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This BLOG is for LLNL present and past employees, friends of LLNL and anyone impacted by the privatization of the Lab to express their opinions and expose the waste, wrongdoing and any kind of injustice against employees and taxpayers by LLNS/DOE/NNSA. The opinions stated are personal opinions. Therefore, The BLOG author may or may not agree with them before making the decision to post them. Comments not conforming to BLOG rules are deleted. Blog authors serve as moderators. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

why did you retire?

How many of you retired because you were just fed up with llnl?

37 comments:

doobydew said...

LLNL became too bureaucratic for my taste.

Anonymous said...

Working hard, getting the job done.....did not seem to get me raises. The words in my annual review did not match my pay raise. Upper management was getting my money, and all they did was attend meetings. So I walked.

Anonymous said...

Working too hard, concerned about health. Better to retire while colleagues still hold you in high regard, rather than hang around for years and years !

Anonymous said...

Great question and excellent responses.

Anonymous said...

I was lucky. I was turning 60 very near the timing of the buyout in 2013. I had intended to go part time and double dip (froze with UC at the contract change). If I worked for another year at half time I'd get the same amount as taking the buyout. It was a no brainer to bug out.

On the other hand I was unlucky in that I knew what a great place it USE to be and knew how much the institution had degraded. Politics and Political Correctness had become the primary mover of operations. I left with a bad taste in my mouth and if I had spent another year at 1/2 time, the taste would have been even worse.

Evil Echo said...

People leave a job because they are either pulled to a better one or pushed out of the current one by bad managers, unfair ( to them ) wages and benefits, and/or hostile conditions. I'd say all three of the push conditions applied in my case.

And the place nearly killed me. After waking up from emergency surgery I made the decision right there. Final day was last day of the UC contract.

Anonymous said...

I witnessed extreme malfeasance on the part of Mara and McMillan soon after they arrived at LANL, under pressure from LLNL upper management. Decided on the spot that leaving ASAP was the only choice.

Anonymous said...

Wrecktel corruption plane and simple, the government tool and its whores who work for them. I Feel sorry for the hard working contributors that are to young to retire. They exist for the only purpose of generating big bonuses for the Bechtel executive level managers who throw the underlings a 1% bonus bone and patronizing pats on the back. The headstone banner at this website has never been more appropriate. This once thriving alive think tank has been turned into an absolute joke.

Anonymous said...

July 8, 2016 at 5:14 PM

Sounds like sour grapes, I take you that you could not make it as a manager?. The labs are about profit and once your realize this than you can take advantage of the situation and make some good money with little effort. Want to do science, ha ha ha, the labs are not for you.

Anonymous said...

"Sounds like sour grapes, I take you that you could not make it as a manager?. The labs are about profit and once your realize this than you can take advantage of the situation and make some good money with little effort. Want to do science, ha ha ha, the labs are not for you."

The Lab that existed when I came here about 25 years ago was about science. Just staying on for about 2 more years to maximize my pension. And, believe it or not, not everyone wants to become a manager. Finally, if you really do want to be a manager then why would you want to work at LLNL or LANL? There are many places the financial and tech industries where one can work as a manager and get much higher pay and benefits.

Anonymous said...

There are many places the financial and tech industries where one can work as a manager and get much higher pay and benefits.

July 9, 2016 at 9:15 AM

The problem is that those outside jobs requite hard work and skill. At LLNL and LANL management is place to protect your self when you have no real skills, work ethic, or ability.

Anonymous said...

And, believe it or not, not everyone wants to become a manager.

July 9, 2016 at 9:15 AM

Amen. To paraphrase Groucho, I wouldn't belong to a management team that would have me as a member.

Anonymous said...

These days, not being welcome into LANSLLNS management, if that was your goal, may reflect well on you as a person.

Anonymous said...

These days, not being welcome into LANSLLNS management, if that was your goal, may reflect well on you as a person.

July 9, 2016 at 4:52 PM

There are two types of creatures at the labs, lions and gazelles, or leaders and followers. You can choose to be a gazelle and are free to think that reflects well on you but we all know what lions do to gazelles. Try watching animal planet some time it might help you grow up and see they way the real world works.

Anonymous said...

The lab lions in your analogy would perish if there were no lab gazelles willing to be around them. On the other hand, a leader that understands and appreciates what you label as gazelles, will always have many enthusiastic followers. Leadership excellence is a challenging concept for some.

Anonymous said...

Well said.

Anonymous said...

How about some of the people past 65 actually retiring so the Labs can hire new blood !

Anonymous said...

How about some of the people past 65 actually retiring so the Labs can hire new blood !

July 10, 2016 at 10:34 PM

Don't blame our senior citizens for being in the way of hiring new blood. Blame the management for not having a hiring plan to hire new people. However, my perception within the weapons programs at LANL is that there are virtually no folks left over 60-years old in the program, particularly in weapon engineering.

Anonymous said...

"However, my perception within the weapons programs at LANL is that there are virtually no folks left over 60-years old in the program, particularly in weapon engineering."

Then none of them actually ever designed a working weapon !!! Great !

Anonymous said...

None of the people working on the Manhattan Project had ever designed a nuclear weapon. They had no materials, diagnostics, data, or codes.
We are in pretty good shape by comparison.

Anonymous said...

We are in pretty good shape by comparison.

July 12, 2016 at 7:06 PM

You have no idea. Fortunately, they still let Lyle Edwards (Engineering Father of the B61) come in, but I don't think they listen to him. It's all to give the appearance that they have a (one) senior person left who knows anything.

Anonymous said...

None of the people working on the Manhattan Project had ever designed a nuclear weapon. They had no materials, diagnostics, data, or codes.
We are in pretty good shape by comparison.

July 12, 2016 at 7:06 PM

They also had talent, can we say the same about the modern workforce?

Anonymous said...

None of the people working on the Manhattan Project had ever designed a nuclear weapon. They had no materials, diagnostics, data, or codes.
We are in pretty good shape by comparison.

July 12, 2016 at 7:06 PM

But they had one thing we don't have -- permission to test their weapon designs.

Anonymous said...

Because I finally could.

Anonymous said...

The employees in 1945 were much better than the ones today. However we have the compelling advantages today of data from 1065 nuclear tests, extremely good computer codes, and data from DARHT, proton radiography, and photon dopper velocity measurements. In the near future we will have enhanced capabilities for subcritical experiments. On the whole are far better off without nuclear testing today than Los Alamos was in 1945.

Anonymous said...

Nothing, repeat nothing, is better than a nuclear test for confirming the design of a nuclear weapon.

There will come a time when we will return to testing. You heard it here first!

Anonymous said...

After spending many years at LLNL in leadership roles, and after a few too many days where I left feeling like I needed to take a shower because of the dirty things I saw going on around me, I started looking around. I was able to leave for a 30% increase in salary (not bad for someone in RG 1) and a 25-35% reduction in cost of living.

Look around some times. There are many opportunities out there if you are good.

Anonymous said...

The employees in 1945 were much better than the ones today. However we have the compelling advantages today of data from 1065 nuclear tests, extremely good computer codes, and data from DARHT, proton radiography, and photon dopper velocity measurements. In the near future we will have enhanced capabilities for subcritical experiments. On the whole are far better off without nuclear testing today than Los Alamos was in 1945.

July 15, 2016 at 5:33 PM

The problem is that the quality of the staff has continued to deteriorate. can they really analyze data from previous tests, can they even understand what the codes are doing, DARHT ya right. Sounds good, but without talent all this fairly useless. People are they key to deterrent. LLNS and LANS see no value in people and hence here we are.

Anonymous said...

The important missions are two. To keep the US nuclear stockpile safe and effective for as long as the stockpile serves the national interest. Second, to provide accurate and rapid assessment of intelligence in the national interest for as long as others possess or strive for nuclear power or weapons.

Failing either is significant. Failures in stockpile stewardship can be mitigated to a great degree by occasional UG testing and by weapons systems diversification. Failure in intell assessment can be mitigated by effective leadership and by being much bigger and more capable than potential adversaries.

Think ISIS and your next visit to Times Square. Now you get it.

$15B of a $4500 B national budget seems an appropriate allocation for maintaining this mission. $2T ( of about $200 T) has been invested in this important mission in the past 70 years.

Expect the same proportion the next 200 years.

Anonymous said...

$15B of a $4500 B national budget seems an appropriate allocation for maintaining this mission. $2T ( of about $200 T) has been invested in this important mission in the past 70 years.


This is a reasonable throwing money at something will do little if you do not have high quality people on the job.

Anonymous said...

The employees in 1945 were much better than the ones today. However we have the compelling advantages today of data from 1065 nuclear tests, extremely good computer codes, and data from DARHT, proton radiography, and photon dopper velocity measurements. In the near future we will have enhanced capabilities for subcritical experiments. On the whole are far better off without nuclear testing today than Los Alamos was in 1945.
July 15, 2016 at 5:33 PM

We are trying to do much more today, though. In 1945, the goal was, boom, at least once, to achieve more geopolitical than military goals. There was a betting pool before Trinity, with bets starting at zero kt. But we're looking for 10% in aged weapons, or in re-manufactured weapons with new features that have never been tested. And we're comparing much more exquisite data to much more exquisite computer predictions, and trying to quantify margins of uncertainty, all in the absence of any full scale nuclear tests. Hard job, much harder than the job of going boom at least once in 1945. I'm not at all sure the people in 1945 were any better, but they did have the ability to take risks to just get the job done, risks that would be unthinkable today.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not at all sure the people in 1945 were any better,"

????, huh?

Anonymous said...

It's fashionable to stand in awe of the Manhattan Project scientists, but they had jobs to do and they did them, same as today. They were probably better, on average, with math and physical insights, but that's all they had. They were dealing with a relatively simple problem, get a Big Boom: Money and resources are no object, and ignore all the fine details because you can't calculate them anyways, and you have no simulation capabilities or sophisticated experimental diagnostics. I can think of a number of people at LANL and LLNL who would have been right up there in 1945, and I'm sure others can too. They just don't get any time in the limelight, because they were born too late.

Anonymous said...

"I can think of a number of people at LANL and LLNL who would have been right up there in 1945, and I'm sure others can too."

I would agree to this as well, the problem is that they are getting fewer in number and we are no longer interested in hiring the best and brightest. Another problem is that some of the people of this caliber that are still at the labs are not very well liked by the current management, this of course makes it even harder to bring in top people. At the end of the day any institution is just the sum of the people that comprise the institution and when you have top people you will have a top institution and converse is also true, have second rate people you will have a second rate institution. You would be hard pressed to find someone who is honest say that quality of LLNL and LANL has not seen a steep decline over the last 15 years. We are taking a big gamble.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, it is not a science culture anymore. We can't attract and keep the best. It's hard to motivate those people to work for Bechtel LLC, as an at-will employee with a 401K, in a culture that focuses on compliance and maximizing the fee for Bechtel LLC.

Anonymous said...

Separate from questions about the quality of the workers, it is clear that there is no enthusiasm in the design groups at LANL. Most offices are empty even during normal working hours. Friday looks like a weekend day.

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