The first version of my FTN website was back in 1996. That's a LONG time! This blog is meant to revive the joy that was once the great and wonderful FTN Website. I'll be making a weekly post from my archives and, of course, include new material as it comes in.

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Monday, October 6, 2008

Ustafish Stories - yuck!

Some of the most annoying people I ever encountered were the people onboard that served on a different ship during a previous rotation.  Whenever *any* task was being performed; small valve maintenance, sweeping the floor, taking a dump; these people had a story to tell about it.  What's worse is that you knew it was coming and were usually powerless to stop it.  How did you know?  Because every single story started with "Back when I was on the <name of ship>, we used to ... ".  I've highlighted the 'used to' portion because it was always pronounced useta (yooo stuh).  This is where the term ustafish comes from.

For those of you still in the service that haven't quite tasted the sweet, chocolaty  goodness of freedom, don't worry.  Ustafish stories still happen in the corporate world.  Only in civilian life, there's a darker meaning.  Ustafish stories take on 2 flavors.  The first flavor is what you'd expect... "Back when I worked for <name of company>, we used to ...".  The other form of the story - the more dark and nefarious flavor - is when the ustafish story is used to give the storyteller some sort of elevated status to the newer employees.  This is often a way to try and make the idealistic employees feel like they don't know what they're talking about:
New Employee: "Wow, maybe a wireless router would be easier than dragging your own CAT5 cable to the conference room."
Usatafish:"We used to think it that would be helpful, but discovered that acute traces of radon coming from the floor prevented a good signal.  There's a memo about it on the shared drive - I guess you didn't read it?"
Good times...