Worry about the quiet lab employees

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By The Staff

Dear Editor,

I’m normally a pretty outspoken person, but even I have been squashed into silence at LANS. We’re all living in a town full of fear – again. We fear for our jobs, our families, and our way of life. We already know we won’t survive the next inevitable LANS budget crisis unscathed.

I wonder who it is bothering to look seriously at the human toll this will bring? Or is humanity just a problem for the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to deal with?

Being an outspoken person, I’ve been labeled a “problem child” (especially when I’ve questioned authority). But it’s not the outspoken people we need to worry about. I’m going to be angry if I wind up at the top of someone’s involuntary RIF list. But I also know I’ll survive it somehow.

Has our society learned nothing from events like the Virginia Tech. massacre? It’s the quiet, angry people we need to worry about, folks! These are the brooders who fester over their impotence to be able to take control of their own lives – to be able to have a voice. Who is bothering to give them any serious consideration?

I think many of us have experienced being bullied in our jobs by a “big person” or two. These are the arrogant, but insecure little people who have a need to make us feel small and unimportant. By putting us in our places, they’re satisfied feeling bigger, better and stronger. And some of these people also hold the power of our futures in their hands.

Who, of the thousands of LANS employees, are going to fret, feste and suffer in silence until they find whether or not they’re on someone’s involuntary RIF list? How many crises do we have to endure in Los Alamos before one of us has had enough? How long do we have before someone blows?

I guarantee it won’t be those of us who are outspoken (even if we’re quashed at work). It’s going to be someone who doesn’t make him- or herself heard or noticed. That’s not just an EAP problem. It’s everyone’s problem.

They live amongst us, folks.

Barbara Nelson

Los Alamos