Petroglyph: pet·ro·glyph /ˈpetrəˌɡlif/ noun 1. a rock carving, especially a prehistoric one.

Oh, the Nevada Test Site! What an absolutely abysmal, depressing, fruitless, frustrating, exacerbating, painful, deplorable, reprehensible, self-loathing, hateful, disgraceful, shameful, lamentable, disreputable, regrettable, discreditable, grievous, unfortunate, wretched and DISHONORABLE position it is to be working as a Maintenance and Operations (M&O) subcontractor to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on the Nevada Test Site!

A 1950’s vintage nuclear test conducted at the Nevada Test Site involving U. S. military personnel. This is very likely a test that took place in NTS Area 05, according to my experience there.

That was me. I was all of those abject adjectives listed above for 14 years, from 2001-2015, up until such time that I got fired. Yes, fired, as in ‘put all the things from your desk in a box, turn in your meal card and lapel pin’ — FIRED! Reason: trying too hard not to be any of those 20 abject adjectives listed above.

“You know where the front door is, Hand.”

It would therefore seem a non-sequitur sort of thing to declare that job one of the most enjoyable and exciting times of my life in terms of the challenge. To work that job the way I did was living life on the very edge. At any given time, I was one second or one inch out in front of getting caught and fired. Nothing there made sense; therefore, to me, it wasn’t even real. And not being real meant it was just a game, one that I could play if I dared — and I dared!

The NV Test Site was more than an accident-free work zone, it was a work-free safety zone. There were so many measures in place to ensure absolute safety that it was barely north of impossible to accomplish any work. The bureaucracy was rigorous to the extent of being fully impenetrable: a magnificently fruitless endeavor to attempt to navigate. A stalwart stonewall of an immovable bastion of bull$hit was the bureaucracy.

Hence the game to circumvent, bypass, undermine and manipulate the system — transmogrify the treachery and make it perform on my own behalf. Working alone in every case was quintessential to successfully defeating the system, as it eliminated all possibility of being compromised.

Trusted agents came and went. I took them on as needed but always (ALWAYS) treated them as though they would turn on me at any juncture: always carrying them through the jobs as if they might have to be cut away at any second. By doing that, I was never caught short-handed and in jeopardy of mission failure.