Oct 9, 2008

Have a nice day!

From an anonymous comment on an earlier post:

Many employees at LANL are stressed out watching their 401ks drop in value along with the steeply declining stock market and are feeling the pain while their homes on the Hill drop in price due to fears of future LANL layoffs.

In this regards, an interesting item showed up in today's LANL Lab Link email (Wed, Oct 8th):

************
SECURITY
Distressed Workers

Financial issues are distressing a record number of Americans, and workers at the Laboratory are no exception. Cleared workers and applicants facing foreclosures, liens on property, bankruptcy, or other financial hardships must report them immediately to the Clearance Processing Team.

************

While this requirement makes sense from a security standpoint, just knowing that your clearance could be in jeopardy due to a home foreclosure only adds to the current stress at LANL. I guess LANS forgot to end this little message to "Distressed Workers" with a stress-busting: "Have a nice day!"

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

This warning from LANS to their employees could have been worded with a little more finesse. But, then, who left at LANL really believes LANS gives a damn about their workforce.

Bill Tomany said...

I'm glad I retired from Livermore prior to the llc taking over

Anonymous said...

"Cleared workers and applicants facing foreclosures, liens on property, bankruptcy, or other financial hardships must report them immediately..."

I guess the initial Q process did not weed out the postal types :)

What about those of us who are angry and would like to kill some of the wall street fat cats along with several members of congress?


Come to think about it, in this case, they might hang a medal on us :)

Anonymous said...

The people who contribute daily items to LINKS are generally tone-deaf to the reality of the workplace... but boy oh boy, this one knocks it out of the park. It's so sick, it's actually quite hilarious.

Anonymous said...

The LANS motto - f*ck the troops. Just give us our bonus.

Anonymous said...

there is no place to hide anymore. either you are in Los Alamos, Los Angeles, NY, Europe or Asia, you are or will be hit by this financial crisis, so, losalamists, you are not alone anymore.

Anonymous said...

In case you've had a DOE clearance for 20+ years and didn't notice, you've ALWAYS been required to report major changes in your life that might lead you to be more succeptible to blackmail or coercion by an enemy or foreign power, for what you know. Stop whining and get over it. Or, if you really object on principled grounds, give up your clearance. In any case, grow up.

Anonymous said...

This was in bad taste.

Anonymous said...

Guys like 8:14 PM at LANL make me want to puke. Yes, most of us knew about this reporting requirement, but LANS didn't need to rub it in our faces while the financial markets are collapsing all around us.

You, 8:14 PM, are a first class jerk. I agree with 8:33 PM. This message from LANS was in very poor taste.

Anonymous said...

Wow, some people are WAY too sensitive. No, LANL management doesn't care about your tender feelings. I second the suggestion to grow up.

Anonymous said...

The whole country is rapidly heading into bankruptcy and that includes our US Federal government. People are scared out of their wits during these times. And into this fear and stress, LANS ups the level even further?

Priceless, Mikey. I've got to hand it to LANS on this one. Of course, Mikey and his top people face little risk during the coming hard times. Let's see, Mikey's got special executive insurance on his pension (no PBGC for this boy!), a fat salary of probably over $600K with lucrative bonuses, a luxury car paid for by LANS, and a home situated far away from the real estate disaster called Los Alamos County. And then, there's alway the LLNL backstop waiting in the wings if Mike needs to make a quick exit from LANL.

The generous view on this posting in the daily Lab Links would be that LANS is simply clueless and tone deaf with what's going on with their employees. However, I don't think you can give them the benefit of the doubt any longer. They seem to be actively working to destroy what is left of morale at LANL.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is true that these are the rules for getting or keeping your clearance.

But, it really is in poor taste to have this come up right now while the over-compensated LANS overseers have their high salaries and golden parachutes.

Frankly, Mikey, just like the Wall Street CEOs, just is not worth the money.

Anonymous said...

Mikey, can you spell 'F-A-T C-A-T'?

Anonymous said...

The "whole country" isn't going bankrupt, and this message isn't even Mikey's fault. Clearance Processing was reminded by NNSA of the (long-standing) rules, and they passed it along. Geez, do you think Mikey approves every posting on LINKS?? Paranoia is rampant on this blog! It wasn't in "poor taste"; remember, you're talking about the federal gvernment here - "taste" isn't in the equation. Get a grip. If you are screaming and your hair is on fire, or you are "scared out of your wits," don't post until you feel better. Really.

Anonymous said...

I think the Security AD owes the lab population an apology on this one. This was poorly written and in bad taste.

Anonymous said...

Hey 7:36 AM - F*CK YOU! (and the AD - or PAD - horse you rode on ...)

Anonymous said...

10/10/08 11:47 AM

Just another reason why Los Alamos Alliance, i.e. Lockheed Martin/UT and Dr. C. Paul Robinson should have been selected as the M&O contractor and director of LANL respectively.

(Lockheed Martin:

Industry: Defense, Aerospace.

Products: Fighter aircraft, Ballistic missiles, National Missile Defense (NMD elements), NASA´s Orion Spacecraft, Satellite, Radar, Atlas Launch Vehicles, Transport aircraft, Munitions, ATC systems.)

Anonymous said...

When was the last "reminder" about the tacit relationship between financial ruin and potential loss of clearances? Those who defend LANS have lost all sense of reality. Either that or they somehow think they will benefit from the chaos that reigns supreme in the ranks of upper management.

Anonymous said...

It's not about "defending LANS" it's about long-standing DOE/NNSA policy which some apparently thought might need reminding in the present climate. No so radical or "chaotic." And 8:31 pm: The Security AD owes nobody anything - it was truthful and timely. If the shoe fits...On the other hand, if you don't care how big an espionage target you make yourself by your out-of-control finances, that's your choice.

Anonymous said...

Lab security did go overboard on this LINKS. Who is the Security AD? That person should be held accountable. Truth or not, the posting was in poor taste and should have been reviewed prior to release. I doubt the Director would have agreed to such language.

Anonymous said...

When was the last "reminder" about the tacit relationship between financial ruin and potential loss of clearances? Those who defend LANS have lost all sense of reality. (8:47 PM)


Hear, hear, 8:47 PM! You hit the nail on the head with your observations.

I've been at LANL for many years and never seen a widely broadcast email reminder like this one. And sending it out during the middle of a full blown market panic? It's indefensible.

If LANS upper management didn't review this, then what type of news vetting process do we have at LANL? Either they did vet it, which tells us something awful about LANS management, or they didn't vet it, which indicates they're doing a poor job at managing LANL. Either way, it tells us something about LANS management and it's not pretty.

LANL is filled with butt-kissers like 9:32 PM. Most of them owe their positions and privilege to their close connections to the PAD offices and live off overhead. It's easy to identify them by the way in which they defend LANS on almost all matters big or small, regardless of how egregious the situation.

I care about espionage weaknesses at LANL. However, what LANS did here only increases the stress of an already stressed-out workforce to even higher levels. It says to the workforce, "We really don't give a sh*t about what you are going through." That message has now been received, loud and clear.

Anonymous said...

Oh, the STRESS - Oh my God, what will I do??!!! Oh, someone please make the nasty LANS people stop stressing me!!! Oh please make the stock market stop falling!!! Oh please!!! Make my stupid financial choices not matter!! Oh please!!

What flaw in your upbringing led you to believe that an employer should "give a sh*t about what you are going through"??? GROW UP!

Anonymous said...

" Oh, the STRESS - Oh my God, what will I do??!!! Oh, someone please make the nasty LANS people stop stressing me!!! Oh please make the stock market stop falling!!! Oh please!!! Make my stupid financial choices not matter!! Oh please!!

What flaw in your upbringing led you to believe that an employer should "give a sh*t about what you are going through"??? GROW UP!
"
10/10/08 11:16 PM"


Your comment makes me think that you have some serious mental issues and you should have them checked out. I really hope someone as unstable as you does not work at LANL or any other job that has some kind of responsibility to others. Maybe your finacial situation has you stressed out and thats why you are so hostile. In any case please get help.

Anonymous said...

Do you suppose losing 40% of your 401(k) in one week constitutes a "reportable financial hardship"? If so...let's all flood DOE with some paperwork to keep them busy for the next few days!

Anonymous said...

12:30 pm: "Your comment makes me think that you have some serious mental issues and you should have them checked out. I really hope someone as unstable as you does not work at LANL or any other job that has some kind of responsibility to others"

Ah, the thin-skinned Los Alamos prima donnas speak. No sense of humor, huh? Or, just when the humor is at your expense?

Anonymous said...

5:16 pm: "let's all flood DOE with some paperwork to keep them busy for the next few days!"

Don't worry, NNSA's clearance people in Albuquerque can handle that kind of paperwork. And, you'll soon be called down for a fairly unpleasant interview with your clearance hanging in the balance. Really stupid idea.

Anonymous said...

What's going on right now in the financial markets is every bit as dangerous as the 1930's. That doesn't mean it has to end as badly, but anyone who thinks this is "just another downturn" is in deep denial.

In 2002 there were about $100 billion in derivatives. By 2007, that number had grown to over $500 billion. These are what Warren Buffett has famously called financial weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). If these derivatives begin to unwind, no amount of bailout will help.

Read the articles and listen to the people who are discussing this situation. The credit system is in complete lockup and doesn't seem willing to give an inch. Banks are hoarding their money in fear. We are at the brink of a global financial collapse the likes of which no one has seen and few have even dared to imagine.

By this time next year, we'll either be on a slowly rising path out of this ugly mess and entering economic 'rehab' for the next decade or there might not be much reason to hold stocks or bonds or to even have a pension. Food stockpiles will be a wiser choice.

If you're of the religious persuasion and aren't eagerly awaiting the apocalypse, then prays are in order. If you're agnostic, then consider become a little superstitious, just in case. Living through a major economic depression is not an experience I want for my family or for anyone else's family.

And, yes, the Lab Link post last week was in extremely poor taste, whether it was done that way on purpose, or not (the more likely explanation). Real leadership would address this little "mistake" by early next week. We shall see if they are listening.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but a typo was made in the last post. That "$500 billion in derivatives" should have read "$500 trillion".

Mind-boggling, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Have faith. Mr. Hanky Panky will see that we make our way through this economic maelstrom.

But seriously, I wonder what all this means to the future of LANL. As in... perhaps there won't be any money left in the US budget for NNSA labs, or perhaps worse, maybe the US will suddenly need those nukes more than ever before as nations around the globe turn desperately poor and play a dangerous game of "beggar thy neighbor"!

Anonymous said...

No one seems to have any good idea of just how much toxic debt is out there in the world's banks. That's the scariest part of this story.

Read this morning that the UK is taking over Royal Bank of Scotland to keep it from collapsing. IMF says that if something is not done very soon, they foresee equities collapsing another 20%. Moves to start the nationalization of US banks are just around the corner. And if all of this huge injection of government 'funny money' into the financial system ultimately fails? Don't even go there.

Anonymous said...

State Finances Taking Big Hit - ABQ Journal

Written by John Fleck
Saturday, October 11, 2008

The double whammy of falling oil prices and Wall Street's collapse hurt New Mexico state finances.

Dan Boyd has the Wall street piece in this morning's Journal:

..New Mexico's big pension and permanent funds have lost money at a staggering rate during Wall's Street's run of trouble — with value declines in the billions of dollars — but fund managers are trying to avoid panic in the midst of fast-changing markets.

Meanwhile in today's Santa Fe New Mexican, Staci Matlock writes on the latest discussions about declining state revenue from oil and gas production as the price of those commodities declines:

..According to a draft LFC report produced this month, for every $1 drop in the price of a barrel of crude oil, the impact on the state's general fund is $3.4 million. For every 10-cent price decrease in the cost of a million cubic feet of gas, the general fund loses out on $11 million. Sen. John Arthur Smith, D-Deming, the LFC chairman, estimates the state has already lost more than $400 million.

This is more evidence of something I've been pointing out repeatedly of late: that declining gasoline prices have a serious dark side.

----

Wallace recently said that TCP1 was only down 7% as of Aug 31st. Frankly, I'm having a very hard time believing this figure. Was this figure created using a "hold to maturity" price or the current "mark to market" price required of all financial institutions? And the losses since August 31st must be pummeling the TCP1 pension.

Anonymous said...

Oil was in the $20-30 a barrel range since ~1987 up until about 5 years ago. Now $70-80 dollars a barrel is a state revenue crisis? Yeah.

Anonymous said...

$70 oil is a revenue crisis for this state because New Mexico has booked the cash for future projects. They counted their chickens before they hatched.

Painful cuts are coming at the state level. New Mexico could go to the bond markets to make up for the loss in revenue, but no one wants to buy muni or state bonds right now, even those that are top-rated AAA.

Anonymous said...

Is every thread on this blog off topic? Geez. I guess ADD is rampant among LANL people - not really a surprise.

Anonymous said...

Is every thread on this blog off topic? - 10:47 PM

It's a blog, and not the New York Times. Perhaps you are at the wrong site. Another site is just a click away, so if you don't like reading this blog then I suggest you move along.

Anonymous said...

There's a reason the term "off-topic" has arisen on blogs. No one likes it, and to serious people, it is an annoyance.

Anonymous said...

I believe the 7% number that Wallace cited. Up until September, most of my retirement accounts were were down between 10 and 15%. In the last 6 weeks or so, I've seem them decrease to almost half. It would be interest to hear how TCP1 is doing NOW after all the market turmoil.

Anonymous said...

You can kiss your recent 4% to 5% raises bye-bye. They'll soon be over-taken by TCP1 salary contributions. It will be interesting to see how long LANS waits until they tell employees about the need to cut back salaries to help support TCP1.

UC recently told UCRP participants that they will only have to pay half of the funds necessary to correct UCRP shortfalls. Nothing similar has been announced by LANS. Given the poor condition of LANL's operating budget and the "for-profit" nature of the lab LLCs, we'll likely be forced to cough up the full amount to fix TCP1. It could end up being very painful.

Anonymous said...

The Lab Link on Friday followed up the financial warning with a health warning on depression. How appropriate!

Anonymous said...

Whew. Good thing I went TCP-2.

greg close said...

1). LANL's operating budget does NOT determine the funding level of TCP1. Bad assumption.
2) TCP1 was not 7% underfunded in Aug (in fact, it was more than fully funded). Bad facts.
3) I have been working on the draft communication explaining our strategies and contingencies for TCP1 and hope to get it finished, approved, and distributed soon. Stay tuned.

email me if you have specific questions, I'll do my best to answer: gsclose@lanl.gov

Anonymous said...

I don't know, call me crazy, but the "type" that are in LANS management bear a striking resembleance to those "fat cat greeedy son of a bitch" types that forced the enonomy into this position based upon sheer greed.

When is enough, enough?




'

Anonymous said...

It's not about "defending LANS" it's about long-standing DOE/NNSA policy which some apparently thought might need reminding in the present climate. No so radical or "chaotic." And 8:31 pm: The Security AD owes nobody anything - it was truthful and timely. If the shoe fits...On the other hand, if you don't care how big an espionage target you make yourself by your out-of-control finances, that's your choice.

10/10/08 9:32 PM


hey dumbass, i sped the better part of anhour trying to ome up with an intelligent response, but in the end came to the conclusion that:

a) you are a flippin idiot
b) you are one of those unethical LANS f@#@holes.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the thin-skinned Los Alamos prima donnas speak. No sense of humor, huh? Or, just when the humor is at your expense?

10/11/08 8:07 PM



To everyone else - never argue with an idiot, people will not be able to tell the difference.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Is every thread on this blog off topic? - 10:47 PM

It's a blog, and not the New York Times. Perhaps you are at the wrong site. Another site is just a click away, so if you don't like reading this blog then I suggest you move along.

10/13/08 1:31 PM


Yeah, but wasn't it theNYT that reported Jobs heart attack - which was news to Jobs?

Anonymous said...

"2) TCP1 was not 7% underfunded in Aug" (Greg Close)

Silly me. The vu graphs that Wallace showed to his Directorate explicitly state that TCP1 was underfunded by 7% as of Aug 31st. I guess Greg knows better.

Anonymous said...

12:29 am: "hey dumbass, i sped the better part of anhour trying to ome up with an intelligent response, but in the end came to the conclusion that:

a) you are a flippin idiot
b) you are one of those unethical LANS f@#@holes."

Try spending some time on spelling, grammar, proofreading, and punctuation. I know, minor skills if you're a "dumbass."

greg close said...

"Silly me. The vu graphs that Wallace showed to his Directorate explicitly state that TCP1 was underfunded by 7% as of Aug 31st. I guess Greg knows better." (10/17/08 10:01 PM).

I sure HOPE that I know better. The only guy with ready access to that info is the guy who told me. I don't know where Mr. Wallace got his data, but I will make it a point to find out and verify with my source that the data I have passed along is correct.

Was it a ppt? If so, please send me a copy. gsclose@lanl.gov; or, if you don't trust me, send anonymously to MS P280. Really. I would like to straighten this out.

Anonymous said...

12:29 am: "hey dumbass, i sped the better part of anhour trying to ome up with an intelligent response, but in the end came to the conclusion that:

a) you are a flippin idiot
b) you are one of those unethical LANS f@#@holes."

Try spending some time on spelling, grammar, proofreading, and punctuation. I know, minor skills if you're a "dumbass."

10/17/08 10:46 PM

typical lans moron - focus on the details when the BIG picture is out of whack. Yeeeeee Haw

Anonymous said...

and by the way - your grammar cop schtick is racist. Are you to dumb to get that

Anonymous said...

10/18 2:27 am: "and by the way - your grammar cop schtick is racist. Are you to dumb to get that"

No, but you might be "too" dumb to get that you forgot the "?" at the end of your question. It's not about race, it's about intelligence. And literacy.

Anonymous said...

Insistence on literacy isn't racist. If you maintain that it is, then you are saying that certain races cannot attain literacy. I think the Republicans call this the racism of lowered expectations. I agree. People will live up (or down) to whatever goal they set for themselves.

Anonymous said...

"to dumb"...speaking of literacy! someone's grammar is just TOO dumb and udderly hopeless.