Jul 15, 2008

The Bechtel Unit of Measure

Frank,
While I was cleaning up the back yard this weekend, I pondered what the unit of measure of one dog stool. In a flash, I realized it was the Bechtel! My dog delivers two Bechtels a day (sometimes three) that need to be gathered and disposed of. I propose a contest to see how many LANS organizations can top the Bechtel mark.

My initial nomination is the Purchasing Department. First, I had to attend a secret training session in the Physics Auditorium (there were less than 20 of us in the entire auditorium) to discover that "Management Level Determination" has absolutely nothing to do with "Management Level. " Then I had a multitude of forms to get signed. I hand-carried the crucial 838c form downtown and the nice man signed it, even though he wasn't sure that it was all copasetic.

Then I went over to the Purchasing Department - in case you haven't been there, it's a very fine building behind the China Moon Restaurant - not at all like the moldy trailers that TSMs work in. There, all the shaded parking spots were occupied by government vehicles, with signs that you'll be towed away if you even pause there. Why the purchasing department (which one would hope does all their business through electronic communications) needs close to a dozen GSA vehicles is beyond me. But, being the dutiful direct employee (instead of one of the far more important Bechtelite indirect employees), I parked outside of the reserved government vehicle area.

I dutifully walked up to the golden door and swiped my Q-Badge (with Sigmas 1-10). You wormy bastard! You cannot enter our exalted space! You might be one of those Los Alamos vagrants that pay our salaries! I called my two contacts from the telephone at the front door and got no response - either they were away from their phones or they had no interest in granting admission to a peasant who might bring them work. Caller ID is a wonderful thing.

For customer service, I give Purchasing 5 Bechtels. For customer friendliness (including their user-hostile parking spaces and front-door reception) I give Purchasing 5 Bechtels for a grand total of 10 out of 10. Any other nominees?
- Anonymous

Is there a conversion factor to UCs?

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Actually, the problem is not with the buyers who are just trolling along like the rest of us. The problem is with the management of the Purchasing Department.

This, by the way, is only a single example of how bad things have become! You can get similar treatment in most of the overhead departments. All are staffed with basically decent workers but the management have taken arrogance to a new level.

Anonymous said...

Get over it. This is the way it is. If you are this unhappy and miserable then it may be time for you to move on.

Anonymous said...

To quote a famous jailer, "What we have here is a failure to communicate."

The purchasing department is the crown jewel of all the commercial expertise that Bechtel (our primary industrial partner) has brought to the lab. It is by far the best managed, most audit-proof organization in the company. And taking months to process a simple PO is a wise cost-savings measure by preventing frivolous expenditures.

You should be grateful for their help instead of criticising their first-class efforts.

Anonymous said...

"Get over it. This is the way it is. If you are this unhappy and miserable then it may be time for you to move on."

Has anyone ever told you... you would be a great motivational speaker! Would you like an all-hand meeting at the NSSB?

Anonymous said...

From another post seem more relevant to this topic:

One AD (Neu), 80 comments, no answers to the big quetion asked repeatedly (ie how did she get her job since she has no experience) ... so ... how many "Bectels" do you that that garners?

Anonymous said...

Purchasing is a total joke. Even if you manage to sneak into their ivory tower, you'll only be patted on the head and told how wonderful corporate purchasing departments the world over are. Don't you understand? They are helping you with the endless nonsense, triplicate forms, executive priviledge and vast experience. Do you think Mike has trouble buying a pencil? Get back to work and quit complaining.

Anonymous said...

A few reasons that purchasing is so awful: Kevin Chalmers, the head of purchasing, is so bad that Anastasio came close to canning him but we guess A felt sorry for KC because we don't understand why this at will manager isn't gone. KC hides somewhere all day, not in his office, i understand. My friends in pur tell me that it is so bad that it can take up to 100 pages of paperwork = 100 Rechtel units of measureto repair a little piece of equipment. They hired these old Rechtel guys, not kidding they are old, to put together a new process with new forms. Two years later, the buyers are still waiting for those forms to be finished. These old guys are on those Ros agreements so what does it matter, Rechtel keeps billing for work that never gets done and keeps these old guys off the Rechtel overhead. And finally, 5:36 said it right, it is not the buyers who are just trolling. The buyers have been stuck with the worst Rectel managers you can imagine, which is why we have to go to P auditorium to learn how to fill out a form that no one understands, inlcuding Rechtel.

Anonymous said...

I thought the original post was a hoot. Thanks for reminding me that we still have some folks with a sense of humor around here.

Anonymous said...

What's with all the facilities trucks with government plates at LANL that just keep aimlessly driving around? The people in these trucks never seem to be doing any facilities work, they just drive around from place to place. This type of activity has been mentioned before, but of late it seems to be reaching new levels of absurdity.

We have weeds growing every where, trash on the grounds, mold in some older offices, broken rest rooms, dissolving concrete steps, etc, yet the facilities people aren't fixing a thing at LANL. They just seem to spend their days driving around in those government owned trucks!

I've never seen a place in which upper management seemed so totally broken and unable to fix basic problems with the facilities. It's embarrassingly bad.

I give LANL facilities operations (which LANS is bringing in-house from KSL) at least a dozen Bechtel units for the non-jobs they are performing with LANL maintenance and for all the expensive gas they burn up each day in those trucks.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to give HR a bucket of Bechtel units. First they get a Rechtel employee, probably displaced from another site, with questionable skills and education and lack of experience, earning $80K a year then viola a Rosse agreement and the employee now earns $100K a year. Then HR converts to a limited term for $130K a year plus benefits PLUS RELOCATION. What a great job HR. Where do you get to keep all those Bechtel units of measure? Your cubbie must be crapped out.

Anonymous said...

That was some good sh*t.

Anonymous said...

Rather than calling it the Bechtel Unit of Measure (BUM), just shorten it to the Bechtel Measure (the "BM").

In fact, I think I feel a big BM coming on right now as I head for the toilet.

Anonymous said...

"Get over it. This is the way it is. If you are this unhappy and miserable then it may be time for you to move on."

Many people I know are way over it. They're not unhappy, they're apathetic. They couldn't give a shit one way or the other. Shut the place down, keep it open, have a RIF, don't have a RIF, whatever. They never whine. They'll ride this pony into the ground.

Anonymous said...

"Many people I know are way over it." (10:47 PM)

Actually I would change that word "many" to "most".

Almost all the employees who are left behind at LANL have become extremely apathetic about all things LANL. They try to do a little bit of science here and there, but other than that they have given up caring about what happens any longer. Stress over a long period of time has a tendency to do this to people.

Anonymous said...

7/15/08 5:44 PM Get over it. this is the way it is. If you are this unhappy and miserable then it may be time for you to move on.

Great Soluntion. Let's be happy with the level that management has taken to arrogance. That is what is wrong with the Lab today and our country. Arrogance of high level personnel, including our President of this Country. That is why we are where were at in today society, suffering from the attitudes of Congress, other Nations, etc. But don't worry, we can just pack it up and move on. Yeah right. If Management and this Nation don't recognize that we need everyone working together to succeed, we will just continue digging the rut deeper and deeper and it is people like 7/15/08 5:44 PM that are condoning this behavior. Your arrogance will someday come back to bite you, so beware!

Anonymous said...

8:14 pm: "Your arrogance will someday come back to bite you, so beware!"

So why do you capitalize the worn "Nation" snce you so obviously don't give a shit about ours??

Anonymous said...

7/16/08 8:30 PM Now, now, don't turn the issue around. I am not crapping on our Nation. It is the best and has the best to offer. Instead, I am crapping on arrogant people like you that aren't willing to change your behavior in the best interest of all.

Anonymous said...

2:31 pm: "Instead, I am crapping on arrogant people like you that aren't willing to change your behavior in the best interest of all."

Yeah, you know what they call people who are wanting to change other people's behavior (in the best interest of all)?? They call them communists. You're probably too young to know what that means. Or to appreciate the irony.

Anonymous said...

"Yeah, you know what they call people who are wanting to change other people's behavior (in the best interest of all)??"

I thought they are called right-wing Christains. You are probably too young to know what fascism is.