‘Get That Place Running Properly’

Jim Burbank: Hired as a Planner in the Late 1940s

I got moved around a lot at EB. One day Carleton Shugg – the general manager – called me in. He said, “All the radiation control stuff is scattered all over the place. There’s nobody in charge. I want you to go down there and see if you can learn enough about it so you can help them get that place running properly.”

I went down to the area, not much bigger than this room, where they had the meters, the dosimeters, all this stuff. I said, “You got three shifts of people going here, seven days a week. Who knows what’s on those shelves? Who knows what’s checked out and what isn’t?”

They were happy to have somebody to help them, because to a great extent the problem was that they couldn’t get what they wanted. This was sort of stupid.

I liked everything I did there. Every job – everything was so … complicated. There was a lot to learn. We were doing something nobody had ever done before. Even if you were in the same job, some of the things your job encompassed changed. That was interesting. You never got bored.

My favorite general manager, no question about it, was Carl Shugg. Everybody liked him. He never, ever raised his voice at anybody. Terrific guy. He lived not too far from us in Mystic.

After he retired he sold his sailboat. We had a 30-foot sloop, so if we had a nice day like this I’d call him up and ask him if he wanted to go for a sail. And he would.