Dec 8, 2007

Comments of the Week, Saturday Edition

This first comment from the POGO Asks DOE to Issue Stop Work Order For Los Alamos Facility: CMRR of Dubious Value and Questionable Construction post is typical of the attitude of those that I speak with who have chosen to take the voluntary separation now. Unfortunately, I believe LANS is steering the exact course that it desires; one that is taking it down the path of fewer staff and a mission that is limited to pit production, POGO be damned.

-Gus

________________________________________________

LANL only has itself to blame, although it will undoubtedly blame everyone else but itself. Until all the management holdouts from the old UC regime are removed (beginning with Anastasio and his right hand man Marquez), I say shut the damn place down! And if LANS doesn’t have the gumption to throw out the UC trash it inherited, well then bring in someone else to run the damn place. Enough is enough!

--20 Years & Volunteered To Leave

Also, it is interesting to note the immediate pushback to the expected POGO bashing comments which emanate from Los Alamos county any time there is a news article featuring the Project On Government Oversight. An exchange on this same post:

"The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is an independent nonprofit that investigates and exposes corruption and other misconduct in order to achieve a more accountable federal government."

BULLSHIT!

POGO carries out the sloppiest investigations of any entity that I know of. All they seem to care about is sensational headlines.

# # #

The only sloppy work being done at Los Alamos is being done by LANL itself, and you damn well know it 6:49AM! You're the one that's full of BULLSHIT, asshole!

Such language!

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ms. Brian concluded her letter to Mr. D’Agostino, “History tells us that "_DOE’s tendency is to quickly begin construction in order to make it that much harder for the Congress to kill the project+_. On the current path, it would seem the taxpayers will end up with a poorly constructed facility of dubious value.

This part in quotes sounds just like the NIF facility where that $1B will end up being about $5B when its all over but I think that will be the last big project LLNL ever sees. Maybe the next time LLNL ask for money to build a project they will do a detailed bid and the congresss and the senate will say, "I don't think so. You've played that acrd way to many times". Do it on a minature scale and make something that is marketable. Maybe for reason like this is why LLNL should be down to about 4000 people by FY-08 ends. Can't see I blame them for doing what they are doing.

Anonymous said...

Rants without any facts.

Anonymous said...

Rant, 12:37? It sounds like more like a calm recitation of fact (which is what it was about that comment that caught my attention).

Your's, on the other hand, was singularly empty of content.

Anonymous said...

Gussie's comment begs the question: are DOE, NNSA, and Bechtel *that* much smarter than LANL staff, to have engineered this layoff, and the next ones that are coming, and the corresponding change of mission for LANL without having met even the slightest resistance? In retrospect, the answer to me sure seems to be "Yes!"

So much for the "Best and Brightest".

Anonymous said...

Interesting how folks always run down LANL people for not showing "resistance", or for being "sheeple".

What would you suggest that people do that might change things? A mass walkout wouldn't; nor would standing outside the NSSB waving placards. What do you recommend?

Along those lines...What specific actions of resistance have you personally taken? Just list your top three, please.

How did those action improve the situation?

I'll check back later to see how you are doing.

Anonymous said...

12/8/07 1:28 PM: "What would you suggest that people do that might change things?"

How about getting off their lazy frighten asses and speaking up when they see something that is clearly not right! "Rant" in other words. No, instead we lay low, stay quiet, and pray that nobody notices us so we can last long enough just to retire. Well guess what, if you screw up enough times as an institution you might just end up being retired before you planned. It's called a RIF! Challenge the arrogant managers who are bringing this place down in other words. If you even care, that is, about national security and the future of our nation. Keeping quiet isn't the answer anymore. You should know that by now. But now I know...nothing's going to change. Not until Congress gets off it's lazy ass as well and does something to force the issue. It won't come from within, that I know for sure now. LANS is no better than UC. How can it be, with UC being part of LANS? That's why I'm counting the days now, like so many of my colleagues. It's time to get the hell out of here. I only wish I had volunteered now.

Anonymous said...

doesn't that Daniel (?) reporter who "penetrated LANL security peritmer" (TA49?) work for them? He definitely is of their caliber.

Anonymous said...

12/8/07 3:42 PM

Not to be the grammar police, but I could not read your post past the first sentence. Go home, and triy it again.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 12/8/07 3:42 PM has a lot of "career-limiting" suggestions.

It was a lot easier to be outspoken prior to LANS when we were not at-will employees. Loosing one's job at LANL these days will necessitate moving out of state (Sandia is also laying off) and taking a loss on your Los Alamos residence.

Why do idiots like this expect LANL employees to challenge management anymore than would be done at any other employer?

This person is clearly NOT a LANL employee and ought to stick to speaking of matter with which s/he is knowlegeable.

Anonymous said...

5:32,

I'm sure that pre-LANS, you were one of the more outspoken critics of LANS, and the bid process in general.

Right?

Wrong, sheep-breath. There were only a handful of people with the balls to speak out against Nanos, UC, NNSA, Linton Brooks, Dynes, Foley, Bodman, and the rest of that crowd. I'm willing to be a bundle that you were not one of them.

Go back to your fucking sheep corral.

Anonymous said...

5:39 pm" You're "willing to be a bundle"?? Should you be posting on a family web site?

Anonymous said...

I do not understand. It takes a certain caliber of individual to work at LANL. They protect national security.

Job prospects are : China?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12/8/07 5:39 PM said...

"I'm sure that pre-LANS, you were one of the more outspoken critics of LANS, and the bid process in general."

I was gone by the time that the bidding started. But, be assured that it was possible to criticize things even in the days of Nanos as long was one did so in a respectfull manner.

Doug said...

Actually, 5:37AM, you can be assured that if you criticized Nanos or any of his policies, he would fly off into a rage whether or not you were a little Miss Manners while doing it. He was an abusive shouter and screamer with his staff, who knew better than to voice disagreement to any of his actions.


Doug Roberts
LANL, Retired

Anonymous said...

Doug,

It is true that Nanos was a screamer; he had a minimal amount of control over his temper and didn't take well to people questioning his authority. A whole roomful of people once saw him engage in a mudslinging contest w/ a technician; it was hard to believe it was happening. A decent leader wouldn't have sunk to that level, and would have taken the discussion off-line. But Pete jumped right in. That said a lot about the guy, right then and there.

In spite of that, I managed to engage him on two different occasions and successfully took issue with him, and in the end had a reasonable discussion and, believe it or not, got him to take a positive action to change something. I got my butt chewed by my skip-level for it, but Nanos was quite civil and reasonable abou the whole thing.

Thing is, "ranting" hardly ever does anyone any good. My experience is that a calm, reasoned approach with data/facts to support your contention works better than spewing. Direct
confrontation w/ an ex-admiral is almost always a recipe for disaster.

Fact is, the "outspoken critics" achieved little in the end. Most of the gains I see made at the lab are made by the quieter, well reasoned folks who know how to lead.

BTW I never really got an answer to my original post:

1. Specific recommendations on actions to take ("rant" was given, but that isn't useful, as explained above)
2. Specifics on your personal resistive actions; and
3. Discussion on how those actions improved the situation.

Of course, I don't really expect to get useful answers, but I'm open to being surprised.

Doug said...

Well, 9:59, if you were successful in taking issue with Nanos on a couple of occasions, then I admire your persistence and drive. I recall the incident you described with Nanos and the tech, btw.

Regarding your question of what actions can be taken to improve LANL's current situation, I guess the answer to that would depend on your belief set.

If you believe, as I do, that DOE, NNSA, and LANS are in the early stages of "downsizing" LANL's mission and staffing level to in preparation supporting only pit production, then there is probably little that can be done to improve things at LANL.

If you believe otherwise, then anything you can do to reduce inefficiency, management bloat, and overhead costs would help better position LANL for recruiting WFO sponsors. Myself, I don't believe any of the organizations controlling LANL's operations have any interest in promoting WFO.

--Doug Roberts
LANL, Retired

Anonymous said...

Intreasting to sit back and watch the "conversation" from UC (non profit) to (for profit) Corporate, everyone knew it would be s major change in both the way emplooyees' view the lab and how the managers have to change to fit the new mold. I think it will take a few more years of the realization of real job cuts, down-sizing, and riff's to give you all a taste of the "real-world" hehe, you have had it too easy for too long. Enjoy living under the cloud of job loss, insecurity, and the ever-looming real-estater market in LA. Hey welcome to the real world...You surly must know that we are sitting back and enjoying all of the screaming.....a former LAb worker....

Anonymous said...

"If you believe, as I do, that DOE, NNSA, and LANS are in the early stages of "downsizing" LANL's mission and staffing level to in preparation supporting only pit production, then there is probably little that can be done to improve things at LANL." - Doug


If this is the game plan (which I now believe it is), then I wish these people in control would at least have the common decency to level with the work force about it. That would allow the scientific staff to get on with their lives and start looking for better laboratories at which to do their research.

Anonymous said...

The writing is on the wall....

Anonymous said...

Time is quickly running out. LANL must begin crisis-level efforts to diversify the lab. The next two years will determine whether LANL survives as a lab or becomes nothing more than NNSA's downsized Pit Factory with a crippled science lab component.

Unfortunately, I've seen few signs that LANS really cares about a serious effort to diversify LANL, ala the SNL approach. Perhaps they find it far too comfortable to just sit on their fat asses, collect their salary and bonuses, and watch LANL decline from their warm offices sitting atop the Emerald Palace (NSSB).

Anonymous said...

Between LASO and the Bechtel deadwood carpetbaggers, LANL is truly suffering "The Revenge of the C Students." If you can, you should leave before things get worse. And yes, they will get worse.

As far as management is concerned, employees are like Dixie Cups: useful when you need them, and trash when you don't. You are disposable.

Anonymous said...

6:18 pm: "As far as management is concerned, employees are like Dixie Cups: useful when you need them, and trash when you don't. You are disposable."

As a former LANL manager, I can assure you that not all LANL managers feel, or act, that way. Many (perhaps most) are truly trying to do the best they can for their employees, in the face of idiotic mandates from 1) upper management; 2) program management, driven by upper management; 3) HR, again driven by the upper management they serve as "deployed generalists; and 4) DOE/NNSA, to whom they must report regularly, and who have no idea what they are doing. If you find it hard to trust your manager, try to better the relationship and get a communication going. You and he/she will both benefit.

Anonymous said...

"As a former LANL manager, I can assure you that not all LANL managers feel, or act, that way. Many (perhaps most) are truly trying to do the best they can for their employees, in the face of idiotic mandates from 1) upper management; "

1) is sort of the point about managemnt.