BALTIMORE — Deliveryman Henry Zulligan said he regrets the decision he made after graduating high school that put him behind the wheel of a brown UPS truck every day for the past twenty-six years.
“It was a summer job,” said Zulligan, 43. “I wanted to make some extra cash before going off to college, but they kept offering me perks and giving me raises.”
Zulligan, who turned down an invitation to attend the University of Maryland, wanted to study law or chemistry. “Given the chance,” he said, “I know I could have made a significant contribution to society.”
His wife is burdened with her own regrets. “He promised me a lot of things when we got married,” said Sheila Zulligan, his spouse of 18 years. “One of them was that I wouldn’t have to keep lying to my friends about what he did for a living.”
Mrs. Zulligan, a stay-at-home mom who maintains their 4500 square foot house in Roland Park, said she tells her friends her husband is a pilot with FedEx.
“She can’t even say I fly for UPS,” lamented Zulligan. “Like FedEx is so much more prestigious. Gimme a fuckin’ break.”
Zulligan wheeled a dolly stacked high with packages into the lobby of a downtown high-rise. He doesn’t see a time in the near future where he won’t be working for the renowned delivery service.
“My dreams were crushed a long time ago,” admitted Zulligan, who earns just over $138,000 per year. “I just don’t have that ‘burning desire’ to go out and chase them anymore.”
Zulligan, who recently spent a week with his wife in the Cayman Islands, said he begins each morning by trying to think of “what’s good” about his job.
“I usually think about ‘What can Brown do for me?’ for a few hours,” he laughed, checking the time on his Rolex watch, “but then lunchtime rolls around and I got more important things on my mind.”
He drove his truck over to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, where he asked the hostess to join him for a drink. He tossed back a martini and sighed. “Man, delivering packages all day really sucks.”