fedexcourier (fedexcourier) wrote in knitting,

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Stinky Packages

Given all the posts regarding packages that reek of either cigarette smoke or...."ass" as someone put it, I questioned some of my fellow delivery drivers for other companies. I asked about smoking policies and their experience with "smelly packages". The input I got was fantastic. Let's start with the various company's policies on smoking.

USPS...Buildings and vehicles are to be smoke free. Smoking in a USPS vehicle can result in the driver being "written up" (see note #1). In some rural areas, carriers use their own personal vehicles and are paid an allowance. Prohibiting someone from smoking in their own vehicle is...well imposible.

DHL...Smoking in DHL facilites and vehicles is forbidden, drivers caught smoking in a DHL vehicle can be "written up" (again see note #1). All DHL vehicles are company owned.

UPS...Smoking in DHL facilities and vehicles is forbidden, drivers caught smoking in a UPS vehicle can be "written up" (again see note #1) and this is a safety issue (see note #2). UPS vehicles are company owned.

FEDEX...this is where it gets complicated. Smoking in FEDEX facilites and company owned vehicles is prohibited drivers who smoke in vehicles can be "written up" (see note 1) and safety issues apply(see note 2). All Fedex EXPRESS, Fedex FREIGHT (for packages weighing more than 150 lbs) and Fedex CUSTOM CRITICAL vehicles are company owned. FEDEX GROUND and FEDEX Home Delivery vehicles are either leased OR owned by drivers. Smoking in a leased vehicle is forbidden. Prohibiting Smoking in a vehicle a driver owns...impossible.

note 1. If a driver is written up, this infraction is placed in the drivers file, doesn't sound too bad right? WRONG, as long as the infraction appears in the file the driver cannot a)apply for another position in the company. b) be promoted. c) transfer to another location. Additionally this infraction will count against the driver for his/her yearly review. The yearly pay raise for a driver with an infraction will be lower than it could be. In other words every hour that the driver works for the company, for as long as they are with the company, they will earn LESS! (Not worth the risk if you ask me)

note 2. SAFETY. Virtually all the "overnight delivery" companies, deliver hazardous materials and drivers are required to have a HAZ endorsement on their drivers license. At any given time my truck may have one or more of the following "Hazardous materials" on board: several classes of explosives, flamable gases, liquids or solids, corrosives, spontaneous combustable materials, oxygenizers etc. It is foolish and life threatening to smoke around these materials. Any driver that does so should enroll immediately in a "pre paid funeral" program.

So maybe your package was contaminated by the delivery driver, or maybe not. There are other ways that your package may be "contaminated" with undesireable ODORS.

Every driver I spoke with had a story about smelly packages. Recyled/reused boxes seem to be the most common offender. Mrs. Jones orders some pale blue yarn from the Acme Yarn company, when it arrives she realizes that she really meant to order sky blue. Three days passes before she returns the shipment and during those 3 days the box sits on her dining room table where she and her husband see where I'm going here. The shipment is returned and the box is reused.

New shipping materials can easily be contaminated by odors too. Those poly bags that are so popular with many companies (knitpicks uses them, so does LLBean and Haband). They can be manufactured easily in a "garage operation". John Doe goes into business, he buys rolls of sheet plastic, a cutter and a heat sealer and he's in business. He spends his days cutting, sealing and adding an adhesive strip in his garage..while he smokes..cigarettes, a cigar, perhaps a pipe! New cardboard cartons are also easily contaminated with a variety of odors. Companies manufacture cardboard cartons, palletize them and ship them to a distributor (generally a large warehouse opperation). Ever drive through an industrial area? Ever notice where the employee "smoking area" is? RIGHT outside the loading dock!

There are a few areas in the Chicago area that come to mind when it comes to "stench". An area just west of the City of Chicago has a HUGE landfill. Surrounding this landfill is an industrial area. The stench from this landfill in the summer is...GROSS. One of the business' in the surrounding area is a warehouse, that holds a sale every year, people come from miles around to buy fur coats at a huge discount. I wonder if the smell of rotting garbage ever gets into those coats???? And yes there is a cardboard box manufacturer right next to this landfill! In the far North Suburbs of Chicago there is a company that produces "grilled" sausages. People for miles around have been complaining for a few years that they cannot open their windows without being assaulted with the smell of grilling pork. Again, there is a packing materials wholesale warehouse just down the street.

Sorry this was so long, just thought you should know that your package may not have picked up an odor from the company you ordered from...or from the delivery driver..or the dump next door...or maybe it did.
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