Wasted college fuck. That was one of the nicer names I was called when I moved into the fire station in Montgomery County. The career guys put the new college live-ins or bunkers through a sort of mental boot camp. The first semester, I was the only “wasted load” at the station. If you can’t take the verbal abuse, you certainly don’t belong there.
I understood it then, and to this day, I have no problem with it. Look at it from their perspective, every year or two some strange new kid shows up. After he familiarizes himself with the equipment on the engine and truck–in my case it took about forty-five minutes–this rookie is riding a jump seat alongside them. In their shoes, I wouldn’t trust a wasted college fuck, either.
I realized the best thing to do was to keep my mouth shut and ears open. I gained their trust by doing anything they asked around the station and doing a good job on my first few fires. Once they could see I wasn’t going to get one of them killed, they began to accept me.