There seems to be a growing trend of giving fanciful and grandiose titles to make jobs sound more important and skilled than they actually are.
Recently I was at a food mall and the table cleaners’ badges had a title above their name something to the effect of ‘food service area diplomat’. Diplomat? Apart from the political meaning, a secondary meaning is ‘a person who can deal with others in a sensitive and tactful way’. Very nice, but their primary role of cleaning the eating area is not mentioned in the title.
Another funny one a friend just told me about was receiving an email from someone who’s job title was ‘customer service connoisseur’. A connoisseur is “an expert judge in matters of taste”, so what has that to do with responding to customer enquiries? Oh, and they were selling merchandise, not consumables.
I assume that these misuses of the English language are flights of fancy and unintentional. [The term for the misuse or the strained use of words is “catachresis”.]
What catachresis, or imaginative, or fanciful, or grandiose, or plain weird job titles have you encountered?
What’s in a Job title? “That which we call employment by any other name would pay as well”.
Whose imagination is the job title satisfying most, the employer or the employee?
I’ve come across the somewhat creative use of “Principal” as the first part of a job title. EG Principal Cleaner or Principal Architect. It sounds impressive, and it can be when used for the head of a school or law firm.
As an adjective in a job title it’s especially useful and suitably ambiguous when there is only one in the business. An enhanced job title is as good as a pay rise? Just kidding. We’d all rather have the pay rise, and suggest a better understanding on the use of principle.
I usually get a chuckle out of job titles contestants declare on TV quiz shows.
There are the usual ones like coordinator, facilitator, officer, but some very inventive ones as well.
An oldie but a goody. Refuse Removal Officer. Ie garbage collector.
I was at one time a one-man-band doing bespoke system development for small business. I took on all the roles starting from the initial consultation, design, prototyping, testing, installation, data conversion, training and then maintenance. At one job starting each meeting I gave myself a job title suitable for the purpose. The client knew straight away what we were on about and we had a laugh together. If anybody wasn’t clear what they were supposed to be doing I would make up a grand name for them too so they knew why they were there.
One woman was responsible for accounts receivable was very doubtful about the idea of my software passing invoices to her accounting system. After it was up and running and she realised that she had all this extra time because there was no data entry she got on board as she could then spend more time chasing debtors. This was like telling a doberman pinscher she could spend more time growling at strangers while keeping them in the corner of the yard.
Once we had become friends she asked one day how she had never got a job title. I had to say she did but I had never told her; it was High Priestess of Anubis. She didn’t get it straight away but had a laugh after she looked it up.
One resume quote I saw online recently to describe the changing of a light bulb was ;
“Single-handedly managed the successful upgrade and deployment of new environmental illumination system with zero cost overruns and zero safety incidents.”
If I search my phone back through several years I would eventually find a pic of a barista in Sulawesi - he brought tiny electronic scales, coffee, etc to the table to make your coffee personally, to order.