I don't recall if I have yet told the story about where I got the nickname "The Iceman". Tonight as I was looking up fellow Tories to follow on Twitter, I found this guy who goes by the handle "Iceman_Blogger" in Spanish. Please, don't confuse "The Iceman" with "El Iceman". On Twitter I go by my site name Pragmatictory. I realize that Iceman is not an original handle. You have the comic book character, Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell, Kilmer in Top Gun, etc.
Why did I choose "The Iceman"? Well I didn't really choose it; it chose me during the massive power blackout of 2003. I was a student at the time, working part-time at a large gas station/convenience center in a city of over 100,000 people. I was at work with 3 other students when the power went out. We kept the store open, but had to revert to cash and a calculator. When news started trickling in that this was a major event affecting over 55 million people, panic started to grip customers visiting our site. We decided to impose limits on ice and staple food items per customer, to ensure that we wouldn't get profiteers buying up large chunks then driving two blocks and selling it out of their trunk for a hefty mark-up.
The more time that passed, the more rumours started to spread that it was a terrorist attack. Add to this how many people were hit with no money in their wallet and no functional ATM machines and people were freaking out. We stayed open, calmed people down, and provided them with an outlet to buy food, water, batteries, tobacco, and various other supplies. At one point a local journalist came buy and took my picture selling ice to a customer. As the sun set, we quickly realized that our 24 hour store had electronic locks and could not be closed. The manager was 12 hours away on vacation in the middle of nowhere camping and didn’t even know what happened, and we were all students with no family in the city.
It was now dark, and nearly every other business in town had closed down. At least that's what the police told us, but they were too swamped to leave an officer on site. We could not lock the doors, the hysteria level of the people had increased, and as the only open store in a big city, people were now flocking in large numbers to our location. I assessed the situation as it was happening and determined that we had to limit the number of people in the store at any one time. We had no lights or security cameras, 200 hysterical people outside, and 3 student employees. I the math econ major became the "Bouncer" in the parking lot, the engineering student walked people through the store, and the psychology student worked the till.
I learned a lot about human nature in a crisis when I was managing a crowd of at least 200 hungry hysterical people outside the doors of the last open outlet for food and smokes in a large city. My greatest asset was size and physical strength, being a former Offensive Lineman, a captain of my high school football team, and a gold medalist in weightlifting. Just me and 200 scared people in a parking lot amidst a massive power outage in a heat wave; and not a single incidence of violence, vandalism, disobedience, or even minor injury. When the manager came back and did an inventory and counted the money collected, we were exactly on target. Nothing was stolen, we did not gauge on prices, and our manager cleared her entire inventory at retail price.
When the power came back online, my picture selling that one bag of ice appeared in the local newspaper under the headline "The Iceman Cometh". After that, my supervisor changed my name tag to "The Iceman", and for the next year that I worked there, everyone called me "The Iceman". I endured and succeeded in the most surreal and serious experience of my life, and the next day the local media was calling me the Iceman. Then all the customers started calling me the Iceman, and so years later when Blogger.com asked me for a handle, I said the Iceman.
It may not be original, but it means something to me. I didn't see it somewhere else and decide to highjack it; it was bestowed upon me by the media after I successfully managed a serious crisis.
So this is me. Ironic that despite my Degree in Mathematical Economics, I went on to a career in the business of Security?