Friday, April 15, 2005

Nobody cares

From Anonymous:

I frequently hear people wondering, "Why hasn't Nanos been replaced with an interim director? Doesn't anybody realize that he is continuing to drive staff away from LANL?"

My answer is: who is going to do it? UC? DOE?, NNSA? I don't think so. UC has proven incapable of making any important decisions regarding the running of LANL. They seem petrified that _any_ decision they make will only worsen their situation, and so they continue to sit and do nothing. Which of course makes things worse.

DOE and NNSA simply don't care what happens to Los Alamos. Staff are leaving? Good, less trouble to deal with ("Pete says they are all a bunch of whiners and malcontents anyhow").

Get used to it: nobody really cares what happens to LANL. My advice is to recognize that fact and deal with it however is best. If that means leaving, than start looking. There are any number of much better work environments out there. If it means staying in the hopes that LM/UT will make LANL a better place to work, then stay. But, please, quit whining.

Nobody cares.

I agree with everything you've said here except for your last statement, "quit whining".

There is a problem here at LANL and the way problems are solved is to address them by having people give their input. The first thing to do is state the problem:

1: Nanos is continuing to destroy the lab.

The simple answer is to remove him.
However we are powerless to do so because, as you have correctly stated, no one cares. So we thought if enough of an outcry came from the trenches maybe someone might begin to care. This is not whining this is a repeated statement of fact. If we keep it up maybe at some point someone will do something to fix the problem. The answer is not to shut up and give up. The answer is to keep it up until someone finally responds. We will continue to do this because we have nothing to lose. If it is starting to annoy you maybe it is having the same effect on others as well.

I will continue to fight Nanos and others here on the blog because it is our only voice and has been a great service to us. If you don't like it stop whining, after all, you're the one who typed in the URL. The simple answer to your problem is get used to it and don't log on. Otherwise help us come up with solutions for the fact that nobody cares. So, far this is the best we've got.
At last reality is beginning to dawn on the Los Alamos workforce. No one cares and no one is going to save us but ourselves. This is true now and always was true, with or without Nanos.
The wise employee does whatever he/she can do to protect him/herself -- like looking around from time to time at the going rate for people in their field and for taking into comparing the workplace environments around the country or even the world as well as the benefits package.
Our entire country is going through a plague of bad management and it won't stop all by itself. It is good to continue to work for solutions to this phenomenon at LANL, because it is owned by the taxpayer and voters and we should have some say into how it is managed.
But what is currently good management is, cut costs any way possible. Employees are viewed as so many tools -- think hammers. Get the cheapest ones you can to do the job. Send the labor overseas if it isn't classified and maybe even if it is! Don't forget who makes our smart cards!
Corporations are required by their articles of incorporation to think this way. The government is not, but is constantly being pressed to lower the once great benefits packages of government employees so all workers won't flee to government jobs. By the way, that is why government workers are so frequently maligned.
So it is good that reality is setting in at LANL. People care, but not about employees. Employees are interchangable parts, not unique individuals each with his/her own gift to contribute. If you break them, throw them away and get a new one.
To change this way of doing business is a tough job, but it is never to late to start.
Get ready for the mother-of-all RIFs coming our way. Your right, the DOE really doesn't care about the weapon labs. They are planning massive cuts, beginning in FY 2006.

Over 20% of the weapons budget is being prepared for the chopping block.





Five-Year, $3 Billion Cut Will Undermine Labs' Defense Programs

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Pete Domenici today pressed a high-level Energy Department official to explain the rationale behind a proposed $3.0 billion cut over five years to the weapons programs at the national laboratories, and charged that the reductions could undermine the scientific capacity of the labs.

Domenici as chairman of the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee Thursday challenged the proposed long-term budget outlook for the Energy Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). Ambassador Linton Brooks, NNSA administrator was the primary witness at the hearing.

The DOE budget submission, while advocating significant increases for nonproliferation and other work next year, proposes a $3.0 billion cut in NNSA funding over the next five years. The budget also seeks a $750 million cut to the DOE recapitalization program that replaces decrepit laboratory facilities.

"A $3.0 billion reduction to the NNSA defense programs is unsustainable within the current NNSA complex. It amounts to a third of the annual defense programs budget. It is unclear to me where the cuts are to be applied, but I am deeply concerned that this budget undermines our scientific capability," Domenici said.

Domenici also pointed out that the budget outlook does not mesh with recent testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee in which Brooks laid out a 15-year strategy to transform the NNSA weapons infrastructure.

"This vision of developing a new warhead will require a substantial investment in NNSA's scientific capability and infrastructure. Simply put, your vision for the future is not supported by future budgets," Domenici said. "The long-term impacts of the proposed budget will leave the NNSA complex with a shallow scientific capability, housed in ancient facilities and paying through the nose for unchecked growth in security costs."

Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories, along with the Lawrence Livermore facility in California, carry out the NNSA weapons activities.

Domenici also took issue with the FY2006 budget request for $40 million, a $14.5 million cut, for the Z Machine at Sandia National Laboratories. In focusing on having the National Ignition Facility (NIF) reach ignition by 2010, NNSA also entirely eliminates funding, $33 million, for Intertial Fusion Technology that supports the development of laser and z-pinches that could be used in stockpile stewardship activities.

"I was shocked to learn that this budget doesn't even support a full, single shift at the Z machine at Sandia," Domenici said. "This budget basically slashes other relevant stewardship research, while NNSA wages what amounts to a crusade for NIF."

Domenici received assurance from Brooks that there is no official endorsement for a pending report on the future size and scope of the NNSA weapons complex. The Secretary of Energy Advisory Board has deployed a team to evaluate each NNSA facility before issuing its study results in May.

Domenici will begin developing the FY2006 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill later this spring and into the summer. The bill is likely to fit within the $9.4 billion requested for the NNSA (a 2.5 percent increase), with significant budget increases for nonproliferation activities.
7:22, I think you got it.

Now go look at the posts from months ago when a bunch of people seemed to get it even back then.
There are three oft spoken phrases, cowboy culture, arrogant buttheads, and whining that in reality have nothing to do with Los Alamos National Laboratory, the staff at Los Alamos, or this blog. I have just finished listening to the sound track of Les Miserables. Who would describe this song as coming from a bunch of whining Frenchmen?

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the song of angry men,
It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart, echoes the beating of the drum,
There is a life about to start when tomorrow comes!

I think the "tomorrow" of which they speak is the tomorrow without Nanos.
Regarding the 4/15/2005 12:30:44 PM post: there will be no RIF. There will be no need for it with ~1000 people leaving at the end of June. These will be the more senior TSMs and TECs thus at the higher end of the compensation table.

And, with the remaining junior staff unencumbered by past experience, more work (aka, "obedience to the Butthead Fuhrer") will take place.
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