Friday, March 17, 2006

In a Positive Light


You may use my name in regards to this posting. I have read your blog for the last few months. I’ve seen a lot of complaints about how terrible LANL is to work for and that new contractor will be just as bad.

Over the years, things have varied—I must admit. However, I must say that I am proud to be affiliated with Los Alamos National Laboratory. I was hired as a high-school co-op in 1986. I worked half-time. I had not inclination of going to college. I worked for the training group. The people I worked for encouraged me to go to school. The group and the Lab supported my education. If I did not have that type of support, I don’t think I would be where I am today. Thanks to the many good people at the Laboratory, I went on to get my Master of Arts degree and set my sight on a Ph.D.

I stayed on with LANL as student, a contractor, and then a fulltime employee. I had some setbacks, but the setbacks never persuaded me to have a negative viewpoint of the Laboratory.

I have worked with several groups—and I have had several mentors. The people are what make this Laboratory unique. And for every one negative, I can give several positives. Yes, we are going through some significant changes and the fear of the unknown is what is driving us to the stress we experience while we work.

Rumors run rampant, but remember, we should close one ear to them until we actually SEE what is going to happen and not assume. I left the Laboratory for a year. If people want to complain, then here is a complaint. I worked for a private company in Omaha, Nebraska. I worked hard and the company could not keep me busy enough—so I was placed on copier duty for 20 hours a week (for five weeks straight—I guess this is a new way of saying I was kept “productive” at work). I ended up quitting. I told the company that they were wasting my time and their money to pay me to run a copy machine. I returned to LANL as a captive contractor in late September 2005. I am glad to be back because I have enjoyed the work and the group that gave me the opportunity. I am learning new things and the people—as I have stated—have been very supportive and they go out of their way to help me learn new things.

So, until things are definitive, we will hear the complaints and the rumors. However, until everything is said and done—remember, it is only a rumor. We all must be patient during this time of high stress and heavy anticipation—go out for a walk, do something with friends and family—refocus your stress to other, positive and motivating things. And, maybe see the change as an opportunity…

I will be forever grateful to the people and the Laboratory for their support and the opportunities that I have been provided over the years.

Jackie Kolakowski

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