Page last updated at 11:15 GMT, Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Your silliest job titles

When a weight-loss company decided to recruit a paid couch potato to eat high fat foods, it advertised for a "product testing associate". Proof, if it were needed, that job titles don't always tell the full story.

Bin man, or waste disposal technician
And you have the audacity to just call him a bin man...

As job adverts go, one which has started appearing in job centres promises more than its title suggests.

"We are willing to pay you £23,750 a year to continue doing exactly what you do every single day, and all we ask in return is that you eat 16 per cent more calories a week - or 400 more calories a day - whilst introducing Proactol into your diet."

The job itself is euphemistically titled product testing associate.

Job titles have become a minefield of euphemism and circumlocution in the modern workplace - a fact attested to by many Magazine readers, after our recent story "Can you justify your job title?" .

Readers sent us their own obscure job titles - here are 30 of the most perplexing.

1. For a couple of years I had a job title of global talent supply. Male friends were bitterly disappointed to learn that I was just a recruitment consultant.
Rob, Glasgow

2. I'm a generic DIP practitioner. This means I work with people who misuse drugs and alcohol - DIP standing for Drugs Intervention Programme.
Doc, Leicester

3. My job title is a waste management and disposal technician. In other words, a bin man.
Alex, Newcastle upon Tyne

4. Mine currently stands at senior systems, applications and telephony engineer / procurement manager / 3rd line. I have asked for this to be changed to dogsbody or jack of all trades. The title in my signature is longer than most of the e-mails I have to send.
Matt, Yorkshire

5. I had the rather uninspired job title of head of inspiration for a while. I failed to live up to it.
Gav, Sydney, Australia

Shelving books
Just don't use the L-word

6. I'm an information advisor. Not that weird, but what I actually am is a university librarian. My employers, like many others, seem reluctant to use the L-word.
Helen, Cardiff

7. Currently on secondment, my job title has changed from the all-purpose customer services administrator to direct debit and membership and professional development stock and credit administrator.
Martin, Bromley, Kent

8. My job title is collections and recoveries credit services advisor which could easily be shortened to "call centre drone".
Mike, Wrexham

9. My job title does reflect my work: surround mastering & restoration engineer. But I would bet not many people would be able to say that I work in the music business.
Simon Gibson, London

10. I was international client relations manager for a year when I was in Australia working in sales and marketing. The "international" part of my title came from the fact I was Scottish.
Ross, Girvan

Call Centre
Also known as a Communications Executive

11. I apparently am a communications executive. In others words, I am the annoying telesales person who calls you at the most inconvenient of times.
Beth, Manchester

12-13. My job title used to run to 13 words: local land and property gazetteer custodian and register of individuals and groups officer. However, that didn't adequately cover my role which also included local street gazetteer custodian and street naming and numbering officer. I was busy.
Robbo, Suffolk

14. My job title is investment development and research analyst, which is a long-winded way of saying I'm part of a technical helpdesk.
Liz, Brighton

15. My title of senior specialist practitioner means I'm an electronics technician responsible for the maintenance of complex medical equipment. Would anyone know from that description? I think not.
Charlie W White, East Chillington, South Devon, UK

16. My job title is worldwide marine asset financial analyst. But what it all comes down to is I'm an accountant.
Steve Scott, Rochester, Kent, UK

17-18. To my "external customers" (who used to be called taxpayers) I'm a debt management officer. To my "internal customers" (previously known as colleagues) I'm a field force agent, which my brother finds highly amusing, telling me it sounds like I'm on some gardening or countryside TV show. When people ask what I do, I simply reply "tax collector". It's a job title that's been in use since biblical times, and makes it far more obvious what I actually do with my days.
Gem, Wales

Ward sister
What's wrong with "nurse"?

19. I'm a modality manager in a hospital. Patients never know what that means, so I explain that it's just a newfangled, politically correct title for a good old ward sister (the way I usually introduce myself). Patients often get a bit worried when they first see my name badge and ask me what exactly a mortality manager does.
Brigitte, Hove

20. While at university I had a relatively well-paid job with the title surveyorship enumerator. I counted cars going through traffic lights.
Joe Wright, Glasgow

21. As a student I took a summer office job as an internal communications coordinator. I delivered faxes to people - the "fax bloke".
Hamish Strang, Torphins

22. Last year whilst selling insurance on the telephone I had the utmost privilege of being a family protection consultant. Ridiculous.
Matt Bunn, Camden

23. My current job title is retail logistics capacity & flow planner. Which really means I'm a supply chain specialist.
Iain Foss, Glasgow

24. My job title for about a year was coordinator of interpretive teaching, which entailed taking school groups round a museum. Posh name for a tour guide, basically.
James Morris, London, UK

Man using calculator
Number cruncher or space explorer?

25. My job title until recently was mission control analyst. People then would ask me if I worked for the European Space Agency. They were slightly baffled when I told them I worked in a bank.
Ben, Bristol

26. My job title is vertical transport engineer, which covers all types of vertical transport, but basically is a lift engineer.
Mike Lyons, Kent

27. Process operative. Spy? MI5 Asset? No. Actually this was the title of my first job when I worked at a chicken processing factory. Packing products, and occasionally moulding chicken Kievs.
Mike, Portadown, Northern Ireland

28. I used to be a welcoming agent and telephone intermediary. Otherwise known as a receptionist.
Hannah, Leeds

29. Whilst at university I worked as a lifeguard. However, my official title from Ceredigion County Council was a wet leisure assistant, which always made my friends laugh.
Carl, Hull, UK

30. I'm an employer engagement coordinator - new name for Work Placement Officer. More letters in my job title, still the same amount of financial benefit.
Craig, Lancs

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