Productivity

Dear J—

Productivity, pro-duck-tivv-ity. These are things I think about when I’m finding photos to caption instead of writing a report that’s due in a few short weeks. The longer I meander through this, the longer it’s going to take to review and finish. Shall we instead work a bit harder and not spend so much time wandering about lost in assumptions and illustrations? I’m quite fond of the illustrations, though, and it’s starting to feel a little like a thesis, given the amount of explanation I have thrown in between the intended audience (legal professionals) and complexity of the subject (very). If you had told me years ago that what I’d be doing most days was writing and drawing pictures I’d have laughed at you.

We measure productivity in terms of output and completeness; did you get this done, what about that fragmentary thought you were about to finish? My writing on this has come in fits and starts; the first chapter was relatively easy and flowed naturally from mind to page; going through the assumptions has been far more staccato, what with not fully understanding them the first time through and then fretting over whether they made a significant difference or not (answer: unknown; I still have to re-do the analysis to find out if what I’m saying makes a difference. Part of my delay is just that: I don’t want to have to deal with it, as we’ve already reported results and I’m loath to change them, though I really ought to for this reason alone: it’s not right. GOYBS.

The nuclear world is filled with acronyms, some of which form a common lingua franca between plants. PRA: probabilistic risk assessment. HP/RP: Health Physics or Radiation Protection. RCS: Reactor Coolant System. The first few months it’s overwhelming and you carry around a sheet or a notepad to jot them down for later reference in meetings when you can nod knowingly and authoritatively. Aye, I understand what you mean by a LER, a Licensee Event Report. To this I throw the GOYBS: Get Over Your Bad Self, which is advice I take every time I start to think that I’m immune or special or can’t be bothered to do that. No. I can, and I probably should. I’m not always productive, but at least I recognize where I need to go.

Mike

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