Following Local Outcry, Heralded FedEx Driver is Back to Work

Barry Gilliam is back on his East Hampton delivery route about a month after his contract was terminated with FedEx.

Barry Gilliam is back to work.

Just over a month after Gilliam's contract with FedEx Ground was terminated and locals along the deliveryman's route pushed the company to hire him back, Gilliam was back on his route on Tuesday.

"I'm speechless over what everyone has done for me," said Gilliam on Tuesday. "I don't even have words. It's like you see this in movies if you understand what I mean. What can I really say?"

Following FedEx Ground's decision to end its contract with Gilliam as an independent contractor, the community rallied around "someone we've all grown so fond of," as Valerie Smith, owner of The Monogram Shop, called him.

"It's just a sweet spot every day when he comes through the door," she said. "He is the happiest, most positive, cheerful, accommodating, smiley, wonderful guy I've ever met. I'm not kidding."

Upon hearing news that Gilliam – a Calverton resident who had been working the route for 11 years – was no longer running the delivery route, hundreds in the East Hampton business community rallied together to form a petition to send to FedEx calling for his return. Meanwhile, over 1,500 people joined a Facebook group dedicated to making others aware of the situation.

Joi Jackson Perle, who grew up with Gilliam in East Hampton, started the Facebook group and though she noted many were "really, really upset" following Gilliam's termination, many continued to send notes to the company and stop using its services in the hopes that they would get the message.

"We kind of made a nuisance of ourselves with FedEx and I think they got the message, quite frankly," she said. "We started using UPS, the Post Office. And money talks."

FedEx Ground spokeswoman Erin Truxal noted that technically the company had not renewed a contract with Gilliam, but that, "Another independent contractor vendor that operates out of FedEx Ground’s Long Island station hired Mr. Gilliam as a driver for its business. This is a decision made solely by the independent contractor vendor."

Gilliam declined to comment in too much detail on the specifics of how he was hired back or what it would mean that he is not immediately contracting with FedEx.

But to some, those details pale in comparison to the fact that he'll be walking through their doors once again.

"We're just so happy that justice was done," Smith said. "Or whatever was done. I don't care what happened. As long as he's back."

Are you glad Barry Gilliam is back on the job? Welcome him back in the comments section.

laszlo Lowenstein November 27, 2012 at 10:23 PM
To Walt Whitman's "To Working Men:" The learned, virtuous, benevolent, and the usual terms; A man like me, and never the usual terms. Neither a servant nor a master am I; I take no sooner a large price than a small price--I will have my own, whoever enjoys me; I will be even with you, and you shall be even with me.
Audrey Stonemetz November 27, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Welcome back Barry! Love to see your smile! Merry Christmas to you and yours see you soon keep up the grat work we appreciate all you do!
Isabelle November 27, 2012 at 10:47 PM
I am so beyond excited that Barry is back on the job! When this just popped up on my scream I literally raised my hands and yelled yayyyyyyyyyyy! justice has be SERVED! I am so incredibly happy to hear that Barry is back en route right where he should be...Bonac is made up of the members of the community and Barry plays an irreplaceable vital role! His shining smiling beautiful face is a daily reminder of how good people can be. I am so happy that Barry is back on the job!!!! JUSTICE HAS BEEN SERVED INDEED ;) Happy Bonacker Over here! Much Love Barry!- Isabelle Arnone
Walter Kaprielian November 28, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Proof positive that doing a good job in a good way will always win out! Welcome back and keep on doing what you seem to do so well. We need more like you!
local Business owner November 28, 2012 at 12:22 AM
Joi Jackson Perle November 28, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Hooray, so very happy for Barry! Best wishes going forward!!
Sheila Dunlop November 28, 2012 at 02:13 AM
I am thrilled Barry is back, come see us soon. Sheila
Valerie Recktenwald November 28, 2012 at 02:32 AM
You could never find a better person then Barry. He is the guy you want to see coming threw your door with a package. He always has a smile on his face and greets everyone. When a large company like Fedex, has good people, they should never let them go, and since he enjoyed his job so much, Fedex, should offer him a new contract. But if Barry is happy, I am happy for him. Great Guy.
Penny November 28, 2012 at 03:05 AM
And how VERY astute of the "independent contractor vendor"...congratulations Barry! Can't wait to see that megawatt smile!
Doreen Magee Gilliam Jones November 28, 2012 at 03:22 AM
how wonderful of ALL who participated on Barry's behalf. Blessings to you.
Patti Thompson November 28, 2012 at 04:25 AM
Joi, you know how to get things done!!!
stella November 28, 2012 at 05:16 AM
One of the BEST stories of 2012 ! I've read it from the beginning and even though Barry's not my FedEx delivery guy, I loved hearing how people appreciated him. I really thought UPS would immediately scoop him up, but if he's happy with the outcome, I'm happy for him. It's heartwarming to see people band together for a positive cause. Very inspiring!
Ruth November 28, 2012 at 07:08 AM
Welcome back, Barry!!!! This is a Merry Christmas indeed! All our best, Ken and Ruth
Drtee-Dancer November 28, 2012 at 07:35 AM
It doesn't get any better than this - what a great story - makes my year !!!
Chris Tracey November 28, 2012 at 10:49 AM
This is great news. I am elated for for Barry and so many people in this great community. Kudos to the the hundreds of community members who signed petitions, called Fed Ex and just didn't let the issue go. Congratulations to the independent contractor /vendor for having the compassion and good business sense to hire Barry.I have known Barry since he was a kid. What you see when watching Barry work , is who he truly is.To quote Valerie Smith (Monogram ) shop,'he is the most positive ,cheerful,accommodating,smiley and wonderful guy I've ever met."Great ending to a story that could have ended up a tragedy. P.S. Good coverage Taylor(Patch)....Chris Tracey.
Mary Croghan November 28, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Had the office door open for end-of-day FedEx pick-up. The Express driver was trundling overnight packages out to his truck. Then....that distinctive, happy voice from somewhere out on the sidewalk! We heard him before we saw him... Everyone scrambled outside to say hello. There he was in FedEx Ground garb! Wow, what a feeling!
Liz Robertson November 28, 2012 at 01:08 PM
thanks mary. you are the best....oh that's right...the FedEX man is the best!
Sharon Rafferty November 28, 2012 at 01:34 PM
it proves that when people get together things can get done welcome back
Loretta Lynch November 28, 2012 at 01:58 PM
If Joi hadn't announced on face book about Barry’s dilemma we who know Barry would not have know what happened. The people on the east end and all those who have moved away had a chance to help one of ours. There were even friends of friends writing to FedEx. There is power in numbers especially when it’s for a hard working great man. I am thrilled for him and thank Joi so much for allowing all of us to help.
Mj Stanton November 28, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Welcome Back Barry!!!!!!
amy salle November 28, 2012 at 05:00 PM
See, ALL those people out there that though "Oh, there must be something more to this" and Fed Ex making comments trying to make it look worse than it was....... Barry is BACK!!!!! I couldn't be happier!!!!!! YAY BARRY!!!!!!!! :}
Michelle Platt November 28, 2012 at 08:30 PM
I'll be looking for you while I'm walking through town! So happy to hear you are back! Welcome back to Bonac and Merry Christmas!!! Michelle Platt
phinn markson November 28, 2012 at 09:30 PM
It's wonderful, in this day and age, that a community cares enough to come together and rally for one 'individual'. Makes me very proud, of and for everyone. Congrats to everyone!!
John Whitney November 28, 2012 at 09:48 PM
Way to go, Barry!
Diana Peralta November 28, 2012 at 10:52 PM
this will be a "barry nice season" I'm so happy he's back!!! Our town will be filled with his warm and happy smile... Go Barry Go!!!
Rick Hoyt December 03, 2012 at 09:45 AM
Barry You are a Blessing To Mankind, Sometimes the Good Guys Win ! Welcome Back My Friend !!! Your Friend - Rick
Rick Hoyt December 03, 2012 at 09:49 AM
The Support for Barry was Inspiring ! Good Job Everyone !!! Especially Joi And Mary !! - This is The Power of The People !


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