While I was still in New Zealand, a woman invited me to get tea with her. While we were walking to the café, she asked if it was my first year and when I said yes she bubbled that it was her first year too.
She leaned in and lowered her voice. “Can I tell you a tip that some of my friends have told me?”
I nodded, intrigued at her change of demeanor.
“We need to curb our enthusiasm. To all the returners, we’re fin-gees.”
FNG or the phonetic pronunciation fin-gee is apparently a military term for the “(expletive) new guy.” On the ice, this term is not only used out of frustration, but it is also used light heartedly. For example, someone has said “I love fin-gees!” while another person saw me taking pictures out the window on the plane so they laughed and said “Oh, fin-gees.”
fin-gees are the subject of several pranks at the station. Even with this warning, I was subject of one of these pranks today when I was informed of a non-existent training class in a building that I was unfamiliar with.
I’m sure it was entertaining to see a herd of fin-gees in our big reds fighting the wind and snow just to pull on a locked door, and then try another locked door, and another… and then stop a stranger to ask for help. The man laughed and said “It’s Saturday! Nobody wants to go to a class on a Saturday night.” (Because most of the station does not work on Sundays.)
Most of us were convinced that this was just a misunderstanding until we turned to see a group standing outside the bar laughing. Immediately, the prank was clear.
I laugh to myself just picturing it! And as tempted as I am to give more examples of fin-gee pranks, I’d rather keep the tradition alive for when I’m not a fin-gee anymore.