Monday, May 02, 2005

Why the mandatory "Electrical Safety" all hands meeting on Wednesday?

From Anonymous:

Why the mandatory "Electrical Safety" all hands meeting on Wednesday? Good question.

To me this looks like UC trying to make it look appear as if it is "business as usual" at LANL, in an attempt to offset the glare of negative publicity (from the UC perspective) generated by the New York Times article.

The play unfolds something like this: Wednesday finds our fearless, safety-conscious LANL Director George P. Nanos leading his his loyal staff down the path to safer electrical appliance theory and practice, and *surprise* a few days later he is is "summoned" to answer a higher calling at DHS, where he *must* go in order to serve our nation even more richly than he did while at the helm of LANL.

I guess UC thinks we will be taken in by this scripted scenario. Actually, it is kind of clever, because really, what else can UC do to get rid of Nanos and not look totally stupid? Send off Nanos with a glowing tribute? Sure, LANL staff would certainly appreciate watching Nanos receive accolades from UC, wouldn't they? That would definitely further endear UC to the staff here. Let him slink off into the night? While I find that a perfectly acceptable scenario, I can see how it might reflect badly on UC to simply allow their darling director run off into the night.

Be assured of one thing, however: it is not business as usual at LANL.

The Star-Mangled Banner
(with sincere apologies to Francis Scott Key)

Oh, say, can UC, by the dawn’s early light,
It’s not proudly we failed, while the nation stood screaming,
Whose broad gripes and fobars, thro’ the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we wretched, while Lockheed stood scheming.
And about NNSA? Will they have it their way?
With Nanos in charge, there’s no reason to stay.
O say does that star-mangling banter still rage?
O’er the blog of UC, and the depth of their grave.
It is insane to see conspiracy in an electrical safety meeting.
Insane? Yes, there's currently plenty of insanity at LANL. Imagine what it must be like from the perspective of an LMCO exec, sitting back at his desk watching UC's performance. It is no wonder LM guys are buying houses in Santa Fe.
and very quietly, in Los Alamos.
The LCMO execuctives should check out the property at 454 Ridgecrest Avenue. I have heard that it will soon be on the market.
I will not dignify another Nanos meeting with my presence. I intend to watch it from my desk on the net. I hope the auditorium is empty - except, of course, for his sycophants.
To 01:05:27PM Who do you know at 454 Ridgecrest Avenue? It's not you-know-who;he now lives in his new door to Dr. Tina Gammel in town.

Are you not familiar with her posted story? You can find "Storming Down to My Office" in the April Archives.
To someone who thinks of Los Alamos as an experimental facility, it may seem reasonable to require that everyone have electrical safety training. However, there are also a great many theorists and computational scientists here. We do nothing more electrical than turning our office lights and computers on and off, using the microwave at lunch, and answering the phone. The microwaves are duly posted with warnings about the dangers of over-heating water.

The people who need electrical training already have it as part of their training plans. On the other hand, our training plans already include instructions on what to do in a lightning storm, an earthquake, etc. Oddly, they don't mention avoiding the new parking garages - which are apparently unsafe in winter, due to lack of snow and ice removal, and unsafe in spring, summer, and fall, due to lack of lightning mitigation. We had a dandy lightning storm this afternoon, and, being safety conscious, I worried that someone might have been foolish enough to have parked on the top floor of the parking garage. Well, I suppose it's just being consistent that we should have training on not sticking forks into electrical outlets or driving fork-lifts into power lines or other things that have nothing to do with the actual jobs of much of the workforce.

In short, obviously some people need electrical training, but having EVERYONE attend two hours of electrical safety training is a waste of time and dollars. It may be well intended, but it's heavy handed and not very effective. Better to take that money and fix the parking garages.
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