Friday, February 11, 2005
From the LANL NewsBulletin:
Feb. 10, 2005
State of denial
Just came back from the CREM incident briefing and I must say that based on some of the questions and statements made there are many still working at the Laboratory that just don't get it. To accuse the director of perpetrating fraud is not only ridiculous but libelous. The sooner everyone can gets past this state of denial the sooner we as an institution can continue to improve our secure work practices.
He did perpetrate fraud. We are accusing him of it.
I actually did 'get it' for about a week following the stand down. We reviewed all of our documentation and procedures. Every IWD was reviewed and updated by 'fresh eyes'. We discussed and brain-stormed everything related to our facilities and operations. We took some mind-numbing ergonomics training for some reason. We thought we had our restart paperwork done, no wait, management did not really know what they wanted yet. Start over. Dig deeper. For what? What is the desired outsome? No one was able to give that answer. There was a culture problem and it needed to be rooted out. By the second week it was clear that the peons, in our division at least, were willing to consider just about anything to show that they were 'getting it'. Then the whole process turned into a nightmare as the restart requirements evolved on a 3 hour cycle time.
Technical staff get very jaded when they are confronted with such a situation. We start to feel that on most days management can't find their way to the restroom without someone to show them the way.
Maybe some quiet reflection by the Director and SET for a day or two might have obviated most of this exercise. But that would not have been as dramatic.
Yes, LANL has some problems with its culture and operations.
Folks have come to expect a job for life. Some folks used to just wait until they could retire.
Many management posts seem to be revolving doors. People just keep moving. You finally convince a higher-up that they shouldn't cut your funding because what you are doing REALLY is vital to the lab mission and lo and behold that person moves up or over or out. Now you get to start all over trying to keep doing your work with the next 'temporary' manager.
Management seems to push their favorite idea instead of what meets peer review.
I am sure there are many other nonproductive behaviors here at LANL.
If we want to stay and start doing real work again then lets start being honest when we see crap presented as the latest improvement plan. There has got to be some way to counter the myopia and nepotism in the SET, AD offices and with the director.
We don't like the way that the Director has handled the situation. So, let's show them that the average employee, at least, can be professional and do our jobs the right way, the first time. When management is STUPID there should be a resounding response from the techninal staff and Fellows. We can do better. We are better than what Nanos and company have painted us.