Thursday, September 01, 2005

Going through the motions

From Anonymous:

It is funny, in a sad, morbid kind of a way, to observe the LANL folks -- managers and staff alike -- all acting sort of of resigned. Most everybody continues to go through the motions, but the charade of the new interim director "taking charge" and fixing some of our problems is pretty much just that: a charade. He knows, just like all the rest of us do that UC has a snowball's chance in hell of actually winning the bid. We continue to see photo ops of the new director glad-handing here, logging in to the wonderful new Enterprise system there, and, well, going through the motions.

What else can we do? This is the atmosphere that will exist until the bid winner is announced. There is perhaps one bit of amusement to be had, however: it might be fun to speculate on how many of our DL and above managers will still be here in December. I'm betting a number of them will have bailed by then. Cobb, for example, and Marquez. Some of the others I fully expect to stay, banking on those skills that took them to their present positions within the UC/LANL management infrastructure to help them hang on to their positions when Lockheed Martin takes over. Devaurs, Fallin, Seestrom, McCumber, perhaps Immele.

This transition is occurring, of course, shortly after the start of the new fiscal year. The new contractor, in addition to inheriting a shell-shocked, abused, and sometimes abusive work force, will inherit an undoubted budget shortfall caused by all the work for others sponsors who left LANL last July, most of whom will never come back. The new contractor will certainly have one huge task ahead of it to get LANL back on line again with some semblance of a sense of mission and pride.


Comments:
There should not be a budget shortfall. Enough of the highly-compensated TSMs and TECs left in June only to be replaced by lower-salaried OS and SSMs. Of course, those who left were direct-funded while their replacements were on overhead. So, the G&A and Org-support taxes will have to increase. The higher tax rates along with loss of senior technical personnel mitigate against getting new scientific (i.e., not NW) programs as well as the renewal of existing programs.

An earlier commentor stated that UCs goal was 100% of the LANL personnel being on overhead.
 
There was hall talk (perhaps only wishfull thinking) that UC-Bechtel did poorly on their oral presentations. Any insider news?
-Dawn-
 
DOE reads this site dozens of times a day. Maybe one of those folks could let us know, anonymously.
 
Can anyone teach me the Texas two step? I should get one of those foreign language tapes soon so I can learn to communicate with my new buddies. Ahh new memo's with titles like "Git er Dun" and "yunt To". I remember someone once told me only 2 things come out of Texas....I don't remember either of them being good managment or science. Maybe Lockheed will keep them in check. I aslo heard it's better to work for Martin....Lockheed is an ass. Either way I bet were going to see alot more "Hook em Horns" bumper stickers soon.
 
And in honor of our president, all employees should remember that LANL is a "nucular weapons" lab
 
All it would take is one pointed question to make a UC/Bechtel presentation go south. Something like, "How would your LLC prevent a 7-month shutdown of LANL from occurring?"
 
On the surface, its incredible that UC even has the guts to show up, given their past record at LANL. But this is just theater of course. Look at the "credentials" of the DOE Source Selection Board. Not exactly experts in running a National Lab..
The whole competition will be decided by politics, of course. The "competition" is a sham; kabuki theater. So, never count UC out; this is not about ability its about political clout, and Domenici is on the side of UC.
But, if the worst option is to be run by Sandia management, that's not hard to take. A win/win in management jargon. So, cheer up, things could be, and likely will be, better. The only thing missing will be some dysfunctional managers, and of course the UC pension plan.
 
Now before we go down the path that LM is only in the competition because they are politically connected, etc lets think about which proposal team brings a track record of managing two, reasonably well run weapons laboratories. No, not UC. LM. You may write off Sandia as 'only' an engineering lab but what about AWE? That is a Lockheed facility where they are actually doing now what the US weapons complex needs to be doing in the next decade.
 
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