Service Complaints - are they worth a carrot?

#1
Whilst the specific topic of the example is ongoing and therefore purdah, (but nevertheless in the public domain) the following article raises an interesting issue.

I've always found it best to discuss a potentially delicate issue rather than document it. Nowadays, with the ability to video or voice record spontaneous interaction, a case such as this makes me wonder whether it is better to document an issue in a considered manner rather than try to resolve it less formally. This particular issue makes for an uncomfortable read and highlights the fact that having the moral courage to submit a formal service complaint, without incontrovertible evidence, remains highly likely to bite you on the arrse...

Royal Navy officer caught on tape: “no such thing as mental health”

The outcome of this will be have quite significant implications.
 
#2
Whilst the specific topic of the example is ongoing and therefore purdah, (but nevertheless in the public domain) the following article raises an interesting issue.

I've always found it best to discuss a potentially delicate issue rather than document it. Nowadays, with the ability to video or voice record spontaneous interaction, a case such as this makes me wonder whether it is better to document an issue in a considered manner rather than try to resolve it less formally. This particular issue makes for an uncomfortable read and highlights the fact that having the moral courage to submit a formal service complaint, without incontrovertible evidence, remains highly likely to bite you on the arrse...

Royal Navy officer caught on tape: “no such thing as mental health”

The outcome of this will be have quite significant implications.
It would be interesting to see the cause of the ptsd, that was dismissed so easily. Regardless of the GP father insight, it seems a tad dismissive on the commanders part.
 
#3
It would be interesting to see the cause of the ptsd, that was dismissed so easily. Regardless of the GP father insight, it seems a tad dismissive on the commanders part.
The ethical issue, aside of the example, is whether an unqualified person is actually able to disregard a medical diagnosis. My Dad was a tax inspector - I'm not qualified to officially advise anyone how to fill out a tax return.
 
#4
Excellent topic, Ninja.

I've been Service Complaint-ed by a subordinate (subsequently found to be vexatious!!) and I've also been on the receiving end of bullying and toxic actions from a particularly abrasive VSO, which to my shame I did nothing about. It's a difficult one. The thought of raising any manner of complaint strikes right at the core of what it means to be in the military - because we pride ourselves in an ability to 'hack' adverse circumstance, and we are also disciplined fighting services.

However.............

Not everyone who wears a uniform is an angel; any google search of military convictions will turn up details of people being convicted for fraud, theft, violence (including murder), internet kiddy-fiddling, dishonesty - and bullying. Some people react to promotion quite adversely, and the power goes to their heads. One of my peers, on his promotion to SO2, went into the pilots crew-room where he'd been a JO 24hrs previously and stated, to a dumbstruck audience, that "You'd all better call me Sir from now on". You will know well from the RN the case of this c**t - Axon and I have alluded to elsewhere that I have worked for a similar character in the RAF.

So what? Well, we've all seen what happens when a culture of bullying goes wrong - Deepcut and Holly Graf. It can end in self-harm, severe mental health issues and at worst suicide. For this bloke Vartans (I have met him somewhere and cannot recall where) to state that he doesn't "believe in mental health and we all used to get on with it" beggars belief. His command chain should - IMHO - remove him from posts where he has dealings with subordinates, and the actions of Lt Campbell are little better.

Like I say, it's a difficult one,and if there was an easy solution then someone would've found it by now.

Again, great topic, I hope it gets people talking.
 
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#5
The ethical issue, aside of the example, is whether an unqualified person is actually able to disregard a medical diagnosis. My Dad was a tax inspector - I'm not qualified to officially advise anyone how to fill out a tax return.
Being signed off for a week to recover, would suggest that a person absent from daily work schedule would affect team harmony. From the commanders position that would be unacceptable. Understanding that he had caused this absence may not help his career if it still exists. Dammed if you do or don't. The most valuable commodity remains trained personnel, to actually achieve goals aims tasks getting the job done. Lt Campbell is complicit by her remarks, there is training available to spot key signs. By attending that course, he has highlighted that it is required.
 
#6
I worked in SCW for a bit. While the wider context of the circumstances of this are rightly not available, the context of the report is, in my view, a failure of leadership.
 
#7
Telling someone that you don't believe in mental health: not so good, spanky wristy.

Lying to your superiors to cover up your naughtiness and being found out by recording: major integrity fuckup, bye bye career.
 
#8
Telling someone that you don't believe in mental health: not so good, spanky wristy.

Lying to your superiors to cover up your naughtiness and being found out by recording: major integrity fuckup, bye bye career.
I agree.
What else have they swept under the carpet or downright lied about.

Mental health issues are a big thing at the moment, and trying to state that they don't exist is either extreme naivety or gross stupidity.
 
#9
Telling someone that you don't believe in mental health: not so good, spanky wristy.

Lying to your superiors to cover up your naughtiness and being found out by recording: major integrity fuckup, bye bye career.
You'd think. Let's see.

Bullying is very common but we don't always recognise it for what it is - neither the bully nor the bullied.

A Joss (now SO1) pointed out my MEO was micromanaging me by questioning everything I did as a Regulating CPOMEM. I found it infuriating having to justify stuff, researching the reference sources, regulations etc and found myself wasting hours checking and double checking I was literally operating "by the book". In my naivety, it never occured to me that the SO2 was just thick as mince, didn't have a scooby, hadn't been to sea for eight years and even then, only had two years experience as a junior "makey-learny" engineering officer. He had zero man-management experience - stopped the department's weekend leave to ensure we met the ready for sea date and then declared - "I'll be on my home number - call me each day with a progress report".. The reason he was questioning everything was because he simply didn't know his job and was too bone to articulate his shorcomings.

In hindsight, I should've submitted a complaint.
 
#10
The ethical issue, aside of the example, is whether an unqualified person is actually able to disregard a medical diagnosis. My Dad was a tax inspector - I'm not qualified to officially advise anyone how to fill out a tax return.
I don't know the facts of this case but there are plenty of lazy blagging cnuts in the Armed forces using mental health to avoid work. I don't have a degree in psychiatry to know so.
 
#11
Bullying and harassment and an abuse of authority and power should never be tolerated, not even in a disciplined service such as the military.

We should all expect honesty, integrity and moral courage from our leaders, to a higher standard than their subordinates, if we are to perform at our best. Anything less is a failure and can lead to disharmony, low morale, a lack of trust and poor performance at the very least.
 
#12
Excellent topic, Ninja.
....
Again, great topic, I hope it gets people talking.
Agreed. Stepping aside from this case to look at the wider SC issue; I believe that, like it or not, the Services have to have a robust, workable, system whereby conduct detrimental to the well-being of personnel must be addressed, whether that is bullying and harassment, racism, homophobia, or any number of suchlike matters. My reading of the two relevant JSP leads me to conclude that, just as in the case of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, the requirement to identify oneself as the person raising a SC even when one uses the protection of a 'third-party' is a considerable deterrent.
 
#13
Well, I believe the SC system is robust and fit for purpose. The weakness often lies within the CoC and that is something a SC will not change.

From a personal perspective, I submitted a SC (a while ago now) against a process and was successful.
 
#14
I don't know the facts of this case but there are plenty of lazy blagging cnuts in the Armed forces using mental health to avoid work. I don't have a degree in psychiatry to know so.
Many is the time I've frowned on someone pulling the stress card in my eyes, but it's not always as clear cut.

I remember wondering how a guy that served in an operational theatre, dozens if not hundreds of miles from the shooty-bit, could possibly be suffering from PTSD a decade later. The thing I hadn't considered was firstly the individual had a different outlook to me and was relatively timid by nature. Secondly the threat of unexpected and sudden violence, albeit less likely was enough to hit the tipping point.

There'll always be fraudsters but it'd be a bit iffy to treat all people with mental health issues, for example, as a fraud....until they prove otherwise and top themselves.
 
#15
With the recent history of the Royal Navy, back to the Falklands War, I'm very surprised that two RN officers hold such an attitude. Sure, some people can swing the lead and be simple, lazy buggers using mental health as an excuse (similar to those who choose to play their race/sexism cards when it suits them) but this basic attitude is one I'm glad I never had to serve under.
 
#16
Many is the time I've frowned on someone pulling the stress card in my eyes, but it's not always as clear cut.

I remember wondering how a guy that served in an operational theatre, dozens if not hundreds of miles from the shooty-bit, could possibly be suffering from PTSD a decade later. The thing I hadn't considered was firstly the individual had a different outlook to me and was relatively timid by nature. Secondly the threat of unexpected and sudden violence, albeit less likely was enough to hit the tipping point.

There'll always be fraudsters but it'd be a bit iffy to treat all people with mental health issues, for example, as a fraud....until they prove otherwise and top themselves.
We're not taught how to manage our workload and manage individuals with mental health issues, in fact we're not taught to manage full stop. I'd be interested in the direction Tesco etc gives its managers.
 
#17
I don't know the facts of this case but there are plenty of lazy blagging cnuts in the Armed forces using mental health to avoid work. I don't have a degree in psychiatry to know so.
Yes.

Seams to be the trend these days. People just like to jump on the mental health bandwagon.

'Oh my god I've got depression/anxiety/PTSD'

No you haven't, you're just a daft cnut that struggles with any responsibility and will use any excuse for your shit behaviour and general uselessness.

Makes it harder for blokes/bloke-ettes with genuine issues.

Campaigns on various social media sites like 'Its ok not to be ok' etc just seam to feed this. In fact I think social media itself is part of the problem.

Must admit I roll my eyes and think fcuk off, as soon as someone mentions PTSD.
 
#18
The ethical issue, aside of the example, is whether an unqualified person is actually able to disregard a medical diagnosis. My Dad was a tax inspector - I'm not qualified to officially advise anyone how to fill out a tax return.
Agreed. Not commenting on the specific case, but having a family connection with the medical profession should, if anything, make one all the more wary of discounting a professional diagnosis [as opposed to individuals trying to play the PTSD card without a professional diagnosis].
 
#19
Havi
We're not taught how to manage our workload and manage individuals with mental health issues, in fact we're not taught to manage full stop. I'd be interested in the direction Tesco etc gives its managers.
Having worked for Tesco, department managers only get e-learning training on the wholeand a placement. If they have a good SLT they may get leadership/people skills, but in my experience, they don't.
 
#20
Well, I believe the SC system is robust and fit for purpose. The weakness often lies within the CoC and that is something a SC will not change.

From a personal perspective, I submitted a SC (a while ago now) against a process and was successful.
Fully agree with the CoC angle. It takes a fair amount of courage to complain about a person in your CoC and the thing that irks me the most is those in a position to do something about it, absolving their responsibility in the hope the problem will magically resolve itself.

Agree with the comments above with regard the seeming absence of trauma management training (TRiM) - do they not teach it on Leadership courses nowadays?
 

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