Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory masthead A-Z Index Berkeley Lab masthead U.S. Department of Energy logo Phone Book Careers Search
Operations masthead

Ops Suggestion Box Responses

The Operations suggestion box responses is now back on line. Responses to suggestions will be published as received and those that have a name and email associated with them will also be sent a response directly.  Attributed as well as anonymous suggestions will be posted.

Previous responses have been archived.

Thank you!

Date Received



Date Closed


It is currently impossible to get a hold of anyone by telephone at Shipping, Receiving, or get caught in an endless loop of automatic messages. This is causing big problems for us. The new system up there is great, but we still need to get a hold of a real, breathing person. Can we please restore that capability?

From Facilities

The point of contact is Jon Cleveland at Ext. 5232. The way the system is designed, after the caller listens to the "self help" prompts, they have the option to speak to a "real person." Only if that person is not available should the call go to voice mail.




Why do people with general parking get to park in blue triangle at B65?  There is a car with personalized license plates that parks everyday in the B65 lot in blue triangle when I know they are not blue triangle eligible.  How come they get to park there when the rest of us have to continually search for one? How come they are not getting ticketed - isnt security in that same building?  

From Security

All employees need to be in compliance with the parking rules and policies.  B65 employees will be reminded of the policies and will be required to park in the appropriate areas. Proper monitoring will be done to ensure parking guidelines are being followed.




I think the new sidewalk along McMillan road is wonderful.  However, I feel that more crosswalks need to be added.  One south of Parking Lot N4 and one south of Parking Lot N3.  I have seen many folks jaywalking in these areas.  Will the lab be adding more crosswalks?

From Facilities

The several new crosswalks are already planned for this area and are scheduled to be painted on Nov.12th, weather permitting.



Hello- Im a new employee at the lab and I was wondering how to set up pretax transit spending. Where can I find more information? I looked all over the HR/benefits/For Staff and Guests parts of the web, and had no success. Thanks

You can find information on all Commuter Incentives via



I would like to suggest two improvements to our radiological authorization process , ,1. Electronic signatures. Right now, all radiological authorizations are signed by hand. This is problematic for people who are not here at the Lab, and usually results in a further request to generate separate signature pages for remote personnel, followed by sending and receiving documents. Not exactly efficient or convenient. With electronic signatures, individuals could simply log on and electronically sign. , ,2. Supervisor tracking. For whatever reason, it seems that outside users do not have their email addresses available to the EHS/training people, so when their training is about to expire, they dont get notified. They are then removed from any authorizations requiring that expired training. Now the outside user must not only renew their training, but also get re-added to the authorizations which, is not easy...see 1 above. If supervisors or work leads could simply receive an email notification that someone working for them is about to have their training expire, the supervisor could contact them and solve the problem before they get booted off of the authorizations.   Thanks

From EHS

A couple of years ago we looked at electronic signatures but it was prohibitively expensive to implement with our resources at the time. We're planning a Lean effort this FY to streamline our work authorizations and allow PIs to assign folks to their authorizations in our system. Getting signatures is a pain for us too, but is essential from a PAAA perspective. However we address it in our Lean effort, we have to maintain line management responsibility over their staff and operations. This will be largely moot when the Lab WP&C system is implemented as we'll roll into however that authorizes work.   On the training side, no-one without an LBNL employee ID can be listed on an authorization, so they must have an LBNL email account, which would receive the training reminders from the Training Group as do their supervisors. It would seem likely that guests of LBNL listed on authorizations probably don't use their LBNL email accounts, or their LBNL supervisors don't see the reminders that they get sent as well. We keep a close eye on training coming due and try to give folks as much notice as possible because having people perform radiological work without training violates federal law. It's tough when you have a large facility like the 88-Inch Cyclotron that has over 100 radiation workers, especially when people aren't responsive for whatever reason.


Dear Ops Suggestion box, can you tell me who is reading these?  We had a question about this vehicle and wonder if people use it and who is responsible for responding to the inquiries.  We want to publicize the site to our divisions in General Sciences but wonder if it is an active site.   Thank you

The Ops Suggestion Box is maintained by the Operations Directorate staff.    Once a suggestion is submitted the staff determines the best person/area to answer and will submit the question to them for a response.  All questions submitted to the Suggestion Box have the option to be anonymous, however, should the sender enter their name, a response is sent directly to that person from the Operations Directorate as well as being posted to the Suggestion Box Response link.   All questions referred on to the appropriate person/area for a response are sent as anonymous and all postings to the Suggestion Box Response site are posted without the requester’s name regardless if a name was entered.



Why do we have multiple flyers advertising the same event? In some places there are 5-6 flyers in the same hallway.  Isnt it a safety issue when they are posted on the glass doors and windows?  There are some building that you cannot even see through the door to be sure someone isnt coming the other way.  Certainly there can be a better way to advertise events - either keep them on designated bulletin boards or limit the number that are posted.  Who is responsible to take them down when the event is over - some stay up for months.  I think this is a safety issue.

From Public Affairs

This has been an issue for a long time. There has been an effort to try to get a central kiosk/community bulletin board constructed where these kinds of things could be posted, hoping it would cut down on flyers on doors around the lab  but as you can see,  it has been difficult to enforce.

We hope that those organizations that post flyers will then make an effort to remove them at the appropriate time.  Any employee can also remove flyers when they are past the date of the advertised event.



I have received today that my Ergo Training expired. This is a first notice about that training. Why there were no earlier notices within  the last 60 days? I believe that the training system is supposed to send reminders. Could you, please, check what happened?

Reminder emails are sent out the first of each month and list all training that will expire in 60 days as well as training that has expired.



What is the procedure for returning a product purchased via ,E.g. wrong product, confused by description, from Staples.  

The way items are returned to the vendors, is by calling the vendor and giving them the order number which should be listed in the shipping label/document with the package. They in return will give you a return number and you place all the items back in the box and with and write the return number and place it in the out going.



At the All Hands meeting yesterday 7/27 you reviewed the planned construction of new walkways around the construction site where Buildings 25 and 25A were.  Those are good ideas, but you need one more -- on the section of Glaser Road that is closest to the firehouse.  As it is, pedestrians go downhill on the road that connects B26 with Glaser Rd, and at the bottom they turn right to continue towards B54 etc.  There is no walkway there now, and its very unsafe.      

From Facilities:

A preliminary design & estimate for that walkway is on the "unicall list" for possible mid-year FY12  funding. 



It would be nice if a video of the Ops all-hands meetings is provided via live streaming and on-demand for those of us no longer on the hill who cant make it there in person.

Thank you for your suggestion.  The 2011 All Hand’s meetings will be streamed for viewing by the off site employees.  The link will be provided with the All Hand’s Meeting notifications.



Time Reporting

The Suggestion: The RPM used to have a section on time reporting for exempt classifications. My understanding is that exempt classifications report time in 4 hour increments. Is this still the policy?

For example, a work day for an employee is 7am-4pm. If a scheduled medical appointment is at 3pm...does an employee really need to charge 4 hours of sick leave.

My understanding of the policy is that as an exempt employee we are responsible for managing our workload to ensure deadlines are met.

Can this policy be posted to the RPM again to help facilitate discussions with supervisors.

From Human Resources: 

The Time Reporting policy specifies that full-time exempt employees report in 1/2 day (4 hour) increments.  This has been and continues to be the policy.  In addition, it has been our practice for exempt employees, who needed to leave work early, to negotiate with their supervisor on how they would complete their work.



Ive noticed a distinct liberal bias in the Today At Berkeley Lab articles. The latest was this mornings spotlight on the career of our Government Relations Head here at LBL http// I understand this is Berkeley, but as a national laboratory, shouldnt we strive for objectivity and do our best to keep the politics out of the science? How come we dont see TABL highlighting the conservative or libertarian backgrounds of our Lab personnel?

Thank you for your comment.  It has been forwarded to the Public Affairs Department.


Photo of Jim Krupnick on this page (website). He looks wooden in this photo, but hes actually a good-lookin guy.  It should be easy to find a better photo that more accurately captures him and looks more managerially appealing.

Thank you for your comment.  We will update pictures with the new Ops website which will be posted shortly.


Recently Kleenex or facial tissues became a restricted item as they were deemed a personal item.  Im wondering if perhaps this were fully vetted?  There are still posters on the hill reminding staff to sneeze into their sleeve or a tissue to prevent spreading germs.  Staff now may purchase Kimwipes and use them as tissues as was done in the past when Kleenex was restricted.  This at a much higher cost to the Lab and with materials that are not a recycled product as facial tissues are.  I understand the desire to keep costs down but perhaps finding a cheaper facial tissue is the answer, not restricting the item.  Could this be addressed/reconsidered?

From Procurement:

Facial tissues (Kleenex) have been removed from the office supplies catalog on eBuy as an item that has dual use potential and one that unnecessarily duplicates the small size Kimwipes product that is available on the safety supplies catalog. The similar Kimwipes product is priced lower per tissue than Kleenex and its availability and purpose is more consistent with use as a product suitable for purchase by the Laboratory.



New Building 15 appears to have a metal skin on the outside, as do many other buildings around the Lab.  I wonder if anyone is considering the appropriateness of this, given the increasing use of and dependence on wireless technologies.  Doesn’t metal in building structures interfere with wireless transmissions, similar to how a Faraday cage functions? trapping most wireless transmissions on whichever side they originated?

From Information Technology

Yes you are right about the effect of metal on Radio Frequency transmission and this affects multiple frequencies--not just data wireless. However, depending the building (with metal siding) and the frequencies used, the RF may get through just fine.  The physicality of the building has a lot to do with this phenomenon and isn't always intuitively predictable as most buildings do not have 100% metal skin covering.   It typically doesn't affect our wireless installations as we design,  install and then "test" the field strength of the RF throughout the buildings outfitted.  


Last updated: November 29, 2011