Saturday, April 16, 2005

Nanos' Legacy

From Anonymous:

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 settling down again.

You are right about wanting to work hard, but you're 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.

BN (Before Nanos) all who worked at LANL, UC emplyess, contract employees, UC retirees, etc., were worthwhile members of the workforce. Now we have UC employees retiring in droves, newly hired employees who were contract employees being set up as cannon fodder for the upcoming RIF, and UC retirees treated as criminal double dippers. We have a set of midlevel managers who have attended Nanos' management classes who already exhibit the same characteristics as Herr Direktor - I don't need to ask for information because I know it all, don't get in my way or you'll be sorry, etc.

The new contractor needs to streamline management, remove all the worthless positions such as office manager, chief of staff, chief science officer, etc. These people contribute nothing to LANL. The director has always been the chief science officer. The new director must understand that being the chief science officer is part of the job description.

And most of all, the new contractor must start treating employees like adults who can contribute good ideas that will make LANL a better place to work.
Nanos may be attributed with one other bit of legacy: having caused this blog to be created as a backlash from having ordered (or allowed, who knows which) the censorship of the LANL NewsBulliten Reader's forum during the shutdown. Without that particular piece of dictatorial managership, we probably would not now be using this blog to help the new contractor identify areas for improvement at LANL. As a side note, I would like to suggest that the new contractor research the events which led to the Reader's Forum's effective shut down, and deal with whatever management chain led to that unhappy occurrence. I strongly suspect that Baghdad Bob had a hand in that decision process.
While I agree that LANL management can be streamlined, I disagree with the inclusion of the Chief Science Officer position in your blanket condemnation. One of the long standing problems at LANL is that science, and particularly smaller scale science, is much less programmatic than the rest of what goes on. So it has always been more difficult to get effective representation in the Lab's traditional/hierarchical management structure. I don't know if the Chief Science Officer approach will ultimately help solve this problem, but it is a worthy experiment.
The CSO office may be a worthwhile experiment, but so far it has fallen flat on its face. I grant that this may well because Bowles reports directly to Nanos. It could also that Bowles is not the right person for that position. I do think the new contractor needs to give the concept of a "CSO Office" at LANL a fair amount of thought.
Speaking of streamlining, the CIO office in its current implmentation is a complete shambles. Again, this may be bacause the CIO reports directly to Nanos; it may be that the current acting CIO is not up to the job; more likely is that the whole concept of "CIO at LANL" needs a complete rethink.

Without Marquez being in any way involved.
Somebody on another thread was complaining that while Nanos is still director, there was not much staff could do to improve conditions at LANL. The following comment from that thread had a suggestion:

I'll name one thing: we can all petition DOE, NNSA, UC, and our congresscritters to get rid of Nanos. The critters in particular _hate_ negative limelight, and could likely (finally) be convinced to get Nanos out of their hair. UC, DOE, and NNSA of course will do what they do best; nothing, but there will be some pleasure in causing them additional unease at rubbing their noses in Nanos again.

"Get over it (St.) Pete!" Nanos has to go.

I am watching a rerun of the Bolton confirmation hearing last Tuesday. Carl Ford, former Director of State's INR intelligence office was the witness. Senator after senator (especially on the Democratic side) spoke eloquently about the total impropriety of "serial abuse" in the workplace. The incident they were talking about was Secretary Bolton's alleged berating of a junior intelligence analyst. The hearing was focused on this incident. Senator Boxer remarked that such behavior was illegal. Senator Biden said Bolton's actions were totally inappropiate and constitued grounds for voting against his confirmation. Even Senator Lugar held this behavior and demeanor to be inexcusable.

The issue at hand dealt with an INR analyst's non-concurrence with one of Bolton's talks before it was circulated to appropriate members of the intelligence community for comment. Bolton thought the analyst's action was inappropriate and told him so in a rather heated exchange. He did not use profanity or demeaning terms or none were alleged in the testimony.

Now return to Los Alamos, where our director berated everyone here by called us "buttheads and cowboys;" he fired an employee in front of startled customers at Starbucks; he ran down the aisle and chastised a technician who had asked a simple question during one all-hands meeting; he "chewed out" employees in the badge office because he himself had allow his training to lapse; he berated several of his ADs in front of their subordinates and visitors; and he destroyed the careers of innocent employees who he scapegoated to protect his agendas and his friends.

Am I missing something here? In the Bolton case a single incident in which loud berating may have happened might disqualify him as Ambassador to the United Nations. Here we have a "serial abuser" who holds major responsibilities for the nation's enduring nuclear arsenal and no one seems to care, not the DOE, not the NNSA, not the Congress, and sadly not the University of California.
You are missing something quite simple: Nanos has Brooks and Foley for protection.
Don't forget Congressman Hobson from Ohio, Barton from Texas, Senator Domenici from New Mexico, Secretary Bodman of DOE, etc., etc., etc.!
I've not heard about the LANL employee fired while at Starbucks by Nanos. Is this really true? Please tell us more about this incident. What took place?
I believe the 4/16/2005 02:34:44 PM poster must be referring to the very public dismissal of AD Operations Jim Holt that supposedly occurred at Starbucks.
That was the episode but I am relying on credible eye-witness reports. I was not there.
LANL is leading the way once again. Micromanagement has evolved into nanomanagement.
The dismissal of the ADO was way long overdue, however it should not have happened so unprofessionally. Apparently "Nanomanagement" can lead to ones' going down the "Nanotube".
From a Dinosaur (LASL, LANL, retired, thank goodness) Was not anyone aware that Director Hecker had his legal AD review anything written to the newsbulletin? If it was not favorable to the hierarchy, she called that person's Division Leader and had the person "straightened out." Obviously this affected the employee's performance rating and raises. It also served to keep people from submitting adverse comments.
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