Friday, March 03, 2006


(Cue Disney Music...)

Once upon a time, about 1984, a fair young maiden, used to work as a Radiation Safety Officer and Safety Coordinator (RSO/SC) at a major company’s castle. Her boss was kind and patriarchal; a total Machiavellian with politics who advised her wisely.

There was also a big, bad, sloppy chemist who was labeling antibiotics with radioactive isotopes and making the castle labs all hot (and not in a good way) and contaminated. This mess was showing up in all of the castle’s monthly sampling audits thus lousing up the castle records.

Being newly assigned, of course, the fair maiden wanted to shut him down, but how, oh how to do it without angering him and the lordly vice presidents he worked for?

Her boss showed her the way. He said, “Convene the Radiation Safety Committee you chair my dear and have them define limits for contamination in labs and then have them vote him shut down. Then it won’t be you shutting him down, it will be the committee.” Brilliant! And it worked. Sloppy Chemist was even on the committee and voted himself shut down. Then, one of the lordly Vice Presidents was angered, and telephoned the RSO/SC maiden and said brusquely, “I hear, fair maiden that you have shut down my chemist.”

“Twas the committee, Sir.”, she replied, “But thank you for seeing him as shut down.”, as she meekly straightened her corporate tie.

Just when all was well again at the corporate castle, the big bad state auditor called and said an audit of the castle’s labs and records was impending. “Oh no!!! What ever shall we do???” Cried the fair RSO/SC to her boss. Trouble seemed never ending!

“Calm down my dear.” I have a plan. He instructed her to write a memo to him detailing the problems and cleanup needed to remedy the situations. Also a mention should be made of implications the audit could have for the castle such as fines, shut downs, etcetera. He made sure that this memo was copied to the president of the company. Appropriate cleanup actions were taken; the audit conducted; and all was well in the castle again!

Some time later the company was reorganized and supervision of the RSO/SC maiden was to fall to another Vice President at a new castle. Oh despair! Plus, the new castle needed an additional RSO/SC. A meeting was set up for the new Vice President and RSO/SC maiden. When the interview commenced, the new Vice President held up the very memo that the RSO/SC maiden had written to her boss and copied to the President, and said, “We are a friendly group; this sort of thing will not be needed, nor will it be heeded.”

The fair RSO/SC fretted because she knew that at that time other RSO/SC were being imprisoned as castles hung them out to dry for failure to communicate problems to the lords. She ran back to her boss saying, “What am I to do?”

“I have a plan my dear. I have a position open in my clinical auditing group and you may have it if you like. Then just say nothing until you must to that mean Vice President and when you do, don’t tell him where you are going.”

The maiden followed his advice exactly to the letter. She called the new, mean Vice President at the eleventh hour and told him that his plans should not include her. He was furious and hounded her for where she was going, but she remained tight lipped.

He then called the fair maiden’s boss and said, “If you think that you can keep that RSO/SC position you are wrong; it is all mine! You do not get to keep the fair maiden either.”

The fair maiden's boss corrected him by saying, “Sorry, but I have a new position of my own as a clinical auditor that the fair maiden has accepted. So, see I got Cinderella and you got the pumpkin and the mice.”

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