How to protect yourself when management gets on your truck—whether it’s a one-day production ride or a three-day OJS.
Whether it’s a one-day production ride or a three-day OJS, management’s goal is to get information they can use later to harass you and push you to work faster.
Here are some tips to protect yourself.
Follow the Methods
It’s only natural to feel pressured to speed up when a supervisor hops in your truck for the day.
Work at your regular pace—and follow the methods. Remember to use your hand brake, pull your driver-side mirror in, etc.
Customer contact is important. Confirm the customer’s name whether their signature is required or not. Don’t let a supervisor push you into CIRing packages without making contact. That’s bad customer service and it’s against the methods. Do a pre-trip and post-trip inspection. Follow Orion.
Focus on working at a safe, even pace every day, whether or not management is breathing down your neck. The best way to be good is practice every day.
Sups & Speed-Up
On-car supervisors will try to make things go faster, by telling you the next stop, the route to take to get to your delivery, the shelf number of your next packages or the number of packages at the stop, or by helping you with packages, doors, and elevator buttons.
Some supervisors are carrying tablets that give them a google maps view of the route instructing drivers on where to make deliveries. Using the tablet, the sup can spot where it makes sense to break trace with ORION in a way that a driver using only a DIAD never could.
Make a point of telling the supervisor that their help is making your route go a lot faster than usual. Then make a written note for your own records of how management affected the ride.
Don’t Jam Yourself Up
Speak up if your supervisor interferes with your daily routine by telling you when to take your break, instructing you to walk across lawns or other non-walkways, holding traffic when you cross the street, telling you not to use the hand truck or to overload it.
But don’t get yourself in a jam by refusing a direct order. Work now and grieve later.
It’s better to document your supervisor’s interference than to face discipline for insubordination.
Keep good notes about your OJS, even if it’s only a one-day ride.
Document how your load, load quality and route differed from your typical days. Did you have your NDAs? Did you have your regular work? Were any of your regular drop stops missing? Was your area more condensed?
Also, note if anything was done to expedite your AM procedure like moving your truck to an easier spot to pull out of, moving the package cars next to you, or guiding traffic.
If you’re called into the office for an after-route review, bring your steward.
Management will issue an “official letter of record” with stats on your SPORH and Over-Allowed on supervised vs. unsupervised days.
You do not have to sign the letter. Management cannot write you up based on a one-day ride. But they may use it to harass you down the line if they don’t like your numbers on another day.
When management tries to compare your ride to another work day, our answer is “I give you my best every day. There’s a lot of variables. I don’t control the load, the traffic, or the route.”
If management does try to write you up for production, file a grievance and ask your steward to file an information request.
Article 4 of the contract requires the company to provide the Local Union or designated shop steward with documents and information related to a pending grievance.
When a production grievance is filed, the Local should request:
A complete copy of your personnel file.
Operations reports for all days in the time frame indicated as the SPORH time frame, plus 30 days on both sides of the time frame.
Telematics and OJS reports.
Delivery records for all the routes in your loop or area for the day before and after the OJS, as well as the day of the ride.
Protect Yourself with the OJS Tracking Sheet
On your next OJS, track management like they track you—and get the data you need to protect yourself from production harassment.
Use the OJS Tracking sheet, available from TDU, to document tricks management may have used to jack up your numbers on your OJS.
The OJS Tracking sheet helps you record if management adjusted your load or route—or if actions taken by a supervisor affected your numbers.
Keep a copy in your truck along with your accident report. Pass copies out to other drivers.
Stewards can use the OJS Tracking Sheet to do a follow up interview with each driver while their OJS is fresh in their mind.
By using the OJS Tracking Sheet, you’ll have the records you need if the company tries to use your OJS to harass or discipline you for production.