The Worst UPS Store Employee In Brooklyn

Seen and heard on Friday at the UPS store in Park Slope, Brooklyn:

The employee is a kid who looks to be about 16 or 17. He keeps flipping open his Sidekick to check messages and respond. He does not want to be working in the UPS store this afternoon—he won’t make eye contact with any customers and gives sullen, single-word answers to questions.

A guy in his 20s comes in.

  Guy: I brought in a package earlier and you guys packed it. I need to get it back and get a refund on the shipping fees.  

He hands the kid his receipt—the kid stares at it, turns away and mutters out loud in a strangely offended tone:

  UPS Kid: I have to go back there and dig through those boxes and find this one package?

Another UPS employee: Don’t go in the back. Just look at those—

 

She points to a closet area behind the counter. The kid stops in front of the area she pointed to and stands staring at it.

  UPS Kid: I have to dig through all these boxes?  

The kid stands in front of the closet area muttering that phrase over and over for the next two minutes, and when we leave the store he still hasn’t started looking for the customer’s box.

Probably the only thing worse than this story is that the first thing we thought when the kid refused to look for the box is, “What is this, the post office?”

Comments

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  1. ITDEFX says:

    Well if anyone looses an xbox 360 from that store, you know who might have swiped it :)

  2. tk427 says:

    Michael Rapaport

  3. TechnoDestructo says:

    I had a weird discrepancy in some package tracking that contradicted itself regarding whether my package was still at the local post office once.

    They DID go look for it. (To be fair, it was a 4 foot tall box of CV axles and driveshafts, kind of hard to miss.)

  4. Skiffer says:

    Eh…unfortunately this is way too typical of teenagers at any job – I don’t think it necessarily reflects poorly on UPS.

    At least he spoke English, though. Sad, but true in my area…

  5. StevieD says:

    Brooklyn?

    You expect customer service in Brooklyn?

  6. Chris Walters says:

    @StevieD: I do not! I gave up that dream when I left Texas.

  7. acasto says:

    Kids these days. I swear it would help fix a lot of our problems if they started putting abortion clinics in Wal-Marts. The cheeseburgers and fries are simply taking too long to effectively filter the gene pool.

  8. forgottenpassword says:

    DOnt stores have policies regarding employees using cellphones & text messaging devices? FIre this little turd…. maybe he will learn next time (but I doubt it).

    @StevieD:

    First thing I thought of when I read brooklyn in the title. LOL!

    When i was a kid just staring out… I was absolutely amazed at how many of my fellow teens would get fired or quit so often. And that they’d have a new job every month. I kept my first job for nearly two years.

  9. racheltvgirl says:

    I know exactly which store this is – 7th Ave & 8th St, right? Typical – they once would not allow me to drop a small package that was already packed and labeled with a UPS bar code from my account! They said they were too busy — no room for any more packages.

    If you’re in Park Slope, it’s worth walking the extra blocks over to the UPS Store on Flatbush below 7th Ave – I’ve gotten excellent service there every time!

  10. Skiffer says:

    @forgottenpassword: I started at my first job when I was 14, working 30 hrs/week. Shift manager by 16. Finally quit at 18 to go to college, with them trying to talk me out of it and have me stay there full-time. And no, this wasn’t the 50s – it was the 90s…But I was definitely a rare example of a teen who thought “Hey, they’re paying me – I should actually work…”

  11. Chris Walters says:

    @racheltvgirl: I just saw that one on Flatbush this weekend and made a mental note to check it out the next time I needed their services–thanks!

  12. Mr_Human says:

    @Chris Walters: Why’d you leave Texas, then? Oh. Right.

  13. StevieD says:

    Back a couple months I was in my local convenience store slash gas station. I am a regular at the store and am well known by the bro and sis that own and run the store.

    Any way there was a young 20ish girl asking about a job. She knew the clerk behind the counter. The applicant had been through 5 jobs in 6 months or 6 jobs in 5 months…. you get the idea.

    The applicant departed and the clerk behind the counter was telling the owner ….. “she (the applicant) quit her last job because she wanted to go to a party and the boss wouldn’t let her skip work…… but she is a real hard worker”.

  14. TechnoDestructo says:

    @StevieD:

    So she’s like the employee equivalent of a Volkswagen or an Italian sportscar…great, when they’re working.

  15. seventyniner says:

    i took my first job at 16 and it took me at least a month to figure out how one was properly supposed to conduct oneself at a ‘job’.
    though this was before text messaging and there’s no excuse for being a whiny little shit.

  16. Skiffer says:

    @acasto: Replace part of the EITC with federally-subsidized free abortion coupons…

  17. Skankingmike says:

    Just an FYI, If they charged you for packaging you cannot be refunded for the service of packaging a box, only the shipping of it.

    At least that’s how FedEx works I’d imagine any Shipping company that offers Packaging services works the same way.

    But yea, unfortunately, this is more to do with people 23 and under. I have to pull teeth to get my employee’s to work ever (who are in this age group.) It’s like they want some prize every time they do something they’re paid to do.

  18. StevieD says:

    @Skankingmike:

    I give them a prize. It is called a pay check.

    I am also real good at giving brats their last pay check.

    Maybe that is why the average age of my entry level employees is over 25 years of age. The mature person that has to put food on the table are so much more appreciative of a decent job.

  19. ahwannabe says:

    And these are the so-called “Millenials” we’re supposed to be worried about losing our jobs to? HA HA HA HA HA
    [www.cbsnews.com]

  20. StevieD says:

    @ahwannabe:

    OMG

    They were raised by doting parents who told them they are special.

    Oh, yea, “Special”.

    I will give them a nice special. A special kick in the arse.

  21. Psicosis says:

    You want to speak to the manager? I am your manager!

  22. stinerman says:

    @acasto:
    Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

  23. KogeLiz says:

    yep. kids usually don’t like working.

    next.

  24. ecwis says:

    Just go to FedEx Kinko’s instead.

  25. v2h5a81 says:

    See I know the Post Office is normally the most annoying place to go but I have to defend my local post office. I think that they are great to go to. I have yet to have any problems and really they seem willing to help you out. This is obviously not all the time but there is always one guy that seems to be happy and is actually quite helpful, he even has learned spanish to help the growing (quite big actually) latin american community that visits this post office. So while not all post offices are great at least, I like to think, that mine is actually nice.

    So as a small favor lets not always blame the post office or point to them as being the worst of the worst. This at least proves that UPS can have its share of idiots working for them.

  26. heyrussia says:

    I hate that kid! This summer I asked him to get off the phone while he was entering my package information into the computer, and he said (into the phone) “Hang on, I have a customer yelling at me.” Then to me, he said “I can do both at once.” I hope his dad or whoever fires him.

  27. StevieD says:

    @ecwis:

    Why? Do the brats at FedEx Kinko’s work better than the brats at the UPS Store?

  28. Cialis Cooper says:

    @StevieD: The brats are the same, but the uniforms at FedEx Kinkos are much easier on the eyes.

  29. improbable42 says:

    I’ve worked at three different UPS Stores in three fairly different communities (in the same general area). I can say with some certainty that this is not uncommon.

    Unfortunately, UPS treats their franchisees like crap, and it tends to trickle down.

  30. Szin says:

    “You know me. You know I don’t care. I’ll go to Ryker’s for two to three months just to prove my point!”

  31. chutch says:

    @ahwannabe: I would like to lobby for those born in 1980 to be taken out of the Millenials classifications. I agree entirely that we deserve it, but at least SOME of us have the understanding that you can’t work on your own terms unless you sign the checks.

    “My” generation and I have not always got along well together. I picked up the Tech savvy part. Thankfully, that’s about where it ends for me. I played T-Ball, and lost. I entered a TON of competitions and very seldom came to even 2nd place.

    @StevieD: I also knew I’d have a special “kick” of my own if I acted anything like this kid at my job. Maybe that’s why my first job lasted 6 LONG years. I’m 27 now and still understand this much.

    This is why I do my best to teach “real life” to those around me. If you can’t provide your employer with people skills, get lost or get fired. Those always seemed like the best options for people like this.

  32. Michael Belisle says:

    @KogeLiz: Word. I had a similar Sidekick incident at Wendy’s: “You can have your fries when I finish this message,” the cashier seemed to be saying.

    To be fair, I didn’t like helping customers when I was a kid at Best Buy. But mostly that was because we were told to “help”* the customers who didn’t want to be helped.

    * i.e. “Have you heard about the Performance Service Plan?”

    @ahwannabe: Yes, that would be us. Don’t worry, we’ll still change your bedpan despite this slight.

  33. brennie says:

    I work around some really delightful kids. They aren’t all hard working saints (like the readers here were in their teens apparently), but they aren’t sullen jerks. We’re painting in some pretty broad strokes here. What did the columnist do as follow up or what does the Consumerist advise?

  34. Anonymous says:

    At my post office they are just stupid, rude, and old as opposed to the UPS Store where they are stupid, rude, and young.

  35. bohemian says:

    There was a kid at our local grocery chain location that had a texting addiction. He was sort of running the express checkout. He checked out my order while spending most of his time texting. He doesn’t seem to work there any longer as I have not seen him on any shift since that I have been in to buy things. At least some employers don’t tolerate that kind of thing.

    Most bigger stores have security camera on the tills. So mentioning something to a manager about text addicted employees might actually get them fired since there might be a video record of it.

  36. Leah says:

    Lame, but I’d like to think this was an isolated example. It honestly makes me mad that so many people in this thread say “so what? that’s what kids are like.”

    No, kids are not like that. Some are really lazy. And some are great, industrious workers. The key is that bosses need to fire the asses of lazy workers, and make sure the workers know *why* they’re getting fired.

    (obligatory personal anecdote: I started working at 15 at the Kingdome. I worked at my first job for 10 years — all through HS, in college summers when I was home, and for my gap year before I went to grad school. I still work 1-2 days a year when I’m home and there is a sports game.)

  37. pastabatman says:

    What is the deal with all the chain store type service people in Brooklyn? Every time i go outside the city to suburban areas the people that work at say CVS or the UPS store or say a movie theater are at least competent… You don’t have to be a crackerjack to master this stuff.

    here in BK it’s like the these places are manned by the living dead. Slow, shuffling, eyes rolled into the back of their heads and moaning…grunting.

    If there is any ‘glitch’ whatsoever..say they ring something twice by accident they look like they’ve been tasked with finding the square root of infinity.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in one of these places and there are more people behind the register then in line and we are standing there….waiting…growing mold…while they all stand around one person trying to separate a plastic bag or ever elusive and full team effort of: “put a new roll of paper in the register”. otherwise known at rite aid as: splitting an atom.

  38. WhirlyBird says:

    @ITDEFX: LOSES, goddammit, not “looses”.

  39. DeltaPurser says:

    @pastabatman: :-) :-) :-) Splitting an atom? You just made my day!!! :-)

  40. Antediluvian says:

    @Michael Belisle: For some reason this response popped into my head:

    Customer: Hey, that looks pretty cool — can I have a look?

    [Customer examines Sidekick, then deftly tosses same into fry-o-lator]

    Customer: You know what, I think I’ll take a side salad instead — gotta watch my calories. Thanks.

  41. SRSco says:

    USPS Customer Service in Brooklyn: [consumerist.com]

  42. theblackdog says:

    @Antediluvian: God I like that idea :-D

  43. guspaz says:

    This is UPS we’re talking about. I don’t know what it’s like down in the US, but in Montreal, they’re negligent at best, fraudulent at worst. I avoid shipping (or being shipped to) via UPS if I can possibly avoid it, and would MUCH rather ship via Canada Post (or receive via USPS) than anybody else.

    Canada Post gives timely updates, delivers my packages on time, has a post office near my place rather than a single central depot in the middle of nowhere, doesn’t rip me off, etc. I honestly don’t understand why anybody would ship via UPS instead of Canada Post.

    Last time somebody shipped me something via UPS, I opened my front door at 11AM to find my laptop sitting on my front porch. Driver never rang the doorbell, never asked for a signature, just left the expensive laptop on the porch and left.

  44. eyebleave says:

    @v2h5a81: The employees at the post office near my house have always treated me well. They are friendly, offer actual customer service and don’t look like they dread life. They don’t move to fast, but they are pleasant.

    The USPS employees near where I interned as a midwife were very nice too. Especially after I grin ear to ear with their question of anything liquid, perishable, hazardous… Old timers, “Don’t ask her what’s in the box!” New guy looks for a ten foot pole to apply the biohazard sticker. Even still, very nice friendly people.

  45. Razzler says:

    A sullen teenager isn’t giving 110% at his retail job? Holy shit! Has The New York Times heard about this?!

  46. Project Thanatos says:

    Man… having Rapaport on there makes me think of the most classic line in that Chappelle skit:

    “Excuse me lady, I gotta take a shit.”

    Now that’s some honest customer service right there.

  47. bdgbill says:

    @Skiffer:

    I would tend to agree that most teenage employees are sullen and lazy but there is one shining example of the opposite…

    In N Out burger in CA, NV and AZ has a mostly teen workforce like most other fast food locations. The difference is that In N Out employees are uniformly pleasant, helpful and seemingly happy to be there.

    I don’t know how they do it. Maybe all the kids are Mormon, maybe they are brainwashed, maybe they are paid something above slave wages, whatever it is, it works great.

    I have probably been to fifty different In N Out Burgers across the country and have never had a customer service experience anything less than fantastic.

  48. irid3sc3nt says:

    I’m the supervisor for three people that are in their 40s and 50s and I’m in my twenties. Don’t lump the before-college and after-college group, please. It’s rude to assume that the person you’re talking to is 18 and doesn’t know anything about their job.

  49. ltlbbynthn says:

    It’s definitely not UPS. I have a box at the UPS store near my house, and the employees are all in their teens or twenties, and they know us by name and are very helpful usually. This is in ghetto downtown Miami, where service isn’t always to be had if you don’t speak Spanish. I think so many retail jobs are crap if the managers suck, and it rubs off on the employees.

  50. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    They were raised by doting parents who told them they are special, played in little leagues with no winners or losers, or all winners.

    @ahwannabe: Can somebody please tell me where this crap actually happened? I think this is something somebody made up for a TV show and now everyone thinks actually happens. It’s the “Leave it to Beaver” of our times.

  51. SaraAB87 says:

    The manager of a store usually affects how employees behave towards customers. This goes for any retail store. If their manager is treating them like crap, they will act it to their customers, thus resulting in a decline of the store. If there are cell phone issues in the place (WHY must everyone have a cell phone, I don’t have one, because I have no one to call, it would be pointless to me, and they are expensive) then the manager of the place needs to address this. If the manager is unwilling, the employees will be unwilling too. Also if the corporation doesn’t care, then this usually filters down to the district manager, then the manager and ultimately the store employees, who then don’t care about customer service because no one else does.

    The stores that are well run and have friendly employees are run by a manager that cares, is fair to employees (kicks out the losers and gives the hard workers promotions) and a corporation that is at least behind the district manager and manager to some extent. If a manager isn’t fair to employees and doesn’t address the issue of lazy employees who talk on their cell phone all day, then you will have a bunch of employees that do nothing but that, no work will get done, your customers will become angry at the store, file complaints with everyone they can think of, and then your store will die.

  52. Skiffer says:

    @Szin: “I took a shower, but my butt still itches!! Can I help you?”

  53. Tzepish says:

    UPS Kid: “You mean I have to do my job?”

    How novel.

  54. BlazerUnit says:

    @acasto: That’d almost be offensive if it weren’t so accurate, lol.

  55. Kendra says:

    Not really “the worst.”

    The worst was, when a driver decided to take his truck home with undelivered packages in it!

    I had asked for my package to be held, because he wouldn’t deliver it to the address despite me being home all day.

    Don’t get me started on CourierPost NZ (ALSO KNOWN AS DHL(DELIVERY HELL))

  56. nrwfos says:

    So, if some people here know this store/kid is this story being sent or mailed or taken to that store? Seems like it would be fun to go in and say “Oh, yeah! I know this store! I read all about you on the internet. I think I’ll go elsewhere.”

  57. I read the headline quickly and assumed it was about the UHaul store in Park Slope. After a log day of moving my boyfriend and I went in to buy packing tape, which took forever because the three people behind the counter refused to make eye contact and when we asked someone to help they kept passing the buck. We went outside to clean out the moving truck and then realized we needed another plastic bag for trash. I walked back in and had the same experience as before and when someone finally turned to wait on me, the following happened:

    Me: “Hi, could I get a plastic bag please.”
    Her: No response.
    Me: “You know, like a plastic grocery bag.”
    Her: Silence
    Me (knowing she speaks English because I watched her try to get someone else to help me): “I was just in here? We bought tape? We didn’t get a bag and realized we needed one?”
    Her (still not moving): “I know what a bag is.”
    Me: “Can you please get me one?” (sarcasm creeping in but still nice) “I don’t want to inconvenience you.”
    Her: SLOWLY leans down to get bag, looks at it, glares at me, slams it on the counter
    Me: “Ummm… wow… okay… Thank you.”

    The amount of hostility involved in this simple request was mind-boggling. My guess is that there’s so much demand and so many minimum wage jobs to be had that there’s just no motivation to even try to pretend that they care? And wouldn’t have been easier to just hand me a bag instead of creating this drawn out hostility?

  58. femmesavante says:

    Hmm. If this happened at the post office, the customer would be laughed at. You mailed something and now you want it back? Um, no that’s not how it works. Oh, you have a receipt and you want a refund? Explain that to your local post office. Sorry, but I just don’t find this to be a big deal.

  59. banmojo says:

    people in minimum wage jobs are becoming more and more hateful towards their customers. this isn’t strictly their faults – this is also their managers’ faults, and the business owners’ faults as well.

    think about it.

  60. DeltaPurser says:

    @banmojo: Well, if you want to go that route, then perhaps it is the CONSUMER’S fault for not wanting to pay more for the product… Think about it. In a free market environment (USA), the consumer, thru supply and demand, sets the price of a product.

  61. GeraldinePot says:

    @Skankingmike:
    Comment on The Worst UPS Store Employee In Brooklyn What’s with all this talk of people under 23 not working hard? You know,
    it’s generalizations like this that have inhibited me from obtaining a good,
    steady job up until literally a couple of days ago. I’m 19 and female, and
    so far being a teenage girl has been a curse when it comes to getting
    anything more than a temp job. I know I can work hard, and would, and I have
    always proven myself when given the chance. Luckily I have been able to
    babysit, but my only “real” job as most of my interviewers have put it
    (which, by-the-way, would offend everyone’s mother) was a holiday position
    at a department store. Unfortunately my job didn’t include use of a cash
    register, as it was a merchandising position with more of a sales slant, and
    therefore it hasn’t helped much in interviews since that job. I was finally
    hired, ironically by UPS except I’m behind the scenes. I am personally
    shocked that anyone would be enough of an idiot to put time into getting a
    job, just to act like an idiot and probably, no, hopefully lose that job
    shortly thereafter. I plan on keeping my job through college, and depending
    on how things go, possibly past that as this is a company that can allow
    room to grow a career. To anyone who might see this, please remember that
    not every young person is uncaring and disrespectful, there are still those
    among the bad apples who appreciate a chance to earn some experience doing
    hard work.

  62. Quay says:

    This store is on 7th Ave. All the employees act as thought they absolutely hate their job and can’t stand being there and have NO hesitation in taking it out on the customers, and they go as slow as possible no matter how many people are waiting. I think they do that so some people will just leave, that makes less work for them. I’m surprised that UPS hasn’t heard complaints about this store and done something about it. It’s a really bad place, avoid it if at all possible.