Congress may be off this week, but U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey showed up for work anyway.
Not at Capitol Hill, though.
Veasey, D-Fort Worth, went to work at the UPS Customer Center in Fort Worth on Thursday morning as part of his effort to get to know more people — and the issues they face — in the 33rd Congressional District.
“This is a great opportunity … to go visit businesses, find out what working men and women are up to every day and how we can help make their lives better — and help make America better,” he said.
The first order of business for Veasey was donning the traditional brown UPS uniform, which he paired with his brown hunting boots, and grabbing an orange before training for his shift and briefly talking with office staff and drivers about to head out on their routes.
Then he joined UPS driver Anthony Reid for a half-day of deliveries.
Their first stop took them to Northern Tool + Equipment on the far south side of town, where Veasey carried in two packages.
“Wow, Marc Veasey,” one worker said. “You’re pretty important.”
Veasey shook hands and greeted employees at the store, but had to quickly leave to keep to the UPS delivery timetable.
Next up were stops at Howell Instruments, Hydra Rig and other warehouses where Reid backed the delivery truck up to receiving gates and Veasey hopped out to help unload boxes.
Getting to know workers
Thursday’s work was a continuation of Veasey’s outreach effort, called “Marc Means Business,” to get to know more constituents in the 33rd Congressional District, which stretches from Fort Worth to Dallas.
Veasey is seeking a second term in office. In March, he bested fellow Democrat Tom Sanchez, claiming nearly three-fourths of the vote. There is no Republican challenger, but in November he faces Libertarian Jason Reeves.
During this congressional break, he is visiting some local businesses and working a half-day or so there to get a better feel of the challenges constituents face. He and other congressional leaders head back to work Monday.
Last month, he worked as a baking assistant at Dallas’ Hispanic-owned Del Norte Bakery.
Thursday’s assignment may have been more challenging, as UPS drivers deliver a large number of packages in a short period of time.
Veasey said he was impressed to see how Reid handled his delivery route, not to mention the speediness of the deliveries.
“I’m hanging on for dear life,” he joked.
Later he tweeted out that “I think I’ve got the hang of this. These men in brown are hard workers.”
But he was cheered along on Twitter.
“Looking good in browns,” tweeted Red River UPSers. “We’ll have some surprised customers today!”
“You’re a natural — water to stay hydrated and using the handrail. Hope you can keep up with Anthony!”
Seeing the challenges
Veasey said he was encouraged that a lot of Thursday morning’s deliveries went to small business owners in the Everman area.
“It was great to see the small businesses flourishing,” he said.
At Bluff Manufacturing, front office manager Kellie Villanueva was still smiling after Veasey and Reid left her office.
“I think it’s actually a wonderful idea that he’s doing this,” she said. “He gets to see what the real people he is representing are doing in their jobs.”
That’s the goal, Veasey said.
He wants to make sure when he stands up in Congress to talk about what workers need, he knows from experience.
“When I’m telling a story about what it’s like for an American workers, … and their struggles of what it’s like, this gives me an inside perspective,” he said. “[Thursday] was a great experience.”