Sunday, February 20, 2005

Atmosphere of Intimidation

To Whom it may concern,
I don't know how relevant this will be since my involvement with LANL ended back in 1991, but it is my considered opinion that there has been an atmosphere of intimidation and deceit by some supervisors towards technical staff at LANL at least as far back as the 1986 R.I.F..
Case in point -
I hired into P Division in 1979 to work on Laser Fusion and I enjoyed a very successful career there (consistently outstanding reviews, tripled my salary, advanced in Technical position) ... until the 1986 R.I.F. (reduction in force) came along.
Like most people who are told one day that they are doing an excellent job and who are handed a pink slip the next day, I was in shock when I was told that my services were no longer required since they did not match the projected technical requirements - anywhere in the lab.
As a 'Riftee' (one who's employment at LANL was about to be terminated) I was informed that a job search had been conducted lab-wide and that the was nothing available (or projected) which matched my skills.
At this point in my career, I had worked on several generations of large-scale Fusion laser systems and I had a pretty firm working knowledge of High Voltage Pulsed Power, High Vacuum Systems, Complex Optical Arrays, Lasers (large & small), Control Systems... I was co-author of several published technical papers... and I was the only tech in my group at that time with any N.T.S. experience.
I had just previously had a major disagreement with a staff member who, at the time of the R.I.F., had become the acting Deputy Group Leader.
Coincidence ? I think Not.
Despite a Xerox box filled with supporting evidence of my achievements, no one seemed interested in doing anything to help me, especially the E.E.O. office.
Ironically, three years later I was rehired into virtually my same position (and then promoted), apparently due to the fact that I knew the then-current laser Fusion project better than anyone else they could find.
Eighteen month later that project was shut down and once again I was rifted, which for all practical purposes means fired.
The upper level management staff who, just a few weeks earlier, had been raining praise over our accomplishments didn't take (or return) my calls.
Since then I have applied for maybe thirty positions over the last thirteen years and only ONCE have I even landed an interview.
No black list huh ?
At this point LANL (probably) couldn't pay me enough to interest me in working there again and I feel sorry for the people (especially the techs) who do work there.
No one who I know who works at LANL now has anything good to say about it and that part is sad.
The worst part (for me) is that I loved my work there and I did my best to see that the projects I was involved with succeeded.
R. F. Alexander

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