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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 author serves as a moderator. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Morale at LLNS

Is employee morale with LLNS the same, better, or worse than employees in Silicon Valley and why?

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Any attempt to answer this question would necessarily involve undependable generalizations. For this kind of question, generalizations are almost always not accurate because there will be many examples of individuals for which the generalization does not apply.

Questions such as this one are usually agenda-driven and offensive. Generally speaking, that is.

Anonymous said...

How can you compare? The average LLNL employee is in his 50’s, the average Silicon Valley employee has to be much younger. It’s like comparing the morale at a college campus to a nearby hospice or retirement home. Also, people in Silicon Valley work in an international, open, and free environment, not behind a fence with security clearances and no foreign nationals.

Anonymous said...

I left LLNL a couple of years ago. morale was at the lowest. Unless they had some earth-shattering improvements ,I would not even try to compare that to Silicon Valley morale .

Anonymous said...

"Any attempt to answer this question would necessarily involve undependable generalizations. For this kind of question, generalizations are almost always not accurate because there will be many examples of individuals for which the generalization does not apply"

I believe you are making generalizations.

Anonymous said...

Morale is always best when you are working on interesting problems that are appreciated by others and make a difference. Unfortunately, that is probably not the case for a lot of the work currently being done at any of the NNSA weapon labs. Yes, some are lucky but much of the work has become pure rote. Of course, the high level of competition in Silicon Valley companies can also result in high stress and that, too, can hurt morale. If you are young you can probably handle the long hours and high stress in Silicon Valley much better than older workers.

One aspect of morale is clearly inferior at the NNSA labs. Surveys have shown that employees at the NNSA labs are greatly dissatisfied with their upper management. Executives in the labs tend to rise based on the good ol' boy "who you know" principle. I'm not sure that is the case with much of Silicon Valley where many of the top executives are extremely bright and got to their positions by using their wits and their highly creative minds.

Anonymous said...

Having worked in both, I can say: It depends. LLNL is fairly stable and predictable, but the unbounded mind-numbing stupidity of the bureaucracy destroys your soul if you've worked anywhere else and know what streamlined smart productivity looks like. Silicon Valley has a day-to-day energy that feeds your enthusiasm if you like to accomplish real meaningful work and are willing to put in the hours, and if you work for a good company, but you need to think three steps ahead and plan for the inevitable layoff. There are also bad companies, and working for them is worse than working for LLNL. The big plus is, the mission is almost always crystal clear in Silicon Valley, and you don't have to feel like a lying used-car salesman to justify what you do: You are there to make money for the company and for yourself. That is the focus of the lens, and it's a tight focus, not an aberrated fuzzy blob.

Anonymous said...

Both are good jobs. Very different. Different customers and markets. Organizational responses, design and process are different. Appeal to different folks. Read Ray Miles work.

Anonymous said...

Having worked in both, there are many happy people in both places as well as some dissatisfied employees, too. Some (repeat some) parts of Silicon Valley have a 'fail fast' ethos, which can innovate extremely rapidly. That's great if failure means Tad cannot post his selfie or Buffy has to reboot. The DOE labs deal with many things that require deliberate operations, or failure means people get hurt, not inconvenienced. That deliberate pace can leak over into things where it's not really justified, and sometimes people have to push the bureaucracy. I find people are mostly trying to find a way to make it work, not just pointing at regs and saying 'Not my job.'

Anonymous said...

There are also bad companies, and working for them is worse than working for LLNL.

March 28, 2018 at 11:09 PM

Yet another fool who thinks he works for "LLNL." He actually works for LLNS, a "bad company" he thinks is "worse." How clueless people are after 10 years.



Anonymous said...

That's funny 10:06 PM, I quit the lab years ago, but I still maintain contacts with some of the people who work there. Who, again, is the fool? You would be layed off in 30 days in Silicon Valley, so be happy LLNS is willing to tolerate you.

Anonymous said...

"Questions such as this one are usually agenda-driven and offensive."

Your correct that such questions can be agenda-driven, just as avoiding the topic can be agenda-driven by those that view the question as a no value added risk.

Silicon Valley businesses know their customer base and financial prosperity are not locked in for decades at time, while the window to the world for the NNSA labs are their respective Field Office performance assessors. If employee morale or something comparable to it is not in the NNSA contract, it isn't a performance metric, but given the lengths of NNSA contracts, it should be.

Anonymous said...

When LLNS make changes that impact our employment benefits, they work out the details and receive approval from the NNSA Field Office. Then the new policies are shrink-wrapped and presented to the worker bees. Employees are out of the decision making loop in any material way, and this leads to lower and lower employee morale. Contracts and profit flows anchored in for decades compound the problem.

Some may think employee unions or bargaining units have no business in a National Laboratory environment with scientists, engineers, and highly technical staff. But haven't our benefits and job security eroded under LLNS management? I don't understand why SPSE membership didn't grow tenfold in the years after the contract change in 2007. Maybe it relates to the fable of the boiling frog.

If SPSE were to snapshot employee benefits, job security, and work environment on September 30, 2007 and compare that to the present day LLNS employee, it would be an eye opener for most LLNS employees.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why SPSE membership didn't grow tenfold in the years after the contract change in 2007.

April 2, 2018 at 4:32 PM

Maybe thinking knowledgeable people like scientists and engineers can figure out that collective bargaining is a loser and has been for over 50 years. Go for promotion and benefits based on your own earned merits, or just leave, no need to support losers at the cost of winners. If you are valuable to the company, you win. If not, go seek another job because who wants not to be appreciated by his employer?

Anonymous said...

Heard morale at Security was fantastic! Way to go, keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Any management organization that can keep morale high while accomplishing mission is to be envied and emulated.

Anonymous said...

How about keeping morale low while accomplishing nothing? What should we do with that type of management?

Anonymous said...

What should we do with that type of management?

April 7, 2018 at 1:50 AM

Who is "we"?? As if "you" have any influence at all. Stop deluding yourself.

Anonymous said...

Presumably, we, the American taxpayer, get some say in the matter. We the 10,000 or so employees too. In special circumstances, we, the jurors have a vote too. The LANS, for profit management should hear from any and all of the above, and they have.

Anonymous said...

April 8, 2018 at 5:05 PM

Your naivete is second only to your self-importance. No one cares what you think.

Anonymous said...

"Your naivete is second only to your self-importance. No one cares what you think."

Sorry, but the reasoning of April 8, 2018 at 5:05 PM is sound. It is you that is suffering from a form of Stockholm syndrome but don't worry, nobody will blame you for your conditioned give up response.

Anonymous said...

9:01. Nanos did. QED.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks that the "American taxpayer" will get a "say" in what happens with LANL management is delusional. That has never happened and will never happen. Please explain what you think the mechanism is for that process? Anyone??

Anonymous said...

"Anyone who thinks that the "American taxpayer" will get a "say" in what happens with LANL management is delusional."

So it is your belief that incident after incident does not eventually prompt a change in lab management? You are aware that LANS management of LANL is soon to be history yes? The "American taxpayer" is one of many observers and voices that can lead an LLC out the door. The only delusional belief is that screw ups after screws ups will not eventually cause that management team to be rooted out. Having said that, it will be a shock to many if the NNSA selects any bidder partnering with Bechtel to manage LANL again.

Anonymous said...

"Having said that, it will be a shock to many if the NNSA selects any bidder partnering with Bechtel to manage LANL again."

Many will be shocked, Bechtel plays to win, they would not put in a bid unless they knew they are going to win.

Anonymous said...

Many will be shocked, Bechtel plays to win, they would not put in a bid unless they knew they are going to win.

April 12, 2018 at 8:09 PM

Bechtel is automatically disqualified by the RFP wording about "previous negative performance" of LANL contractors. If NNSA chooses any team that includes Bechtel, Congress will eviscerate NNSA based on Bechtel's past corruption, ineptitude, incompetence, and degradation of LANL's stellar history. NNSA knows better than that. Bechtel may think they will win, but they also thought earlier that they would be a success at managing LANL - they demonstrably weren't.

Anonymous said...

Many will be shocked, Bechtel plays to win, they would not put in a bid unless they knew they are going to win.

April 12, 2018 at 8:09 PM

Bechtel is automatically disqualified by the RFP wording about "previous negative performance" of LANL contractors. If NNSA chooses any team that includes Bechtel, Congress will eviscerate NNSA based on Bechtel's past corruption, ineptitude, incompetence, and degradation of LANL's stellar history. NNSA knows better than that. Bechtel may think they will win, but they also thought earlier that they would be a success at managing LANL - they demonstrably weren't.

Anonymous said...

What would be the shock is if they select UC or Bechtel. They did in 2006 and see where that got them.

Anonymous said...

Will it be easier to call them arrogant cowboys when UT is running LANL?

Anonymous said...

"Many will be shocked, Bechtel plays to win..."

Yes, the labs are NNSA Casinos for LANSLLNS, except no matter how underperforming these players are, they are effectively guaranteed to be a winner, will never just break even, or lose more in the Casino than they earned there in a year. Hmm, maybe that is why preventable accidents and scandals keep happening. Heads they win, tails they win, at the expense of mission, environment, and dedicated employees. The question now is will the NNSA permit a repeat of problems by selecting the same for-profit focused players in the next contract to run LANL. I hope not.

Anonymous said...

If a nonprofit wins the LANL contract, Los Alamos County will suffer greatly, having gotten addicted to the gross receipts tax tit of LANS. The County has never understood the necessity of real (not fake, as in the past) economic development. No one needs more libraries or museums or parks. They need real retail opportunities, somewhere to buy a washing machine, for God's sake! How about a real clothing store (not the wannabe CB Fox), or a real car dealer, or a decent home improvement store that actually cares if you shop there? Can I go downtown and buy a new TV or even some new music? How about decent lox or smoked salmon in the (single) grocery store? Los Alamos is parochial and insulated and clueless. And they like it that way. The geezeratti have triumphed.

Anonymous said...

Move!

Anonymous said...

Move!

April 14, 2018 at 9:34 PM

Yep, already done. After 40 years, I've had enough of this insulated, isolated, clueless, arrogant town full of petty small-town politicos and mid-western biddies with no appreciation of the debt they owe to American taxpayers. And multi-millionaires who lean on carts as they take all day to shop in the "fabulous" Smiths. The geezeratti are killing any sense of fun or innovation. Plus the town is supremely ugly since Cerro Grande - might as well live in Nevada. Good bye - good riddance.

Anonymous said...

Move!

April 14, 2018 at 9:34 PM

Already done. House in LA under contract, belongings being packed up, done very soon. I watched the mountains behind LA turned into dirt instead of deep pine forest, because of bureaucratic bungling and stupidness in NM. I see every week the LAPD criminal report that shows about 90% of people arrested in LA are from the valley and are Hispanic; shoplifting or drug possession or DUI. Why are they in LA? Because the pickin's are easy. Unlocked cars, LA juvenile gang wannabees, all the trappings of a town unwilling to enforce its laws because the town's geezeratti want their kids (grandkids) left alone. As long as nothing really ever changes here, the geezeratti are happy. And they control the town.

Beware if you are young and wanting to work at LANL. There is nothing about this town you will like.

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