I've had many knicknames over the years ranging from Oliver in high school -- named after a dorky, klutzy guardian angel in an ABC After School TV special to Psycho in college (we won't go into why or how I got that name) and many folks know me as JJ, J, etc. but at work I'm pretty much known by the knickname I use here and at other forums -- FirefighterJake.
While you may or may not realize this in the City of Boston there is a tradition where every new firefighter is called a "Jake" while on their probation . . . true story. Unfortunately, the City of Bangor does not have such a tradition.
I picked up the moniker shortly after I was hired by Bangor back in 1995 when an Assistant Chief started calling me Jake. At first I thought he simply mixed up my real name. After several weeks had gone by and by now everyone was calling me Jake I asked him about the Boston FD connection to which he told me that he actually called me Jake since I reminded him of his pet bassett hound Jacob (aka Jake). I never thought of myself with particularly big ears -- short and fat, sure, but big ears? In any case a few weeks later he brought in Jake and another bassett hound which he introduced as Jake's girlfriend . . . and her name was (true story) Heidi which as some of you know happens to be my wife's name!
I don't really mind this knickname since it beats the first knickname a Dispatcher tried to pin on me -- Lt. Goober -- as well as a name that a Firefighter tried to give me -- Mittens. In addition it works well for dealing with children while doing public education.
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."
"Death is only one of many ways to die."