Sometimes, on the train, little bits of the big picture suddenly hit me. It feels almost like an out-of-body experience - you see yourself floating over your office, observing interactions and behaviours, and you suddenly know just how to fix your MT Line and make it work. Then comes the 'doing' part, and you realise you need a new roster of personnel to carry out your plans.
Point being, an MTO's job is the perfect stepping stone to middle management. You deal with ground people, you deal witht admin people, you deal with people with far more experience than you, you deal with subordinates and bosses. You have the chance to try out different styles of management, and actually have some breathing space for trial and error (thanks, all you driving udes, for being such wonderful guinea pigs). And I believe I will come out of it feeling like I've seen a whole new side of the world.
if you don't work on the combat side, you would have realised that the Army is alot like the corporate world in quite a few ways. Don't waste your 1.5 years in there. Think about what you want to do with your future, then find someone whose NSF job description closely fits the bill (preferably in your own department, of course). Shadow him, find out how he does things, figure out all teh problems he faces, and think about how you would solve them. Watch how he solves them, and see the pros and cons of his decisions. You will come out half-ready for whatever you want to do.
For instance, here I'm trying out different ways of handling drivers. I have tried talking nicely to some of them, to hear things from their perspective, but some of their POVs are so childish I am at a loss for words when talking to them. Next week, I will try the harsh method. The week after that I may try the old method - break them down, build them up. We'll see which works best. I'll get back to you on that.
The same goes for the customers. Reject their unreasonable requests outright, try the sweet-talk method, whatever works for you and your department. These are decisions you will be making out there - no harm trying it out here.
Don't just focus on making things work in your unit - think about how to make things work in your future company as well. I believe the government calls this lifelong learning. It sounds corny but there is a real point to it.
I'm sorry for spamming this place with so many MTO posts. Personally I would like to see many more MP, storemen, signaller, mortar pl etc posts. Especially the thign sthat go on in otehr logistics and upper management camps. Anyone from MINDEF?