Dante Writes: The Adventures of Dante At UPS: 11/10/10

The following is a true story of a night on the job as a Ramp Agent at UPS. The names and identities of the people involved have been changed to protect them. This is my story:

On the night of November 10, 2010, I became a man. No, I didn’t get laid. But, I did something that many employees would never really think about doing. In order for you to understand what I did, I have to give you a run down of UPS terminology. Let’s start with the ramp. The ramp is where all of the planes sit to be loaded or unloaded. My crew does loading of planes. We get around the ramp inside of a crew van. The crew van is pretty much the size of the armored trucks. Inside, the seats are steel. In other words, because it is so cold out there, no one likes to sit on the bare metal. To solve that problem, most of the vans have pieces of cardboard taped to the seats in order to block the cold metal. Our van had strips of carpet in it cause we were cool like that. The seats were also lined up like…I guess picnic tables. Each side of the van has a long bench, made of steel of course.

Now before I joined my crew, they had a van assigned to them. When I started working, they told me that the van they used to have caught on fire, while they were in the van! Thankfully, nobody was hurt and they were assigned a new van. Van #3. During my first week, I realized that their van was always missing. The rest of the crew would be upset and we would have to pick another van for the night. They claimed that the van was “stolen” from them.

Now that you have a better understanding of the situation, let me tell you what happened.

During our “break” we park the van next to the warehouse. This particular night, crew van #3 was about 15 feet away from us. My crew is starting to get all pissed and start saying how they should go in the van and take it back. Then they settled for just taking back our carpet. It was our van after all, right? So two members of my crew, Larry and Jude, decide they’re going to van #3 to get our stuff back. And they dragged a third volunteer to join them: Me! UH-OOOOOOOH. By the way, Larry and Jude are a couple of new guys too. I guess we wanted to prove our worth to our crew.

So, the three of us are walking towards the van. There’s the possibility that people could be in the van since there are no windows in the back for us to see. We reach the back of the van and I end up having to open the door. Now I’m not the type of guy to do this kind of stuff. I was hoping that we would just turn around. No luck. I turn the handle and open the door. And…nobody inside! Whew! I hop into the van and notice that the strips of carpet are nowhere to be seen. Instead, there are 2 of these leather cushions about 3-4 inches tall. I decide to grab them and the three of us run back to the van. Woah, what a rush right? No not really.

The excitement comes when another member of our crew, Raymond, asks us what we took. Larry explains that all we could see was the cushions. Raymond is asking for where the carpet is. When we answer with “We don’t know”, he gets out of the van and starts to head over to #3. In three seconds I convince myself to follow him. Oh boy. So we walk back to van 3 and we go inside. Raymond apparently knows about a stash of carpet behind the bench and proceeds to grab them. I’m thinking that I could go to the other bench to see what I can find. While searching behind the bench, someone from the crew that took #3 walks in.

What I am about to say happened over the course of 7 seconds:

The guy walks in and past me to the back door. I turn to the back door and see Raymond leaving with the carpet. Now I’m stuck with this guy and he’s blocking the way I came in. Time to think fast. Duh. The front door! I say “Hey how’s it going?” while walking to the front door. The guy asks, “Hey weren’t there two cushions in here?” But I don’t answer him. I just keep on walking. I’m about to step down out of the van when another member of the crew walks up. Again, I say, “How’s it going?”, walk down the stairs, pass him, and walk back to the van. At this point, I can’t see either of the guys but, while I’m walking away, one of them, most likely the first guy, says, and I quote, “I think that little motha f*cker stole our cushions!” Ooooooooooh snap! So now I’m half running and walking towards the back of my van. On my way back, I pass a member of my crew, Rod. He’s like 6 feet tall and I have to assume he’s at least 250lbs. Yeah, he’s a big guy. I get back in the van and that is the end of the 7 seconds I previously mentioned.

Now I’m in there with Raymond, Larry and Jude as well as a few other crew members. I tell them that I got busted and as I tell them, the guys from the other crew open the back door. Great! Just great! Raymond and I are the two closest to the back door. The first guy looks inside the van for the cushions. He doesn’t walk inside, he’s just standing there peering inside the van. It’s dark inside the van so the guy wouldn’t be able to see the cushions, which were black. Jude and I are sharing a cushion and another guy has his legs stretched out over the other cushion. That helped hide the cushions. They didn’t ask for the carpet because they must’ve not know about them. Rod and Raymond are telling them that the cushions are ours since they were in our van that those people “stole” from us. After about 30 seconds of back and forth talk and a small threat from Rod, the guys give up and head back over to #3. But just as the first guy is leaving he looks me dead in the eye and says, “Fine…we’ll leave” And then the door closes. I’m not lying man. That’s what happened.

Already by the end of the night (I worked overnight so I guess by the morning), three other crews heard about what I did. I got a lot of high-fives, slaps on the back, and even my supervisor was impressed! And it was just because I helped stand up for my crew’s rights and some other non-sense. I’m just the “new hire” (that’s everybody’s nickname when you first start). All I wanted was something to keep my butt from freezing. Still, the way that guy stared at me haunts me to this day.

So that’s it. I wrote a couple of other notes like this on Facebook and I will be sharing them all weekend so be ready for that. It’s been a couple of years since it’s happened but still funny!

-DALANEL

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