Every holiday season we reflect on the folks in our lives who make our days merry and futures bright. We give thanks for friends and family, co-workers, neighbors, four-legged friends… and the Delivery Guy! Whether it’s the holidays or not, these men and women are there every day bringing boxes and spreading good cheer. We should know – we get a lot of boxes around here, and for the past few years we saw Brett the UPS Guy on the daily. He ran this same route for 11 years, so he got to know the Toads (and really became acquainted with our guard dogs) and we got to know him. Brett retired a few weeks ago after 29 years at UPS, but it all started back in Thanksgiving of ’86 when he was a Holiday Helper…
Start with the beginning.
Brett: I was living in Long Beach working in an office and I was just feeling so cooped up inside. My brother worked for UPS and mentioned that they were looking for part time help during the holidays. I thought, “Hey – it’s outside!” so I just signed on for the holidays and ended up really liking it.
What was the best part about the job?
Brett: Being outside all day, getting to meet loads of different people – I became friends with a lot of my customers – and really getting to know the town when I moved here in ’94.
Have any favorite routes?
Brett: The one you guys are on! Most of the UPS guys don’t like that route because it’s got those narrow, windy streets in the hills, but it’s the only route with a constant ocean view! And really nice folks on that route. That’s when you really get to know people, when you see them almost every day for 11 years. Even if it’s just a few minutes a day it starts to add up.
Any crazy stories from your routes over the years?
Brett: Well I worked through two El Niños and dealt with some crazy flooding, there were a few flashes of nudity over the years (I walked into a pool situation once, that was strange…), and then there’s always the dogs – you never know what you’re gunna get.
Well you’re the dog whisperer at Toad! What’s the secret?
Brett: Treats! Always have treats.
Aside from Team Toad, any favorite people you met along the way?
Brett: Oh ya, lots of great customers! One of my good friends I met because he was the shipping and receiving guy at a tech company on my route – he’s my concert buddy. And actually just last weekend a family I’ve known for years took me to a Kings hockey game down in LA. Really nice people, I was lucky.
So we know you’re a big music guy since you’ve always got a new album recommendation. Seen any good shows lately?
Brett: Lots of great shows this year! Saw Florence and the Machine and the Alabama Shakes most recently, took my stepdaughter to see Katy Perry at the Staples Center (and I have to say, I was pretty entertained). The Avett Brothers were really great and the Foo Fighters are always awesome – I saw them in 1993 and was in the mosh pit, so it was a slightly different experience this time… But I think the best show of the year was Aerosmith. I was all the way in the nosebleeds but it didn’t even matter – they’re just legendary.
So you’re enjoying retirement then?
Brett: Definitely, but I’m going through clothes like crazy! Now that I don’t wear a uniform everyday I feel like I’m constantly having to look at my closet!
Thanks for the good company over the years, Brett. We miss seeing you on the daily so pop in any time. We always need a good music suggestion!