Recruit Training - RAF Halton.Watch
I'm not going to sit here for hours of my life and do the whole 'diary' thing, detailing every day, but i'll jot down some of my experiences and what to expect and if anyone out there wants to ask anything at all about the course, feel free to do so but bear in mind that you may not get a rapid response as my leave is limited.
I'll try and type more into here over the coming week and break the course down into it's 3 phases and what they involve. Obviously my memory isn't that fresh - learning different things every day means you easily forget exactly what you were doing just a week ago, so it would help if specific questions were asked by those that wish to know.
My background is that i'm a 28 year old of average fitness that decided to join the RAF as a WSOp 2 years ago. Initially, my application was rejected at the filter interview stage due to not having enough 'interests outside of work and limited leadership experience' and i was invited to re-apply 12 months later, so i did, having joined the ATC as a Civvy Instructor (later becoming an Adult Sgt) and undertaking various charity events. I attended OASC last August and was accepted within 2 weeks, pending medical clearance which arrived at the end of November. I started the 9 week course at Halton on January the 4th and finally graduated from RTS last Tuesday, 7th March, with an exemplary report (sounds big-headed, but i'm proud of it) and our intake having performed one of 'the top 3 pass-out parades seen in 5 years' by the Flight Commander. I'm currently serving on the Airman Developmant Flight (ADF) at RAF Halton - the holding flight most Airmen will be on between RTS and the start of their trade training - until early April when i will be moving to RAFC Cranwell and joining the Non-Commissioned Aircrew Initial Training Course (NCAITC).
RTS - Phase 1
This is the first 2 and a half weeks of your stay at Halton - a harsh welcome to the RAF if you like.It's not harsh as in bullying or anything like that, but you will definitely be shouted at for something during the 1st few days. Don't ever take this personally - learn from it and rectify it. Improvement is what these people are looking for all the time, they don't expect ready-made airmen from you, they just expect you to learn and perform.
I don't remember this early phase too well as there was so much to do and i've done so much more since, so bear with me if this section seems a little rushed, however, if you ask a question about any specific thing it may jog my memory and i should be able to answer it.
The activities covered in this are mainly classroom-based lessons on General Service Knowledge (GSK), Physical Training instruction and testing (PEd), lessons from the Chaplaincy Department on Beliefs, Values and Faiths (BVF), Basic Foot Drill, Kit Preparation, Admin Briefs by the PSF staff, medicals - including innoculations and a few team-based exercises thrown in.For the first few days, you'll be dressed in Denim order - green coveralls with trainers until you've been to the stores and been issued with your kit. At no point during this phase will you wear any of the Blue uniform. You will not be allowed off-base for the first 2 weekends and they are both working weekends - the first weekend you'll work the whole Saturday and get a lie-in on the Sunday with work starting at 1300 hrs on the Sunday (unless the flt. are naughty or not learning) - the 2nd weekend should be free, but you must remain on base, again, this is subject to the good behaviour and performance of the Flight as a whole - screw-up and you might find yourself doing extra drill on either or both of these days !
These are usually single or double 45 minutes of classroom based, Powerpoint lessons given mainly by your Flight Corporals or your Flt. Sergeant although they can sometimes be given by the Flt. Commander - a Flt.Lieutenant. Initially, they cover the airman ranks, SNCO & WO ranks and junior Officer ranks. As the 2 weeks progress, you'll start having lessons on Air Force law, structure and administration - the important things about pay, leave and appraisals forms, Health & Safety, Base Security etc....
You'll do between 2 and 4 lessons per day and it culminates in the taking of a GSK Progress test on Day 14. This is a multiple-choice exam of 50 questions - 30 are multi-choice, 20 require written answers but they are not massive essays, just short answers, usually identifying badges of rank or H&S symbols from a crib-sheet. This test is not a formal exam, it's to show how you're progressing with your GSK learning but if you fail, you will need to take it again - the pass mark for all exams is 80%.
GSK exams can be quite boring and the lack of sleep and the physical lifestyle will take it's toll on some and you may find yourself nodding off - the best course of action is to request to the instructor that you stand up for a bit or open a window to motivate yourself, rather than continue to nod-off as that could cause you some issues !
PEd at Halton isn't that bad, unless you are completely out of shape and haven't prepared yourself physically and mentally to push yourself (rather than be pushed) to your limit. I was quite apprehensive about PT prior to joining - i'm not the fittest of individuals, but as long as you push yourself and give 100% effort to everything, you will be okay. The PT staff were generally cool and as long as you turn up with a big bag of enthusiasm and all your kit is to the required standard, you'll not regret a single session. Bear in mind that you'll be punished as a flight for any foul-ups on kit, so make sure you make the effort for your team and ensure others are doing so - it can be irksome having to do lines at the end of a gruelling circuits session just because one guy turned up with his t-shirt in rag-order or with mud on his shorts.
The PEd is divided into 3 areas - Aerobic training (running), Strength training (circuits) and Swimming. You will have to perform the RAF fitness test in the 1st few days of the course. For those that don't know, this comprises the bleep test and a number of press-ups and sit-ups in one minute. For those that went to OASC, this is not a maximal session - you stop once you have reached the RAF standard for your age. Also, this is not a pass/fail session - it's just an initial assessment of your fitness although you will be re-assessed at the end of the course and you are required to pass it - if you haven't, then you obviously haven't made the effort to improve and this reflects badly. If you pass it on the first attempt, you are then given the opportunity to perform the max. effort test at the end of the course.
Your next PT sessions will be a Pool introduction - i found this quite tough as i'm not the best swimmer. You do widths of the pool in varying strokes, interspersed with pool-side efforts of press-ups, sit-ups etc... I only did 4 swimming sessions during my course though, and one of them was the RAF swimming test - 2x 25m lengths in CS95 shirt and trousers - no boots. This is a pass/fail assessment but if you fail you will be given a 2nd opportunity to pass - you will not be re-flighted if you fail.
If you perform well in the sessions, they become more relaxed and you'll start seeing games introduced to them, so max. effort every time.
The next PT event will be the streaming run or your introduction to gym circuits.
A 1.5 mile run around the rugby pitch area at Halton. Not completely flat ground but no real hills involved. The idea is that you give it the max. effort to achieve the quickest time you can. After the run, the intake will be divided into 3 groups - the quicker group will be group 1, the middle group will be group 2 and the slower group will be group 3. At the end of the streaming run, group 1 then go off for a run of about 3 to 4 miles around Halton village at a steady pace. Group 1 should then expect any subsequent runs to be of roughly 6-8 miles in distance and they will involve some hills.
At the end of the streaming run, group 2 then go off for a run back around the streaming run course at a steady pace, with some fartlek style shuttle run exercises thrown in and a couple of stops for press-ups, sit-ups. Group 2 should then expect any subsequent runs to be of roughly 4-6 miles in distance and they will involve very few hills, if any.Times will be set by the PEd staff in which to complete the runs but the PTIs always run with you and set the pace.
At the end of the streaming run, group 3 then go off for a run around the rugby pitches at a steady pace and Group 3 should then expect any subsequent runs to be of roughly 1.5-2miles in distance and they will not involve any hill-work but they will have exercises thrown in.
During your stay at RTS, expect to do around 4 or 5 runs, including the streaming run and the cross-country competition (i'll go into this later) at the end of the course. Always RUN as fast as you can - even if you can manage no more than a canter, never walk as it shows a lack of determination. The PTI staff will excuse lack of fitness, but they won't excuse lack of determination - this also goes for fit people that aren't running to the best of their ability and prefer to saunter around in Grp 2 or 3. Also, bear in mind that if you perform well in Grp. 2 or 3, you may be moved up to Grp 1 or 2, this also works in reverse if you can't manage the runs in your Group.
Easily my most enjoyable PT sessions.They do exactly what they say on the tin - gym circuit exercises that vary every time. Push-ups, sit-ups, crunches, shuttles and much, much more designed to improve your muscles - arms, legs, abs, the lot. Hard work - you will sweat like never before - but give 100% as these are the sessions that really do wonders for your all-round fitness. Each session lasts between 1.5 and 2 hours and laid out around the gym will be about 10-15 different exercises and the flight/ intake will rotate around the exercises in small groups, completing 2,3 or 4 circuits - it may be interspersed with laps of the gym or shuttle runs, who knows ! All i can say is that they are enjoyable, always put the effort in and you'll be rewarded. By the 3rd session the PTIs will have the crazy dance music (the Prodigy etc..) pumping out as you work and this works as a fantastic motivator to give that extra bit of effort. I really enjoyed all my circuit sessions and you really feel your fitness improve after them. I can't give you the low-down on these too much as they will vary a lot.
To sum-up PEd as a whole, you will do around 3-4 sessions a week in Phase 1, all mixed. You must give 110% effort to everything to succeed and you must always ensure your kit is spot-on - razor-sharp creases in t-shirt sleeves, shorts and t's pressed nice and flat, name tag on the right side, everything spotlessly clean or they will make your life less enjoyable. When you get changed prior to a lesson do it in no less than 5 minutes and after every lesson ensure you are showered and changed and on parade outside in less than 10 minutes. You must shower after every lesson - 10 mins sounds impossible, i know, but it is do-able and you won't want to hang around in the showers, believe me, the temperature is never right !
You'll get five sessions with the Chaplaincy department during your stay at RTS. 3 of these sessions will come in Phase 1. It's not religious clap-trap in anyway, it's all designed for everyone to discuss welfare issues and for each other to share their feelings now they're living in a strange place and a new, harsh environment. Each session lasts 45 minutes and they're a good opportunity for everyone to get ideas, worries and experiences off their chests. At the heart of the sessions will be discussions about the Core Values of the RAF - Respect, Integrity, Service-before-self and Excellence (R.I.S.E) - see what they did there ? I won't go into this anymore, but be warned that the Core Values and Ethos of the RAF will be drummed into you from a very early stage and all Airmen/Women are expected to conduct themselves in the correct manner.
Basic Foot Drill
There will be lots of foot-drill during Phase 1, as you'd expect. It will all start on Day 00, the moment you've attested and leave the PSF building for the tour of RTS you'll all be formed up in 3 ranks and you'll be told when to walk and when to stop, you'll also have the 'Left, Right,Left' timings called out and you start to learn how to all walk in step, in preparation for your first lesson on marching - this is quite fun to watch when you all have to carry your bedding from the store to your block. All movements around the base will now involve marching, even if you are travelling on your own. When you start to wear the uniform, all recruits must wear a yellow disc, known as a 'Biff Badge', behind their beret badge - this signifies to the rest of the base personnel that you have not been fully instructed or tested in basic drill and that any misdemeanours such as failing to salute an officer should be excused. All drill lessons last approximately one hour and you will learn 2 or 3 moves within the session. All the moves are broken down into easily manageable pieces and you will not complete a single move until you've all mastered each individual movement. On Day 14 of training, towards the end of phase 1, your flight will have a Drill Check, examined by the RAF Regiment Drill & Ceremonial section. Once they are satisfied that the whole flight can perform the many different movements without error, you will all have earned the right to remove the Biff Badges from your head-dress. Fail and you will have to repeat the test at a later date. All static and marching foot-drill movements will be performed in the test. Drill may sound daunting to those that have never experienced it, but the moves are broken down and easily understandable - you just have to look keen and try your hardest - if you fail to show motivation, the staff will jump on you and the rest of the flight will suffer with extra sessions, so give it your absolute all.
Kit Prep. covers everything from polishing boots, ironing your uniform & how to present items for inspection to making your bed correctly, cleaning your individual bedspace and your block as a whole (yes, somebody will have to clean the toilets )
Kit Prep. lessons will usually come in the afternoons after you've completed all your other lessons and will involve your instructors literally showing you how to iron garments and how to present them in your locker. The first lesson will involve your instructor showing you how to make a bedpack - this is a neat 'bundle' of your bedding that must be presented on your bed every morning. There are lots of early kit inspections during Phase 1, so be prepared to be stood by your bed with your bedpack done, bedspace hoovered and dusted, all locker kit presented clean and correctly pressed and wearing an immaculate uniform. For the first few days of inspections you will be given remedial training if you get anything wrong - they don't expect you to get it right first time, but if you continually present at a sub-par standard then life could become complicated for you. You will probably be issued with most of your uniform on Day 02 and as soon as you have it you will start having a different lesson every day to show you how to prepare it and present it. You will also be given a Kit Prep. Manual to refer to. Almost all of your evenings in Phase 1 (and most of RTS) will involve lots of ironing, sewing labels into things like socks, berets and other garments. You must present them exactly as shown if you want to stay on the right side of your staff. It will help you a great deal if you practice some over-stitch sewing (not cross-stitch) prior to starting RTS. The morning after each kit prep. lesson, you will be expected to present those items you were taught how to prepare previously. You will then get a nod of approval or told to re-do the items if not to standard. It all culminates in your BIG day 09 and 14 inspections.
Day 09 inspection is a big inspection which involves presenting all the kit you have prepared so far - it is not a pass/fail thing, more of a dry-run for Day 14, which is the BIG inspection for Phase 1. It is a pass/fail inspection, conducted by your flt. staff - if you fail it, you have the opportunity to re-show the kit on Day 15 but the re-show is conducted by a Sergeant or above from the Training Cell and they do not compromise in any areas like your Flt. Staff might. If you fail Day 15, YOU WILL BE REFLIGHTED TO DAY 00 - so it pays to get this right first time, even if it involves staying up until 2am to get it right. Incidentally, late nights didn't happen much like i thought they would. The latest i went to bed at RTS was 0030hrs and that was on the first day of kit preparation. It got earlier and earlier as each night passed - it's all down to how well you manage your time though - if you prefer to spend a couple of hours down the NAAFI every night, you will struggle.
After a few days, you will also be introduced to your 'Block Jobs' - cleaning the whole accomodation block. Areas to be cleaned include any spare rooms, the corridors, bathrooms, briefing rooms, outside the block - everything ! The flight will be broken down into groups of 2 or 3 and each group will have their own area (i had to clean the sinks and surrounding areas) every night. The block must be left to Inspection Standard (this will be explained) every day. Some days you may need to stand by your block jobs for inspection in the morning but most days the block will be inspected whilst you are out working.
At first, it's not easy to juggle the amount of uniform preparation, keeping your bedpsace clean and completing your block jobs but as each day passes you will find it gets easier as you discover new methods and short cuts which will make your life easier and obviously, the more nights you do uniform preparation, the less uniform you will have left to do at later dates so when you're still busy sewing labels into socks at 2330 hrs, just keep focussed on the fact that there will come a day when you won't have to do it ! My top tip would be to stay out of the NAAFI in the evenings until you've done all you need to do - you can't drink for the first 2 weeks anyway so it's barely worth going down there, just crack on with your kit, practice your drill and get through Days 14 and 15 as they are big days in your training and the reward for passing all of this is your first weekend home, day's 17 & 18 and providing the high standards of performance continue throughout your training, you should be allowed home every weekend of your training from now, except for one weekend, which i'll go into later. Day 16, the Friday, is your trip to the RAF Museum at Hendon - a nice day out for you all to learn about the history of the RAF. Don't blag this day, do as you're told as the information your are told to find out will be needed for exams later in the course.
The hard work starts now !
I'll update this daily - i think it's going to be a lengthy post !
Hope people appreciate it - if you feel it's worthy, keep it bumped to the top !
PHASE 1 Summary
A bit of a culture shock with lots of shouting, late nights, early mornings, physical activities and not much time to unwind. Take it with a pinch of salt as it's giving you vital basic information and discipline that will help you in the later stages of RTS. Just remember that failing to 'play the game' could result in you having to repeat the whole 2.5 weeks again, meaning you won't have gone home or had a weekend off for 5 weeks. Give everything your everything.
RTS PHASE 2 - GROUND DEFENCE TRAINING
Whenever a recruit is asked towards the end of the course "What was your favourite part of RTS ?", the answer "GDT,sir" is given at least 95% of the time. It is the ruffty-tuffty, exciting, pointy end of your RAF training - training to fight & survive. It is true, it is exciting and considerably more interesting than darning name tags into socks for the umpteenth time but be warned - it is also the most physically challenging, it covers a few complex areas, the pace of the course goes up seriously from Phase 1 and the staff are usually a lot less comprising and more no-nonsense than what you'd have been used to.
The GDT phase lasts for 4 weeks and each week will be spent learning something new.The phase is broken down into 4 subjects - Nuclear,Biological & Chemical (NBC) Training, First Aid, Recuperation and Weapon Training. The final week, Tuesday to Friday will be spent on the CPT Exercise on Bramley Training Area in Hampshire - CPT stands for Consolidation of Practical Training - it is where you put all the skills learnt over the last 4 weeks into practise in a war-scenario. CPT is a pass/fail thing - i'll explain more later, but on top of CPT, you also have to pass written and practical exams connected to each subject on the course. The pass rate for all written exams is 80%, for the practical tests, you have to show that you can do things exactly as taught. If you fail anything, you have one more attempt to pass, if you fail again you'll be re-flighted straight away, no messing about.
All of your GDT training is held with instructors from the RAF Regiment and takes place in the GDT Hangar which is situated away from the RTS site, down the hill and across the main road.On day 1 of GDT, your usual flight staff will march you all down the hill with your blue RAF holdalls containing your NBC suit and repsirator haversack, webbing and 'jet packs'. Once there, the first thing you'll do is receive a brief from OC GDT, outlining exactly what is expected of you during the course and how it is all run. After this brief, you'll be broken down into sections of 6-8 people and you'll meet your section commander, a Corporal - he will be your 'mentor' and tutor for the next 4 weeks. Once the 'welcome' is out of the way, you will hand in your holdalls and exchange them for a bergen, sleeping bag, sleeping bag liner and gore-tex bivvy bag. You will now have to carry this kit, along with your NBC kit from RTS to GDT and back every day. There is a steep hill involved on the journey back to RTS every evening - it's all designed to build you up a bit and get you used to carrying a significant weight so that you have no problems carrying it on the CPT exercise - if you can't handle carrying it now, you won't manage it on CPT. You will also collect some more items of NBC protection equipment and then it's straight into the NBC training.......
Week 1 - NBC Training
So, this starts on the monday afternoon and begins with you trying on the NBC suit for the first time and involves learning the various states of dress that are conducive with the various states of NBC alert.You'll get lots of classroom-based lessons throughout the week on all aspects of NBC warfare and there will be lots of practical lessons to teach you the various drills involved with living in an NBC environment - decontamination, eating & drinking, taking NAPS tablets and lots more. If you fail to show the correct attitude during the training or if you are too slow to complete certain drills, you will be made to run the length of the hangar and back whilst wearing the full NBC dress - this is not as fun as it sounds so be switched on and don't make the rest of your team suffer ! You will have a theory test of 10 multi-choice questions on the Thursday followed by a day of practical testing on the Friday. As some of you may know, you must don your respirator within 9 secs of an NBC attack alert. This is practised to death during the week and it's advisable that you practise this every evening to get it right for Friday as doing it in 10 secs could see you re-flighted, but maybe not - it depends on your instructors. You will also be tested on your other drills in the Respirator Testing Facility (RTF) - or the CS Gas Chamber (don't call it the gas chamber as it upsets people ). This is done every year for the remainder of your RAF career - it pays to get all your drills correct as you will swallow a mouthful of CS if you get it wrong - it ain't nice stuff ! Oh, i forgot to mention, on the Tuesday you will have a proper introduction to CS Gas - you will enter the RTF with your suit and respirator on - run around a bit, do some exercises, wiggle about a bit - this proves to YOU that your protective equipment does actually work - boy, does it work ! Then, comes the next bit, you each have to unmask individually in front of your Corporal and say your rank, name and number out loud. This sounds easy but trust me, it ain't ! You will get a very large taste of CS - your eyes will scream, your lungs,throat, mouth & skin will burn, then you'll be let out to recover. This is done to give you a maximum exposure to the CS so that you'll know what to expect on Friday if you get your drills wrong - it encourages you to do it right ! The good news is, you'll never have to do it again.
All in all, NBC is a mixed bag. Some of the classroom work can be extremely boring, some of the practical stuff can be extremely tiring, hot (i did it in the middle of January - wouldn't want to do it in August) and hard to get to grips with - but it's also fun and the reason for it all is drummed into you and it is an essential part of survival. All the skills learnt this week will also be repeated during CPT, less the CS Gas, so don't forget any of it !
Week 2 - First Aid
By far the most boring week of GDT, depending on what floats your boat. It's all classroom-based stuff with practical and theory exams at the end. The practical exam will be all based around Cardio Pulminary Resuscitation, the rocovery position and casualty management. The instructors are all trained to St. John Ambulance standard and the course is taught this way, but anyone out there that has done SJA First Aid at Work, it's not quite that in-depth. You will have the theory test of 10 questions on the Thursday and the practical exam on the Friday. You won't be performing emergeny tracheotomies or anything like that - the only military spin put on it all is the one day where you will do casualty evacuation - stretcher runs, 2-man lifts, casualty drags etc... - this is physically arduous - be warned and don't be last ! That's all i'll say for First Aid really, it's quite uninteresting.
Week 3 (Monday only) - Recuperation
No, they don't teach you how to put your feet up and relax - recuperation is the art of making your base operational again after an attack. This part only lasts for one day and will come in week 3. They teach you radio procedure, how to carry out searches, send Situation Reports and all sorts of recovery skills like that. It's very brief, but very important for your CPT exercise so don't treat it lightly. There will be a theory test on Recuperation - 5 questions - you're allowed to get only one wrong. All your practical skills will be put to the test during CPT.
Week 3 - Rifle Training
My favourite week of GDT - simply because it was easy for me as i'd done it all before. The Rifle week starts on the Tuesday with a trip to the armoury which is situated at RTS, where you will collect the weapons. If you're lucky, you'll get to carry 2 rifles or an LSW on the march down the hill to RTS - if you're unlucky, you'll get to carry them up the hill on the way back ! Don't forget, you're still carrying your webbing and bergen - now the rifle has been chucked on top. The rifle training is all classroom-based practical work, there is no written exam. You'll start with the basic Normal Safety Precautions, then move onto loading/unloading, making safe - you'll learn how to strip and assemble the weapon and what all the different components are called and how they work and all the characteristics of the rifle and how it's used effectively. TOP TIP - if it's not covered in much detail by your Corporal, ask them to show you exactly how to clean the rifle and what standards are expected - the lack of training in this area caused some people some problems on CPT, a lot of people found it unfair that they were getting told off for not cleaning the rifle well enough when they hadn't even been taught how to do it.
This is an interesting week - even if you have no interest in the pointy-end of the armed forces.On the Wednesday, you will sleep out in tents and live off 24hr ration packs - this is designed to prepare those that have never camped out for living outside - you'll be taught how to cook your rations and you'll have lessons late into the evening on various combat principles such as judging distances, fire control orders and range cards, amonsgt other things. You'll also learn how to tend to your Personal Field Administration - washing yourself, cleaning your boots, looking after your feet etc...The Friday is what's commonly known as Aggression Day, although i don't remember the official name of it. You'll be taught the principles of camouflage and concealment,how to Monkey-Run and Leopard Crawl and the principles of Fire & Movement - then you'll practice it to death on the sports pitches and the specially made course. This is fun but physically arduous - but make sure you give it everything as if you display a lack of effort you'll carry on doing it until they see the necessary levels of aggression. You will be covered in mud, your body will ache but you will look back at it as a lot of fun - you will also have your individual and section 'war' photos taken by the photographer - you can purchase these at a later date.
Week 4 (Monday Only) - Weapon Handling Tests
The Weapon Handling Test takes place on the Monday after Rifle Training Week, so make sure you don't let any of the drills exit your head over the weekend.This involves a full run through of all drills taught on the Rifle. You are allowed to commit 3 minor faults and no major faults - leaving the safety catch off, discharging the rifle negligently etc.... The complete test should have been practised to death the previous week and the morning before the test, so it is difficult to fail it, but you will have a second chance if you do fail. Once you've passed the test, you'll go back to RTS to prepare all your kit for the CPT exercise and get as much sleep as you can as you will need every minute you can get !
Continued on Page 2.....
Only another 7 weeks of information to go !!
Bet your loving every minute though!
It's good to finally get some leave, finish RTS and be treated like an adult again - for 9 weeks you don't really feel like you're in the RAF, the minute you do that pass-out parade, everything falls into place and suddenly, you are in the RAF.
Weird, huh ?
i think anyone applying to the RAF has got pretty good patience levels to be honest... they say its a virtue, but I think its the alternative to insanity!!!
In at the deep end following graduation?
For now, i have a week's leave, then i start at Halton again next Tuesday for 2 weeks on Airman's Development Flight - a completely more relaxed and different world to RTS - then i should get one more week's leave before Cranwell, which is handy as i won't be allowed home for the 1st 3 weeks of the course.
In the meantime, i need to keep my fitness & motivation levels up and stay focussed on the fact that in 3 months time i should go from AC Rizzarazzu to Acting Sgt Rizzarazzu !
But nice post Rizza, good of you to put the effort in. Reminds the rest of them that there are people not going on IOT
Everything you do, you will be able to look back on it with a sense of reason and pride and you will have enjoyed it - true, it may not seem fun at the time, but you will look back at it fondly.
I've always been the sort of person that insists on ironing my own clothes, so that wasn't a problem for me and as for the cleaning, yeah, it's a headache at first but you can do things like tape areas off so that people don't use them - if they're good team players they won't - this means you have less to clean. It's all about good time management.
As it happens I quite like sewing, can't imagine why, it's as monotonous as you can get. But I'm the kind of person that can't even see a chess piece off the centre of it's square without re-positioning it accurately, along with every other piece on the board... and I do on a regular basis with the one bard in my front room.