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Tuesday, 18 April, 2000, 14:54 GMT 15:54 UK
What's my line, again?
"Wanted: executary. Excellent remunerative package. Must have short hand."Disclaimer: The BBC will put up as many of your comments as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.
Before the more ghoulish among you, particularly those with stubby fingers, put ink-delivery system to wood pulp communications product, this is not an advert for a job requiring the wearing of a black hood.
That, of course, would be a capital punishment operative.
Executaries take letters, arrange meetings, answer phones and buy presents for their bosses' spouse and children at short notice. Just the sort of things secretaries used to do, and for the same money too.
A UK recruitment company has found employees will forego a swelling of their pay packet provided their dull job titles get some padding out.
Among the "professionalised" positions suggested in the survey are "voice data executive" (telephonist), "data storage specialist" (filing clerk) and "office logistics co-ordinator" (postroom worker).
Should the cup of tea brought to you by the "catering supervisor" get spilled on the fabric weave floor covering , never fear, call the "hygiene supervisor".
The 70% of us ready to indulge in a bit of job title tinkering may well be doing ourselves a disservice, says Professor Michael West, an organisational psychologists at Aston University's business school.
More than a name
"Giving people fancy job titles is really just cosmetic. It's only a short-term boost to an employee's morale. You habituate to the new name in a few days and the concession soon seems less important."
Professor West, who has studied the direct link between employee happiness and companies' profitability, says there are more important issues to be addressed.
Job security, autonomy and opportunities for development and growth all score above job titles as ways to improve the level of satisfaction among workers.
"Employees also gain long-term job satisfaction if they get the sense they are valued and cared for in their workplace," says Professor West.
The world's human resources, human capital or plain-old personnel managers should know the risks before faffing with job titles.
Some 70% of the 1,500 employees quizzed for the survey felt job title "snobbery" caused friction in the workplace.
Any shift in job titles could also make scanning the positions vacant pages even more miserable and render the "management-speak" which has invaded our work "environment" even more impenetrable.
Another recent survey found one in five workers couldn't get their heads around most of what was said in the office.
Should we be "customer focused" or "consumer oriented"? Can you trust you "line manager" over your "career mentor"? Are you a "human asset" or "corporate talent"?
Despite all the buzzwords in our "new economy", one things remains certain, a spiffy new job title won't pay the bills.
Have you got a grand sounding job title? Would you be fobbed off with a flashy name instead of a payrise? What's the most incongruous "professionalised" position you've ever heard?
Our local bin-men call themselves the cleansing operative. The cleaners at my office are referred to as the broom engineers. One of my colleagues is known as the managers' go-for. I'm a data manipulator. Back home I'm Mum.
TITLE: Cadaver Disposal Facilitator
And ... not a job, but actually seen printed on a metal drum in a fish-and-chip shop:
TERM: Food Frying Medium
Phil Taylor, UK
Nowadays I couldn't care less about the title, I never once came across a Bank Manager willing to lend me money on the back of a title. Go for the money!!
Roy Chapman, UK/Germany
The most amusing job title I have ever
come across is "Ecological Operator"
for someone employed in public
cleansing. I thought it was rather
inflated, but amusing!
Ian Elsley, UK
Call me what you want as long as you pay me for it.
Well, I have heard Garbage men being called Sanitary engineers and housewives, Domestic Engineers.
I guess as an aspiring Writer I am an apprentice Wordsmith or keyboard technician?
Erik Lam, UK
Some title inflation reaches the point where titles are not only meaningless, but vague. Does anyone know what an "Information Manager" is supposed to do?
I spent some time in Brighton as a Highway Cosmetic Maintenance Technician one summer as a student.
Yes I was a Street Sweeper. What a load of rubbish! That being said if people prefer being a "executary" as opposed to a secretary for the same money and job duties then who am i to argue they are being foolish even if that is my opinion. I get paid to do my job and it's the duties of that job that make the pay not the title
My first job as a young graduate had a dual role with the title "Spares Inventory Control and Profitability Development Officer" (!) in a business supplying engine components world-wide. The worst part was trying to get the title to fit into tiny spaces allowed on application forms.
Personally, I think the term "administrator" is awful. It's just a name for a glorified secretary. I worked at a certain university where all the secretaries were renamed administrators. I think that secretaries actually have better skills than administrators such as shorthand and touch-typing, because where I worked most people typed with two fingers and couldn't organise their way out of a paper bag!
I know of at least one CEO who has an Email address of god@?????????.com. Can't get much more grandiose than that.
One has to consider that "title swelling" is just another ruse by management and employers to keep a poorly motivated staff in line. It smacks of "let them eat cake" - and panders to the majority of employees inner wish to be more important than they are. All this while bosses are awarding themselves the big pay rises! This is another example of the growing disparity between the governing class and the "rest of us"...That bosses can think we are so inconsequential and stupid as to be satisfied with empty titles rather than financial compensation.
I once had a card through the door advertising a new service from a firm of Vision Technicians. This turned out to be a firm of Window Cleaners!!
I am a facilities supervisor, which in actual fact is a toilet cleaner. The job title covers the obvious embarrassment I would normally suffer, but after failing my degree I accepted what is in fact a rewarding and stimulating career
I used to work for a US Bank. Those yanks love a good title. I was promoted from Assistant Treasurer (the lowest "officer" grade) to Assistant Vice President and would have made Vice President if the bank wasn't taken over. Sounds impressive, but when everyone else has the same title it makes it a bit meaningless.
No way... A fancy title means nothing. I would rather feel the benefit where it counts, in my pocket.
When several of us were promoted
to "Principal Specialist", I would
explain that as there should be ONE
principal, collectively we might
be called "a lack of principals".
Where I last worked every one seemed to be called "executive director" to supposedly give a good external impression. I think it just diluted what the title is supposed to indicate and make some people into frustrated prima donnas. All title and no position!
If you become a permanent employee at a certain City bank invariably you are all given the title "Assistant Vice President." There are a few thousand of them in London, from Managers to Secretaries.
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