Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Imagine what it must be like

From Anonymous:

Imagine what it must be like right now if you were George P. Nanos. For example, you go to Washington, looking for a job (as he did two weeks ago). You introduce yourself with some glib phrase like, "Hi. I'm Pete Nanos. You might have heard about me. I ran Los Alamos National Laboratory into the ground. They all hate me there. Not only that, but I cost my boss, the University of California $5.8 million because of my poor performance during the last 9 months. Oh, and there is more: I have a 93 year old mother (or mother in law, whatever) with real expensive health problems, as I am fond of telling my minions. In addition, I will have been instrumental in causing UC to lose the contract that they have held for running LANL during the past 63 years. Oh, one more thing, before I forget, there is a Congressional Committee investigating the cost of the shutdown that I caused at LANL last July, without really having had any good reason."

On top of that, people keep putting "For Sale" signs in front of his house. Five, to date, and counting.

Feel sorry for him yet?

Nah, me neither.

Don't forget several lawsuits. Don't forget the local restaurants that serve sandwiches called, "The admiral" - a turkey sandwich. It must be a tough job...maybe even as bad as working for somebody like Nanos. I think you will not find a dry eye the day he leaves town for good - almost exclusively tears of joy and hope for a better future. Paul, please hurry.
Fascinating -- I think we can all agree that Nanos' time has passed. However, why exactly, is there a love feast for Robinson? Is the memory at Los Alamos so short? Why was paul never selected for director at LANL? Take a look at his personal behaviors -- he was caught having "relationships" with his admin AT THE LAB. There are a dozen other issues that would lead you to believe he is not the great moral leader Sandia press suggests.

I am shocked that everyone thinks L/M and Robinson will make the LANL world wonderful. Please - look at the difference in the missions, look at the risks that LANL is willing to take for science. I have read here how good SNL LDRD is --- yeah, right. It is not about science. Of course, some posters to this blog want to be a MPF
As opposed to say, at least one previous President of the US?
I can, as Col. Kurtz says in Apocalypse Now, "imagine the horror".
Since I don't know LM or this Robinson fellow, I would have to say I am neutral as far as they're concerned. As far as UC goes, I am also neutral.

My observation would be that LM is beginning to discuss things that people want to hear about. Economy of NNM, their pensions and benefits, a reduction in uncertainty, a clear mission - whatever it might be, stability, and so forth.

UC Management and the Regents on the other hand, have not been out there discussing these things effectively and continually.

Don't get me wrong, I'm judging neither UC's nor LM's credibility regarding these issues. Just observing that by communicating an awareness of them, it lessens anxiety for many people.
I agree, people need to be careful about the "White Knight" syndrome. Paul Robinson, or any new lab director, is not going to be able to rescue the lab from itself. Only LANL can save LANL from becoming a second rate lab. New leadership can help but it is the middle managers and staff who have to make it happen.
Is the pay the same at a second rate lab?
Social thinker Robert Whittier has distinguished between two types of leaders: servant leaders, and ego leaders. The servant leader is one who sees himself as a servant to a group; he exists to help everyone become what they need to be. He takes the respect others give him and finds ways to give it back. People have been known to attribute a divine energy to this Solomonesque type of leader.
The ego leader, on the other hand, manipulates his group to gain something for himself or for his political faction - usually by fear or some kind of dishonest manipulation. He often overrules anyone who is not like him or with whom he disagrees. Sadly, this type of leader is the more common type.
Perhaps we should consider what kind of leader we want and what kind we don't want. For myself, I prefer the servant leader (Paul Robinson) over the ego leader (Pete Nanos).
For those who prefer the latter type, I expect that they will remain tribeless and without spiritual grounding. Certainly they should get used to shopping around for leadership. Instead I expect, even demand, a spiritually awesome leader who carries forth the group traditions and history in a selfless fashion. Most of our former Directors, save Kerr and Nanos, were servant leaders.
Sig was? Really?
Compared to Nanos, I'd have to say "definately".
Actually, adding on to my 8:44 comment, that is not to say that Sig was not, a great deal of the time, an a**hole. He was an a**hole much of the time. But I would truly have to say that his motivations were much more pure than Nanos', placing him more in the class of "servant" leader than "ego" leader.
So, Sig was a "servant leader"? I remember when the "servant" decided to do "flat land" management, and got rid of the Senior Management Group (SMG) which left Sig with about 35 direct reports; real insanity.
In early 1993 Sig decided to get employee input, a good idea on the face of it, and founded the "Employee Sounding Board". At our first meeting we, amongst other things, decided that the "flat land" approach was a really bad idea, and of course history proved us correct. As the management consultant of the time said, "You can't manage yourself out of problems you behaved yourself into". Sig immediately abolished the Sounding Board , as he didn't like our opinions, and got rid of the consultant.
Yep, a real "servant". As far as I could tell, he served his own massive ego... Sig loved the sound of "yes". As John Foley described Sig, "he was convinced that his brilliance in one field (plutonium) translated to brilliance in all fields". Sig, and Jackson, got rid of Foley also. Sig was a danger to himself and others, but rather glib and convincing as a presenter.
That he lasted 12 years speaks to UC's incredible incompetence and Sig's inability to find a job somewhere else. O'Leary had to force him out, as the price of not competing the contract in 1997. I really wish he would go away, for good, and do us all a favor.
Has there ever been a LANL director that people have directly served under and respected? Oppenheimer doesn't count...

It seems that everyone pretty much thinks all LANL directors have been poor. Could it be that LANL staff,like a group of teenagers, just don't like to have bosses or any sort of management? As smart as people here are, we still need personnel to organize our efforts. Sometimes the best scientists don't always make the best managers.
To the comment at 4/13/2005 10:02:32 PM, I have to say that I have NEVER heard anyone disparage Harold Agnew in any way. I never worked at here when he was Director, but I have spoken to many who did, and they all had copious praise for him.
I heard that each time Nanos finds a "For Sale" sign in his yard, he yanks it out and throws it in the garage. Now he can't get the car in the garage because it's so full of signs!
And now we hear nothing but "Paul! Save us!"
This shows that even smart people sometimes behave like sheep. (Especially when things have turned majorly sour.)
Of COURSE people bitched about Harold Agnew when he was Director. But NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON thought that he was dead-set determined to destroy the Laboratory.
You can't even compare the bitching about Sig with the hatred we have of Nanos and his winged monkeys!
What is monumentally tragic here is how people have absolved themselves of their humanity and apparently have taken to delighting in another human being's suffering. You should all pray for one another's salvation and well being. But maybe the manifested behavior seen here is why some people have called Los Alamos the Mesa of Death. Give yourselves to the Lord! The time is short!
If you don't mind, terribly, lets keep religion out of this blog.
7:14, you can get all pious if you like, but I sincerely hope Nanos has trouble sleeping at night. He has ruined careers, chased off good people, and single-handedly driven LANL into the dirt. The only pleasure that I see coming any time soon at LANL is when we all get to see Nanos getting his just reward: the boot.
He has not chased off any GOOD people, those that have been removed deserved everything they got.
To the 8:11 post.

What are you talking about. We have
already lost a number of top people.
Also I know several people now with
faculty offers and offeres at other
DOE labs. These are top people. Also
a number of people told me that next year they will be applying for positions. This is indeed the doing
of Nanos. He is just a really bad
manager. By the way I take no pleasure at all in the thought that
Nanos may be suffering. For one thing it does no one good. I simply
want him gone and the system to be improved enough so that somone like
Nanos does not come back. By the
way Nanos is not the type of person
who would really feel any guilt. He
can always justify himself, always.
The 4/14/2005 07:14:27 AM poster needs to get a life and take his/her bible-thumping off this site.
The 4/14/2005 08:30:01 AM poster has it right. Some have left and others have not come!
To 8:11

The GREAT people have left or retired, and not only Nanos but a bunch of rotten upper managers drove them out.
To 4/14/2005 08:11:50 AM
Those who pontificate from a state of ignorance are destined to stay there. Those who are sycophants to the beast of tyranny will be consumed by it.
Also to 4/14/2005 08:11:50 AM: Friend,4/14/2005 10:38:12 AM is right on the mark. Imagine one day becoming coprolite from the beast of tyranny dropped and fossilized in the state of ignorance. Now there's a future one can look forward to. BTW, a piece of coprolite sells for about US$5.00 plus shipping and, perish the thought, handling costs.
To 4/14/2005 09:42:38 AM I think the GREAT folks left right after WWII, but some of us who helped build the enduring stockpile were run out by awful managers.
Pete will not find a job in Washington , DC. He couldn't upon his retirement from the Navy and his chances to find one now are nill. He is not wanted in Washington, same as he is not wanted in Los Alamos.
I am a historian and not a physicist. However, I think GREAT people did leave after WWII but they were replaced by equally GREAT people who eventually helped bring about the benevolent end of the Soviet Empire and the Cold War. You have people out there today that generations to come will look back and declare them GREAT. When the full script of history is written and secret accomplishments revealed, citizen critics will wonder, who permitted the demeaning mistreatment of GREAT people who spent their lives helping secure this Nation from nuclear blackmail and indeed civilization from the tyranny of international terrorism? I thought about those things this cool morning as I walked along the Potomac River amid the falling cherry blossoms. I now wonder if that question is not answered soon, will I be able to take the same walk next year?

These are serious times and we cannot allow games to be played with GREAT people.
I think 8:11 may be Pete himself. Get this straight. Only two people got what they deserved. That was the two vault custodians who lied and falsified the inventory records. Everyone else was a scapegoat that had no actual involvement in the events. But only two firings would be insufficient to try to justify the fraud that Nanos and his idiot squad perpetrated. So, stories were made up to allow them some level of deniability for this completely unnecessary course of events. If you are stupid enough to believe Pete then you are in the vast minority. If you are Pete then jsut go away already.
7:19. Everyone has the right to speak here. If 7:14 wants to invoke the name of God he has the right to do that. It's not like this Blog is a public school or something like that.

Actually 7:14 gives good advice I just find it very hard to pray for an unrepentent rat like Nanos but I keep trying.

Let's let everyone express their ideas here.
Compassion does not include allowing a criminal to continue in his crime.
4/14/2005 03:15:32 PM said:

Get this straight. Only two people got what they deserved. That was the two vault custodians who lied and falsified the inventory records. Everyone else was a scapegoat that had no actual involvement in the events.

If you're just talking about the CREM incident, ok, but surely Cremers, the mentor of the student who suffered permanent eye damage in the laser incident, deserved to be tossed.
On the subject of Cremers, I think one would have had to catually be there to make that determination. Do you know, for a fact, that the student ignored safety procedure regarding safety glasses, or if Cremers led by bad example? I certainly don't know which version events actually occured.
To 09:31, please go read the Investigation Report on the laser incident.

Intentionally bypassed interlocks, student(s) asked to forge dates in an attempt to cover up, inconsistent versions of events given at different times, etc, etc, etc.

Pretty damning.

If true, I would agree with you. My point is, I was not there, and I no longer believe any "official" report that comes from Nanos' management camp. I personally know Todd Kaupilla and John Horne, and their version of the CREM non-event (published earlier on the blog) differs widely from the "official" version of the story.
Can someone post Nano's home address? I'd like to look it up in the county records to see if UC really did buy his house as was rumored earlier
His address is in the phone book but I don't think that will do any good. I spoke with a realtor friend of mine to try to investigate the same thing. He told me that if this was a private sale it could be done without any records being filed at the county.
I understand that Nanos lives up the hill in the exclusive neighborhood near the Forest Service boundary.

That's why he doesn't want to call snow days; if you don't live up there like he does (where you can just coast downhill to the Lab), then...well, too f-ing bad!
Nanos now lives in the Sandia /49th street area in a huge two story house that looks a lot like a western lodge with a rock facade. It is built on a double lot and I understand he occupied the house without first securing a county permit of occupancy.I was told that there was NO hardware on the doors when he moved into the place. How were his disabled wife and elderly mother going to exit the structure in case of an emergency? Just ask the local builders who know the whole story.

Amazingly, I don't believe anyone in LA County government did anything about that either. Wanna' bet that some of their spouses work for LANL!

Are you surprised? Nanos never does anything wrong!He NEVER violates rules and safety ordinances.

..according to an old Monitor report Nanos & his next door neighbor got into some kind of argument over a small piece of common property;evidently she filed a lawsuit.

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