Tuesday, January 9, 2007

What's In A Name?

As you might have guessed, Mr. Fixit is not my real name. It is my Nom de Plume for Internet matters. I do have a real name, which I have chosen not to broadcast to the world here (or at least not to the four of you who read my blog). It wouldn't be to hard to figure out who and where I am, so if you think you know, just ask me.

I came by the name "Mr. Fixit" by accident. I do a lot of "handyman" work around my house. I have been blessed with a father and grandfathers who had both the knowledge and ability to work with their hands. I have always enjoyed making things, and making things work. After doing some moderate remodeling on my house, an in-law opined to my wife that I was "a regular Mr. Fixit". I kind of liked how it sounded, and started using it as a username on the Internet. To be quite honest, I don't believe my wife or family know I use it.

Of course I answer to other names; "Dad", "Big Daddy" (from my kids thank you), "Sugar Booger" (my wife joking), "Uncle","Brother-in-Law", "Fireman". I have been called, although I don't always answer to, "hey you", "mother f****r", and "That miserable SOB".

I was given a special name in my first week with the Fire Department (the first of several names). This one has stuck for almost 14 years with the guys who were there when I got it. They call me "Sticky". You know, when I think of names I'd like to have people call me, Sticky ain't on the list. How do you get a name like "Sticky" you ask? Read on;

I was hired with a group of guys for the Fire Department. As guys tend to do, we started giving some of the group nicknames. You know, the biggest guy we called Peewee, the oldest was Pops, things like that. Not everybody got one, but the ones that did stuck. That first week, we were working out of the training building, a small one-room building at the training field. It was early spring, and a bit cool. As we sat in class, the air conditioner was on and most of us were freezing. We couldn't wait to go outside and warm up in the fifty-degree weather.

Now I must tell you that when I got hired, I had been married and divorced. I had a home. I had a son at home with me. I had been working in both engineering and construction for several years. I was an "adult", and had been living as an adult for some time. At the first break of the day, seeing how everyone in the room was cold, I walked over to the thermostat and turned it up. Problem solved. I didn't even think too much about it. There was a problem, I had fixed it.

After re-entering the classroom, our officer (a Deputy Chief), says to the class "I have heard several comments about it being cold. (I guess the shivers and coats in the class didn't clue him in) So, we can take a vote to see if we want to turn up the heat."

I raised my hand and said "Sir, I turned up the heat on my way out." Up until that second I thought I had done a good thing. I was wrong. He gave me the look. That stare that asks without asking "Do you realize how much you have screwed up?" The room was quiet. Nobody wanted to look at him or me. Everyone was still. Time stretched.

"Did anyone tell you to do that?" he asked.
"No sir."
"Did you ask?"
"No sir."
"You didn't ask your Lieutenant?"
"No sir."
"Did you ask me?"
"No sir."
"You mean to tell me that you just ignored the entire chain of command and just did what you wanted to do?"
A breath. Think think think! What do I say?
"Yes sir."
"Well Mr. Sticky fingers, why don't you just write me a letter explaining your problem with the chain of command, and this incident."

From then on he referred to me as "Sticky", and the name has stuck.

I am reminded of a story attributed to a nurse at Parkland Hospital ER. It seems that a rather crude, dirty, obnoxious, patient arrived with police escort. Said patient was moved to a hospital bed and promptly handcuffed in place. He did not want to be there. While attending to this patient, he began to give orders to the nurse to release him. When he realized he was being ignored, he began to grow louder and louder asking "What's yo' name?" "What's yo' name?"
Finally, he yelled "What's yo' fu*&ing name?" At which point our nurse had had enough, she turned, pointed her finger and said: "My fu*&ing name is 'oh baby oh baby', but you can call me Nurse.

Just call me Mr. fixit


Ambulance Driver said...

I can commisserate, Mr. Fixit.

Once as a young EMT, I was replacing some flooring in the back of a new (used) bo-lance. While drilling pilot holes for the rivets I was putting in a length of aluminum trip strip, I drilled a 5/16 inch hole through the main oxygen tank. Since that day, my employee number with that company ended with 02...

Mr. Fixit said...

Remember, I said that Sticky was the first of several?

Believe me it can be worse.
Depends who you talk to, and who was there when you did it.

Anonymous said...

My highschool nickname was Beardo(amalgam of Beard and Weirdo.) :p

So I can somewhat relate.

Here's a story about how another EMT got his nickname "Sparky"(also "Joules" and "AC/DC".)