Job titles are getting seriously deceptive. The Funny Side by Nury Vittachi

Office politicsMy son is applying for jobs. I told him that “we have no suitable vacancy at this time” really means: “Dude you are too cool for us.” I noticed many jobs are in sneaky disguises. About half of them, with titles ranging from Marketing Executive to Account Manager to Chick Sexer to Cheese Sprayer, actually mean “Salesperson”.

There are lots of euphemisms, or do I mean euphoniums? Hospitality Specialist means “dishwasher”. Beverage Disseminator means “bartender”. Communications Executive means “telesales pest”.

A colleague showed me a recent news item about a US man arrested for faking a job by ordering copied Secret Service badges from China. Christopher Diiorio, 53, needed a cool-sounding job because he had signed up with a dating website, and his real job was too awful to admit to. He was a dog poop picker-upper. I felt sorry for him. While I hate to generalize — wait, no I don’t, I’m a journalist — women never put dog poop picker-uppers on top of their lists of desirable marriage partners.

He should have just made himself a post: Senior Chief Vice President for Canine Sanitation Deposit Collection, for example. When I was single I would have dated someone with that title. But then, I would have dated anyone.

In the newspaper was a tale about a man in Germany who designed his own job, and that was awful too. He decided to cheat an automatic bottle recycling machine. He found a way of putting a bottle in, collecting a tiny sum of money, and then getting it out again.

He turned this into a full time job, netting 44,000 euros by inserting and extracting a single bottle 177,451 times. The judge expressed astonishment at what a horribly dull way he’d found to spend his days. The man agreed: “It was really boring,” and skipped to a relatively fun future of sitting in a jail cell.

You see, jobs should never be just about making money, as proved by a UK toilet-fixer who recently won 14 million pounds in a lottery. John Doherty, 52, celebrated — and then went straight back to fixing toilets. Just because the numbers in your bank account change, that doesn’t mean that your purpose in life changes. He even signed up for a full-time course to improve his toilet-fixing skills.

These news stories reminded me of the time I sat in on a friend’s school reunion, where everyone was deliberately vague about what they did. “I’m in the restaurant business” probably meant “I’m a waiter” and the guy who said “I’m a writer” I knew for a fact was a blogger. And we all know that “independent new media consultants” are people who try to trick you into paying them to show you how to use Facebook.

There ARE cool job titles out there. The neon light industry employs “Light Benders” and the guy who sells tickets on Virgin Galactic has “Space Travel Agent” on his card.

Worth applying for? Maybe. And anyway, I’ve met Richard Branson and he’s a fun guy who probably would send a rejection letter saying: “Dude you are too cool for us.”


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