Thursday, May 25, 2006

Strip out the site-specific references and fill in the blanks

Please post the following anonymously:

A GOOGLE search for the famous letter from Lord Wellington -- expressing his frustration with bean counters and pencil pushers in London -- produced not only the desired document, in itself so apropos of every DOE site, but also a link to your wonderful blog. If I did not myself work at Savannah River Site, where every new management imperative, process, or requirement makes it harder to do a good job, I would write off the contents of this site as a bunch of whiny-ass malcontents. But, I'm sad to say that you could probably strip out the site-specific references and fill in the blanks with the names of any and every DOE lab in the country and no one would take exception.

Good job on the blog and on the substantial backbone demonstrated by you folks out there.

In a quagmire of DOE ineptitude,
A friend from SRS

Dear Friend,

Thanks for the largely undeserved words. The events of 2004, unfortunately, has brought out the worst of Los Alamos, the community. With but a few exceptions, the good people of Los Alamos simply cowered in fear and huddled in silence in the face of management abuse and incompetence.

The exceptions, however, were notable, and they were responsible for creating the blog and for providing the information that was published there which made the abuses at LANL become public knowledge.
I don't agree with Roderic Spode's statement. The Los Alamos community has been battered by several incidents starting with the Wen Ho Lee case in 1999, the 2000 fire, Nanos, and now the contract takeover. This is a one industry town and people's livelihood pretty much depend on the Lab. "Cowered with fear" gives the wrong impression since lot's of folks have stood up to some of the alleged abuses. This blog has been great for getting information out but it also has been a soap box for every nut case out there until Doug stopped the anonymous postings. I don't see fear anywhere but I do see concern for the future of the Lab. Calling this a communty that "cowered in fear" does a diservice to the many wonderful people living here who care about LANL.
Ok, soccer, name five people who had the courage to stand up to Nanos, besides

- Brad Holian
- Doug Roberts
- Tom Meyer
- Tom Kauppila
- John Horne
- Larry Creamer

I bet you can't do it. Courageous community, indeed.
For anyone interest here is the item the
OP may have meant

and here is possibly the complete Wellington
I believe the name was Todd Kauppila, CS350, but point taken. And speaking of the brave citizens of Los Alamos, I wonder how many people have submitted a request to be linked as a follow-on blog to The Real Story after Doug shuts this one down in July?
For those of you who might want to start a follow-on blog to Doug's "LANL: The Real Story," let me suggest a possible new name for it:

"LANS: The Boil"
One is tempted to take the attitude of "Come on now, let's just give LANS a chance. Let's wait and see if they improve things at LANL. After all, how much worse could LANS be than UC was?"

And then one remembers that UC is a partner in the new LLC, and with that remembrance dawns the realization that we will now enjoy the worst of both worlds. We may expect to continue to benefit from the corrupt, self-serving "leadership" so amply demonstrated by UC these past 20 years, coupled with the malevolent, bottom-line, hard-ass culture of a big defense contractor.

Given that, "LANS: The Boil" is probably as appropriate a name as any for a follow-on blog. However, I agree with Spode: the people with the balls to carry on the responsibility of what this blog has become have likely all left LANL in complete disgust. The gutless wonders are all that remain. Speaking of which, I also wonder if anybody has expressed interest in providing a follow-on blog.
So, CS350 and RS, how would you have envisioned a "courageous" LA scenario to have played out?

Also, assuming for a moment, those with balls might already be gone and only the gutless wonders remain, how do you envision the future LANL? If your hypothesis is true, why do you even care?
Careful CS 250 who said...
"Ok, soccer, name five people who had the courage to stand up to Nanos, besides...."

Look at where these guys are today:

- Brad Holian retired
- Doug Roberts retired
- Tom Meyer fired, suing, and we hope that he wins!
- Todd Kauppila deceased
- John Horne protected
- Larry Creamer fired and should have been.

It's easy to show courage when you have nothing to lose. Now that LANL is "employment at will," the consequences for speaking out are dire. If you don't lose your job, at minimum it is career-limiting behavior.

Los Alamos is a one-employor town. And, if you are thinking of leaving, take a look at the housing market!
What's the latest rundown on the housing market?
Yes badbard1 lets look at where these people really are.

Brad Holian retired much earlier than he would have if he hadn’t stood up for his principles, the same goes for Doug Roberts. I’m sure that both suffered financially for their ethical stand.

I don’t know Tom Meyer, but I hope he wins as well.

Todd Kauppila is not just deceased, he was driven into the grave by Nanos, Jones, and Seestrom. He paid the highest price of all while most everyone sat on the sidelines and watched.

Larry Creamer retired from DX-1 and had absolutely nothing to do with the laser incident that you have mistakenly attributed to him.

As for me, I would love to know what your definition of protected is. My life and career are in ruins, my best friend is dead, and two months after I returned to work my badge was pulled again because I stood up to Nanos in a meeting at R-40 in February of 05. That episode cost me several more thousand dollars in attorney fees to keep these bastards from trying to set me up a second time. Every time I go through the gate I have to look over my shoulder and try to guess who will be the next SOB to stick a knife in my back. Rest assured, once you’re on LANL’s shit list you stay there, and I have no doubt that they will strike as soon as they get the opportunity.

So before you shoot off your mouth again try to get your facts straight because as of this writing you have no *&%^ing idea what you are talking about.
The answer, for the two of you who asked, is zero. Nobody has requested to be identified as provider of a follow-on discussion site.

Just to set the record straight: I retired a year ago last March at age 59--not because I thought my career was dead, nor because I didn't thoroughly enjoy the friends I worked with--but rather, to protect my 32-1/2 years of investment in the UCRP. (And yes, I cut short my expected rate of return, compared with what I could have gotten by staying on five more years.) (And yes, I was shocked by the dastardly plan to herd UC retirees from LANL into a financial ghetto. But after I saw how UC "protected" us from the depredations of their boy, Nanos, I guess my level of shock was reduced, in exchange for more disgust.)

But I have come back to the Lab as an Associate: a 1.09-dipper, I guess you could say (being only paid for 40% time at 85% of previous salary). So I still have an incentive to hold on, but I have never, ever, been one to keep my head down and my mouth shut. If anybody out there hoped for such a thing: Sorry.

Now, who among you younger staff will take up the cudgel? It doesn't do to cower; they'll just ream you harder. -Anyone?
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