Thursday, February 03, 2005


I received a prompt and polite rejection to this from the Reader's Forum
so I am sending it to you.

Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2005 08:51:46 -0700
From: David Simmons
Subject: Improving morale

Improving morale.

Given the current atmosphere of intimidation and fear at the Lab., I was astonished that the Reader's Forum promptly published my letter "Farewell LANL." This encouraged me to submit a suggestion for improving morale that I mentioned to a colleague. He liked the idea and so do I.

Roman commanders occasionally used a procedure after troops of the Empire had done badly in battle. The name of this practice is the origin of the word "decimation". After drawing lots, every tenth solder was killed by his fellows. This reportedly improved morale and performance.

Perhaps some modern (and possibly less lethal) version of this could be tried here. And perhaps the 10% could be heavily weighted towards upper management at the Lab. This would be far more humane than the death by a thousand indignities that staff members are currently suffering.

I regret I will miss any possible benefits from such an action as I have resigned from the Lab effective this March.

And so as the sun sinks slowly behind the Jemez this is the old cowhand from the Rio
Grande wishin' y'all happy trails!

David F. Simmons
Chief Assistant Associate Principal Vice-Deputy for the World's Greatest Science, Acting
and Technical Staff Member
DX Division
Los Alamos National Lab

The modern version of that process would be a 10% RIF. Ooops, I forgot, St. Pete will make sure that doesn't happen here at LANL.
The groundwork has already been laid for a 10% RIF. Look at all the contractor jobs that have been converted to UC jobs. These folks are the last in, and they'll be the first out. There'll be more unemployed in Northern New Mexico as well as fewer tax dollars from the contracting companies.
Don't forget the Navy maxim that the floggings will continue until morale improves.
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