On another thread it suddenly became clear to me that every storeman be they reg/TA or NRPS are pretty much made the same. My first encounter with the mythical beast they call the storeman was in 2003, I had just joined the TA, completed my paperwork, my medical, been security vetted (by that I mean ticking the box that said "no" to the question "are you a terrorist") and got attested and issued with an Army number. I was full of optimism and green as f*ck, I was looking forward to be the best Stab I could be and never encountered Army bullsh!t before, what follows is my first taste. It had just turned autumn and I was going to spend my first weekend away on a TA "look at life" weekend, so I was sent to Cpl "Smith" to get my kit issued lastminute.com as the TA does best. After some looking around the TAC I found a room that was full of kit, shiney new never issued kit still in it's plastic wrappers, upon seeing me gawping at all this new and wonderous stuff I heard a voice say "you're not getting any of that" and I promptly learned lesson 1 of dealing with storeman. "Thou shalst not covet thy storeman's wares" I looked around to what can only be described as an Ogre in combat 95's, he was almost as wide as he was tall, his trousers bulged apart so that the zip wouldn't fasten shut and his huge gut hung over his belt, which must have been custom made by stitching 2 belts together, or bought from a zoo where it must have been used to strap down tranquilised elephants, to this day he is still the fattest cnut I have ever seen wearing a uniform and it was clear that he hadn't passed a CFT in some time, if ever. He had a tab hanging from his gob and a pile of paperwork, a brew, babywipes and the odd grot mag on his desk, and a stale smell of old spunk, this was someone that w@nked......A LOT. Seemingly offended that I had the nerve to gaze upon "the precious" that was his stores he asked me my name in a tone of voice that only years of resentment, being passed over and locked away in a dark room could produce. "PTE Crowbag Corperal" I responded. Upon hearing my name, after a couple of attempts at trying he struggled and heaved himself out of his creaking over-burdened swivel chair with pure hatred in his eye because I had dared to interupt his valuable w@nking and smoking time and made him get off his fat arrse. He waddled over to a box and began to produce my kit with a mischeivous grin that said "I'm really going to f*ck you over crow" , upon me noticing said mischeivous grin, he almost apologetically said "This is the recruits stuff, you don't get the new stuff until your a trained rank". And holding up a set of webbing (I say set, it was 1 x ammo and 2 x utility pouch) and almost feeling guilty, he remarked "you get better stuff these days than the stuff we had when I joined up". I nervously replied something along the lines of "well I don't supose DPM webbing goes well with a red tunic" .......BIG MISTAKE! And I learnt lesson 2 on dealing with storeman. "Thoust shall not attempt humour with thy storeman" He handed me a set of combats, grunting at me "these are the closest thing I have in your size, try them on" So I did, .....now I'm quite tall but to say these were ill-fitting is a bit of an understatement, somewhere in the Army there is a 10 ft tall Fijian that these had been manufactured for, but left me looking like a 10 yr old that had found his dad's uniform. "You'll grow into them" "But I'm 23 corperal" "you'd better hope for a late growth spurt then" Looking at my paperwork, he remarked, "I don't have any boots in your size, I've got some on demand but they won't get here in time, you'll have to borrow some for friday" by this stage it had dawned on me that this was the laziest jackest cnut in NATO and I was being stitched up so I simply said "ok". After handing me various other bits and bobs like gaiters, poncho, resi and other stuff I had no idea what they did he remarked " I still need to find you a sleeping system" Wow......... a speeping system, not just a sleeping bag...but a system, these Army types have really thought of everything haven't they, my imagination was running wild about what this system could possibly be, then he handed me a doss-bag that looked like a homeless crack addict had been living in it for at least a couple of decades, it was covered in stains, animal hair and f*cking reeked of sh!t and god knows what (I later found a piece of what I think was cat excrament on the zip) "Right young Crowbag, you're diffy a few things but I'll get them to you before you start basic, sign here and f*ck off" So I did, I took my i'll fitting well used and confusing kit home, washed it and tried my best to piece it together, not really knowing how, but I did my best effort, I tried on my uniform and tried and failed to adjust the helicopter landing pad on my swede. I looked like sh!t, but I was safe in the knowledge that I was a week 1 day 1 STAB and all the other recruits would be in the same boat, they must have been issued sh!t kit as well right? WRONG, I turned up to see 5 other lads at the TAC in immaculate, gleaming, brand spankers kit, pressed to f*ck with factory fresh webbing and bergans. Upon seeing the state of me, one of the General Duties PTE's looked at my beret and said "you know you don't wear that like that right?" and took me to the ablutions to help me shape my beret, upon seeing the rest of my kit he said "Old Smudge has really stitched you up hasn't he" Just how much I was stitched up didn't become aparent till later that evening when we arrived at Salisbury Plains. After a "light and sound demo" and a lesson on putting up a Basha I was tired and looking foward to getting into my now reasonably clean and catsh1t-free doss-bag, I took off my incomplete, badly put together, rattling-like-a-brass-band Webbing and my upside down satalite dish of a Helmet, took out my bouncing bomb "sleeping system" and preceded to get in it. After struggling for a bit and getting a bit chilly, I tried in vain to pull it up over my head and shoulders....then it started to dawn on me, that cnut had done me over again. He'd somehow suceeded in finding me the worlds smallest grot-bag, I've known some short arrses in my time but to this day I have still to meet the soldier who would comfortably fit in this doss-bag, the only possible use for it I could fathom would be for a dwarf sack race. So swearing to myself with head and shoulders completly exposed I tried my best to get my head down, Salisbury Plains in the autumn is NOT a nice place to sleep out side with half a doss-bag, I spent the weekend gibbering and swearing about the cnut of a storeman. Fast foward a few weeks later, by now young PTE Crowbag is booked on basic and I need to get the rest of my kit issued and exchange the wrong size stuff, so I return to the dark hole of a storeroom to where the fat cnut Cpl Smith was sitting, with a brew and a tab in his gob , clearly not remembering me he asked me my name and what did I want. "I've come to get the rest of my kit issued corperal". Looking puzzled he retrieved my paperwork, "What kit?". We laid out what I had whilst he looked on and shook his head, "You're diffy loads, how did you manage to lose all that, you've not been in 5 minutes" This is when I learnt lesson 3 on dealing with storeman. "Thoust shall not signeth thy 1157 for kit thoust hath not been issued" "Your looking at a massive bill here you daft cnut, buy me a bottle of scotch and I'll sort it for you", it was here that I learned that being a storeman is like running a racket, Al Capone didn't have sh1t on these guys, so after some time protesting and to my eternal shame I begrudgingly complied and bought the cnut the cheapest bottle I could find, although some time later and after much CFT dodging he did get kicked out of the TA for being an alcoholic and pinching stores to sell on Ebay, so I like to think I contributed to his downfall.