Author Topic: A Tangent On Working Hours and Stuff Split from "All things Novel Coronavirus"  (Read 4567 times)

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Offline stellarpanther

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That's embarrassing.

I actually heard that from a doctor when I worked at NDMC about 10 years ago.  I don't recall exactly how the topic came up but we were sitting in the cafeteria on a Friday afternoon when one of the doc's came in an sat with us and we all started talking.  He mentioned his time in Edmonton and mentioned something about a lot of the troops posted in Edmonton get sent to Wainright for exercises that can go for months.  One of the clerks piped up that they would go insane or probably quit or get medically released for stress if they had to do that.  The doctor laughed and said that a lot of those troops that go there love it and would probably quit or go insane if they had to sit behind a desk all day.  He thought that was one of the great things about the military, that we have so many people with different mentalities.

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As for you mentioning that it does happen in combat arms units that's good but by saying the mbr doesn't set their hours, a lot of time they do.  Probably on the first day at many of the larger units in Ottawa who are open 0730-1600, one of the questions on the first day or even before you start will be, do you want to work 0730-1530 or 0800-1600.

The hours are set and they are giving a flex schedule.  So even still if I had/have someone working under me and they set their hours from 0730 to 1530 I expect them to be in and leave at those times.  Not suddenly roll in at 0800 because he or she wants to. So no you aren’t setting your own hours you are being given options.

If you happen to work over your hours I expect that to be communicated and an arrangement made to let you make up for that time.  So you worked over a few hours because of X.  Cool let me know and we’ll see when we can best fit in that compensatory time.  Not you deciding not to come in the next day until 10 without clearing it.  Or decide to work extra just to take a Friday off. 

Communication. Up and down.

Most Infantry WOs are fair.  As long ans you keep them in the loop.  But most infantry WOs won’t put up with shenanigans and constant complaining.

Now it depends on the job and what you are doing.
Optio

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there is a good chance that person will end up on stress leave. 



When I was in the Shore Office on HMCS Montreal, before we got our ship back in 2013, I was working until 5-6 PM daily to try and keep my head above water.  I came in late in the refit cycle, and had a month to get up to speed before we got the ship back.

When we took the ship back from the Incompetent Shipyard Incorporated, it was a mad rush - for 2 years - I didn't leave work on time more than a handful of times.  Most nights I worked until 6-7 pm.  Between the maintenance and repairs that had to be completed to re-activate the ship's systems, the testing of various equipment, and the rotational schedule that we had to support for software testing and system integration testing...we had troops that would come in at 0800- be sent home at 0900 with direction to be back onboard by 1530 and be ready to stay overnight if need be.  We'd sometimes get notice that we needed personnel to stay onboard overnight at 1400-1500 hrs for a trial starting at 1600 hrs. 


Learning to cope with that constant level of stress- well, welcome to the Navy. 


We did break people.  The pace was driven from above the Admiral - having ships re-activating ON TIME was crucial - if we didn't, well, then the Navy had failed.  We had a no-fail task.  I had a CPO2 crying on my shoulder one afternoon - we get him up to the base hospital.  We had 5x Lt(N) who 'left the ship' for 'various' reasons.  We had a PO1 who pulled pin and put his release on one fine day of having too much of everything going on.  He was a stoker - he literally walked out of the MCR, went to his computer, clicked 'print' on the file he had ready - signed it, and the accompanying leave pass, and walked off the brow.  30 days later he was a Civvy. 


So.  If you're in the military, and you cannot handle the stress of something outside of an 8-4 job, I have to question how well prepared you actually are for being in the military?  What happens when 9/11 happens again and we have to stand up armed base defense force personnel everywhere?  How many buildings are there in Ottawa that might need an armed presence?  Who do you think is going to do that?  The Captains and Majors?  Nope.  It'll be the clerks, stewards, and storesmen that are in the Ottawa Area...meaning you'll be jumped out of your desk, handed a rifle, given a set of ROE's, and told to stand a post.


If you are not ready to become a part of the force employment mechanism within the CAF, then maybe you should consider a different career?

When we went through basic training, we all had a First Aid course.   You learned how to put a bandage on someone - how to deliver effective first response to a gunshot wound, to a broken arm, etc.  We learned how to sew nametags onto every piece of kit we owned - why?  Because the barrel stitch that we were taught is exactly the same stitch used to sew a wound shut.  We learned how to follow drill commands and how to respond to a leader's direction on a parade square before we were given weapons - and we learned all of that first aid before we learned to operate and use our weapons.  Why?  So that if, on the day we go to the range, one of our troops gets hurt all of the soldiers knows how to apply a field dressing and do basic first aid.


We learned how to do all of those things, and if you've forgotten that the basic skill of a soldier, sailor or airwoman/man is to "Take a Rifle, Stand a Post" with the ability to deliver Deadly Force in accordance with the Rules of Engagement written on your Soldier Card - then maybe you should wake up and smell the cordite.


Your most basic job as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces is to be able to take and use a weapon. 


Don't tell yourself that as a HRA or admin clerk that you're not a target, and you don't need to know how to do that...WO Patrice Vincent was a Fire Fighter.  Just about the furthest thing from carrying a rifle and standing a post - but he was deliberately targeted and killed almost 6 years ago.


If the above concepts are an anathema to you, then perhaps you should find another career. 


When I was speaking with some of my soldiers during their BMQ, I observed their targets in the butts, and congratulated them on their deadliness.  I am helping to train infantry soldiers - complimenting their skill at arms is important, particularly when it is deserved.


stellarpanther - I think you may need to do a serious gut-check and ponder whether or not your personal ethos matches that of the Canadian Armed Forces if you're not ready to do more than 8-4, and if you are but your co-workers aren't - then maybe they should consider this as well.


Stay deadly.


NS

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Offline stellarpanther

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The hours are set and they are giving a flex schedule.  So even still if I had/have someone working under me and they set their hours from 0730 to 1530 I expect them to be in and leave at those times.  Not suddenly roll in at 0800 because he or she wants to. So no you aren’t setting your own hours you are being given options.

If you happen to work over your hours I expect that to be communicated and an arrangement made to let you make up for that time.  So you worked over a few hours because of X.  Cool let me know and we’ll see when we can best fit in that compensatory time.  Not you deciding not to come in the next day until 10 without clearing it.  Or decide to work extra just to take a Friday off. 

That usually what I do but I've heard the WO or Capt on a couple of occasions tell the mbr.  "you're an adult just write it on the board or make sure someone knows".   They both have the attitude that mbr's will be treated like adults and trusted they will do the right thing until they do something to lose the trust.  I've seen it both ways where trust has to be earned first. 

Offline stellarpanther

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stellarpanther - I think you may need to do a serious gut-check and ponder whether or not your personal ethos matches that of the Canadian Armed Forces if you're not ready to do more than 8-4, and if you are but your co-workers aren't - then maybe they should consider this as well.

Stay deadly.

NS

I've asked myself that in the past and while I would be lying to say it wouldn't be tough at first, I only have a few years left until I can get out with 20 years.  I don't think I could join where my mind is now and last 20-25 years doing it.

Offline Jarnhamar

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Quote from: stellarpanther
there is a good chance that person will end up on stress leave.

Quote from: stellarpanther
I actually heard that from a doctor when I worked at NDMC about 10 years ago.

You're basing your opinion off of what a troop said to a doctor 10 years ago? I'm sure you have more recent examples, this seemed a bit strange to lead with.

In any case, hopefully no soldiers in Ottawa need to go on stress leave at the thought of deploying outdoors for Op Laser.




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Offline stellarpanther

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You're basing your opinion off of what a troop said to a doctor 10 years ago? I'm sure you have more recent examples, this seemed a bit strange to lead with.

In any case, hopefully no soldiers in Ottawa need to go on stress leave at the thought of deploying outdoors for Op Laser.

I guess I just used that example because it was a doctor saying it and I thought it give it more weight.  We have people barely holding it together on some days with the current (pre-COVID-19) work load and occasionally snap at supervisors when they are told they are on parade.  I'm not sure how they would do in a field unit. I do sometimes wonder if the younger ones would crack with just the thought of having to go.  You have to speak very nicely and make sure to say please and thank you all the time.  I try to anyway because it's my nature but just saying.

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... if you take someone who's spent most of their career sitting behind a desk working 8-4 on a first with everyone on a first name basis and then subject them to that, there is a good chance that person will end up on stress leave.  Not saying it's not necessary for some but not everyone has that type of mentality to be able to deal with that.
Which is why it's not a "one size fits all" approach. There are some Cbt A troops who don't like it but they won't deny that it works.

As for Probably on the first day at many of the larger units in Ottawa who are open 0730-1600, one of the questions on the first day or even before you start will be, do you want to work 0730-1530 or 0800-1600.

I spent nine years at NDHQ before moving on to another department in another uniform.  Yes, i was given options regarding hours of work by my bosses but I never imposed my chosen schedule on them, not even as a CWO.  The boss said "Do you want to work 0700- 1500 or 0800 to 1600?"  if I wanted another option, say 0630 -1430, I didn't tell the boss.  i asked.  So did you.  Making it sound like you picked your own hours is disingenuous.  You offered an option which your boss allowed you to exercise.  Nothing more.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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When I was in the Shore Office on HMCS Montreal, before we got our ship back in 2013, I was working until 5-6 PM daily to try and keep my head above water.  I came in late in the refit cycle, and had a month to get up to speed before we got the ship back.

When we took the ship back from the Incompetent Shipyard Incorporated, it was a mad rush - for 2 years - I didn't leave work on time more than a handful of times.  Most nights I worked until 6-7 pm.  Between the maintenance and repairs that had to be completed to re-activate the ship's systems, the testing of various equipment, and the rotational schedule that we had to support for software testing and system integration testing...we had troops that would come in at 0800- be sent home at 0900 with direction to be back onboard by 1530 and be ready to stay overnight if need be.  We'd sometimes get notice that we needed personnel to stay onboard overnight at 1400-1500 hrs for a trial starting at 1600 hrs. 


Learning to cope with that constant level of stress- well, welcome to the Navy. 


We did break people.  The pace was driven from above the Admiral - having ships re-activating ON TIME was crucial - if we didn't, well, then the Navy had failed.  We had a no-fail task.  I had a CPO2 crying on my shoulder one afternoon - we get him up to the base hospital.  We had 5x Lt(N) who 'left the ship' for 'various' reasons.  We had a PO1 who pulled pin and put his release on one fine day of having too much of everything going on.  He was a stoker - he literally walked out of the MCR, went to his computer, clicked 'print' on the file he had ready - signed it, and the accompanying leave pass, and walked off the brow.  30 days later he was a Civvy. 


So.  If you're in the military, and you cannot handle the stress of something outside of an 8-4 job, I have to question how well prepared you actually are for being in the military?  What happens when 9/11 happens again and we have to stand up armed base defense force personnel everywhere?  How many buildings are there in Ottawa that might need an armed presence?  Who do you think is going to do that?  The Captains and Majors?  Nope.  It'll be the clerks, stewards, and storesmen that are in the Ottawa Area...meaning you'll be jumped out of your desk, handed a rifle, given a set of ROE's, and told to stand a post.


If you are not ready to become a part of the force employment mechanism within the CAF, then maybe you should consider a different career?

When we went through basic training, we all had a First Aid course.   You learned how to put a bandage on someone - how to deliver effective first response to a gunshot wound, to a broken arm, etc.  We learned how to sew nametags onto every piece of kit we owned - why?  Because the barrel stitch that we were taught is exactly the same stitch used to sew a wound shut.  We learned how to follow drill commands and how to respond to a leader's direction on a parade square before we were given weapons - and we learned all of that first aid before we learned to operate and use our weapons.  Why?  So that if, on the day we go to the range, one of our troops gets hurt all of the soldiers knows how to apply a field dressing and do basic first aid.


We learned how to do all of those things, and if you've forgotten that the basic skill of a soldier, sailor or airwoman/man is to "Take a Rifle, Stand a Post" with the ability to deliver Deadly Force in accordance with the Rules of Engagement written on your Soldier Card - then maybe you should wake up and smell the cordite.


Your most basic job as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces is to be able to take and use a weapon. 


Don't tell yourself that as a HRA or admin clerk that you're not a target, and you don't need to know how to do that...WO Patrice Vincent was a Fire Fighter.  Just about the furthest thing from carrying a rifle and standing a post - but he was deliberately targeted and killed almost 6 years ago.


If the above concepts are an anathema to you, then perhaps you should find another career. 


When I was speaking with some of my soldiers during their BMQ, I observed their targets in the butts, and congratulated them on their deadliness.  I am helping to train infantry soldiers - complimenting their skill at arms is important, particularly when it is deserved.


stellarpanther - I think you may need to do a serious gut-check and ponder whether or not your personal ethos matches that of the Canadian Armed Forces if you're not ready to do more than 8-4, and if you are but your co-workers aren't - then maybe they should consider this as well.


Stay deadly.


NS


'Pressure makes diamonds.' George S. Patton ;)

Now, channelling my inner 'brand new Army MCpl/MBdr' voice: Gentlefolk - shall we get this thread back on topic and away from an online counselling session?

There's a war on, you know... :)
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

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Locked so I can split some of this non-virus stuff off.
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Split off as best I could...lots of posts with both subjects in them.
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I actually heard that from a doctor when I worked at NDMC about 10 years ago.  . . .

Well, I heard a doctor from NDMC (the Chief of Psychiatry actually) say that it would be perfectly normal for an adolescent farm boy to have his first sexual experiences with the livestock and would only be a clinical issue if said lad continued doing it with the sheep into his later teens, so I sometimes take what doctors say with a grain of salt.

True story.  It was on my TQ3 course (so decades and decades and decades ago); the Colonel headshrinker was down to Borden for the day for some of our psych classes.  Obviously a memorable instructional period.
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Offline stellarpanther

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Which is why it's not a "one size fits all" approach. There are some Cbt A troops who don't like it but they won't deny that it works.

I spent nine years at NDHQ before moving on to another department in another uniform.  Yes, i was given options regarding hours of work by my bosses but I never imposed my chosen schedule on them, not even as a CWO.  The boss said "Do you want to work 0700- 1500 or 0800 to 1600?"  if I wanted another option, say 0630 -1430, I didn't tell the boss.  i asked.  So did you.  Making it sound like you picked your own hours is disingenuous.  You offered an option which your boss allowed you to exercise.  Nothing more.

Sorry I guess I wasn't clear and maybe that's part of my problem with my posts.  I agree with you completely though.  I will say though that maybe another part of my problem is that I've mostly been in Ottawa for all of my career and that's really all I know.  There are several people in that same situation  In our trade at least in the NCR, we basically do the same work as a civi with parades thrown in which is why I said in a previous post that we're often like civi's in uniform.  That's how it often feels, it wasn't a complaint or dig or anything like that.   We're usually automatically given the time off when we work overtime when required which is rare but that's not our fault, the CoC are the ones who put that policy in place. 
Something I feel I should add is that, I'm a MCpl, I don't make the rules, I follow them and make sure people under me are following them.  I give my thoughts in O groups on certain issues and that's it. Mostly I do my job and shut up.  My CoC doesn't have a problem with me as far as I know, PER's have been ok, I ranked but am not getting promoted this year but I don't really want to either.  If it sounds like I complain a lot maybe it does come across like that on here because I do find that I vent on more than at work.  I've been known to tell my boss that something is stupid and how I feel and they've been fine with it.

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obedience has to be immediate and unquestioning

I think some members of A Pl, ST7 might want to debate that one with you.

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Also...NavyShooter, your post in this thread is probably one of the best I've ever read. Very well said.




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Who?

And it's about context. There is a time and place for that type of leadership. Everyday is not the time and everywhere is not the place. Any officer or NCM who believes otherwise is doomed.

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I've asked myself that in the past and while I would be lying to say it wouldn't be tough at first, I only have a few years left until I can get out with 20 years.  I don't think I could join where my mind is now and last 20-25 years doing it.



Then I would posit that you are no longer deadly.  Certainly not to our enemies. 


Your 'few years left' will see you more jaded, and less soldierly.  You will, if you stay to your 20 with your current attitude, end up as a bitter and beaten down individual.


I've seen it - that goal of 'sticking it out to get my 20' - you're doing yourself a dis-service.


I see three options for you. 


1.  Get out of your rut.  Get operational.  Cast aside the 8-4, get out of Ottawa, leave the Golden Palace eggrolls behind and re-invigorate yourself.  Being with the troops is great.  Being stuck behind a desk is a terrible fate.


2.  Stay in - punch your time to get your 20 - by the time you get there in a few years, you will have become bitter - as a MCpl perhaps on the cusp of being promoted - or even middle of the pack - you may rise and become a Sgt, but your attitude will wear you, and those around you down.  You'd likely be a very bitter Sgt - and getting that rank with a bare year or two - having to learn all the higher level skills associate with the higher rank- you'd likely be too comfortable doing the MCpl job and not want to learn the new skills expected of you.  Your performance would drop the closer you got to hitting your 20, and eventually, you'd flip the switch - leaving a bitter man in search of something similar because of the comfort you felt.


3.  Get out now.  Write your resume this weekend - submit your name - when the COVID passes, and OP LASER secures, there will be many new opportunities.  Take that, find something that inspires you.  There is more out there.


Based on your additional comments and responses - you're likely to be a very bitter MCpl who retires at 20 years with a big chip on your shoulder. 


That would be unfortunate.  In truth, none of us wish you ill, we're just trying to help.


NS

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Then I would posit that you are no longer deadly.  Certainly not to our enemies. 


Your 'few years left' will see you more jaded, and less soldierly.  You will, if you stay to your 20 with your current attitude, end up as a bitter and beaten down individual.


I've seen it - that goal of 'sticking it out to get my 20' - you're doing yourself a dis-service.


I see three options for you. 


1.  Get out of your rut.  Get operational.  Cast aside the 8-4, get out of Ottawa, leave the Golden Palace eggrolls behind and re-invigorate yourself.  Being with the troops is great.  Being stuck behind a desk is a terrible fate.


2.  Stay in - punch your time to get your 20 - by the time you get there in a few years, you will have become bitter - as a MCpl perhaps on the cusp of being promoted - or even middle of the pack - you may rise and become a Sgt, but your attitude will wear you, and those around you down.  You'd likely be a very bitter Sgt - and getting that rank with a bare year or two - having to learn all the higher level skills associate with the higher rank- you'd likely be too comfortable doing the MCpl job and not want to learn the new skills expected of you.  Your performance would drop the closer you got to hitting your 20, and eventually, you'd flip the switch - leaving a bitter man in search of something similar because of the comfort you felt.


3.  Get out now.  Write your resume this weekend - submit your name - when the COVID passes, and OP LASER secures, there will be many new opportunities.  Take that, find something that inspires you.  There is more out there.


Based on your additional comments and responses - you're likely to be a very bitter MCpl who retires at 20 years with a big chip on your shoulder. 


That would be unfortunate.  In truth, none of us wish you ill, we're just trying to help.


NS

Thank you, I am thinking of my options, a posting might be a good move but I know it's not going to happen this APS, that's a certain.  It may come across different on here but I don't dislike the CAF as much as it may seem. I hate to admit it, but it really might be the 8-4 rut that I don't like.  If I did, I would have never encouraged my son to join.

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Do they still have the flight attendant gig?

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Thank you, I am thinking of my options, a posting might be a good move but I know it's not going to happen this APS, that's a certain.  It may come across different on here but I don't dislike the CAF as much as it may seem. I hate to admit it, but it really might be the 8-4 rut that I don't like.  If I did, I would have never encouraged my son to join.

Do you have family/friends in the NCR?  Would you want to stay close, yet try something different? In all seriousness, maybe consider asking for a posting up the Valley to 4 CDSG (Base-side, not 2 CMBG)?  It might be different enough from NDHQ (101, Star Top, Carling, Louis St.Laurent, etc.) that you may find it reinvigorating and at the very least be different enough from NDHQ that you’re last years up to 20 are, if not exciting and enjoyable, relatively refreshing and fulfilling.  I know folks may dismiss it out of hand, but there is something about the energy of supporting a combat capability without getting 110% into how Brigade line units can do things (which can suck, whilst being rewarding).  Personally, I have to say that I always enjoyed my time in Pet, a couple of times for a few years each time. It was a good tempo reset/foil against the saturation that can be NDHQ.  Something to think about.

Cheers
G2G

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Do you have family/friends in the NCR?  Would you want to stay close, yet try something different? In all seriousness, maybe consider asking for a posting up the Valley to 4 CDSG (Base-side, not 2 CMBG)?  It might be different enough from NDHQ (101, Star Top, Carling, Louis St.Laurent, etc.) that you may find it reinvigorating and at the very least be different enough from NDHQ that you’re last years up to 20 are, if not exciting and enjoyable, relatively refreshing and fulfilling.  I know folks may dismiss it out of hand, but there is something about the energy of supporting a combat capability without getting 110% into how Brigade line units can do things (which can suck, whilst being rewarding).  Personally, I have to say that I always enjoyed my time in Pet, a couple of times for a few years each time. It was a good tempo reset/foil against the saturation that can be NDHQ.  Something to think about.

Cheers
G2G

Between 0630 and 0730, and again at 1530-1700 daily is particularly delightful.
Apparently, a "USUAL SUSPECT"

“In peace there's nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility; but when the blast of war blows in our ears, then imitate the action of the tiger; stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, disguise fair nature with hard-favor'd rage.”

 Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and start slitting throats

Offline Jarnhamar

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Is that accurate across the NCR? You have to say please and thank you and tip toe around like you're walking on egg shells to order a subordinate do something?
There are no wolves on Fenris

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Between 0630 and 0730, and again at 1530-1700 daily is particularly delightful.

I dunno what you're talking about, traffic issues are solved right now. We don't even have to worry about the bridge washing away this year!