dhl 2

DHL Delivery



beep awkward get a move on
weigh patients car bumper
carrier count (2) make up for
stuck warehouse make his way
thick thick skin there’s no point
bump thick skin get worked up
relation workout coping mechanism
mutter get to him at some point
rapport get rid of turn a blind eye
victim overtime unconventional
option permanent circumstance






The warehouse is alive with the sound of beeping.

But Lars Richter doesn’t even notice it. He sorts through people’s online orders. He delivers hundreds of packages every day.

We ask him if he himself likes to order things online.
“Sometimes, yes. But I prefer to go and buy dog food and things.”

Lars looks at what his colleagues have to deal with: garbage cans. They’re awkward, but they don’t weigh much. The same goes for car bumpers.

It seems there’s nothing people won’t buy online.

Lars has been permanently employed as a mail carrier for ten years. Packages are his business.

Lars: “You can have 240 packages and be back by three—or have 120 and drive around until six.”

The shipments are delivered as they come in. Today there are at least 200.

It’s just turned nine o’clock and Lars has to get a move on. He tries to make his way through Berlin . . . and immediately is stuck in traffic.

He knows there’s no point in getting worked up.

But when he arrives, there’s little space — and so he double parks.

Lars has developed some coping mechanisms. He’s developed a thick skin. The job requires patients and strength; just doing his job counts as a workout.

The third rule: know your customers. Not every package makes it. Some customers are still waiting for their goods.

But he tries to maintain good relations with his customers.

Lars: “I like to be friendly with our clients. After all, when you’re there every day, at some point, you get to know the faces behind the names.”

He’s been delayed by half-an-hour, but he can’t let it get to him. Sometimes he mutters to himself.

Lars: “Cyclists — my best friends. They all think they can do what they want.”

Government offices in central Berlin are a blessing for Lars: he can get rid of lots at once. But some customers also give up their packages to him.

He has a good rapport with the police; they turn a blink eye to his unconventional parking. But the work doesn’t get easier.

Lars: “I worked it out: if I pick up every package two times a day, I’m lifting
between three and four-and-a-half tons every day.

But I enjoy it. It’s all in an attitude. There are male carriers who go around with a sour face . . . and they’re not motivated to work.”

Lars doesn’t want to see himself as a victim of circumstance.

Lars: “I have another option.”

Lars doesn’t want to take any packages back with him. He leaves this one at the hairdressers next door where they who knows who he is.

Lars: “They accept everything!”

Hairdresser: “And we’ve gotten a few customers that way! We’ve gotten a few bars of chocolate because we’re so nice.”

Another friendly neighbor takes care of a package, which means he can get rid of all of his packages today.

He’s only worked an hour overtime. And he’ll make up for that later.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *



1. The packages are mostly online purchases. Is this correct or wrong? Do they only buy small items? Approximately how many packages does Lars deliver in a day?

2. How long has Lars been working for DHL? What time does he start delivering?

3. It’s easy to deliver the parcels. Yes or no? Give examples.

4. Lars knows many or most of his customers. Is this true or false? Are they nice to each other?

5. Does he like to deliver to government buildings? Why does he like delivering to government buildings?

6. Do the police give Lars a ticket for illegal parking?

7. Is delivering parcels and packages hard work? Is it good exercise?

8. What happens if the customer isn’t home? Does Lars bring the package back to the company?
A. Sometimes carriers deliver packages or parcels to my home. Yes or no? If yes, who is the provider?

B. Do you often see DHL, UPS, FedEx or other courier vehicles in your city?

C. My company uses the delivery services all the time. Is this correct or wrong?

D. Are any of your friends delivers?

E. What will happen in the future?

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