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Episode 536: The Future Of Work Looks Like A UPS Truck

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Episode 536: The Future Of Work Looks Like A UPS Truck

Jobs

Episode 536: The Future Of Work Looks Like A UPS Truck

Episode 536: The Future Of Work Looks Like A UPS Truck

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/308640135/309074257" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

A typical UPS truck is tracked by hundreds of sensors. Elise Amendola/AP hide caption

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Elise Amendola/AP

A typical UPS truck is tracked by hundreds of sensors.

Elise Amendola/AP

In a lot of ways, the job looks the same as ever — the brown truck, the dogs, the lady coming out to apologize about the dogs.

Underneath the surface, though, Bill Earle's job as a driver for UPS, has changed a lot. When Bill started back in the '90s, he was a guy out there by himself, alone in a truck on an empty road. UPS was a trucking company.

Today, it's a technology company. Every step Bill takes, every mile he drives, is tracked. His truck is a rolling computer. From the time he punches in in the morning until he gets back to base at night, the company is trying to figure out how Bill can do his job quicker, more efficiently.

Technology means that no matter what kind of job you have — whether you're alone in a truck on an empty road or sitting in a cubicle in front of a computer — your company can now track everything you do.

Planet Money's Jacob Goldstein (left) rode along with UPS driver Bill Earle. Company rules require anyone who rides on a UPS truck to wear a uniform. Deanna Cain hide caption

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Deanna Cain

Planet Money's Jacob Goldstein (left) rode along with UPS driver Bill Earle. Company rules require anyone who rides on a UPS truck to wear a uniform.

Deanna Cain

Music: Breakestra's "Get It Right." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Spotify. Download the Planet Money iPhone App.

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