What is the point of the Wardroom in the RNR?

Discussion in 'Royal Naval Reserve (RNR)' started by Jim30, Feb 26, 2007.

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  1. Ok, we’ve been far too civilised around here for some time now, so I’d like to open up a contentious debate. My question is, am I alone in attaching little value to the role of the wardroom in the RNR?

    My situation is this – I am a member of a large mess, but choose not to participate in it, while others see great value in it. Personally I didn’t join the RNR to hang out in a wardroom and drink port with people I don’t particularly like. While I fully agree with the idea of supporting a wardroom on deployment, or during a course, I just see no point in pretending to have a wardroom lifestyle for 2 hours a week.

    The reason I ask this is because I wonder what point wardroom life has in the RNR? My mess charges a lot of money to use a facility, which I frankly begrudge paying. I see the RNR as a job, and like my day job, I don’t want to socialise or go out with people on a Tuesday night. I come in, do my work and go, just as I do in the office. Listening to pompous fools wax lyrical about some obscure naval tradition or battle is of no interest to me at all – so why should I have to pay for a facility I don’t want to use? I’d quite happily sign a form saying that I’m opting out of wardroom life in unit. I don’t attend mess dinners for the same reason, pompous prats with treble chins and large bellies spouting all about tradition and the navy, and then never going anywhere near a real operation.

    I’m not going on ops with the ships company amd I frankly detest many of the members of my mess and have no interest in doing anything social with them. I enjoy ops, I enjoy training and I enjoy the work – However, I wonder if I am the only person in the RNR who sees it as just a job and not a lifestyle?
  2. One of the benefits you might gain from forcing your self to take part in the mess life of your unit is the abiltity to get on with those you do not like, some thing which is quite important if you ever have the misfortune to have to spend some time at sea on one of our grey war canoes. With you attitude you certainly would not survive in a black one.
  3. O Dear Jim the loner !!!, its just not about being in a job, its about being part of a team, bonding, supporting each other, being there through thick and thin, because if you had to go into a grey canoe, guess what you have to be able to work with people, 24/7, even when not on watch !!!!!!!!
    that means socialising/supporting each other together, as a team or mate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I dont think the service is for you, if you think like that !!!, why not try pulling your todger as a job, at least you will have a friend that likes you!! :twisted: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
  4. Have you actually asked if you can be excused wardroom subs on the grounds that you will never go into the wardroom (or presumably make use of anything else in unit to which the wardroom fund might contribute)? Or are you whinging here first?

    Is this warming up into yet another claim that President is actually a socail club?
  5. Well Jim lad. When you accepted the position you also accepted the obligations which went with it. One of them being mess fees. Even as a lowly PO I happily paid mess fees even though at times I rarely used the mess (other times I was a regular user). Either upper deck or lower deck we do not get to choose our colleagues but have to live with them. So the choice is yours put in or ship out.
  6. Actually you misread me - I said I quite happily play with the mess while away, and when on course - its just Tuesday nights that I don't want to be involved with. I'm not interested in drinking with these people, but I can quite happily put up with them - I've done my fair share of embassy circuit drinkies to learn how to do that. Likewise on Ops I am a major social player (on the few times when I'm outside the office) and indeed my last leaving party was broken up midway due to the threat of rocket attack (and I had £100 behind the bar too - b*stards!)

    What I don't agree with is playing in the mess, we're not a formed ships company ala MCM10 days. We don't go to war together and I don't want to socialise with them. I've tried it on plenty of occasions and found myself either bored silly or cringing in embarrassment at the "when I were a lad" soliloquies on offer. Mess life in unit is an irrelevance to me, so why should I do it? No chance of being excused fees either, sadly.
  7. I would prefer a single mess for the entire ships company at RNR units, would save space and organising of three separate infrastructure.
  8. No we don't misread you, in the mob you have to live with all, not just those you choose. I fear you are on your own on this, in perhaps in more ways than one.
  9. This does not reflect life in the RN, which is what the RNR is supposed be training for. Mixed messing breeds familiarity.
    I am an ex PO not officer but have seen the effects of too much familiarity between Ranks & Rates(junior & senior). The messdeck system reinforces the command structure.
  10. A surprising amount of wheels get greased and work gets done when matelots can speak freely amongst their peers in their mess.
  11. Here here. :grin: , I will work with anyone and do my utmost to get on with them, as my belief is that , I have joined a service to work and poss live with people who are like minded in the same beliefs.
  12. Well UA and Slim I will bow to your greater knowledge on this one but it just ain't working at my Unit. Maybe when the RNR allows me to sample RN life it will get to understand. I was just trying to point out that Jim30 is not alone in feeling that the messes in the RNR do not always work to the benefit of their mess members.
  13. Then attend the mess meetings and get things changed. I don't know about wardroom mess meetings but POs mess meetings were always very democratic. If something is amiss then this is where it can be corrected> :smile:
  14. Well there are some miserable independant types who choose to mingle as and when it suits their needs; we have all seen these around--they stick out like Gary Linneker's lugs---bugger them most are parasites with only self interest at heart; No you don't have to do anything that doesn't suit you--just stay in that cosy little world!!
  15. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    There are some RNR units that operate a single mess, while I understand F-Fox operates a combined ratings mess and separate wardroom (but SRs and JRs have the opportunity to have their own functions). I agree that having separate messes is good preparation for the RN, its somehwere that you can blow off steam without fear of offending superiors or subordinates.

    Over the past 20 odd years, I have encountered a couple of problems with "traditional" messing:

    - in some units, the numbers are too low to make separate messing sustainable, especially if there's a dearth of public transport in the area of the unit! I have in the past been to a SR Mess Dinner where we failed to muster 20 people, and that included ex-Members.

    - support; in one unit I've attended, all PSIs used the JRs mess rather than their own mess despite repeated requests from the Killick of the Mess for them to use the SRs' Mess.

    If people find the separate messing too insular, why not consider the following approach I've seen adopted in RNR units:

    - on a nominated drill night each month, one of the 3 messes hosts the other two; this may simply be provision of bar facilities or could be extended to include provision of smally-eats. This maintains the advantages of the separate messes but also gives a better sense of unit identity rather than mess identity; it also gives the smaller messes (particularly the SRs!) the chance to gain money from the larger membership of the unit thus making them slightly more cost effective.
  16. I fear you may be falling into the big is good trap here, having served in a few O boats where the total mess was 7 including the captain if we invited him in you could still have all the benefits of mess life, or equally having a bloody good night as one of four who propped up the back bar in the mess at Faslane. This is in fact a real case of size not being everything, and what you do with it being far more important than how much of it you have.
  17. Sorry to say I disagree with this idea, old chap. Although it would conserve space and reduce the administration and organisation involved, the all-ranks mess would have a less relaxing ambience which could dissuade members from using it.

    Occassionally, when one feels let down by the service there is the human requirement to drip about this to someone. However, for an officer or a SR to run down the service to a subordinate or anyone outside of the service is moral cowardice! Therefore there is now the need for a wardroom where officers can release their feelings of discontent amongst equals, without the danger of a subordinate overhearing and possibly losing respect for the officer nor the RN.

    Senior rates, also, have this need to keep up the morale of the junior rates even though their own is temporarily shot to pieces, and this is why the senior rates mess is neccessary.

    It only then follows that the junior rates should have their very own mess, where none but their equals can enter unless with invitation. This also allows the junior rate to (after possibly a brush with with one of the SR's or officers) to drip and moan with his/her colleagues. Everyone says things that they don't really mean when they are upset, but if certain words get heard by superiors, then events can get out of hand quickly.

    To conclude, I believe all the separate messes are very neccessary to the RNR, because they provide an area where the ranks and ratings can permit themselves to relax and socialise. Whatever happens in the mess, stays in the mess.
  18. I'm really considering undertaking some form of course to learn how to type a lot faster!
  19. Though never having served in the RNR I agree completely.
    We are all aware that the most difficult position in the RN is that of the leading hand. The reason, because he has to live and mess with his subordinates. The RAF used to have a seperate corporals mess, when serving at RAF stations many lH make use of and enjoy this facility. In the RN ony Leading Regulators are messed seperately (wonder why?).
  20. It seems to me that the resistance to my "whats the point of Tuesday socialising" comes from old timers who have no current knowledge of the RNR.

    My view is simple - I work bloody hard for the RNR, I put a lot of time into it, I give up a lot of my weekends and free time running things and keeping the admin side of life going. I spend a lot of time on exercise where I do my job which I do bloody well. What I did not sign up for was standing in a pretentious freezing cold room on a Tuesday night, listening to a complete cnut sneering on about naval traditions, wavy laces, or other such rubbish. I did not join to listen to stories about "this run ashore or that run ashore". I did not join for this - I joined to do a job, and that is how I treat it. I do not socialise with my work colleagues during the week for the same reason. The RNR is my part time job, nothing more.

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