Why yes they have… and it was me/mine!
As a member of the 15th expedition to the International Space Station, I apparently became classified as a bit of a “problem child.” It had nothing to do with my ability to do all jobs in space correctly, quickly, and professionally. I would learn it was my attitude that was at issue. Many folks on the Mission Control Center team felt that while I was doing everything asked of me, I was still not performing as they would have liked. In other words, they were not happy with my willingness to call them out at times, pointing out instances that I thought were rife with inefficiencies. Their expectation was that I do everything they say –without question– and keep my big mouth shut!
My new book, The Ordinary Spaceman: From Boyhood Dreams to Astronaut, (University of Nebraska Press) provides several relevant examples in Chapter 14. Entitled “Crime and Punishment,” a short, unedited excerpt from my original manuscript is provided here:
The total number of weightless turds I launched from ISS escapes me, but no doubt it was substantial. Safely back on the ground after a sometimes combative five months, I was sentenced to what I would call the astronaut version of “community service,” otherwise known as the astronaut penalty box.
The words used by the Astronaut Evaluation Board (AEB) to describe my 152 days of service onboard the ISS were, in part: “… although Clayton is thoughtful with his peers, he needs to improve his communication skills and attitude towards other teams with which he interfaces,” and that “he tended to be a bit too casual with MCC, and sometimes too frank, and he could have been more patient during stressful times.” They went on to say that “Clay will need to rebuild his relationship with MCC if he is to fly again.” The recommendation for my flight status, as developed by my office peers, was listed as “conditionally eligible.”
It’s tough to admit, but for some of this, they were right. While my intentions were always aimed at making things better for those who would follow me into space, I had not heeded their advice, and I let the frustration build to a point where it affected my work and interactions with the ground. Even though my family and I legitimately experienced those “dark days,” I could have handled myself better. I did not follow the unspoken rule that, no matter what, the ground is always right and they should be treated with “kid gloves.”
我认为他们很多地方说错了，但其中一些他们又是对的。 尽管我的意图始终是为那些会跟随我进入太空的人们提供更好的服务，但我没有听从他们的建议，我让挫败感发展到了影响我的工作和与地面互动的地步。 即使我和我的家人经历了那些“黑暗的日子”，但我知道我本可以处理得更好的。 我没有遵循潜规则，即无论如何，地面永远是正确的，应该给他们戴“儿童手套”。
Yet I wasn’t totally at fault. The situation on ISS where we all did work behind the same panel in the same week was, in my opinion, ridiculous. As a crew support astronaut for the Expedition 4 crew, I knew, and participated in, the weekly planning meetings where these exact types of situations were/are discussed. I was, on numerous occasions, the voice behind the “elephant in the room” when the technical team failed, even then, to grasp the concept of “proper planning prevents poor performance.” To direct a crew to waste that amount of identical (and expensive) crew time on orbit was the highest form of Government waste. It was inexcusable.
But I could have handled it differently; as I would quickly find out.
我并不是完全错了。 我认为，在国际上空间站上，我们在同一个面板上一起工作一个星期的情况非常可笑。 作为Expedition 4机组的宇航员支援宇航员，我知道，并参加了每周计划会议，讨论了这些类型事情的情况。 在很多情况下，当技术团队失败时，我不会避而不谈而会毫不犹豫地指出，弄清楚“防止性能下降的合适计划”究竟是什么。工作人员一次又一次地浪费昂贵的的机组人员在轨时间是政府浪费的最高形式。 这是不可原谅的。但是 我很快就会发现我本可以以不同的方式处理它。
The “community service” recommended by the AEB; “that Clay would benefit from leadership/followership and teamwork training,” that “he be put in a leadership role, perhaps as a branch chief, to satisfy this development in part,” and that “he consult with his Human Resources representative for additional development classes,” was taken to heart.
Still, it was tough getting dressed down like that.
I would not be taken off of probationary status until I received a call from astronaut management in “the corner office,” telling me I had been assigned to the crew of STS-131 and Discovery.
Keep lookin’ up! I always did.
It’s an interesting dilemma. Inefficiency and “bone-headed processes” grate on me and several of my friends & colleagues, however I have gotten myself in trouble by pointing them out too candidly. I always appreciate it when others do that (I think!), but it doesn’t go over well with everyone, particularly people who are insecure or those who are highly process or “role” oriented.
Any tips for making inefficient organizations better without ruffling too many feathers?
这是一个有趣的难题。 低效率和“骨头处理”使我以及我的一些朋友和同事感到不快，但是我过分坦率地指出了他们的错误，这让我遇到了很大麻烦。 当别人坦率指出我的错误时，我总是很感激（我认为！），但是对于别的人来说，尤其是那些不安全的人或高度重视流程或“角色”的人，这样做并不能很好解决。
Best method is to convince group that it’s THEIR idea, not yours. Not always an easy thing to do, but very effective when successful.
国际空间站的生活International Space Station
Anderson was a member of the Expedition 15 crew and spent 152 days on board the International Space Station. He launched to the station aboard Shuttle Atlantis as Mission Specialist 5 for the STS-117 mission on June 8, 2007, and remained on board as a member of the Expedition 16 crew before returning to earth aboard Discovery on mission STS-120 on November 7, 2007. On return his official title was Mission Specialist 5. Two of the photos that he took during his July and August 2007 spacewalks were listed on Popular Science’s photo gallery of the best astronaut selfies.
安德森（Anderson）是远征号15号的成员，在国际空间站上呆了152天。他于2007年6月8日乘坐航天飞机Shuttle Atlantis作为STS-117任务5的专家5升空，并继续以远征16号机组人员的身份留在机上，然后乘坐发现号STS-120返回地球。 2007年11月7日。他的正式头衔是任务专员5。他在2007年7月和2007年8月的太空行走中拍摄的两张照片被列在科普图片库里的最佳宇航员自拍照中。
Anderson continued a tradition aboard the International Space Station, started by Michael Lopez-Alegria, of conducting daily “trivia” contests with mission control team members on the ground. During Alegria’s seven-month stay on the station he would routinely call down movie quotes and challenge the team members to determine the movie the quote was from. Towards the end of his mission he changed to music trivia playing a portion of a song and challenging the team to complete the line.
Anderson has taken this tradition and put his own personal twist on it, using the “Book of Answers: The New York Public Library Telephone Reference Service’s Most Unusual and Entertaining Questions”. Anderson often played song clips for the ground control team, or specific individuals, most notably when he played the song “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” by Bryan Adams for his wife on her birthday.
【另，在Clay的个人主页上发现一段魔性的视频，改编自江南Style的NASA johnson style】