This post will be a combination of some thoughts and tips from a new bird that finished his first ICT last week. I found it quite helpful reading through the tips that others wrote about similar experiences so maybe this might help others in the future if it turns up in a Google Search 😉
- Friends: It’s nice to see some familiar faces again. But then, unless one’s quite close to them, it becomes kind of a ‘hey how ya doing whatcha doing okay that’s cool let’s do our own stuff’ situation. Nothing stranger-like, just…acquaintances. Of course it’ll be cool if the relations become friendlier and extend past the ICT, but that’s more of the exception rather than the norm. This is of course recognized to be not that good, so that’s why cohesion activities and all are planned. But it’s still too early in the post to talk about cohesion activities so we’ll leave acquaintances at that.
- Dynamics: Ye ‘olde ‘rush to wait, wait to rush.’ It’s some consolation that the less-than-stellar planning was of concern to those involved in it (and the ‘No plan survives past its first contact with the enemy’ sounds somewhat familiar here), but there were still blowback effects that were…kinda bad. Like guys, we were all affected by this or that, but it still feels a bit bad to complain loudly about what happened when the people that tried to make it better after realizing that it would not run the way they envisioned it to be are right there. Nothing in particular felt majorly screwed up, but minor things might’ve added up over the days for others.
- Freedom. Certainly less than a civilian, certainly more than someone still working through their couple of years. It’s nice to be able to told a time to gather back here and being left to settle one’s own meals – now I understand why the canteen and mess are still able to function. A lifesaver for when one doesn’t have time to grab meals or one’s looking for more familiar food.
- Accommodations: Pleasantly surprising. A lot cleaner than I had expected, and especially in bunks where there were extra beds (which was the case for the one I was in, not sure whether that was the case for the main boy), it’s pretty nice to have some extra storage space/hooks to hang clothes off.
- Toilets: I have this theory that the darker, dimly lit cubicles are the best to go to. Yea sure maybe it’s because they might be haunted (pretty good stories there), but mostly because I don’t like piss on my seats and I don’t want to waste TP (toilet paper) cleaning the toilet cover off. Or toilet seat, whatever it’s called. Anyway, because dimly lit cublices are avoided by most, they see less ‘customers’ (users might be a better word) and have less ‘accidents’ as a result. And they’re cleaner, which makes it great for doing big business :). So long story short: go to a well lit toilet but a dimly lit cubicle if you’re looking for a cleaner toilet seat. Which is pretty nice to sit on, imo. And yes, this theory came true again during this ICT – so a certain toilet cubicle on the third (or was it second?) floor was a lot cleaner than some of the surrounding cubicles…
- Time. I think the best place to be in a zombie apocalypse would be in an army camp. Not just because it has arms and all that, but because it’s always buzzing with activity. In this case it’s also probably like a hospital – there’s always people moving around doing stuff even at night/midnight when most are resting, and it keeps things fresh and going. Of course if one wants to actually be sleeping instead of doing stuff then it’s not that fun, but it’s quite cool to walk around at 3/4am and still see vibrant activity a couple blocks over.
Shoutout to a friend of mine for the way she posts her thoughts – they’re in little blocks, which is something new I’m trying on here. Seems pretty useful.
And now, for tips.
- Sleep a lot before going in. You’ll most likely want to avoid building up a sleep debt especially towards the end of the ICT, but it’s almost unavoidable so building up a sleep surplus will help quite a lot. Don’t go in with 4 hours of sleep like I did – it’s not very enjoyable when one’s mind is dull.
- Bring in more than one charger. Like, you’re going to want, as a minimum, those wall plugs with two USB outputs. One for your phone at night, one for your portable charger also at night. During the day, you can’t leave your phone charging in bunk if you’re not there (and you probably won’t be there or won’t want to leave your phone unattended when you’ve got shit to do) so that’s when your portable charger kicks in during the long times you’re away from your phone. Don’t make the mistake like I did and bring in a single charger, then having my portable battery go flat because I didn’t have enough lines running to charge both it and my phone in the night.
- Bring little packets of tissue. Useful when entering a new toilet with big business to do and not having any TP rolls available to tear from. Always carry two with you in your lower pockets if you’re prone to diarrhea.
- Don’t bitch so much
like this guy.As a certain Encik mentioned to us on the first/second night of the ICT: Y’all come, y’all do your work, do it good, do it once, do it right, then y’all can leave and carry on with your civilian lives. The work still needs to be done whether you like it or not, so doing it with a good attitude makes it a lot less painful than doing it with a shitty attitude, screwing it up and being reprimanded for it, then doing it again. One times good one is the motto for making time pass faster. And also, as a courage wolf meme goes, ‘Pain is mandatory, suffering optional.’ – this rings particularly true.
- Cohesion on the last day might be outside camp. If cabbing home from one, use an app to grab a cab, either the ComfortDelgro or whatever floats your boat. Nothing feels better than getting out early, getting a cab via the app and packing your stuff into it when the lines are buzzing with the cabbing-portion of more than 500 guys frantically calling for one.
All in all, it’s going to be another 8 months before I next go in. Planning to get my stuff in order and not make the same mistakes I did during this ICT so that I’ll have an easier time.
Up next, hopefully some drum covers and/or a new and final guide for Kritika if things go well and I settle some irl stuff that needs to be done. Otherwise expect extended inactivity.