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If You’re Not Careful, Someone Might Go Nuclear Here

, , , , , | Working | October 6, 2021

Years ago, I was the supervisor for a field service crew in the nuclear power industry. Nuclear power plants are not typically located in populated areas. My crew and I usually stayed at second-rate motels and ate at local diners. I’ve forgotten exactly how much per-diem we received, but it barely covered our expenses, even for cheap motels and fast food. After each trip, my boss would complain about our expenses and how the company was barely making a profit.

On one trip, I was in the site work trailer late at night with the utilities’ site engineer. He asked if I wanted to see a copy of the contract between his company and my company. Of course, I did. The contract included an hourly pay scale that the utility paid for skilled labor, site supervision (me), and per-diem. It was eye-opening, to say the least.

A few days later, I was back in the office and my boss started his usual fuss about our “high” expenses. I told him I had seen the contract. That’s all it took. He never said anything about our travel expenses after that.