Tuesday, June 21, 2005

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?


Kev said...

Well, I might post my experiences concerning EMMIS one of these days..nasty piece of work..but I learnt a lot about pacifying customers and standing my ground..then.

kureshii said...

Yeah, standing my ground...I need lots of work there.

HuR|cAnE7 said...

yeap me.. i got posted out of 6SIR.. now working in mindef as a clerk.. its quite a sane place, everyone here gives and takes corz the nsfs can screw pple's plans up if they get screwed themselves..:) working in mindef is really a big difference than working in a unit..

shida said...

Ok my bf is a driver in the army.

He doesn't mind doing details and such, but he feels real low when he sees that others gets to do details for just a day or two and gets to go back early at 6, when he has to do details for 5 days straight and has to stay-in and cannot meet me.

Sometimes these people who does the detailing thing screws up and it gets so messy sometimes... I know because I've hung out with my bf and his driver-friends before, and they were all complaining about messy schedules (or being told late that they have a 3 day exercise the next day)

What does make them feel better is when they see that the superiors actually care about their wellbeing, ask if they mind (esp when it's another's driver's duty, but that driver will go on MC or whatever la, so got to pass the duty to another person - that driver always go on MC one need to kena hantam, I tell you), basically treat them like humans. If they are treated like humans, they won't mind anything - that's what they said.

I don't believe that being nice will just make them step on your head and shit there... I think it will make everyone's lives better.

You might want to try that.

-goose- said...


Yep, was a clerk in Mindef for 2 years before being seconded to another GS unit. And you're right on many counts, the upper echelons of the Army is pretty damn similiar to corporate life. In fact, i was lucky enough to have been assigned to a mgmt based project that the Army (and now Joint) was involved in. Exposure and involvment with senior officers helped ALOT. After a while, you realise that BG/COL/LTC are basically humans after all and you quickly sort out the smart/sharp ones from the average beings. And finding the courage to tell them in the face that their ideas are silly/stupid/doomed to fail (i was a lowly CPL). But a majority of my time was also spent organising events/seminars and my PDA/mobile used to contain everyone from the driver, MTO, Supply WO, RSM, SFI uncle. I'm working overseas now for a MNC and my experience in SAF taught me well.. i kind of miss being an NSF though. =)