Saturday, March 05, 2005


From Anonymous:

Re: "One scientist recently posted on a popular blog Web site that he was considering wearing a red "R" pinned to his shirt to symbolize to LANL management that he is prepared to resign and that he has job offers elsewhere."
While the original statement was probably made somewhat facetiously, perhaps there is a kernal of a good idea contained therein.
This issue certainly seems to be shaping up as an "us against them" conflict. (Staff v. Management). This blog has given the staff a place to vent its feeling and share dialog. Perhaps it is now time for the staff to show some solidarity in the face of all of the unsettling issues that now face us.
Just as many are displaying yellow ribbons in solidarity with our troops in Iraq, perhaps we can display a red ribbon as a symbol of staff solidarity--that the "doers" of the Lab, be they Staff Members, Techs, Support, Admin or what ever, are united in support of each other against all of the travails that confront us at this time.
However, many are worried about retailiation and retribution , so perhaps a red ribbon worn by a just few would be too obvious--too much like singling out those few individuals. Perhaps it should be more subtle --wear a red shirt one day -- red socks the next. Perhaps some thing as simple as a red dot punched from a Post-it note stuck to one of our many training badges. (But not your Lab ID Badge -- that would be against the rules) Something initally that is simple and innoculous so that if one is challenged you can just laugh it off with some comment like --"Oh, I just like red--its my favorite color."
Perhaps this is a way of helping us recognize all of the other "anonymous" posters on this site--a subtle way we can hang together no matter what happens. However, it can also be a way of saying that we are united in confronting the threats and insults that are thrown at us every day, and a way of saying that we are prepared to take unified action against them if necessary.

Without either endorsing or arguing the "wear red" idea, I must respectfully disagree with the contention that the issue is taking the shape of a staff-versus-management conflict. If, by "management," we're referring to the Director and those closest to him, I'll concede the point. However, there are a lot of honest, caring, conscientious mid- and lower-level managers busting their humps to try to clear obstacles so that staff can get on about the Lab's business. Maybe not all should be accorded respect for caring about us and trying to insulate us from work-killing bureaucracy and spirit-dampening invective from on high, but I think it's harsh to tar all of them with the anti-staff, pro-Nanos brush. Many managers (particularly at the group level) are working overtime not only to help us get our jobs done, but also to undo the damage to staff morale and confidence that has been inflicted by the Director. I firmly believe that my GL's job is much harder now than it was 2 years ago. He is one of "us," not one of "them."
There are many great managers (probably the vast majority) who still represent what LASL once was in its greatness and not the plastic, rule retentive, clones Nanos is trying unsuccessfully to mold in his and Don Cobb's image.

Colors have psychological and sociological meanings. RED is the color of armed rebellion. ORANGE, as in the Polish, Ukrainian, and now Lebanese liberation movements, is the universal color of peaceful solidarity against tyranny. Would an ORANGE day be more appropriate? Just asking.
Regarding the notion of the red threat to resign. Recall the common phrase:

Cut off your nose to spite your faceCommonly defined to mean:

Disadvantage yourself in order to do harm to an adversary.Don't resign - it won't help. Focus efforts on FIXING the problem. A mutiny doesn't work if the mutineers commit suicide.
Forgive the formatting - this thing seems to have mangled the previous comment a bit.
But a mutiny does work if the
mutineers just leave the ship.
this wouldn't be the same idiot that came up with the "blue" ribbon bullshit would it?. Come on, get real...
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