A local UPS driver is celebrating 60 years working with the company.
Eddie Hughes, 79, was met with a party held by UPS managers and coworkers near the UPS Customers Center on W. 81st Street, Tuesday, Nov. 7.
“Retirement is not my thing. I need something to do. If I retire, I’m going to have to find something to do. This is what keeps me going,” said Hughes.
“It’s been very easy. All the work is not hard. We got a good environment. Because I drive semi, I’m out in the fresh air all the time, and that’s a great environment for me.”
Hughes was born in Mt. Pleasant, Mississippi.
He left the south, headed for Indianapolis to look for better opportunities and obtained employment at UPS in 1963.
UPS driver: Eddie Hughes
At UPS, Hughes became a package handler and began a career that spanned six decades.
He left UPS and joined the United States Army in 1965, serving his country until 1966.
After his stint in the military, Hughes returned to UPS, continuing his employment in 1968 and becoming a tractor trailer (feeder driver – over the road), a position that he still holds.
“It’s a miracle, really. UPS was the first job I ever had, and it turned out to be the only one I ever needed,” said Hughes.
During his time as a driver (55 years), Hughes has amassed over an estimated 4.62 million miles driving.
Hughes has achieved 47 years of safe driving, joining UPS’ group of elite drivers who maintain a minimum of 25 years of safe driving. UPS deems this group as Circle of Honor Drivers – the best of the absolute best.
“It’s his consistency, it’s unmatched. When you know that you can count on someone to be where they’re supposed to and doing a safe job, that’s unheard of,” said Vernon Lesure, road manager feeder for UPS’ 81st Street location.
Celebrating 60 years
“Even during his vacations, he would come in and work those vacations and still give that same service and effort that he would give no matter what. He looks at this like it’s a career and a profession. That’s what I ask him to give to the younger people who just look at what we do as another job.”
Lesure said Hughes was a family friend when he was growing up, and he feels like becoming his manager is a full-circle moment.
“This is bigger than the company. Our drivers, like Hughes, understand what it means for our packages to get from A to B to C to the customer. So, they take that personally, to get the job done,” said Lesure.
He said Hughes remains a positive role model to other employees by being an exemplary employee, and his colleagues agree.
“We don’t even call him Eddie; we call him number one. So, we’ll be like, ‘There goes number one,’” said one coworker.
“He’s always a delight. He comes up just so sweet and kind, but you can tell he’s always focused on making sure everything is right,” said another.
Hughes enjoys working out and staying physically fit. He said his only hobby is providing for his family.
Contact staff writer Jade Jackson at (317) 762-7853. Follow her on Twitter @IAMJADEJACKSON.