One manager learned the hard way that Sandia isn’t always truthful about the jobs it offers.


Evelyn Ryan worked for 22 years at Lawrence Livermore. Ten of those years she was a senior Quality Assurance Manager. Apparently, she knew her job well because she asked some key questions about the job Sandia Labs was offering. Unfortunately, she got less than honest answers.

Evelyn was told:

  • There was an existing compliant quality assurance department at Sandia Livermore (There wasn’t – Sandia was just getting around to creating one and it was Ms. Ryan’s job to set it up. A fact Sandia conveniently hid.)
  • Sandia had trained and qualified QA staff working in the department already. (Nope)
  • Sandia Livermore facility was compliant with all federal and other regulations in their operations. (Big surprise here. Nope!)

Why would Sandia lie, you may be asking about now. Because they had tried and failed to establish a Sandia Livermore QA department three times in the past. They were desperate and needed a body in the position. There was Ms. Ryan across the street. Tell her whatever she wants to hear and get her on board before DOE gets too pissy. You gotta “manage” DOE so they stay out of our business.

In fact, Sandia Livermore, for many years, had not been in compliance with DOE regulations and it would be Evelyn’s job to fix it. Problem was, Sandia didn’t really want it fixed. They wanted BUSINESS AS USUAL.

Ms. Ryan was concerned about several violations of applicable codes. Read the case – it sounds like a Friday night bingo game. 226.1B… 851.23… 820.71… BINGO!

Silly Ms. Ryan, she thought Sandia would want to fix QA problems. She thought she’d been hired to actually DO assurance. WRONG! Sandia told her to quit bringing up some many issues. It was bumming everyone out. But they’re SAFETY issues – lives could be at risk here, she insisted. Didn’t matter. She was told to shut up.

Ms. Ryan still didn’t understand Sandia culture. Her job was to hide things apparently, not to bring it all out in the open and fix the problem. Hmm, how do you spell 737 Max? She pointed out the big fines Sandia might have to pay, and the risk to human life. Unfortunately, she had crossed the line. The retaliation began. Sandia put on Ms. Ryan’s PMF that her raising issues was “creating churn among the management”. A clear sign that your job, Ms. Ryan, was to shut the f* up and get along with everyone at all costs, even human life and risk to the environment.

Ms. Ryan was told to go join SWAN. Now there’s a bundle of management-led wasted time. When has SWAN ever stood up for a woman who wasn’t treated fairly? The A stands for ACTION! Ms. Ryan was also told to “learn the Sandia culture”. WHOA! Anytime you hear this, you need to get up outta your chair and RUN! It’s a cover-up of something Sandia shouldn’t be doing.

Finally, Ms. Ryan was told to “move on”. She did, but not without suing Sandia for fraud and deceit, concealment and constructive discharge. More wasted money fighting a whistleblower rather than FIXING YOUR DAMN MESS, SANDIA!


OK, you’re probably asking yourself right now, who cares? This is QA and nobody really gives a damn about that at Sandia. In fact, it’s really just a nuisance. All those forms, the travelers to fill out, calibrations, reviews up the wazoo, corrective actions yada yada. Why should you care?

You should care because:

  • Sandia lied to an applicant. It’s not an isolated experience.
  • Sandia lied about the status of Quality Assurance and Safety. Lives were at risk. Possibly yours.
  • Sandia punished someone who complained about safety issues.
  • Sandia doesn’t give a shit about quality.

Still don’t care? Consider this: Your career may come to a screeching halt when you join Sandia and get put in a position you didn’t interview for and you don’t want. You have two choices. Shut up or leave. Make sure you know what you’re getting into and they’re not giving you LIES LIES LIES!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *