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What is it with stupid job titles?

CocktailIt can’t just be me who thinks the world has gone silly with job titles! We’re all used to the  PC correction of Stewardess (and Steward) to Flight Attendant, Fireman to Fire-fighter, Secretary to Administrative Assistant. That’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m all for the revision of gender specific of job titles. It’s the right thing to do.

What I’m talking about is how it seems to be now common place to give relatively menial, often minimum wage jobs, overly pretentious job titles.

Lets take a couple of examples we all hear on a regular basis…

Barista

I looked the origin up on Wikipedia. You guessed it. A word of Italian origin that roughly means ‘bartender’, going on to say, “While the title is not regulated, most coffee shops use the title to describe the preparer of coffee and operator of an espresso machine.”

As pretentious the title sounds, it’s owners pour over-priced coffee in the likes of Stabucks, that’s it.

On to my next, a personal favourite being a former night-club manager (in the British rather than Spanish sense).

Mixologist

Unlike Barista, Mixologist doesn’t even warrant its own entry on Wikipedia and diverts straight to bartender.

How completely over the top can it be to describe someone who pours drinks for a living with a pseudo scientific job title. Utter bullshit! Tom Cruise has a lot to answer for!

If you are one of those people who consider yourself highly qualified Mixologist or Barista and would like to wave around an unrecognised, worthless and pointless piece of paper in my direction in a futile attempt to convince me I’m wrong, then you’re a dick. Instead, you may want to have a look at this article which might help you get some things in perspective – Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy

My genuine apology to those Baristas and Mixologists who realize that the titles are total nonsense (spread about by companies in an effort to persuade people working for them is far more glamorous than it actually is) and are just trying to make a living – you guys have my respect.

Please feel free to leave a comment with your favourite spurious job titles! 🙂

(If further proof of the pointlessness of both titles was needed, neither have been recognised by my spell checker at the time of writing – surprise,surprise!)

 

5 Responses to What is it with stupid job titles?

  • Maya says:

    Working in market research we had an interesting moment trying to classify someone in a telephone interview, with a strong antipodean accent, who may have poured coffee for a living or have been a very senior legal practitioner. A number of probing follow-up questions were required…

  • Alan says:

    Would I be right to conclude they were a coffee ‘technician’ Maya?

  • Phil Ballard says:

    Hahaha! How right you are.

  • Alan says:

    Maya’s comment reminded me of a story. At one time I had a small PR company (prior to that was Accountant Manager with an agency). I’d been in the business for a while when a girl we used to know returned back from a summer in Ibiza (or somewhere like it I can’t honestly remember). During a conversation she proudly informed me that she was also now a ‘PR’. It took quite a while, if it ever sunk in, to explain the slight difference between flashing a bit of tit in order to get a few drunken punters to empty their pockets into the till of a second rate tourist bar and professional business communications and media relations for international technology companies..

  • liz young says:

    The nearest I got in my working life to this argument was a disagreement with an outside ageny brought in by the firm to “evaluate” the staff. I had been a “Lettings Officer” for ten years and they wanted to downgrade me to “Lettings Clerk”. Flipping nerve! The argument actually reached tribunal stage – and I won!