Good Will vs. Profit? Not a Tough Choice For Some
Author John Grisham wrote a book that I enjoyed the hell out of, but I can't for the life of me remember the name of it. Perhaps someone can help me out here.
Anyway, it was about insurance companies not paying claims that they damned well should have paid. This required that the customer raise a holy stink to get the money owed. The insurance companies had all the angles calculated and knew what percentage of customers would give up as obstacle after obstacle was put before the customer. The insurance companies knew the amount of bad will generated by such obstructionism was well worth the extra profits to be gleaned... so they went for it at the expense of their own customers.
Brilliant AND sleazy AND totally believable... because we all think the worst about the insurance
I told you that to tell you this...
I worked for the UPS a couple weeks before Christmas as a Driver's Helper to earn a couple extra bucks and to keep myself busy. You see, the architect
UPS employees belong to the Teamsters Union, and Unions charge fees for their "services", including a one-time $250 initiation fee to join. So how does it make sense [and cents] to be a temporary, seasonal employee if you have to cough up that much coin up front just to work a couple of weeks? The answer: The Teamsters Union delays withdrawing their $250 initiation fee until one has worked for UPS for a month.
Ahhh, a loophole!
However, we were warned the Union has "accidentally" withdrawn the initiation fee from seasonal employees. There's a story that the drivers I worked with loved to tell me about a Driver's Helper last year who looked at his first paycheck delivered by the driver with whom he was supposed to spend the day with, saw that the Union took out the fees, said a few choice words, and then removed his UPS jacket AND pants right there, and ditched the driver.
Like I said, the drivers all told me this story with glee in their voices because even though they, themselves, are members of the Union, they didn't think too highly of its motives and integrity. They all believed their own Union was trying to rip off temporary employees, of whom the Union doesn't approve.
Yeah, I believe the stories... because at the training session, 20 of us were looking at a sheet of paper describing Teamster Union Fees & Dues -- $250? Holy crap! -- and in unison we all decided that working a couple weeks as a Driver's Helper was a Mug's Game [a futile endeavor]. However, the person "training" us said that the Union won't be deducting it from our paychecks this year... but.... just in case they do, here's the phone number to call for a refund: 303-433-and on and on.
Thankfully, this Howard wrote down and kept that number!
Because they withdrew the initiation fee from my second paycheck. After taxes. Which didn't leave much of anything for ME!
So I called and after many frustrating attempts, was finally instructed by the automated operator to push extension 15 to talk to someone about Union fees and dues. BUT when I did, there was no extension 15! The auto-operator told me so. So I punched in *0*, got voice mail, and left a message with my name and number and my level of dissatisfaction with Teamsters Local #17. Oh yeah, and my request for a refund.
I wonder how many temporary employees fail to call and request a refund because they didn't notice the "small" deduction? Or because they didn't keep the phone number? Or because they couldn't wind their way through the automated phone maze? Or because they did and left a message and were then ignored? Or? Or? Or!!!!
I also wonder if someone at Teamsters Local Union #17 knows the answers to these questions. If they do, then it's brilliant AND sleazy AND totally believable because we all think the worst about Union
If it's not true, they still earned my ill will and this blog post. Way to go guys! Unions! Yes!