Right now is peak delivery season, and I spend about 10-14 hours per day / 6 days a week on a residential route for FedEx Home Delivery.
I am the last step in the delivery process, and thought maybe folks would like to know more about what I do. AMA!

Proof messaged to mods.

Comments: 121 • Responses: 49  • Date: 

wordToDaBird18 karma

Have you and a UPS guy ever been delivering to a place at the same time, and if so was it death match awkward or was it only mildly uncomfortable?

PurpleGreenSanta10 karma

Yeah actually this happened today. I won, hope UPS has good life insurance benefits.
But actually I see the same UPS / USPS people all the time, we all wave to each other and it's real nice and cordial. It's a brother/sisterhood of people delivering shit.

mbuyck418 karma

How long do you normally wait for a customer to come to the door, or do you do this number

PurpleGreenSanta19 karma

Hahaha that comic made my day (today was a boring day).
So very few (perhaps 5-10%) of packages on any given day actually require an in person signature. For those, I usually ring the bell / knock about 3 times and then try the phone number if one is provided. Usually I can also tell if anyone is home based on the time of day, lights in the house, cars in the driveway, etc. If no contact after about 3-5 minutes, I (legibly - not all drivers can do this FYI) fill out a slip and leave it on your door. Depending on the type of delivery I can also leave a thingy for you to sign allowing me to just leave it the next time. I then depart silently.
The vast majority of the time, I don't wait. If there is no signature required and I judge the location to be safe / dry / discreet (which is 99% of all suburban front porches in the area I work in), I leave it at the door, hit the bell, throw a knock, and walk (actually I sprint) back to my truck. Ain't nobody got time for waitin' around, sadly.

gracklish16 karma

No question, just thanks.

PurpleGreenSanta8 karma

You're welcome! Thanks for thanking!

Helman662 karma

[deleted]

PurpleGreenSanta2 karma

No, just polite when I can be. :)

Purplegill108 karma

What is the one thing I can do to make you day better?

PurpleGreenSanta21 karma

MAKE SURE YOUR HOUSE NUMBER IS EASILY VISIBLE FROM THE ROAD! And if its not actually on your house, make sure it clearly denotes which house is which. Driving back and forth trying to figure out which house is which is a huge pain in the ass and wastes tons of time.
And secondly (even though you didn't ask for it), PLEASE SHOVEL / SALT YOUR DRIVEWAY / SIDEWALKS IF YOU'RE EXPECTING A PACKAGE! I wear heavy duty hiking boots with metal stud grippers on the bottom and have still managed to slip and fall quite due to people not doing this. Also if you have a long, unplowed driveway chances are I'm not going to risk getting my truck stuck and it'll take until it melts away for you to get your stuff.
If you do these things I will love you.

bsmj822 karma

I have a considerably long, uphill, driveway. When it snows, the nice UPS guy parks at the bottom and walks our packages up to the porch

PurpleGreenSanta3 karma

I do that pretty frequently too. Sometimes the packages are just too big or bulky to try to heft up an icy hill, so it has to wait unfortunately. But when this happens, the package will still be on my route the next day, so I always make every reasonable effort to get it there the first time, even if it means jogging up/down icy slopes of death so you can have your DSW order ASAP.

reyano7 karma

I know the say it is okay to tip your driver. Do ever get tips?

PurpleGreenSanta27 karma

Uh... Yes? I have only received one so far, and it was a nice Christmas card with $20 in it and it made my week. I'm not biased, but that household gets the best service from now on.

Sophie_Boogalo7 karma

The UPS uniforms are sexier, in my opinion. Don't you think that you need better uniforms? Do FedEx guys ever get to wear shorts like the UPS guys?

PurpleGreenSanta6 karma

In the summer, we do get shorts. However, I rock the shit out of my purple and black polo. And right now I sport a Santa hat too.
Brown is for turds.

poplols1236 karma

Do you like the name FedEx?

PurpleGreenSanta36 karma

I'm pretty blasé about it... however I hear that FedEx and UPS are going to merge and change the name to FedUP

lootKing31 karma

I prefer UPSex.

PurpleGreenSanta10 karma

As do I. Touche

Doctor_Mod5 karma

So...How does one become a Fex Ex Driver? Do you have to go on some epic quest?

PurpleGreenSanta4 karma

Pretty much. Yes.

Actually for what I do (seasonal for FedEx Home Delivery) it is really easy. I basically underwent a background and driver record check, drug test, etc. then did an on-road test in a small truck with a manager. I trained for a few days with a more experienced guy, then was out on my own pretty quickly.
However, for FedEx Express or other full-time Ground or Home Delivery jobs I understand it is much more selective and requires a lot more training than just riding around in a truck with another temp for 3 days.

Doctor_Mod3 karma

I asked a UPS guy once and he said he loaded trucks for 8 years before becoming a delivery guy. thanks for the answer.

PurpleGreenSanta5 karma

Yeah to get a full-time non-contracted position is tough, I've heard the same thing.

x86_64Ubuntu5 karma

I've got a brand new laptop coming to somewhere in the Carolinas tomorrow. So if you want to skip whatever other houses you have, and get that laptop sized box delivered first that would be okay with me.

EDIT: No lie dude, 6 minutes after posting this, I got an email saying "Your package is on its way: Your delivery is scheduled for Thursday, 12/19 by 8:00 PM". Thanks man, thanks alot!

PurpleGreenSanta10 karma

No problem. I remember your house, it was the one with the door and windows..?

LMNohP5 karma

[deleted]

PurpleGreenSanta1 karma

Uh... good question. I obviously don't do intake, but I'm assuming it was some kind of mistake when they input your info or some kind of autocorrect somewhere in the system. I get a weird / nonexistent house number or recipient about once a day, and we have to send it back to quality control for them to figure out, which they're pretty good at.

poplols1235 karma

How do you find the house? GPS ? Smart phone? Would you use wearable tech? E.g Google glass, smart watch etc.

PurpleGreenSanta9 karma

I would love any / all of those things. Believe it or not, I use printed turn-by-turn directions and then have to verify the address just like anyone else (signage, checking w/ occupants or neighbors, etc.). If I'm having a really hard time I'll double check with Google Maps on my phone and/or my Garmin and potentially call my terminal, but normally it isn't too hard.
Some drivers who have been on longer can do theirs by memory, but I'm pretty low tech for the moment.

Castif2 karma

I would like to reply to this also as I was a fedex guy for a bit. In the terminal I worked at in Houston we had 2 other options for addresses. We could get our Garmin Navi gps systems programmed by the dispatchers with our stops on them or if they had any extras we could use a window mount with charging bracket on it that hooked up to our scanner that we scan all the packages with and overrode the movement controls that didn't allow you to use it while the vehicle was traveling.

I hated the scanner version because the screen was to small to see the map and it didn't list cross streets just turn by turn directions. Also if you or a customer bumped the scroll buttons (which I did all the time putting it in the holster when I was dropping a package I couldn't carry one handed) you would scroll to a different listing and might navigate to the wrong address, so you had to check it after every stop and make sure. I did take one though just for the charger because otherwise if you got a battery that wasn't 100% at the start of the day it might run out before your route was done.

PurpleGreenSanta1 karma

I've seen those giant things, some temps at my facility use them. I'm contracted and my manager doesn't put out for stuff like that for temps, so I fly by paper. I actually don't mind it all that much, as I'm getting to know my route better and can work around some of the weird idiosyncrasies that the turn by turns throw out.

worddraw3 karma

Do you get to go home as soon as everything on your truck is delivered for the day, or do you have to work a certain number of hours?

PurpleGreenSanta1 karma

The contractor that I work for allows me to park my truck at home, so I head home from my last stop and then take it to the terminal the next morning to pick up the day's load. Since I live close to my route it is extremely convenient, and I don't have to worry about gas or wear and tear on my personal vehicle for commuting.

keejomatic3 karma

When I order something with tracking on it, (i.e. from Amazon) do you have to push a magic button for me to get my text that my package has arrived? How does this work? I've been wondering about this for awhile.

PurpleGreenSanta2 karma

That's a good question, I'm not entirely sure about the whole notification process. I do know that when I release (or 'scan out') a package from my scanner, it relays that info back to FedEx, and presumably it updates to the customer interface pretty quickly. Every stop I make is logged and updated throughout the day, and locations are even tracked with the GPS function in the scanners. They're scary devices.

TheMegaBenson2 karma

WHAT THE FUCK IS TAKING SO FUCKING LONG IN TEXAS!???? Just kidding man/woman, ice sucks. Drive safely and Happy Holidays!!!

PurpleGreenSanta5 karma

I thought everything was bigger in Texas? Like waiting times..?

poplols1232 karma

Ever been hit?

PurpleGreenSanta2 karma

Uh... by what?

poplols1231 karma

By people who you are delivering their parcel to.

PurpleGreenSanta4 karma

Can't say I have. I've almost been knocked over by overly friendly dogs though. And almost bitten by unfriendly ones (never a full bite - yet)

syntaxial23 karma

IT'S THE PARCEL GUY! MASTER LOVES THE PARCEL GUY! DOG MUST DISPLAY AFFECTION TOWARDS PARCEL GUY FOR STUPID SLOW MASTER. IT'S LICKING TIME!

PurpleGreenSanta3 karma

Ah yes, doglaw. I cannot argue with it.
But today I faced down a goat that was blocking a gate to someone's porch. Stonefaced indifference is worse that overenthusiasm, in my opinion.

GeneralBlumpkin2 karma

How big was the biggest package you've ever delivered?

PurpleGreenSanta38 karma

I'm pretty sure it was the day I had 2 bean burritos and like 5 cups of coffee. That thing was massive.

I also delivered one that was about 7' x 3' x 3' and about 200 lbs. I was by myself and had to drag it uphill to the recipients garage... Not that fun.

TheCakers1 karma

why arent you working?

PurpleGreenSanta2 karma

Gotta sleep sometime. And I'm not supposed to reddit and drive.

ThePinkPokemon1 karma

Is it true that you only make right turns throughout your delivery routes? Or is that just a myth?

PurpleGreenSanta1 karma

I think that that is a consideration that the turn by turn generator uses, but I'm not certain. I can tell you that while it may minimize left turns, it wipes any savings in gas out by making weird convoluted routes that often have me backtracking over the same territory a bunch of times.
Also, they tried making the routes all left-hand turns but it just turned into Nascar

tazmainiac9541 karma

How long have you been a FedEx driver and how did you manage to get that job? It seems pretty cool

Castif3 karma

FedEx hires temp drivers for the holiday busy season. I dont know about UPS but otherwise the packages are handled by contracted employees the rest of the year round.

To give you an idea of how much volume increases during peak season the terminal I worked at went from about 7-10k packages a day to closer to 30k a day from the monday following black friday all the way to dec 20-24.

Should also say while the job seems cool, it can be depending on your area a hell of a lot of work. Most temps pull 14-16hr days 6 days a week while I was doing it and that shit burns you out really fast. The only upside is temps get paid hourly and get hella overtime.

PurpleGreenSanta2 karma

This is correct. I started as a temp and got picked up by a contractor for the peak season, and am getting paid per stop. It is definitely a lot of work - I'm on the road from 7am to about 7pm Monday through Saturday. Woohoo!

PurpleGreenSanta2 karma

Actually I'm on as a seasonal driver right now... Only started in October (I'm taking a semester off from college). Package volume will plummet after Christmas so I may get canned or go to on call status after that, I don't know yet.
And just like every other awesome job I've had in the past I found it on craigslist. Seasonal positions are really easy to get, they actually really push recruiting around Oct. / Nov., but that may just be in my area. And basic qualifications were 1) min. 1 year commercial driving experience, 2) clean drug test, 3) DOT physical, 4) clean driving record, 5) no too much of an idiot.

Balbanes421 karma

What kind of response did FedEx have internally after all of the viral videos of employees trashing people's deliveries?

PurpleGreenSanta1 karma

What are you referring to? Don't think I've heard of them, but I'd certainly like to watch them. Might be cathartic lol

evilpuke1 karma

When the drones take your job what will you do then.

PurpleGreenSanta1 karma

Get a drone programming job. Or go into the field that I've been in school for 4 years for.

boxjohn1 karma

How many packages can you deliver an hour? What's the biggest time waster you run into?

PurpleGreenSanta4 karma

It depends on where I'm at, and my route runs suburban developments and rural farm areas. So I can drop 10 packages quickly (like in 15 minutes or so) in a small development or apartment complex but the same number of packages can take around an hour for the more rural areas.
Time wasters? I'm in the northeast so it's been snowing for the last week or so. I'd say getting stuck would be the #1 timewaster. More common is being unable to find an address (and turning around, searching with GPS, calling recipient, etc.), and my delivery rate goes way down because of this when it gets dark.

TechnoBulldog1 karma

How are you treated by supervisors / management? I ask because my dad is a UPS driver who gets treated terribly by the higher-ups. (Who in turn get treated terribly by their higher-ups.)

With that considered, thanks for keeping our country running. It's a tough job for sure. I may just have secondhand experience, but it takes determination to be a delivery driver during the holidays. Keep being awesome.

PurpleGreenSanta4 karma

Haha thanks. I will keep your kind words in mind when I'm running through the snow with a heavy package on my shoulder tomorrow.
Obviously, management varies by location and how they perceive you. I've had a bunch of part time / temp jobs and always make a point to be personable to management and interact with them a lot, so they seem to like me. However, things can be stressful, especially in the morning in a terminal full of drivers waiting to get their final packages loaded so they can get out the door and start their routes ASAP. I've seen drivers and managers in yelling matches over this, which I find hilarious because neither of them can do a thing about it. So to answer your question, yes I'm treated fairly well but it's because I don't really interact with them too much and I'm always positive and cooperative with them. But that's just my experience, I've had bad managers too and can definitely sympathize

JBA_1 karma

If someone were to design a medal that you would receive for your service, what would you want it to look like?

PurpleGreenSanta1 karma

Hmmm... best question yet! I guess it would have to be some sort of intense coat of arms incorporating a scanner, boots, Mechanix gloves, and my truck. Maybe my truck should be doing a burnout too. And most importantly, the medal would be made out of pure platinum so that I could sell it and not have to deliver packages. That would be key.

deipriex1 karma

Do you ever feel like there are stalkers / thieves following you?

PurpleGreenSanta1 karma

Yes and I keep a bucket of oil and box of nails handy at all times.

wanttobeacop1 karma

What do you do if there's a suspicious package?

PurpleGreenSanta8 karma

Ask it why it feels that way, and about whom. Am I exhibiting suspicious behavior, or is it suspicious of someone else? Why doesn't it trust me? What will it take for it to love again??

Liuzhou1 karma

I worked as a package handler for FedEx for a while. I noticed that maybe one driver on my line had a GPS and the others did their routes by memory. Would you have preferred an easier route or a more choppy route, but also have a GPS?

PurpleGreenSanta1 karma

First, thank you for what you do! And my route is a bit weird since I am a seasonal, as it cobbles together parts of other established routes. So it's not really stable and I don't really have the luxury of enough time to get it down by memory alone - although I'm slowly getting better. Ideally, I'd love to have a voice-activated GPS or something similar, because right now it takes too long to punch in every address on my older Garmin. Ideally, a programmed GPS would be best for someone like me who is new and has a changing route. But I have neither!

Whereisthefrontpage1 karma

Why does every Fedex trailer on the road have a plastic sheet sticking out under the back door?

PurpleGreenSanta3 karma

It's like a cape but for a truck.

Ricebawls1 karma

Sorry I'm late to this. How do you get inside gated communities with just a call box and no guard?

PurpleGreenSanta1 karma

That's ok, I'm late replying. And should probably get to bed because I have another big delivery day tomorrow. But this is interesting!
Anyway, in the above instance I would try to contact the customer directly via callbox or phone, then contact my terminal to see if they can get me more info (other phone #s, delivery instructions, etc.). If I can't get any response, I'll try to contact a neighbor to hold it for them or take it back to the terminal for quality control to figure out.
Last resort is trebuchet.

Taqqiq1 karma

[deleted]

PurpleGreenSanta2 karma

You're welcome. :-)

SnowRidin1 karma

Do you wear shorts every day? No matter the weather? I live in the north east & it seems all the Fed Ex/UPS guys wear shorts 365. Why? Are those trucks THAT warm during the winter?

PurpleGreenSanta1 karma

Well I don't go down to the shorts level, but I usually stick with pants and the longsleeve polo uniform shirt because I SPRINT everywhere and being cold is an incentive to hurry up and jump back in the nice warm truck. The coat usually is reserved for precipitation / wind.

IceCreamBallBag1 karma

[deleted]

PurpleGreenSanta4 karma

Besides telekinesis, I have a manifest of packages that match each stop's sequence number to the address on the package. So my directions guide me to the stop, the stop sequence numbers guides me to my package, and then I double check the actual address on the package against the address on the scanner against the address of the house - boom.

IceCreamBallBag2 karma

[deleted]

PurpleGreenSanta3 karma

It's not really a choice for you, unfortunately...

StinzorgaKingOfBees1 karma

My friend's grandparents have a fenced-in front yard with dogs in it. How do you handle a situation like that when making a delivery?

PurpleGreenSanta4 karma

Good question. Tranquilizer darts, climbing abilities, and sprinting.
But really, if they seem nice I just go with it, I love friendly dogs. However, if its questionable I try to either contact the occupant (via phone, side door, screaming, etc.) or find a place where I can release the package out of canine range (like a garage or something). I recently had a situation where the only way to get the package to the door (and out of the rain) was to scare the dog back by holding another bigger package in my other hand and wave it around at it. I'm sure it must have been entertaining for anyone watching.

AN_IMPERFECT_SQUARE1 karma

How much do you get paid?

PurpleGreenSanta2 karma

I get $1.50 per stop, minimum of $120 / day. So on a day like today (110ish stops) I gross $165 for about 10 hours of work... But that means that if I get held up in traffic / stuck in snow / customer issues / etc. I immediately lose time and money.
I've had bad days that lasted like 14 hours for less than 100 packages and good ones where I dropped 100+ in only 6 hours.
But the real answer is, 'not enough!'

killswithspoon1 karma

Do you even lift?

PurpleGreenSanta4 karma

Actually I lift when I get home, 2 day split. Gotta stay in shape so I can deliver your set of 14 GIANT BOXES OF ENCYCLOPEDIAS (this happened today). Please don't order encyclopedias.

shitiforgotmypasswor1 karma

No questions, just here to thank you for your services!

PurpleGreenSanta1 karma

You're welcome.

LemonBeast1 karma

So basically, you are Santa!

PurpleGreenSanta1 karma

I wear the hat, literally. Its kind of falling apart right now though because I've worn it every day for a week now.

gonekuckoo1 karma

How do they delegate how many packages to give a delivery person per day? Or do they go by something else? If you don't deliver everything you are supposed to during what your hours are supposed to be, do you keep delivering until you are done or just save it for the next day?

PurpleGreenSanta1 karma

The owner / manager of the route (FedEx Ground routes are franchised and independently owned and operated) decides this and cuts up stops accordingly based on truck size and package volume. So a normal 8-hour delivery day in my area is about 80ish packages, but right now (peak) I'm running about 110 stops a day. If my boss was to give me substantially more I'd probably complain and hopefully get some redirected to a lighter route nearby, but it's up to them because they're who is paying me.
And when the sun goes down I put on my trusty Princeton Tec headlamp and truck on. However, I work as quickly as possible during the day to minimize my night deliveries because they take much longer (can't find houses, less visibility for safe parking spots, etc.). Right now I only skip night packages if they require driving or walking down a long icy driveway or are along a busy road, because when everything freezes over it can get dangerous out there.

roshambogg0 karma

[deleted]

PurpleGreenSanta1 karma

'Dinging the fee?' Not sure I'm catching your phraseology...

thrak89-5 karma

[deleted]

PurpleGreenSanta3 karma

I've never smashed anything. Most things that are damaged in shipping get sorted out before they get to us though, and if anything were to happen between me loading it onto my truck and delivering it to your door I would be held responsible as its tracked every step of the way (not sure what would happen though, never had it happen).