Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A Tired Ewok

Submitted by Anonymous:

A few items noted from today's presentation by Mike Anastasio. He looked like he was getting tired of what must be his daily beatings by Bechtel. The presentation was light in content, but there were a few items of interest. Here they are, in no particular order:
  1. Of the 9,414 offers that LANS, LLC has sent out, almost 2,500 have been accepted.
  2. LANS plans to reduce lab property footprint by 2 million square feet, or about 20%. Not clear what all the implications of this will be.
  3. LANS has set a nice fuzzy goal of 90% internal customer satisfaction regarding procurement issues.
  4. A hotline was promised that would enable LANS to identify candidate at-will employees to set free, er, I mean, that would enable at-will employees to call in to identify what they perceive as productivity impediments. The impediment would then be removed. Wink wink. Nudge nudge.
  5. Quality of life is going to improve.
  6. Sites that aren't closed to reduce footprint will be cleaned to a gleaming perfection, inside and outside, and "fix-it" teams will roam everywhere for the first 90 days, magically solving 60 years of legacy facility issues without spending any overhead $.

The only real interesting thing to happen was when Bernie Foy (bless your heart, Bernie) leaped to his feet to ask the first question when Q&A started. The question had to do with the much-anticipated budget shortfall of $290 million for FY 06, and how did LANS intend to handle that. Answer: (can't remember exactly, but went something like) "we will reduce footprint, efficientize like crazy, consolidate, tighten belts and integrate, integrate, integrate."

Rumors Circulating:
  1. LANS is hoping to get 750 people per year to retire (the goal is for 1,500 to be gone by 2008).
  2. No additional costs to LANL will be incurred as a result of the transition. [Editor: Huh?]
  3. LANS plans to reduce salaries next year, and to counter any complaints by saying, "Well, we didn't riff anybody. Yet."
All in all, not a totally inspiring afternoon.

#5: WooHoo! Can I finally report the KSL and LANS Facilities slackers who are driving the loop to get the mileage up on their gov't vehicle?
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I have heard that the rejection rate for the ~2500 respondents has been 5%, that would be ~125. My impression was that Mike A. was almost pleading for us to respond.

Hmmmm ... what if nobody else responded? That would be quite a telling statement to LANS, NNSA, Congress,... That sure does put a whole lot of hurt into maintaining the nuclear deterrent and protecting national security.
Of the 9,414 offers that LANS, LLC has sent out, almost 2,500 have been accepted.

I could only hope that the other 6,914 do not turn them back in, but I'll bet they do, right on time.

Yes. That way LANS could relieve themselves of the the burden of three bodies: the driver of the truck, his passenger (asleep), and you, the reporter of the "impediment".
I dunno w88, I recall Nanos saying he could do it with 10 people. Mike A. could probably do it with a couple of thousand.
Yeah, Fink..., You're probably right. Time to polish up the ol' yellow Wal-Mart Smiley-Face. ;]

There will be no tolerance for nay-sayers of any sort.
emp, it sounds like you have the new mantra down, "I got my mind right, boss..."

Forget WalMart, you need to set up an account with Dell to buy computers, mark them up, and sell them to LANL as a small NM business. Somehow, that will fit into the LANS "vertical and horizontal integration" that will reduce costs.
Mikes Talk = zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
LANS should know that all those people who haven't responded are waiting for the next shoe to drop. There might be a new interpretation of the retirement rules at any time -- just when people think they have it figured out. It has happened before. Lots of plans have changed at the last minute already.
Could it be that if you have not already filed for UC retirement you will not be able to by June 1st because you are to late? Or, will those who have not made up their minds by May 15th and do not have that form back into LANS HR's hands on time will find themselves without a job? It will be wonderful to see what is next.
Yeah, and all those burnt out bulbs will be replaced, unless the roofs are 12 feet high, in which case you are SOL.
I suggest the following letter to DOE on June 1, 2006.

Secretary Samuel Bodman
US Department of Energy
1000 Independence Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20585

Dear Secretary Bodman:

I am filing a Freedom of Information Act request for a list of the salaries of all employees, including the Director, of LANS at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Although LANL is now being managed by LANS, the taxpayers are footing the bill and have the right to know how their money is being spent. When LANL was managed by the University of California, this information was available on a website managed by University Professional & Technical Employees CWA 9119, AFL-CIO.

Thank you.
As a taxpayer, I'd like to know the salary of the directors of all the DOE labs - Sandia, Argonne, SLAC, Oak Ridge, Fermi, Brookhaven, PNNL, etc - and of the staffs of the LLCs or contractors nominally running them... be sure to throw in DOD's Lincoln Lab (run by MIT) and NASA's JPL (run by Caltech) to boot, as non-DOE comparisons... what the heck, how about all federally funded research & development centers - for a listing see

There is an obvious financial fiasco brewing in terms of LANL's funding for FY'07. Rumor has it that we may be asked to take a 5% salary cut to forestall a lab-wide RIF. Couple this with large increases in our costs for life insurance (already published), higher medical costs, and little or no raises, plus a rapidly growing US inflation rate. It all indicates a significant drop in the living standard for most staff at LANL in the next few years.

This does not look good, regardless of what Mike A. tells us. From his All-Hands talk on Tues, I gather Mike believes the solution is to add yet more staff (Facilities Ops managers, etc), implement some nebulous ideas on "integration" (how many times have we heard that one?), and to eject staff from office space at a time when office space is already at a premium. I am growing less and less impressed with this guy after every talk he's given.
If LANL/LANS finally gets rid of the boneheads and slackers which I estimate to be about 30% that should more than take care of it.
How will they do that 'damatter'?

RIFs? Won't happen w/o Sen Domenici's OK. Lab was told "no RIFs" after Sig's mid-90's fiasco.

Already having $ problems this year from many I speak to.
Managers and Supervisors are going to have to start doing their jobs. Since we are at will employees after June 1 it should not be that difficult to finally get rid of dead wood.
No, no, no 14MEV.


Integrate, intefrate, integrate!
Oh no!...heaven forbid the standard of living should decline even one iota for the nation's wealthiest community. I can't imagine living in a community that's only ranked second in terms of the number of millionaires per capita, not to mention the number of bonehead slacker millionaires that might get terminated once their fellow bonehead slacker buds decide to manage like real managers...NOT!
Actually the highest density of millionaires is the US Congress. At least some of the people here are worth their keep. I can't think of a single Congressman or Senator we couldn't do without. Actually we could do without all of them. We should resurrect the movement to throw every single incumbent out of office and start with a clean slate.
I'd love to see a movie made of Tom Clancy's "Debt of Honor" where a JAL pilot crashes a 747 into the Capitol Building during a joint session of Congress and kills them all. The crowd in the movie theater would roar approval. Or, as the used to say in Viet Nam, "Kill them all and let God sort them out."
That was an excellent book Snake Lips. I recall that as I read it I was struck with a profound sense of loss at the thought of loosing all of those irreplaceable artifacts of American history stored in the Capitol building. Those articles that should remind us of the days when the men of courage and conviction who built this country roamed its halls. Now it is infested with people who should be convicted. I agree though, in a movie scene the cheers of the audience would be deafening.
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