Fulfilling a role - Advice needed

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by Misanthropos, Jul 16, 2012.

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  1. Sirs, ladies and gents,
    A long time forum lurker here finally registering and posting, mainly out of frustration but also simply looking for some advice from a wider community.

    I'm an ex-regular Inf PTI - (Left as L/Cpl) who has relatively recently joined an Infantry TA unit, back as a Pte, but taking the role of one of two PTI's in the unit.
    Although it took me a while to get through the joining process, and then a bit longer to settle in to the way of working I've started becoming comfortable within the role in the unit - I'm basically a spare PTI bod on the battalion weekends but I'm more immediately concerned with the unit's own PT on a Tuesday evening.

    The mainstay of PT on a Tuesday seems to have been either some circuit work or some sport, every other week. (Should the other PTI have shown up)
    From what I've learned/experienced/mulled over in the time I've been taking PT is that the sports simply aren't good enough to be classed as a PT lesson (a no brainer there) and the gym circuits are probably just as pointless and useless - And all it seems to do is knacker the guys out and make them think "**** that" when PT is on the agenda again.

    In the regulars, even as a lowly Lance Jack, I was given the creative freedom to introduce challenging but fun PT off my own back - It's common practice. I'm not talking about skipping here, just something different or setting a theme - Something to make them not realise how hard they are working. PT doesn't have to be a ball ache, and I've been trying to introduce those elements into the PT I've been taking with the TA, especially so that they aren't put off by the thought of another PT lesson with me. Basically, something constructive. Not looking for brownie points or special commendations for using my brain, just wanting to fulfil the role I've been given.

    Anyway, my issue lies with the rank above me. Nothing new there, but bear with me. When PT is placed on for a Tuesday, the CSM or whoever will come and find me, say "Got a lesson plan ready? Good" and leave me to it - Fine. Even when PT isn't on the agenda, they'll come up to me and say "The bloke doing the map reading lesson hasn't rocked up, give them some PT" - Also fine.

    But I seem to be upsetting the apple cart somewhat, just by doing my job.
    Almost without fail, every single PT lesson I take is "too short" for the guy who is supposed to be taking the next lesson. I'm given an hour on paper, and I use that hour. The rank taking the other lessons afterwords clearly are not used to using a full hour for theirs though.
    I obviously upset a few people by asking for a copy of the PT store key so I can come in and set up early, so it's there ready to go, rather than have to wait around for the sodding CQMS to stop to touching himself long enough to open the door on a Tuesday.
    I also seem to be being abrasive by making my own lesson plans.
    "That bloke hasn't turned up again, give them some PT"
    "No problem, sir. I've Got a lesson ready."
    "Just get a football out of the store"
    "Ok sir, but I'd be good to do this PT lesson if I can"
    "Who's told you that you can use the empty car park for running around in? Football will do if you're taking it"
    ... You get the idea.

    I'm just looking for some input, basically. Am I really elongating my neck for a TA Pte PTI, here? I certainly don't think so, I just want to do the role. Not trying to over-stretch myself. Not looking to impress, nor am I trying to step on anybody's toes. Am I simply experiencing rank being difficult for the sake of being difficult? Or am I seeing that old-boy TA attitude I've been warned about?
    And either way, what can I do about it? I've tried persevering, hoping they might get used to it, but no joy.

    I don't want to kick off a war here, nor am I trying to bait anyone, this is a genuine question: What are Tuesday nights like for other units out there? Are they meant to be training evenings, with lessons slots and some effort expected, or more relaxed affairs?

    I thought I've been trying to fulfil my role, but if I'm being told to wind my neck in what should I do? deliberately make my lessons lifeless, useless and joyless or continue to actually try and help the unit within the low rank role I have?

    Yes, I'm frustrated but I mean no vitriol to the TA here, just want to be clear on that. Just looking for some other opinions on the matter.

    Many thanks for taking the time to read.
  2. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    Who is causing you the problem? That is the first key question. Assuming it is not the OC, 2ic or PSI - get them involved. If they are worth their appointments they should be pleased to support you. If they are the ones causing trouble, look for another unit if you can't help them to change their minds.

    Ref the stores - as the kit will be on someone's flick, I am not surprised that they don't want to give a key to a Pte. Your only real options are to sign for the store and contents (thus taking full responsibility) or build a better relationship with the key holder.

    Good luck!
  3. As you are the one taking the lesson you should also be the one signing off the Risk Assessment (which should include any brief given to participating troops) so you should be comfortable in directing the PT as if it goes wrong, you will be the one answering for it and your name will go down on any accident report sent to AINC.

    If you're not happy with processes in place in your TAC with relation to the post you are employed against, talk to your CSM and if you get no joy ask for an OC's interview. From these you will get an idea of whether they intend to do things properly, whether you need to transfer or just go with the flow.
  4. Thanks for the replies.
    Ref those causing the problems, it may seem like something of a dig, but it's the truth: Those giving me attitude and grief are basically anyone over Sgt and above, seemingly, and annoyingly/funnily enough the same ones that shy away from PT into the dark corners of the TAC. The guys involved in my lessons are fine, great even. Healthy number of recruits, Ptes and good mix of L/CPls and Cpls - All of which I get on with well and in fact I've had some good comments from them saying they are really enjoying the PT & I've seen numbers grow - All of which I take as a good sign that I'm doing something right, for the guys at least.
    As for the stores, although I have made it known I'll happily sign for whatever, I can completely understand that point of view, but that isn't the attitude I'm getting - I essentially get a "You're a private, you don't get privileges" attitude. And that's not what I'm looking for, at all. I just want to do the job. I don't see why anyone wouldn't be able to see that having kit out for PT before the start of the night stops people huddling around like penguins in the drill hall waiting for a door to open. Am I just taking too much from my previous employment?
    It just seems like any act on my part to increase efficiency or quality is taken as either a slight at the units way of doing things, or as me reaching above my pay grade.
    Damned if I do, Damned if I don't. To be perfectly honest, If I have to walk a line of mediocrity just to keep the ranks happy then I'm not interested in continuing with the unit, and I'm sure most would agree with that.
  5. You have the right attitude, glad to see. Keep doing the right thing and I'm pretty sure you'll change things to the way they should be.

    Ref the bloke after you moaning about actually having an hour as it says on the programme ( stinky as they may be...) just stick to the published programme and I strongly suspect his behaviours will change. Its him that is wrong, not you.

    Different units take PT more or less seriously; my lot had PT last week and both the CSM and OC sweated their buns off, and they're both >50. Give it a while, and if things don't improve - and I hope they do - take The Dukes advice and look around.

    Keep the faith, Gym Queen!
    • Like Like x 1
  6. ...he's conducting a simple bit of fizz, not mounting an expedition to the Antarctic for Christ's sake. RA my arse.
  7. Simple bit of fizz that, should anyone injure themselves, could come back to haunt him unless you are one of those people who think Risk Assessments in the Army don't apply to them or the men you lead?

    Generic Risk Assessments should be available for all phys, backed up by adequate generic briefings and with the training programme and supporting staff published on unit detail. All basic admin which, should anything go wrong, keeps people out of the poo during subsequent investigations, or even worse, court.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Drill nights should have orgainised training. As they are 2 hours long they usually consist of 2x45 min lessons with time either end for first/last parades, showers admin etc. Sadly, as you described, the people who have been pinged to do the lesson often don't bother to turn up so PT can be a useful substitute - as can any pre-prepared lesson which is ready to go.

    It sounds like either your seniors don't like or trust you for some reason, or there is a bit of an institutional bad atmospere at your unit. With the length of time some of the old and bold just hang on I would suggest if it is the latter it is unikely to change.

    What you should bear in mind however, is that many units are short of PTIs, especially switched on PTIs who regularily attend. If you don't feel you are valued at your unit you should move to another where it is likely that you will be valued. As a Pte, even re-cap badging should not be much of an issue (assuming you would want to).
  9. I hear your cry's and frustrations with the system and the attitudes of certain people. It all sounds very familiar and think that it's a similar sounding theme across the TA.
    I think that given time things will generally improve as the TA moves forward into its future role and hopefully wakes up to the fact it must change, including removing the old & bold, dead wood etc.

    Does any one have advice on risk assessment's for a TA Gym, does each piece of equipment need to have a risk assessment specific to it, or can you have one for all the equipment in the gym?
    Any thoughts appreciated??
  10. Nope, those days are over. He could probably get away with a generic PT Risk Assessment but he still needs to have one.

    Polishing my IOSH Managing Safely Certificate
  11. msr

    msr LE

    anyone who suggests that a 'generic' risk assessment should be used ought to be taken out and shot. Either you have thought about the risks and produced a relevant risk assessment or you have not.
  12. I find that funnier than I should I think.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. CanteenCowboy

    CanteenCowboy LE Book Reviewer

    I hope they write a proper risk assessment before they shoot him!
  14. While I can still see the keyboard before you put the blindfold on...

    There's nothing wrong with using a generic risk assessment - provided that it's reviewed, found to be relevant and is annotated as such.

    What is wrong is taking a random risk assessment for a not-necessarily related activity and saying "That's that box ticked."
  15. Carry on as per, you sound like a PTI I'd like at my location.
    If problems carry on, involve the CoC(unless a polite word would suffice, depending on rank).
    I'm bemused as to why anyone is questioning his RA, he's the qualled bod if he's acting in a proffesional manner(which the first post sound like) with the correct docs wtf has it to do with us/you lot.

    OP dont worry about other peoples laziness.