Tuesday, April 05, 2005

More key personnel recommendations

From Anonymous:

I believe the new director will need to make some immediate changes in his staff.

This is the top-priority list of problem managers that I believe will need to be replaced as soon as Nanos is gone.

1. Marquez
2. Devaurs
3. Cobb
4. Bowles
5. Fallin

In addition, we need a real CIO.

In reality, though, most of these replacements will need to wait on a permanent director.

I find it hard to believe the new ADSR hasn't been impressed with Acting Deputy ADSR Devaurs' managerial and technical prowess. Where did she come from again?
Marquez may leave Los Alamos, but he will probably be with us always. He came from DOE to escape a raft of sexual harassment charges, but he has lots of friends there who continue to take care of him.
He worked on the last contract and I hear he is working on this one. I am afraid he is like the cat that keeps coming back.
I believe my work environment would be enhanced by an endless supply of McDonald's cheeseburgers served by Ronald McDonald himself (in appropriate safety gear, mind you).

Here is the top-priority list of other problems that I believe will need to be addressed as soon as people stop posting inane, irrelevant wishful thinking on this electronic crap factory.

1. Managers need to give more hugs
2. I should get my way always
3. Need for unlimited funding
4. Food in the cafeteria should be free for me
5. I shouldn't have to bathe or follow any accepted social mores

In addition, I need an adult diaper.

In reality, though, most of this stuff will never happen regardless of who is director.
now, now... let's try to stay optimistic

I'm sure the diaper could be arranged
I have known Carolyn Mangeng to be a "no BS" person. Maybe she couldn't take Pete's stuff as his deputy, so she turned the position over to Cobb.

As for Devaurs, the position is/was advertised, so let's see who gets it.
11:05 -- I'm not to sure about that. I'd have to say it Depends.
5:50, I think 8:38's comment was meant as a joke.

I think the fear, uh.., I mean hope, of many in D-Division is that somehow Acting ADSR Devaurs will wind up back as the DL of D-Division, as all her positions were Acting.

Guess even some of the the managers at that level might be able to recognize when someone has no real technical or management ability.

Who knows though, maybe there will be a big reorg and she'll be able to stay and play with the big kids, which has always been her goal.
I meant Acting Deputy ADSR.
I think this needs to be a start of new comment or New thread but I wasn't sure where to put it.

I'm looking for an attorney to sue the lab for deceptive hiring. In a nut shell, I quit a higher paying job, sold 2 homes, and moved from another state all because of what my hiring managers promised me during my job interviews. I was told, and have in writing, that once I completed my BS degree I would be converted to a TSM and make 8K above the wage I had at a my other place of employment. I took the job here making 14K a year less thinking I would be at a higher level in a few years. I have now completed my degree and have been told in so many words; to bad we don't have the money." Need-less to say, I'm a just a little upset. I have been here 3 years now and Im still 8K below what I left my other job at. I'm looking into suing and I need a attorney that deals with hiring and employment practice. If you know anyone, please reply to the thread. Thanks

I'm not sure what your hiring managers told you, but it is generally not standard lab policy to hire people with only a B.S. degree into a TSM position. Engineers are the exception, but even that is only in certain divisions. If you have an engineering degree, you would probably be better off just applying to another TSM position in another division (ESA, N, ISR, DX). I, personally, believe a lawsuit is the last resort. The only ones that win are the lawyers. For the relatively small amount of money that you are talking about, it probably is not worth it. The lawyer will take most of what you win; if you win...

If you do not have an engineering degree, you will be hard pressed to find a TSM position with only a B.S. degree anywhere in the lab. I'm sure there are exceptions, though.
To the 12:05 PM poster: if you didn't get it in writing, then anything stated in the employment interview is not likely to stand up in court. And, what the 5:17 AM poster said is correct: there are few employment opportunities for BS-level engineers at LANL. We just do very little work at that level. May be in FM or ER, but those functions may soon be out-sourced.
Actually there are many, many opportunities for BS level engineers in weapon design and stockpile work. Almost every TSM position in ESA is for BS level engineers. PhD physicists design certain main components, but BS level engineers at LANL and elsewhere have to make those components work with everything else. There is a very real need for more BS level engineers. Do a search for TSM level engineer job postings at LANL and you will find well over 50 at any given time.
There are very few TSM jobs available for BS level non-engineers. There are plenty TSM jobs for BS level engineers.
Approximately 22% of the TSM staff have a BS as their highest degree.
Lockheed will open a LA RFP office in Albuquerque next month. They will be accepting resumes. Lockheed is in the process of identifying SNL and Denver area employees who can be transitioned to LANL.
Three 6 inch briefing books were given to Lockheed's upper management regarding the transition from UC to Lockheed.
Lockheed has the current administration behind them, so they will be hard to stop.
At the risk of the usual venomous response, I have to say that not all of the management at Los Alamos has evil intentions and are incompetent. In fact, in my experience, most are extremely competent both technically and managerially. I could mention many, but I would like to single out the often maligned Don Cobb(who, I believe, did not hire Nanos-- John Browne did). He has been a supporter of Nanos, but, in spite of that, he is capable, cares deeply about the Lab, is interested in and cares about the people of the Lab, and is a basically good and decent person. Many others in the management chain are also quality people who, for various reasons, have come under the Nanos stigma. It may be unseeing loyalty, self interest, I don't know what, but they are not worthy of loathing. It is possible that any of us could fall into the same awful trap.
I agree that not all of the management are evil or incompetent. I hope the following does not seem "vemenous".

It is interesting, however, that you single Don Cobb out as a counterexample, a poster-child from upper lab management. I know of too many things he has done and been called on (which he ignored without embarassment or remorse as far as I can tell) to believe he really fits the qualities you ascribe to him.

Maybe you know a different Don Cobb? Maybe you haven't been here to see some of the incidents I allude to? Maybe you have a relationship with him that does not allow you to see him at faul?

When Nanos came on board, I wanted to believe he could help us sort out some of our problems. He seemed to be no-nonsense and practical. The circumstances of the standdown and his inability to back off from some bad decisions are what I hold him accountable for. He is either extremely egotistical or has a very specific agenda other than his stated one of "saving the laboratory from itself". Or both.

LANL, like many (most?) large institutions has grown an upward-focused management style. While many of our managers might be competent technically and in some ways managerially, many of them are focused on pleasing their boss above anything else.

A good manager can and does bring bad news to his/her boss, sometimes contradicts them and sometimes even choses to step down rather than implement a given policy. We see very little of any of this.

I don't want to pretend that being a good manager is easy... but that doesn't mean we should pretend that bad management is good management either.
Along with these people who need to go, add to this list: Seestrom, Feiereisen, Hommert, and the list goes on.
To 12:05 -

They can promise you the world in an interview but with the lab, they'll pull the rug out from under you. I was recruited some years ago with the promise of a great career, salary, advancement, job security, and all kinds of perks. I left my home, family, and friends in the East with all this in mind, while the lab (or US taxpayers actually) paid for all my moving expenses, salary, benefits, travel, etc., investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in me, then a couple years later my manager tells me that they don't need me anymore because everything had changed, whatever that meant, and that I was on my own to find a new position elsewhere. And I have a doctorate plus several other degrees, tons of publications, awards, and a mega amount of management, research and other experience. Still my manager's response was to cut me off and give me no work for months on end, well, except for secretarial level work that he said would keep me busy. So I did what my manager asked and left, ending up in a better position elsewhere that pays exceptionally well. Of course, my redneck, pickup truck driving, sports-nut manager - who did not have a Ph.D, by the way, but a masters in engineering from a bass-ackwards college, couldn't find a position outside the lab if he tried. He was always too busy trying to meddle in HR affairs and other areas he had no business in, and arguing with the computer help desk people about not being able to listen to sports radio on his desktop. Too bad he is stuck there and I hope the new industrial contractor clears him out when they take over.
A couple of commentors may have had good intentions, but they were way off the mark.

1 -- Cobb is an arrogant, abusive jerk in his dealings with his underlings. There is no place for that type of behavior in this lab.

2 -- Fiereisen is the opposite of Cobb in _his_ dealings with his underlings. In addition, he is honest and well-intentioned.

3 -- Seestrom: the jury is still out.

Get your facts together, folks, before lampooning anyone who happens to be a manager at LANL.
Re: real CIO
O where o where did Ray Neff go
He was the Lab's real CIO

Does anyone know whatever happened to Ray Neff? He got his Q clearance and then he was gone. When I asked one of the CIO staffers, mum was the word.
There are no rumors of him suing and he sold his LA house. I've seen him in Santa Fe, so he's in the area.
Yes, I've been wondering about Ray Neff myself. It was quite mysterious how he suddenly disappeared without a trace.
The mysterious disappearance of Ray Neff -- he had been at LANL about 9 months, just gotten his Q clearance, then was gone. Word was that Pete got some bad info on Ray, and he was sacked. He's living in Santa Fe now doing consulting. Hard to say how much of a "real" CIO he was as he didn't accomplish much of anything in his short tenure at LANL. Don't be too hard on the current acting CIO: Charlotte is a nice woman but is incapable of making decisions and takes forever to implement anything. Then again, it must be dreadful to work for Marquez who never can complete anything and won't let his subordinates do so either.
Dear 12:05 poster,

Didn't they tell you in your interview that in order to move up at LANL you need to refine your a**-kissing techniques? Also they should have told you that you need to be consistently mediocre in your research, not publish too much, and try to be one of the good old boys. Vote republican, and oh, and make sure you profess to be Christian - the more fundamentalist the better. Don't mentor or take any interest in promising young people, and forget about the rest of the world and concentrate on getting that big house on north mesa. You certainly can't make as much money in the real world as at LANL, and of course there is no where else you can find work anyway. Forget the lawsuit as there are so many outstanding lawsuits against LANL now they'll be dealing with them forever. Get out and find a new life and job while you still can.
The only thing I remember about CIO Neff is the absolutely sterling endorsement GPN gave him upon his selection. The endorement spoke of GPN's personal knowledge of the CIO's management and professional attributes. Bingo, Neff gets his clearances and then in a few short days is escorted off lab property and terminated.

I have noticed that since the CIO's departure the underground newspaper has folded its tent. I doubt there's any connection. The truth is that the few people who know have been sworn to absolute silence. When something untoward happens that directly involves GPN or his favority cronies, the boatman has the "somethings" deep-sixed in the swamp. There is a growing list of such "somethings" that are in the bog but not in the blog.
Susan Seestrom is not able to disguise her contempt of the weapons designers. She is unable to comprehend how little she knows about nuclear weapons compared with those she holds in contempt. Naturally this lack of knowledge leads to poor decisions.
To the 3:23 poster ...

Nonsense. I've worked at the Lab for 20+ years and never seen any of what you describe. There are many talented people here doing outstanding work. (Often in spite of management). Since you seem quite bitter about the technical work at the Lab, perhaps you should take your own advice and “Get out and find a new life and job while you still can.”
re:8: 33 a.m. post and to X:
NMT hires B.S.-level engineers as well as B.S.-level chemists, or any other kind of scientist into the TSM ranks.
The self analitical skills of many LANL employees scares me. So many people feel all LANL managers suck ... the fact is, I can't name one ... not one ... LANL manager that someone doesn't hate and think needs to be fired. Even if LANL was trying to only hire bad managers, statistically speaking we would have had to hire some (16%?) good ones just by accident. Some people need to stop blaming and take a look at themselves. If you are having trouble ... maybe .... just maybe ... it is not your manager's fault. A little self growth from everyone (including managers) will make this organization a better place. Take a look inside please.
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