- FedEx and UPS drivers have taken to playfully tagging competitors' trucks as a way to deal with the stress of moving all these extra boxes, according to the Wall Street Journal.
- The corporate response from UPS and FedEx has basically been "Isn't it fun?"
- The Journal says Amazon and USPS are also targets of the taggers.
Here's something automated delivery drones will never do: play a fun prank on a competitor's drone. But that's just what's happening among some UPS and FedEx drivers, according to a new report in the Wall Street Journal.
The Journal explored a fun rivalry that has developed between the seriously overworked delivery drivers who are one of the cogs in the machine keeping the world running during COVID-19–related shutdowns and stay-at-home orders. Once people figured out they can shop online instead of in stores, delivery numbers went way up, starting with what most business-minded people would see as a positive: a 10 percent increase in the first quarter of 2020. This has turned a bit more intense recently, so much so that drivers are getting swamped, and FedEx has had noticeable delays in California and Michigan, and potentially other areas as well, according to MSN.
So, with more and more packages to deliver in the same amount of time they had before, some delivery drivers are allowing themselves a bit of lighthearted "tagging" to brighten their days, which means putting their own company's door labels on other companies' trucks. While these stickers are usually used to let people know that a delivery was attempted, they're now being used to put "I Heart UPS" onto a FedEx truck, for example, or vice versa.
While there were plenty of people commenting online that these drivers should focus on delivering their packages correctly and on time, we completely understand the need to blow off some steam in a harmless way like this. Drivers told the WSJ that they play the game without letting it affect their deliveries much. "We don't go hunting each other down," one UPS driver said. "We wait for each other to cross paths."
An example of an exchange in Pineville, North Carolina, shows how stress-relieving this game can be. A FedEx driver was tagging a UPS truck when the UPS driver came back from making a delivery. The UPS driver started filming the tagging and said, "The war is on, baby! The war is on, FedEx." Then, "they both burst into laughter," the Journal writes.
Tales of the tagging provide a welcome respite from the bad news being delivered to our screens every day, and the corporate response has been good-natured as well. A UPS spokesperson told the WSJ: "A friendly game of tag is one way of remembering to smile while our people continue to bring others the things they need to live their lives and run their businesses," while a FedEx spokeswoman told the paper: "Our team members are proud to deliver for our customers. Sometimes, they are known to literally stick it to the competition."