Every day Life
At a recent party, I met a young woman who was poised, confident, intelligent. At one point during the evening, she mentioned that she was an Infant Classroom Teacher. ‘An infant teacher?’, we asked. ‘What is it that you teach?’ She replied brightly, ‘I teach them to hold a bottle; I hold them and rock them and get them to learn to be on a regular schedule.’ ‘In other words’, a friend drily observed, ‘you run the poop and throw-up room’.
Welcome to the age of the creative job titles.
Housewives, thankfully, is a term long since retired from vocabulary. Now there are Homemakers, Household Engineers, Family Managers or Home Economists. The lowly garbage man of yesteryear is now a Refuse Collector or Sanitation Worker or Garbologist. If he works inside a building, he’s now an Environmental Maintenance Officer. Walk into an Apple store, and you won’t find a sales clerk in sight. Instead, you are helped by a Genius Technician.
Going out with friends? Be sure to tip the Cocktail Chemist, Master Mixologist, Drink Consultant, Liquidologist, Beverage Dissemination Officer or Irrigation Engineer.
I started my career as a Staff Assistant. It was a secretarial job and I did secretarial work – but I appreciated not being called a secretary. Today, few are. These positions are now held by Administrative Assistants, Personal Enablers, and Executive Assistants. Even National Secretaries Day has been renamed Administrative Professionals Day.
If your computer needs attention, don’t look for an IT guy or gal to fix it. Instead, you may be directed to the Manager of Technical Operations, a Technical Evangelist or the Endpoint Technology Manager. En route to his or her office, you are likely to pass by the Growth Hacker. If you need remote support, your IT support person may be the Director of Remote Support or even a Chief Chatter. Seriously.
Last December, Forbes published a list of the 21 most creative job titles. My personal favorites: Director of First Impression (receptionist, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and Chief Troublemaker (CEO of Matrix Group).
Thankfully, some unusual job titles are on the decline. Today there are fewer job listings seeking Ninja’s, Rock Stars, Gurus and Wizards for hot technical jobs in Silicon Valley. Some of this change is driven by the sheer numbers of these job postings – no longer differentiated title – and by the fact that these whiz kids are growing older and getting tired of having a resume that reads like a comic book.
Finally, let’s not forget about the writers. Today we’re Bloggers, Content Creators, Digital Content Producers or Brand Journalists. But we still write.
W.C. Fields summed it up perfectly, long before the current title mania started: “It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to.” Or, as my grandfather used to say, “You can call me anything you like. Just don’t call me late for dinner.”
What's the strangest title you've seen recently? Any Evangelists out there care to comment?