TODAY | December 07, 2012
>>> back now with a look at how all your holiday presents and online purchases get to where they are going. it's a daunting task that takes a special operation of sorts and some very sophisticated training. nbc's kristen dahlgren is at the ups sorting facility in los angeles . kristen , good morning.
>> hey, good morning, willie , yeah. take a look at all of these boxes, all of these trucks. this is a busy place here this morning. everyone loading up to head out for the day. if you thought being a ups delivery person was easy, i am about to change your mind. you may never look at that ups driver the same again.
>> perfect job.
>> this time of year, the only people as busy as the big man himself may be the men and women in brown.
>> i'm like santa claus 's elf.
>> the week before christmas ups will deliver 300 packages a second, a massive operation run about military precision.
>> we like to say the customer is going to set their watch by the time the ups truck man gets there.
>> so to get drivers ready ups literally runs boot camp , basic training , to make sure perspective employees know exactly what they are getting into.
>> all right, kristen , here's your uniform. go ahead and get changed and we'll get start ed.
>> it turns out it takes much more than a uniform.
>> this has all your delivery stops in it and pickups for the day.
>> i'll wear this on here.
>> other way around here.
>> i'm doing well.
>> there you go.
>> for ups time is money . no time to fumble for keys.
>> always want to keep your keys on your finger.
>> on your finger.
>> 24/7, that way we make sure we don't set them down at any point.
>> every second counts.
>> so right hand key, left hand seat belt .
>> the method is as you're clicking it, you start it up.
>> ups researches how long everything takes.
>> the method is to have it all done in 15 seconds.
>> i think i was like 45.
>> from sorting packages, to making stops.
>> how many packages would i be delivering in a day?
>> depending on the route, up to 200, 300.
>> 200, 300.
>> good luck.
>> and just when i thought i was getting the hang of things.
>> no idea what you were in for, did you?
>> the slip and fall track.
>> slick tile and teflon shoes.
>> ups, special delivery .
>> meant to teach trainees how to navigate an ice sidewalk.
>> just small steps.
>> so you feel like you're in control.
>> it's the one time-ups encourages drivers to take their time.
>> the goal was to reduce accidents by 15% and reduce injuries by 20%.
>> that also means high-tech lessons in how to reduce stress on your joints, lifting with your legs and using the hand rail on the truck.
>> over the course of a career, 20 years, you're talking almost 75 million extra pounds or a cruise ship .
>> at the end of the week, trainees are ready for their final exam.
>> five minutes.
>> a time trial in a fake town.
>> one ups trainee to another here, advice to me?
>> you can't give up. nothing is impossible here.
>> easy for him to say.
>> if you want to help, sir, that's perfectly fine with me.
>> for ups it's a way to make sure drivers know what they are in for.
>> turnover has reduced tremendously and talking 10,000 to retrain somebody, rehire somebody, the savings is astronomical.
>> for a new generation of drivers, it may be best way to learn.
>> could you have learned all of this in a classroom by a book?
>> there's no way.
>> hands and feet-on training.
>> getting a new class of drivers ready for the holiday rush. signed, sealed, delivered, i'm yours
>> i swear i'm not that uncoordinated. they did give me a graduation certificate, willie , but i have a feeling they were just being nice.
>> kristen , we love. not sure i want you delivering my packages this holiday.
>> you know what, willie , you guys better be nice. i can make a few phone calls here and things will be a little late to your house.
>> throwing down.
>> get a little bit of power and it goes straight