It is often said that the difference between a good colleague and a great colleague is the willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty. If that’s the case then Mang Boy Salas – one of the longest-serving employees at UPS’s Clark hub in the Philippines – is a great guy to have on your team.
Since joining UPS in 2002, Mang Boy has built a reputation as one of the most accomplished members of the company’s ground crew – and when it comes to his knowledge of one particular skill, he’s recognized as one of the best in the business.
Mang Boy was born in Baliuag, Bulacan to a poor family of eight children, the older of two boys. His father passed away when Mang Boy was young but before he left, he urged Mang Boy to continue with his studies. The young son didn’t follow his father’s dying wish but looked instead for work to help his younger siblings complete their education.
At 11 years old, he started shuttling regularly to and from Bulacan to Manila to do odd jobs, including working in a restaurant owned by his uncle. One day, he heard there was work available at Manila International Airport (MIA), where he eventually became a baggage loader. He did well and when one of the airport’s senior managers moved over to the then newly-opened UPS facility in Clark Pampanga, he asked Mang Boy to join him as one of the first employees.
He was thrilled with the new job. It offered additional benefits on top of a basic salary and it meant he no longer had to take odd jobs on the side to make ends meet.
Thanks to Mang Boy’s help and hard work, all seven of his siblings were able to finish college.
Knowing how to push back
It is now 2022, and Mang Boy is celebrating his twentieth year at UPS Clark. He has risen steadily through the ranks and established himself as the go-to guy for one of UPS’s particularly important ground operations tasks.
“Push back” is the movement of an aircraft from a nose-in parking position to a taxi-ready position using specialized ground equipment. To the untrained eye it looks pretty simple, but it’s a delicate operation. Any error could compromise the aircraft, its passengers and cargo, as well as put the lives of the ground crew at risk.
“It’s the final step in the loading procedure,” Mang Boy said. “Your maneuver should be calculated, the speed of movement precise.”
He’s more than happy to share his expertise and experience with his team. New recruits who undergo further training in the United States have returned stressing how Mang Boy’s lessons helped them pass the stringent training requirements.
Work ethic, reliability, legacy
“When people ask me why I’ve decided to stay at UPS so long, it’s because UPS is a company that has always rewarded diligence, expertise and loyalty,” said Mang Boy.
Angelo Yutuc, UPS Clark Hub manager, said, “After 20 years, we’re still impressed by Mang Boy’s work ethic, and amazed by his outstanding results day in and day out; he’s one of the most reliable employees we’ve ever had.
“All of us, from management to ground crew, enjoy working with him. We really look forward to him sharing his expertise with the younger members of our team, which is important for the development of the group as a whole. For UPS, being able to retain top talent for the long term serves as an inspiration to the younger members of the team and shows that having a good work ethic is an important characteristic for every successful professional.”
UPS Philippines’ Managing Director Russell Reed described Mang Boy as one of the most valuable employees of the organization. “We are grateful to Mang Boy for always putting the interests of others ahead of his own. He embodies both the customer first and people-led principles that guide everything we do at UPS.”
Mang Boy hopes his younger colleagues will be able to draw as much joy and satisfaction in their job, and at UPS, as he has. These are his three top tips for how they can do it:
- “Deliver – on schedule and in good condition. The customer paid good money and they expect good service in return.”
- “Come to work well-rested and be prepared for the day’s tasks. You’re handling equipment to maneuver a very expensive plane and its cargo, so your full focus needs to be on the job at hand.”
- “Stay humble; don’t be arrogant. ‘Pakikisama sa kapwa’ is always important but make sure to work for a company that treats its people in the right way.
Mang Boy says he will continue to remember and share his advice with others until he finally decides to hang up his UPS uniform for good. When that day comes, he says he’s looking forward to enjoying more of the finer things in life.
“When I retire, I’ll spend time with my family and friends, eat out more often, exercise a lot, go biking with my children. Maybe a few shot-shots every now and then,” he adds, grinning.
“And I’ll be very happy and contented seeing my colleagues and the company continue to succeed for many years to come.”