Butch Traylor, UPS Driver

       It’s 6 a.m., and at the foot of my bed stands my 8-year-old daughter, Carlie, reminding me that today is the first day of school. It is a family tradition to go out for breakfast to celebrate a new school year, so I get up and stumble down the hall to her older sister’s room. Julie, my 10-year-old, is still asleep, and I need to wake her, but for a few moments I sit on the edge of her bed and watch her sleeping. When Julie is awake and in one of her irritable moods she can pull your last nerve out by the roots, but when she is lying in her bed, wrapped in her Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs bedsheets, you can almost see the halo glowing over her head. I have to go in early again and sort my own packages, so I can’t enjoy this moment for long. Julie, Carlie, and I manage to get out the door and pile into the Jeep with book bags, backpacks, and notebook computers as we head out for the restaurant where MeMaw Louise and MeMaw Elmina, our adopted grandmothers, are waiting. My wife, Cammie, who helped our girls dress and do their hair, finishes dressing herself and meets us there, a little late as usual.
       After a biscuit, a cup of coffee, and a kiss goodbye from the girls, I have to leave for work. Going out the door I worry about whether I am as good a father as I am a provider. I consider myself fortunate to have two smart, healthy, and talented daughters. I only hope they feel the same about me.
       At the center we are late leaving again and the day starts off badly. The weather seems good and the traffic isn’t bad, but I’m overloaded with stops and packages. At midday I call in for help with my pickup accounts, which are running heavy. It’s almost 6 p.m. before I can break for something to eat.
       I have a few more stops to do in a nearby subdivision before I can head in. Around the end of the day I run into Pat, a friend and regular customer. Pat and I are Florida State Seminole fans and are planning to fly to one of the upcoming games together later this fall. I’m not exactly afraid of flying, but we’re planning on renting a small plane that Pat is licensed to fly, and these small planes seem to be the ones I always see on the news at 11 in a small field somewhere, charred and in pieces. Maybe I can talk him into driving.
       It is almost 8 p.m. before I clock out. I need to get home before the girls go to sleep, and find out how their first day back at school went. When I get home I find out that Jimmy Hoffa Jr., son of the missing and infamous former president and a perennial gadfly in the union, has managed to convince the Teamsters Union Election Officer to allow a rerun of last year’s election. Junior only joined the union a couple of years ago in order to run for president. I guess he had hoped that name recognition alone would get him elected. He lost, even though reportedly he outspent the incumbent President Carey by as much as 3-to-1. The sentiment among the drivers is that he will be buried in an avalanche of pro-Carey votes from grateful UPS members and hopeful Freight members whose contracts come up next year.
       I’m too tired to think politics now. I’ve got to get some rest before tomorrow.