Friday, April 15, 2005

Interesting post by Sandian 4/14/2005 9:34pm.

From Anonymous:

Interesting post by Sandian 4/14/2005 9:34pm. I had asked the
Robinson/Lockheed/benefits question to which it responded. The more hard
info LANL staff gets about the likely new management the easier it is
to make go/no-go decisions. Even more info is welcome.

I understood most of the post, and it sounded perceptive on the whole (e.g how
Robinson works) and also factually informative (e.g. Lockheed has nothing
to do with the science at Sandia).

I didn't understand two comments:
1) Do Sandians punch in timecards like minimum hour wage workers?
2) What does "a 5+5 age and year of service incentive mean?"


Continuing the rant (please don't take it too seriously folks...)

You have to fill out an electronic timecard every week accounting for all hours worked against specific project and tasks. This can be done down to the 30 minute increment (maybe even 15 minutes). Policy as applies to Ph.D.s: you work an 8 hour day, you must work 10 hours without 2 hours comp time if they ask (they frequently do), and anything over that you can bank as flex time, but you need permission. You can take off two hours a day for incidental stuff that comes up, without noting it on your timecard. Annoying as hell. If your boss is a micromanager who must read every email written since the dawn of time, they arrive at 7am and leave at 6:30, and wonder why no one else does. They never compensate for flying nights and weekends on your own time, all the time, policy varies with the level of resource your group commands. Some "special people" drive down easy street, stay in 4 star resort hotels, do the international travel circuit, never produce a lick. Others bunk in Motel 6 for weeks at a time in the Middle of Nowhere and get audited for the $9.95 dinner as being "excessive". There are groups where 60-70 hour weeks are considered obligatory without order to meet unrealistic deadlines and product goals set by clueless managers who did not ask budget or project managers what they thought.
Add 5 years to your age, add 5 years to your vested pension makes your benefit larger now, as an incentive to retire.
I don't see much here that's different from LANL.

LANL has no comp time policy.

Rank has its privileges with the LANL Travel Office.
We do about the same - Electronic time cards and cost codes. Some groups allow flex time, most don't really have comp time. Pre-shutdown many employees worked 50 hours or so a week. I notice a little less of that now- I think people are disheartened. But when things settle down, they will again. Most of LANL works pretty hard.
Good info 3:58.

So what, if anything, is the benefit of having a PhD?

We all know what a 5+5 is, but in what manner was it applied at Sandia?
To poster @ 8:46

Prior to the shutdown employees were trusted to do their work safely.

After the shutdown no overtime could be worked unless there was management in the building (Group Leader or Deputy Group Leader). That got to be too hard now it’s delegated to TSM or Team Leaders. That’s how it works where I work.

So what changed nothing, except that now you can’t get work completed on time and in a timely manner? So what do you see that is more disheartening than that?

It’s been a long time since I was in kindergarten. Management needs to grow up.

Your work is now getting so far behind that you will never catch up.

Do I want to work overtime YES. But not in the conditions that are now applied in overtime.

Where is the trust, gone forever. I don’t envision things ever setting down again.

You are right about wanting to work hard, but if your not allowed. If an extra hour today will save you four tomorrow, we want to work. But you need a manger to stay with you.

Micromanagement is here to stay.
Years ago I interviewed with TI for their Harm missile project. Their standard exempt employee workweek was 44 hours, 5x8 plus 4 on Saturday, unless of course they needed you to work overtime, which was the norm. Having a life of my own, I declined the job.

Time accounting for all employees (exempt and non-exempt) is a requirement for government contract work. Rockwell got into big trouble with DCAA (Defense Contract Auditing Agency) for cross-charging Space Shuttle work (cost plus) to B-1 (fixed price). They ended up with a Byzantine cost accounting system set up by the feds - the same people who brought you the IRS.
Having worked for Rockwell in a previous life, I can recall several things they did. While exempt employees did not typically get compensated for overtime, Rockwell billed the time to the government and did get paid for it. They were always very big on filling out the (paper) timecard with all the hours an employee worked. Someone working 9 and putting 8 was a no-no. Another thing they used to do was to compare sick time employees took to how much uncompensated overtime they had put in.
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