Saturday, December 29, 2007

12-29-07: PC Job Names

Since my time on earth, it seems that many job titles have changed. Jobs themselves haven't really changed, just what they're called. I was on a flight the other day from Japan with flight attendants, who have gone by that name, as opposed to stewards or stewardesses, for several years now. You go into stores and speak with associates as opposed to salesmen. When you go to Disney World, you speak to cast members when you have a problem with something.

My only question is: what do they call the people who make up these names? I'm sure there's a clever title, but then again I doubt there's a dedicated position. Isn't that ironic, though... You'd have just a plain old "manager" come up with a catchy new job title. I'd think they'd want to be called Description Specialists, or maybe even Identity Engineers. Actually, the latter just sounds creepy. Let's just stick with Description Specialists.

The real issue is why the names are now different. It'd be simple to say it's all due to the political correctness craze that continues to sweep the nation, and world in general for that matter. But, I think it goes beyond that. I think it's just an overall new business practice to encourage employees to be more productive and proud of their job. If you're a team member and not just a sales rep., you can easily identify yourself as helping the business, even if you don't do anything different. You just feel different.

One of my Fraternity Brothers does business with a large insurance corporation. He doesn't work for them, but they are his employer's major client, so he deals with them intimately on a regular basis. He told me something peculiar about their business structure. Apparently, they have a plethora of Vice Presidents, along with (literally) thousands of Associate Vice Presidents, and several other levels of Vice Presidents. You can be a Senior Vice President, which is really high up, and have just regular Vice Presidents working for you. If you're just an Associate Vice President, you're small potatoes. Can you imagine working for one of those guys? You can work for a Vice President right out of college! That's just strange.

That's, of course, an extreme case, but it probably happens more often than you'd think. I'm an Associate Engineer, but I don't necessarily work for an Engineer, which is nice. It's just a pay grade thing. If you want a real chain of command, look at the Navy. My girlfriend is an Ensign. After a couple years, she'll become a Lieutenant Junior Grade (abbreviated as "JG"), then a Lieutenant a couple years later, then a Lieutenant Commander if she feels like continuing. After that, it's Commander, then Captain, then all sorts of levels of Admiral. BUT... there is a real chain of command, which you have to respect. They're very organized. If only business were like that..

No comments: