Package Deal: Six Decades with UPS

Marty Peters is about to celebrate 60 years of service at United Parcel Service, making him the most-tenured member of the UPS team. He notes how the working environment has changed in a talk with Scott Simon.

SCOTT SIMON, host:

On March 7th, Marty Peters will mark 60 years of working for the United Parcel Service. At 83, he is the longest tenured employee at UPS. He joins us on the line from Detroit.

Mr. Peters, thanks for being with us.

Mr. MARTY PETERS (Longest Tenured UPS Employee): Thank you.

SIMON: You don't drive a UPS truck anymore.

Mr. PETERS: No, I'm inside now. I'm in the yard. I work in the yard moving the trailers around, lining them up.

SIMON: How is UPS different today than it was 60 years ago?

Mr. PETERS: Well, 60 years ago delivery was a little bit on the rough side. A typical day, like after Thanksgiving or Christmas Day, some people wouldn't even go home. Some drivers would just grab a furniture pad and sleep in the back of the truck. Because they start at seven in the morning, and they would be still out delivering 11, 12 o'clock at night for the Christmas rush.

SIMON: Yeah.

Mr. PETERS: Peak season. We don't see none of that anymore.

SIMON: What was your first route? Do you remember?

Mr. PETERS: Would you want to know the name of the streets?

Yeah, sure.

Field, Turin, Townsend, Baldwin, Bealfan(ph), Van Dyke, Parker, Maxwell, Center Lowyer(ph), Cloyd(ph), Burns, Fisher, Crane, Holcomb, Bell, Zerum(ph), McCollum, Pennsylvania, Cadillac, Hurl, Beewing, Garland, St. Claire, Harding, Mount Claire, La May, Fairview, Little Bird, Bennesolvane(ph), Gene, Gladwin, Hilliger(ph), Lycastin(ph), Hart. That was my first run.

SIMON: I know that area. What kind of people have you met on your rounds over the years?

Mr. PETERS: Oh, they were wonderful. Detroit was really booming. They had streetcars running and safety zones. And we had, and had Greenfields Restaurants where you can go in and get a cup of coffee for a nickel, and a great piece of pie for seven cents.

SIMON: Yeah. Why are you still working at the age of 83?

Mr. PETERS: Why am I still working? Well, just, you know, to work, you're rolling with times. You roll with the times. When you're retired, like they say, you're sitting in a chair or wasting away. And that's not for me. I just like to keep moving.

SIMON: Well, Mr. Peters, happy anniversary. Nice talking to you.

Mr. PETERS: Well, thank you.

SIMON: Marty Peters, who started working for UPS on March 7th, 1946.

(Soundbite of music)

SIMON: This is Special Delivery Stomp by Artie Shaw and his Gramercy Five, at 22 minutes before the hour.

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