Drive Your Career: A Day with a Delivery Driver

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A lot has changed from the time Mike, Delivery Driver, first started at Staples 19 years ago. “When I first started, we would come in early to plan our routes on maps and physically highlight the routes we were taking,” Mike recalls. With this seasoned veteran behind the wheel, we took to the road to get Staples’ customers their worklife solutions, using the same route Mike has been driving for 16 years. Here’s what the day entailed. 

7:45 AM – Stuck in rush hour traffic. Get out of our way! Toot toot. Beep beep.

8:30 AM – Medical Supplies Company – Our first stop! This is a regular customer for Mike. (He comes here every day!) They specifically ask to have their packages delivered in the morning, so he makes them his first stop.  Since he’s here daily, we only have a few packages to drop off. As we get back on the road, Mike and I decide to listen to 90s rock via satellite radio for the day. Blues Traveler comes on and takes me back to my summers as a child.

9:00 AM – Pharmaceutical Company – This is a unique delivery because it’s a desktop drop, where we deliver the packages directly to employees’ desks. Since we will be walking all around the office building, we have to check in with their security office first to get me a badge made. Mike already has one since he’s a regular. With badges in hand, we head to the mailroom to lookup the desk location of each person receiving a package. Mike tells me he knows the lay of the land after all these years, but that it was tricky in the beginning with an office of this size.

10:00 AM – Strip Mall – Mike declares he’s making some last-minute route changes and we complete deliveries at a strip mall. We stop at a day care, bank, grocery store and hair salon.

10:30 AM – Office Park – The office parks are some of my favorite stops – we get to complete multiple deliveries in one swoop, and I’m able to see how the layout of offices in the same building can be so different. At this stop, we drop packages off at a local gym, electronics company and an online marketing business. Mike knows all the receptionists and exactly where they want their products dropped off.

11:00 AM – Apartment – This one is a little tricky and not a regular stop for our route veteran, Mike. We finally find the apartment and ring the doorbell, but no one is home. This means we can leave the package with the doorman instead.

11:30 AM – Office Park #2 – Another office park! We make our way through the building stopping at a management firm, gas company and cloud computing business. The management firm is my favorite stop as the sweet receptionist gives us Moon Pies for the road.

12:00 PM – Lunch time – Moon Pies for dessert, obviously.

12:30 PM – Back on the road – It’s empowering as I sit in the truck, high above the sun-glistening rooftops of the passing cars. Being at a bird’s-eye view, I can see so much of what is happening in the other vehicles. At one point, I see a woman reading a book WHILE DRIVING. I wouldn’t recommend.

12:45 PM – Hotel Chain – Our first post-lunch stop is at a hotel chain. We leave some paper and other supplies in their back room behind the front desk. I have never been “behind the scenes” of a hotel, so I love seeing what it is like.    

1:00 PM – Defense Contractor – This is the easiest delivery of the day. They receive a full palette drop so we just unload at the dock, have the attendant sign for it and then we are good to go.

1:30 PM – Utility Company – With most deliveries, we can’t see what is being delivered because the products are boxed. But when we are loading up the order for this drop, we have to double check the invoice a few times because they are getting 96 cleaning wipe containers. You heard that right …96. (Their office must be REALLY clean 😉)

2:00 PM – Local Hospital – Parking at the hospital is tricky, but Mike pulls it off flawlessly. We run up to the imagery ward to drop off a few packages in their copy room and then we are off.

2:15 PM – Tech Company – This drop involves the biggest roll of bubble wrap I have ever seen! I have been curious all day as to where this cotton candy pink pillow would be dropped off. Ultimately, it goes to a local tech company that ships computers and tech accessories across the United States.

3:00 PM – Private Residence – Another home delivery! This is a regular on Mike’s route, a couple who works out of their home office.

3:30 PM – High School – The last stop of the day is a local high school. We deliver two packages before heading back to the warehouse.

4:15 PM – We made it back! Time to clean out the truck and clock out. As we are wrapping up, and I struggle to get Blues Traveler out of my head, Mike tells me that we delivered 57 packages to over 30 stops. Talk about a productive day. I thank Mike for showing me the ropes and for being a gracious tour guide. I never realized how much work goes in to the delivery of the packages I receive at my door. Behind every package, there is a Mike. A man full of pride. A man that completes his job with a smile every day.

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