New Mexico UPS Driver Bids Farewell to Dogs on Route
When Robert Duplichan’s bosses at UPS Inc. tell him it's against company policy to feed the dogs on his delivery route, they know he only listens to be polite. Then he goes right on dispensing Milk Bones from his truck to any animal that needs one.
“The dogs are also customers to me,” he said. “I bring them their food, their vaccines, their vitamins. They get a lot of stuff through UPS.”
But Duplichan won’t be delivering his treats or anything else around here much longer. On April 22, he’ll drive his brown truck through Ruidoso, New Mexico’s midtown and the surrounding neighborhoods for his final stops on the route where he has been a welcome and familiar face for 16 years.
Though only 53, he is a 30-year UPS veteran and will be ready to retire in a few more years. On the home stretch, he’ll be shuttling a longhaul tractor trailer on nightly runs between his home base in Alamogordo and the UPS distribution center in Albuquerque.
“Everyone will still be getting my great service, they just won’t see me,” Duplichan said in an interview last week. “When you’re sleeping, I’ll be driving.”
Duplichan says he brings an average of 250 packages to Ruidoso every business day, which means that after 16 years he is closing in on 1 million boxes, parcels and packets.
It’s a job he loves.
“I think I was destined for it,” he said. “My father has some 8mm movie footage of me when I was 4 years old, delivering packages in our back yard.”
It was a homemade comedy film. Every time little Robert put down one of the big boxes, the scene would cut to a close up of a family member crawling out of it. But it was no joke to Duplichan. He said he always had “a fascination with boxes” and still does.
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|By Dave Tomlin|
Ruidoso (N.M.) News
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