The Covid-19 pandemic has been a curse, for sure. But it’s also been a blessing in disguise for some families because more parents are working from home and becoming much more involved in their children’s lives. Unfortunately, not all parents have that luxury. And kids are starting to notice.
Some workers, like UPS employees, are working major overtime to keep civilization running and to make sure we get everything that we need delivered right to our doorsteps without us having to risk our health. UPS driver Scott, who goes by the name DminorFmajor on Reddit, made the internet tear up when he shared a photo of his son’s letter to Santa. Read the letter in full below, dear Pandas. Just make sure you’re ready to feel a lot of feels and have a tissue handy.
Dad Scott told Bored Panda that, in a normal year, they’d average around 8.5 hours of work each day from January to October and around 10.5 to 11 hours through November and December. “Due to Covid though, it’s basically been peak season since March for us. A lot of UPS families among other parcel services have suffered greatly this year. We’re looking forward to and hopeful that next year will bring back some normalcy.”
Meanwhile, Eddy Ng, the James and Elizabeth Freeman Professor of Management at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, told Bored Panda that frontline workers like UPS drivers are already “overworked and exhausted” both physically and mentally from increased pandemic deliveries. And things are only going to get worse, potentially leading to burnout. Read on for our full interviews with dad Scott and Professor Ng.
A dad is making internet users tear up after he shared what his son wrote to Santa
Image credits: minorFmajor
Image credits: minorFmajor
“Our next days off are Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Years Day. Once January rolls around, drivers will be able to start taking vacations again. Personally, my next vacation isn’t until June I think but that’s how I chose to schedule it,” Scott shared when he and his colleagues will be able to take some time off in the near future.
Scott opened up about how it can be tough to balance life and work sometimes. “You’re driving around all day delivering anywhere from 75 to 300 stops depending on how many miles you have to drive and all you want to do when you get home is eat, shower, and relax. But that is the time that your family needs you,” he said.
“They need you to be attentive about their day and you to talk about yours. Basically, it’s hard to come home cheerful and be a good parent/spouse when you’re tired a lot. You learn how to do it though and it becomes easier.”
Scott added that his post going viral was overwhelming and “even scary” at first. “Having so many strangers semi-connected to my 9-year-old was strange. It was very soothing though, to know how many people were touched or moved by his innocent letter. This may be the last year he believes in Santa, so it will serve as a great memory and for me to look back on.”
Exhaustion can lead to burnout, so you should focus on quality time with your loved ones
“The pressure from holiday retail will accelerate the exhaustion. They also risk being perilously exposed to COVID,” Professor Ng said. “Many are worried sick about infecting their loved ones at home.”
The professor pointed out that frontline workers really are caught in a bind. On the one hand, they need the extra hours and the bonus pay to provide for their family members. On the other hand, they want to spend the little time that they have with their loved ones. And they’re forced to choose between the two.
“There is really no way around this for many delivery workers,” Professor Ng told Bored Panda. However, there are some things that UPS drivers can do to at least partly make up for lost time.
“Focus on the quality of time spent with family rather than quantity. Set a date with your family and kids and keep to it. Employers should recognize that beyond the extra pay and care packages for their employees and families, offer paid time off after the holiday rush to make up for ‘lost family time.’”
And this is how some people reacted to the tear-jerking letter. Some people were nice while others were Grinches
The letter touched many a person’s heart
Scott’s son Jonah’s letter went viral. It got more than 122k upvotes, more awards than we can count, and 2.9k comments on Reddit (and the story was being discussed in a grand total of 22 communities on the site). What’s more, the letter touched a lot of journalists’ hearts and was picked up by major and minor media outlets everywhere.
The redditor added in the comments that UPS drivers love snacks if you ever want to brighten up their day. Apart from that, you can make their jobs way easier if you make sure that your house and your mailbox is clearly numbered. If your driveway’s long, it really helps them out if there’s enough room to turn around, as well.
Though the vast majority of people were smiling or shedding tears, some redditors weren’t feeling the holiday cheer. These cynics were convinced that Scott ‘faked’ the letter just to get attention on Reddit. Let’s hope those Grinches turn their frowns upside down soon and get something nice from Santa to make them start believing in humankind again.
UPS drivers have been working extra hours for a long time now
Back in August, some UPS drivers reported working 10-13 hours each day just to keep up with demand and shared that they were pressured not to take days off. UPS had also stated that it expects to hire 100k seasonal employees to deal with the increase in package volume beginning in October 2020 and ending in January 2021.
Here’s hoping that every single one of them gets some quality holiday time with their loved ones, even as they’re busy helping us get ours.