Thursday, March 16, 2006

LANS offer letter problems

Hi Doug,

Could you post the following for me anonymously?

"I was wondering how many people found glaring errors in their LANS offer letters. I received mine today. I am currently in the TR Directorate, D-Division, D-4 group. My offer letter states that I have been assigned to the Business Services Directorate, Information Resources Management Division, Record Management Group. This is completely wrong! I realize there have been re-organizations BUT the TR directorate and D-Division are staying around from what I understand. I realize this *could* just be a typo but if I sign the offer letter, legally I will be held to whats contained within it.

Luckily, I terminated from the laboratory today, but I'm sure if others run across such glaring errors there will be much confusion and headache. I hope that I am one of the few. Good luck to everyone during the seems like you are going to need it!"


I must confess, I do not miss LANL very much. There was a day or so when it felt weird, right after retiring last July. But I immediately stepped into a work environment that was as different, in a positive way, from LANL as could possibly be imagined.

Until you actually make the move away from LANL and into a healthy organization, you really cannot fully appreciate how largely dysfunctional (and unpleasant) LANL has become.

To each his own, though.

"Luckily, I terminated from the laboratory today..."

A masterpiece of understatement.

I'm sure what the author really meant to say was, "HOLY FUCKING SHIT AM I EVER GLAD BE TO GONE FROM THAT PLACE!"
It would certainly reflect badly upon the newly-minted Bechtel:BWXT:UC LANS consortium if, come July 1 that 1,000 - 1,400 LANL employees decided to vacate the premises. Politically, it would look bad. Practically, though, it would be ideal from LANS' perspective, given the inescapable budget shortfall that can be expected for FY 07. A budget shortfall that would necessitate the disposal of some 1,000 LANL employees.

Politics, however, trumps practicality. To that end, our mighty overlords (NNSA, DOE, Bechtel) have come up with a clever (for them) plan to try to retain staff immediately after the contract handover date. The plan: make everybody over the age of, say, 50, go inactive in the UC program. Let them switch over to LANS. Let them double-dip for, say, a year. And no, if you accept this offer, you will not be able to take a lump sum from UC when you do decide to retire from that program. Cost to DOE: a mere $400 million. Benefit to DOE, Bechtel, UC: come out smelling like a rose.

*THEN*, a year later, rif 1,000 - 1,200 of them. But until then, for that one year period there will be a middle-aged population of smugly satisfied LANL employees, proud of their new double-dipper status.

I say go for it. The power elite continues to play the little people like, well, a fiddle. And the little people *like* it.
I too have found a positive working environment after leaving LANL. I am part of a very positive working environment where collective focus is on getting our work done in the most efficient and effective way possible. My supervisor trusts me to act in the best interests of the organization and lets me build a high-performance organization. Sure there are politics, but we keep our eye on the ball and ensure the mission is done in the best possible manner.

I whole-heartedly support Doug's comment that it is not possible to fully fathom the extent and depth of LANL's dysfunction from within. If you are considering leaving to find a healthier working environment, I can attest to the fact that better places exist. Don't forget life is short; endeavor to live happy and content.
I recently left LANL. I am sad to say that I gave alot to make it a better place, and I was extremely disappointed with how I was treated as I left. I had to make sure I checked myself out (against LANL policy) because no one else was doing it. As I turned in my clearance (Sigma 15, ADC) all I did was hand my badge it. Scary huh? Then weeks later I had to take action to get my termination check. Now, I cannot move my retirement to the new company because I am still a LANL employee.

My new company is incredible. My health has improved an I am no longer in heart attack danger (in my 30's) Management and employee's are focused on doing the job, not the arrogance and egotism running rampant at the lab

The moral of the story is: competence does not exist among LANL management.

LANL: Los Alamos National Labotamy

...and is now being managed by criminals...
Huh?????? LANL has a mandatory check-out list when your terminate from the laboratory....You don't just "turn in your badge."
Hey Pu, the mandatory check-out list only works if you forcefully make it happen. Even in the checkout process there are still so many people on the payroll that make it difficult for you to get to the end of the process. It is indeed a challenge. Nowhere else on earth like Los Alamos. Maybe the impending RIF will get rid of these dregs.

If you think a RIF would rid us of 'dregs,' think again. The reduction would likely be in technical staff, because the 'business' side will require ever more attention and effort.

A recent estimate of operations at NTS shows that the administrative bulls**t will out-cost the "work" within the next year or so. Given the belt-tightening to come, cuts will come out of 'discretionary' funding (e.g., science), not from administrative crapola.

You know, I might be wrong, but if history contains any lesson, the increase of bureaucratic nonsense will continue until the system reaches officially 100% paperwork.
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Only 1% still to go. That should take about another week.
If the "bureaucratic nonsense" actually creates paper, then we have found "perpetual motion"...our energy problems and faltering economy has been saved. Not to mention the unlimited sources of methane from the supercritical mass of "administrative crapola".

Unfortunately, I agree that we are not far from 100%.
More of the same ...
I have little hope for the non-weapons technical side of the lab. The NW side now has a whole new leadership team, with a no-nonsense focused and efficient perspective. Look at the remainder of the S&T part of the lab, TR and SR (now ST&E). TR may do ok, general focus has always been applied and program with underlying support by S&T.

The big "emperor has no clothes" is SR, now ST&E. The "basic" S&T side of the house, with all the divisions at the LDRD feeding trough and LDRD under the control of ST&E. What is Anastasio smoking?
That is like the proverbial fox guarding the chicken coop. Hasn't the NW side of the lab suffered without LDRD long enough? Look at all the ADs in ST&E, everyone from the old LANL, do you think their elite perspective is going to change? Not likely, the divide between mission and S&T is going to be even larger.
A friend of mine just terminated from LANL to go work for private industry. I don't think the list was *that* cumbersome. If you would like your final paycheck, then of course, you need to forcefully make it happen.
The checkout list is mandatory and is done by the employee. It requires signatures by a lot of people in a lot of different areas including medical and you can't terminate and turn in your badge until this is completed. It may take some effort to do this to get the right signature on the form. But you certainly don't simply turn in your badge and walk out the door. I had do this two years ago and it wasn't easy. So I certainly don't believe what "cyclops" said.

I can also say that where one works at the Lab can make a big difference in one's job satisfaction. It isn't the same everywhere in the Lab.
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