UPS driver Mary Hauck is packing it in as she retires from a 29-year career serving the Los Altos area.
Originally a Christmas driver for UPS, the company hired Hauck on a permanent basis and she has worked 50 hours a week ever since, delivering packages to Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.
Hauck’s daily route spans 55 miles, totaling just under 500,000 miles driven for UPS over the duration of her career. She makes 175 delivery stops per day with approximately 260 packages, but during Christmas, UPS’ peak season, she makes 330 stops with 450 packages daily. Last year, Hauck’s 18-year-old daughter, Rebecca, served as her Christmas helper.
Over the past three decades, Hauck witnessed a number of changes to Los Altos as the city expanded and developed new infrastructure and residential lots to accommodate the burgeoning population.
“For example, what is now Estate Drive used to be simply 1530 Grant, and 1710 Grant, a single property, has become a bunch of streets – Green Oak, Nightingale, etc.,” Hauck said of the changes.
Hauck has also observed a marked change in technology, to which she attributes the greater ease of modern delivery.
“When I started driving, I recorded shipper numbers by writing them down on what we called ‘50-liners,’” she noted. “But now we scan, which is a lot more convenient.”
With the advent of cellphones, Hauck could contact UPS while on the job if anything unexpected arose, which came in handy when she experienced work-related injuries.
One important aspect of her job has remained constant throughout the years – her positive interactions with the people to whom she delivers.
“The people I deliver to are always very kind to me,” Hauck said. “During the summer, people are always giving me cold drinks. During the Christmas season, they’ll feed me dinner.”
Although Hauck is retiring from her delivery job, she plans to remain active in the community. She is a representative of a fashion accessory business, Miche, and intends to pursue volunteer work such as running local soup kitchens and taking care of senior citizens.
“I just want to give back to the community,” she said. “Besides taking care of my physical needs, many of the people I delivered to kept me in their prayers. I don’t believe I could have made it through the past 29 years without them. For this, I give thanks.”