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Forced to pay / belong to a mess [Merged]

PuckChaser

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Simian Turner said:
I was at a recent Vimy Officers Mess Happy Hour in Kingston at which there were as many civilian spouses and children as there were officers in uniform.  I find it hard to rationalize feeding spouses and children from mess dues of the officers. 

If only there was some sort of gathering of the membership of the mess that folks could vote on how funds are being used... we could call it a General Mess Meeting?
 

FSTO

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Simian Turner said:
I was at a recent Vimy Officers Mess Happy Hour in Kingston at which there were as many civilian spouses and children as there were officers in uniform. 
Recent visitors from the Carling Campus (CFHS) in Ottawa to CFB Kingston opted for VIP quarters for their two-night stay, rather than staying at a local hotel.  They were surprised when the VIP quarters did not provide towels, soap/shampoo or even toilet paper.  How is that for cost-cutting, VIP services!

I was just in Kingston last week and attended the TGIT and what was pointed out to me was that many of the civilians were Public Servants and Military Members not in uniform.

We stayed at the Dawe Block across the street from the Officers Mess and we knew that towels and shampoo were not provided. I'd be f**** pissed if there was no TP in the heads! But the TP was provided, thank god!!!
 

Gunner98

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FSTO said:
I was just in Kingston last week and attended the TGIT and what was pointed out to me was that many of the civilians were Public Servants and Military Members not in uniform.

Public Servants should be paying for their meals unless they are dues paying members of the Mess.  When I attended as a visitor, I was not asked to pay and there appeared to be so much leftover food that people were offered seconds and thirds to take home with them and then late arrivals from the bar area who were mess members went hungry.  It became apparent that no one took the time to inform the members at the bar of last call for food. I was not so much surprised by the adult non-members eating there on my two visits as I was the number of children that attended TGITs.  It was explained to me that some of those officers had picked there kids up from KMFRC day care and then brought them to the mess for a family supper; they were getting their share and more.
 

garb811

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Simian Turner said:
Public Servants should be paying for their meals unless they are dues paying members of the Mess.  When I attended as a visitor, I was not asked to pay and there appeared to be so much leftover food that people were offered seconds and thirds to take home with them and then late arrivals from the bar area who were mess members went hungry.  It became apparent that no one took the time to inform the members at the bar of last call for food. I was not so much surprised by the adult non-members eating there on my two visits as I was the number of children that attended TGITs.  It was explained to me that some of those officers had picked there kids up from KMFRC day care and then brought them to the mess for a family supper; they were getting their share and more.
But...what's the problem here exactly, if that is what the membership of the mess have agreed to?  What is "their share" that they are getting more of when everyone has the same opportunity to bring guests and family (I'm presuming) and you've admitted there is more than enough to go around for seconds and thirds? 

What is better; a TGIT that has people in attendance who apparently actually want to be there which means they are hanging around to socialize and drop money on the bar or a TGIT that nobody goes to because they need to pick up their kids, get them home, make supper and feed them?

Sounds to me like that mess committee is actually getting with the times and making their mess an attractive place for their members in today's reality.
 

Scoobie Newbie

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The solution is a volunteer mess. Those invested will make it into what they want and those that don’t want to be a part of it can do more important things. It’s time to take messes off life support. Sink or swim.
 

Gunner98

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garb811 said:
But...what's the problem here exactly, if that is what the membership of the mess have agreed to?  What is "their share" that they are getting more of when everyone has the same opportunity to bring guests and family (I'm presuming) and you've admitted there is more than enough to go around for seconds and thirds? 

What is better; a TGIT that has people in attendance who apparently actually want to be there which means they are hanging around to socialize and drop money on the bar or a TGIT that nobody goes to because they need to pick up their kids, get them home, make supper and feed them?

Sounds to me like that mess committee is actually getting with the times and making their mess an attractive place for their members in today's reality.

I honestly no longer have a dog in the race.  Are you saying it makes sense to take a portion of 'forced' mess dues to form an Entertainment Budget that includes free meals for guests/families?  As an outsider it would appear that the fact that there is more than enough TGIT food to go around means they are wasting money from the Entertainment budget.  The members who are bringing kids to the mess are not "dropping money on the bar" in any volume that will have any impact on the mess expenses.
 

garb811

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Simian Turner said:
I honestly no longer have a dog in the race.  Are you saying it makes sense to take a portion of 'forced' mess dues to form an Entertainment Budget that includes free meals for guests/families?  As an outsider it would appear that the fact that there is more than enough TGIT food to go around means they are wasting money from the Entertainment budget.  The members who are bringing kids to the mess are not "dropping money on the bar" in any volume that will have any impact on the mess expenses.
Whether that is "wasting" money, I'm not in a position to say as I'm not a member of that mess.  But given my experiences with TGIT/TGIF where 10-15 regular members and about the same number of associates and wives "might" show up on a good night to eat the food for 100 that is laid on, this actually sounds like a rip roaring success and a much better use of the entertainment budget to get people in the doors than crap like Camper's Bingo.
 

Nfld Sapper

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At the Warrant and Sgt's Mess here in Gagetown any leftover food is out behind the bar for late comers and for lunch on Friday as they to TGIT here instead.
 

SupersonicMax

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Where I am posted, 1 out of every 4 TGIF is a "family" TGIF where spouses and kids are invited.  Every other one, only spouses are invited.
 

TCM621

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Simian Turner said:
I honestly no longer have a dog in the race.  Are you saying it makes sense to take a portion of 'forced' mess dues to form an Entertainment Budget that includes free meals for guests/families?  As an outsider it would appear that the fact that there is more than enough TGIT food to go around means they are wasting money from the Entertainment budget.  The members who are bringing kids to the mess are not "dropping money on the bar" in any volume that will have any impact on the mess expenses.

I can speak for anyone else but I have no problem with it. Everyone who is a member of the mess has the opportunity to show up, with a spouse/SO and kids, so people who don't avail themselves of that only have themselves to blame. In my experience, messes have always have had a family component. I spent hours in the mess with my Dad as a kid. Your dues also go to baby, bereavement and hospital gifts.

Also in my experience we rarely ever lose money because we are giving food away to people who don't pay dues. When we run a TGIF, we charge a nominal fee like 5 bucks. If we have the turn out we expect the food costs are covered with maybe a little profit and we make some money on the bar. We lose money when we have a poor turn out. We also lose money on bar staff. NPF mandates we higher paid bartenders, the days of the mess comittee behind the bar are long gone so if we have poor attendance,  bar sales don't cover wages.

But the mess doesn't have to be a bar. It can also be a club house for members to use. You want to watch the game on the big screen? Let us know and we will open it up. We don't have to open the bar for you to use the tv. Organize a games night, kids movie night. It's your space and we can help you use it however you want (within NPF rules). Messes have to change with the times and having the mess=bar isn't feasible in todays military. Get involved with your mess comittee and help them use your dues in a way that is acceptable to you.
 
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jollyjacktar

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Oh, l don't know.  I'm pretty comfortable in blaming those who force me to be a member of an institution l don't use or have any interest in using, for why l don't participate.  That and their hand is in my pocket rifling through it for the monthly dues.
 

brihard

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FSTO said:
We stayed at the Dawe Block across the street from the Officers Mess and we knew that towels and shampoo were not provided. I'd be f**** pissed if there was no TP in the heads! But the TP was provided, thank god!!!

What grit was it?
 

Jarnhamar

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garb811] Sounds to me like that mess committee is actually getting with the times and making their mess an attractive place for their members in today's reality. [/quote] [quote author=Sheep Dog AT said:
The solution is a volunteer mess. Those invested will make it into what they want and those that don’t want to be a part of it can do more important things. It’s time to take messes off life support. Sink or swim.

Perfect.

 

Good2Golf

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Simian Turner said:
I honestly no longer have a dog in the race.  Are you saying it makes sense to take a portion of 'forced' mess dues to form an Entertainment Budget that includes free meals for guests/families?  As an outsider it would appear that the fact that there is more than enough TGIT food to go around means they are wasting money from the Entertainment budget.  The members who are bringing kids to the mess are not "dropping money on the bar" in any volume that will have any impact on the mess expenses.

As a past member of Vimy, sounds like the Mess membership is still doing today what it did in the past, include families in a number of TGIFs.  I recall voting on supporting this several times, so to your query, and as noted by a number of others, if the members vote it in, then it's an approved way of doing things.  The logic of believing that every night at the Mess must itself break even (the member with their spouse and kids not being profit-neutral) is not strong - Vimy had lots of chin-wagging and brews going downrange during the week as well.  As others say as well, to actually be attracting members to the Mess, particularly in a city like Kingston with all the other options in abundance, is actually a rather positive thing.  Vimy was a good mess when I was a member, and sounds like it still is.

:2c:

Regards
G2G
 

Remius

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I get the impression that some people don’t like being in the CAF...
 
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jollyjacktar

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Remius said:
I get the impression that some people don’t like being in the CAF...

I think you could better state that you get the impression some people don't care for certain aspects that come with service in the CAF.  That, would be more fair perhaps...

And that would cover just about any one of us with respect to things in general.  Not all will be totally happy with how things are in our day to day lives regardless of what we do for a living.
 

Downhiller229

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jollyjacktar said:
I think you could better state that you get the impression some people don't care for certain aspects that come with service in the CAF.  That, would be more fair perhaps...

Except if some people were complaining about going to the field, getting deployed or being posted somewhere they don't like they would get steamrolled by the sanctimonious bunch around here... Just seems like a double standard.

I do dislike some aspects of my job, but for the most part I'm happy to put up with it because we still get a great deal.

As many have stated, as à mess member you can influence how your money is spent. I have started bringing my daughter to family TGIF and that way I get to enjoy a beer with the guys and she gets to run around with other kids and we all get a nice meal. It's important to me to continue to foster relationships with my coworkers and I have found that the mess is a great environment to do that.

That being said I was on TD at another base and found the mess culture to be very stuffy and strange. Very much "forced" as it has been referred to. It's really too bad but hopefully the solution can be found by being a bit more creative with how mess dues are spent and not by abolishing them.

These are all opinions, take them for what they are worth.
 
J

jollyjacktar

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There's nothing wrong with having different opinions.  You enjoy mess society, so to speak, and that's great.  It's not for everyone and for those folks, like myself, it's a dissatifier to be forced into it.
 
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