so far walking on egg shells, unsure of whether or not they will have a job next year, and quite simply thrilled to accept whatever ups gives them. at other airlines, pilots are making a list of things that they will demand when the next contract is negotiated. here at ups, we are just happy to keep what we have.

one side note to the story above, a few weeks later the dean came back into breakfast and said, "oh by the way, while you guys were protesting about the peanut butter and not paying attention, I went and opened a shenzhen domicile, and many of you will be based there soon.

"and you'll like it."


CheyDogFlies
02-21-2010, 10:02 PM
[quote=weatherman;767508]think about all those pilots in the bottom 300 that have spent their entire careers at ups so far walking on egg shells, unsure of whether or not they will have a job next year, and quite simply thrilled to accept whatever ups gives them. at other airlines, pilots are making a list of things that they will demand when the next contract is negotiated. here at ups, we are just happy to keep what we have.[quote]

IMHO, patently false statement. Save 2-3 in the bottom 300, I've heard nothing but "Hey UPS: GFY, we'll fly and enforce the contract, then we'll improve it in 2 yrs" (BTW we still don't have the contract yet although we're 3+ yrs into it.)

Airbum
02-22-2010, 07:02 AM
this style has certainly worked with regard to pay. We now fly MD-11's and 400's for the same pay as we did 727-100's in 1998.

The qualifier for this statement however is we never really had top tier wages for any aircraft with regard to pay or retirement. Nothing was taken from us, it was taken from others and many saw it as improvements in our position.


MX727
02-22-2010, 09:31 AM
This is an old story that used to circulate around the military too. In that story, it was a MSGT showing the Base Commander Colonel how to improve morale.

Still funny and probably a true observation of human reactions.

FliFast
02-23-2010, 03:32 AM
Maybe I haven't had my peanut butter and jellyfish sandwich, but I'm not really sure why the topic of a Shenzie base keeps popping up.

UPS has never domiciled pilots in Cologne, Clark, or Shanghai. FedEx has had more than one headache domiciling pilots in Hong Kong and then during base start-up trying to go back and forth to Guangzhou just to test out modes of transportation between the two. Everytime we fly into China as scheduled the Chinese give us a fairly thorough once over, and finally; when I worked at the last ragtag outfit we wet leased for China Eastern flying primarily into Shenzhen and customs was usually quite arduous.

Maybe I missed the happy pills in my PBJ sandwich but I think the discussion of a Shenzie base is moot.

Your mileage may vary,
FF