I Need to Know Right Away if You Come Across Anything that Smacks of Harassment - Page One

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» The Nuclear Dudette

Back when I was running a complement of a hundred nuclear dudes, and even a handful of nuclear dudettes .. my boss let me run things in the plant.

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station | Southern California

He was more of a business man than a technical type. Certainly I would keep him well-informed and often ask his opinion on things.

» Autonomy, Nuclear-Grade

So I had a degree of autonomy .. industrial-strength autonomy. Nuclear-grade autonomy. A nice degree that kept growing larger over time .. for a number of reasons.

The term autonomy is defined as »

  1. Independence.
  2. Self-government, self-determination.
  3. Greek roots of the word essentially mean » "being a law unto oneself."

My experience with autonomy has been that .. the better you are at doing your job, and the better your social skills .. the more autonomy they give you.

This has been my experience .. over a number of years.

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••• today's entry continues here below •••

» Moral Considerations in the Autonomous Exercise of Power and Authority

Here is an interesting thought, an interesting idea, from Immanuel Kant. Notice how the concept of morals is naturally attached to things like autonomy and the exercise of power and authority.

The sovereignty of reason in the sphere of morals; or man's power, as possessed of reason, to give law to himself. In this, according to Kant, consist the true nature and only possible proof of liberty.

Kant lived from 1724 to 1804. Things must have been different then. The 'sovereignty of reason' these days, at least in the sphere of man's power, seems to have no interest in morals whatsoever.

"Morals are for pussies," they say. "Real men are not concerned with bullshit like morals. Fuck your morals."

Food for thought.

» The Term Nuclear-Grade Implies Exacting Standards of Quality

Back in the day, I owned the domain name » nucleargrade.com.There mightve been a dash between nuclear and grade .. it was a long time ago.

I wasnt using it, but cool domain names were selling for millions. A dude that I had worked with sent me an email, and said he found me because he wanted, and searched for, that particular name.

When he saw it was me who owned the domain, he said, "I know this fucker. He is doing nothing with this domain. I'm gonna tell him to release it for me, so I can use it."

So I did. I released it. I let him have it. We caught up on some good stories, too.

If you work nuclear, then you understand the standards behind the technology. Behind the engineering. The quality standards. High quality.

So the term nuclear-grade is going to mean something to you.

» Respecting Management's Values

I respected him .. my boss who let me run things in the plant. I respected the way he ran things. His managerial style with its values.

He told me how he had brought in contractors who had later joined the permanent utility staffing (Southern California Edison) where they eventually became bosses themselves.

"If they fuck-up," he told me, referring to our own people, "then we need to whack 'em. But otherwise .. we might be working for one of these assholes someday."

Before he bellowed, "I've seen it happen, sir .. I've seen it happen."

My point here is to say that he was not malicious. Being a contractor .. this helps keep you in check.

» Our Whole System of Government is Designed to Thwart the Corrupting Effects of Power

(Our whole system of government, with its checks-n-balances, is specifically designed to address and thwart the corrupting effects of power. It's a very seductive thing .. especially over time. And sometimes, it is difficult to discern exactly where the line lies between you-the-person and the authority that comes with a particular position. Especially as that distance grows between the two).

He was smart in a way that I was not. And I was smart in a way that he was not. And this is why we made such a good team.

(Many of my best relationships have had this very same structure.)

He understood how things operated from a business perspective .. and I understood how things operated from a technical perspective.

And we can both see how we need each other .. if we are going to make this thing work.

And our styles were so different. Our respective strengths and weakness were so different .. in a complementary sort-of-way.

» Do Not Delay (At All) Responding to Harassment

Even tho he let me run things inside the plant, I remember him telling me that he needed to know "right away" if I came across anything that smacked of either sexual or racial harassment.

Harvey Weinstein's accusers tell their stories by Ronan Farrow Oct 23, 2017

(I do not know for a fact, but I feel confident that he got this directly from the owner of the company himself .. who was his boss.)

So I always had my radar run up in those areas.

Notice this article here about abuses by Peter Martins at New York City Ballet where it says (9th paragraph):

Asked to respond, City Ballet said in a statement: "When the current board and management received the anonymous letter suggesting inappropriate actions by Peter Martins, they immediately engaged an independent outside counsel to begin an investigation into the allegations. The board and management take these allegations very seriously. Since the investigation began Mr. Martins has announced his retirement but the investigation into the allegations surrounding him is continuing."

Notice how they responded immediately. They did not delay .. not even a little.

I also noticed where they said "When the current board..." .. as if suggesting that the previous board did not.

» Pepper Hamilton's Detailed and Comprehensive Findings of Fact at Baylor

Compare and contrast their response with that of something like what Ken Starr did at Baylor.

Baylor Univ report on findings regarding Ken Starr's response to reports of sexual assault (2016)

Shame on you, Ken Starr. Your priorities suck. Your values suck.

Plus you are irresponsible. I bet you were born somewhere close to the mid-40's. I bet that you were born closer to the Nineteenth century than to the Twenty-first century.

This is why your actions say that you prioritize money ahead of the welfare of people .. as the findings of the report state. (It is totally understandable.)

» I Need to Talk to You in Private

I never had any full-blown problems, but a girl came to me complaining about the guy who she was assigned to work for.

Now, my people are migrant nuclear workers. They are contractors. They come from all around the country. They have usually been to many different nuclear plants. Rad whores. Burning for dollars.

So they have been around. As you might imagine, as a result they typically know how to do their jobs better than the house supervisor who they have been assigned to work for.

» More Practice Usually Results in a More Highly-Honed Skill-Set

Permanent house techs typically perform a reactor refueling outage every 18-to-24 months, whereas migrant nuclear contractors do one refueling outage after another .. at different nuclear plants.

Plus they are able to see the same job done numerous different ways, and some ways of doing things are better than others.

This is why contractors typically know more about how to do their jobs during a reactor refueling .. because they have had so much more experience at it. They are ultimate warriors when it comes to refueling a reactor.

Practice makes perfect, and your typical contractor gets more practice than your typical house tech. And they usually get assigned to the nastier, more radioactive jobs that nobody wants.

I am generalizing here, and many exceptions exist .. because many contractors will settle down and "go house" when they get tired of life on the road.

And utilities will naturally pick techs who they feel are the best for their opening permanent positions. My housemate in San Clemente was one such contractor who ended up going house.

» Pursuing an Engineering Degree While Working Full-Time on Night-Shift

He earned his degree in Electrical Engineering (spending his daylight hours at UCI) while working full-time on nightshift (11PM-7AM). If you have ever tried to do this, then you know how difficult it is. I drove out from New York with this dude. Each in our own car.

» Motivated Like a Motherfucker

He was motivated like a motherfucker. He read Nietzsche. His favorite book by Nietzsche was probably » Thus Spake Zarathustra (1883-1885) subtitled: A Book for All and None .. which I have not read. He wore dark eyeliner to the clubs that he frequented on the weekends. He liked demure Asian chicks. One of his girlfriend's got a boob job and whipped out one of her boobs like it was nothing and said, "Go ahead and touch it," when I had asked her a question about how it felt. Obviously a free spirit she was. She had nice boobs. This is the dude who said that his dad was too cheap to spring for a shot of novocaine when he needed a root canal as a kid, and that "It felt like the pain went down into my soul."

After he went house, he bought himself a new 911. So he had two 911's at this point. Both black. He kept the old one because is was classic ('66 I think).

He kept the new one in the garage, next to my white one. Friends would stop by, and if the garage door was up, people would say, "You fuckers .. must be nice to be single."

» Sage Advice If You Skip Pre-Calculus

I took Calculus without ever taking pre-Calculus. This dude told me that pre-Calculus was one of the most difficult classes he ever took. Pre-Calculus is very much algebra intensive with trig functions. This dude told me to bone up on my trig functions (sine, cosine, tangent, etc) before taking Calculus without taking pre-Calculus. That was some outstanding advice .. I must admit. He said that I needed to know trig functions cold going into Calculus 3A (derivatives). If you have to stop to bone up on trig functions during Calculus .. your ass is in a bad place. See .. we both had our math and physics a number of years ago. And you can get rusty if you dont exercise a certain skillset for a number of years. And I had gone more years without cracking a math book than he had. Like I said .. he was motivated like a motherfucker. I kick ass in math. It comes easily to me. Always has. I can think algebraicly very easily. It is an abstract and formulaic way of thinking. One of the reasons why I like math .. is because your answer is either right or wrong. Either correct or incorrect. Demonstratively so. There is no debate about which of two different answers is the correct one.

» Integral Calculus Condensed Into a 6-Week Summer Session

Calculus comes hard and fast .. like drinking water through a firehose. I took my second semester Calculus (integrals) during a summer session. Talk about drinking water through a firehose. Monday-Thurs 8:30 to noon.

» Playing Dad and Sharing Insights

I took this class with the son of a guy who I had worked with. I was not working during this summer session Calculus class. It is not possible. But Bobby's son Nick .. he helped me a lot with this class .. because he had had this same professor before. So he knew the tricks of how to work with this guy. I played dad with this kid, a little. He may not have been the most naturally smart person, but he worked his ass off. So you had to respect his effort. I certainly did. He knew how to work with this professor, and I knew how to break down Calculus concepts into easy-chew pieces. So we made an outstanding team.

[ I should probably move this section here where I talk about my housemate who was motivated like a motherfucker. You must admit .. that would make for a great tilte. ]

» The Colville Bros

Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant on the Hudson River in New YorkThe Colville brothers in New York were the #1 best house people I have ever seen.

Who knew how to run an outage.

And they were both contractors who had settled down there and grown roots and families.

The two of them pretty much ran the entire outage for the dept, with Richie on days and Jay on nights.

I am talking about inside the plant. They spent lots of time in containment.

Containment is the dome. The dome was my home. It was more like my domain .. where I was king.

(Containment domes are designed to withstand a direct impact from a fully-loaded 747. They are well-built.)

» A Well-Oiled Machine

When folks know what the fuck they're doing, then shit runs smoothly and you look good doing it. (Roberta knows what I am talking about.)

And because they had been contractors themselves, they knew how to talk to contractors. It's definitely not a very common skill.

I so admire these skills, which take years to hone. It's a beautiful thing to behold. Truly impressive. Inspiring, even. Boner city.

I liked it there in New York so much that I stayed after the outage and pitched for their softball team that summer .. before it got cold and I headed west for California sunshine and warmth.

When they made me a boss in California, I tried to pattern my style after that of the Colvilles. I went for the best I had seen.

» Aggressive Male Boss with Young Attractive Female Subordinate

This girl who came to me complaining about the guy who she was assigned to work for .. she was pretty. And her boss had a personality that could be a dick. [ Stephen knows what I am talking about here (at t=1:40). ]

This was not sexual, but he was being a dick to her. Which was not difficult to imagine this guy being.

Sometimes, when a guy is being a dick to a girl, that actually means that he likes her. But I think that this guy was just being a dick. Plus, he was married with kids.

» Industrial-Grade

The nuclear industry is heavily male-dominant. It is a very industrial type of environment.

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station | Southern California

So a pretty girl tends to stand out .. even more than usual.

And the term 'sexual' is never very far whenever you are talking about an insecure male boss with a young, attractive female subordinate.

» Motivated but Lacking Social Skills

See, a dude may be smart and motivated and competent .. yet his social skills might suck. That was this dude.

I bet that Will Smith knows exactly what I am talking about here. Stress can make insecure people act in ways that are stupid.

» Trying to Compensate for a Lack of Experience

They try to cover their lack-of-experience with something that is designed to project a sense of dominant aggression. (Probably because this is what has worked for them in the past.)

Fedor says that aggression is an expression of weakness (at t=3:45)

But you cannot do this kind of shit in the nuclear world. Such a thing is simply not tolerated.

I have actually studied this thing here .. where people who really dont know what the fuck they are talking about .. often speak more boldly and assertively than people who do indeed have the correct answer .. tho they might not be certain about their answer.

There is actually a quote somewhere that speaks to this very thing. I may go find it later.

I have had many different examples of observing this phenomena firsthand. It is indeed a curious thing.

The effect that these observations have had on me .. is that I now look past, look beyond the presentation (bluster?) to what is actually being said.

And we all operate differently in a professional environment compared to how we do in a personal setting, or in the home, the bedroom.

» Developing Social Skills

How to Win Friends & Influence People[ This would probably be a good place to mention,

that the best book I ever read

on the subject of developing your social skills ..

.. was the 1936 classic by Dale Carnegie

» How to Win Friends & Influence People.

This book is chocked full of so much excellent practical advice and insights,

that if you get even half of what it says,

you will be a social stud. So to speak.

You could subtitle this book » How Not to be a Dick When You Talk to People. ]

He did not work for me. He is house.

I run the contractors. She is a contractor.

We supply people to supplement their permanent 'house' staffing as necessary during reactor refueling outages.

» Outages are Hoppin'

At one time, I think that we were supplying them with close to 400 people, all total. But only a hundred of those were mine. I got up to 110 or 120 there for a short while.

You tend to over-staff at the outset .. expecting that you are going to lose some people .. for various reasons. (« Another good story there .. losing people.)

I remember being stretched pretty thin there for a while. I also had a clone of myself on the backshift (.. working 12-hour days).

» My Nightshift Counterpart

He was me on the nightshift. This guy was a total stud. He was actually a bigger stud than myself .. this I will freely admit.

(Tho they were using me for my organizational skills .. more than my technical skills.)

He oozed competence. He had tons of excellent experience. Everybody respected him. He was very much at home in the middle of a reactor refueling outage.

When I went home at night, I did not worry about jack-shit. Because I knew that things were being handled .. probably better than if I were there myself.

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) at night

The bad boys tend to migrate to the backshifts .. preferring to do their jobs without so many mucky-mucks around.

I have worked my fair share of nightshifts. I love nightshifts .. after your body has adapted to the new rhythm.

But I had to be on dayshift in order to do what I did. It was challenging. Nuclear power is not known for being a forgiving industry. Perform or die.

» Crunch Time

The hardest part is when we brought in the new people .. staffing for a new outage.

Before this point, I am just running stacks of resumes back-n-forth .. getting them signed and approved. The calm before the storm.

There are weeks of orientation and indoctrination before we hand over our techs to the house people .. depending if they have ever been to this plant before (returnee or newbie).

And this is all me. Me and this dude. This right here is where the stretching comes. It's just a lot of shit happening all at the same time.

» Night-Blooming Jasmine Growing at Homes Along the Coast

During the outage itself, I would wake at 3:30 in the morning, which is actually very much nighttime .. and run right down the middle of the road .. because there were no cars. At all. None.

Everything was very quiet .. except the sound of my feet on the pavement. Even the birds were still sleeping.

This is actually where I became fond of night-blooming jasmine. It grew at many of the homes along the coastal route that I took there in San Clemente.

» You Get Tight With a Dude Working Like This

I would arrive at work at 5:30. We made our own hours .. and getting ahead of everybody by 30 mins .. this lets you be ready to rock-n-roll when the troops arrive. You are able to hit the ground running.

Except for one day a week, I saw this guy every 12 hours for months and months. Almost always, one of us is always there.

He was never late. Not even one time.

Even when I am not there, I am wondering how he is holding up. You become tight with a dude when you work like this.

» An Impressive Dude

Anyway .. this guy knows how to talk to people. He has outstanding social skills and tons of credibility.

He was an impressive motherfucker. He lived on diet Coke. (They paid him the same thing that they paid me.)

Before I ever met this dude, I had worked with his brother at a different nuclear plant. You could not find two people more different.

I can't tell you the number of times that I said to him, "I can't believe you two are brothers."

This was one of the things that helped me establish a good relationship with this guy .. because I had previously worked with his brother.

And his brother was a total character .. so I had plenty of good stories to share with him.

» That was the Best Party I've Ever Been to

I am thinking of one such story right now .. when I bought my first place, and threw a house-warming party.

It ended about 1AM when the cops came, and said that they coud hear the music blasting from several blocks away.

His brother was at that party.

Six months later, people were still coming up to me on the street and saying things like, "You probably dont remember me .. but I was at your party. I came with a friend. That was the best party I've ever been to. Please let me know if you ever have another like it."

If his brother is still alive .. I would be surprised. Very surprised.

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This page contains a single entry by Rad published on October 23, 2017 10:23 PM.

Establishing the Pre-Conditions Necessary for a Trump to Rise - Part Two was the previous entry in this blog.

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