Saturday, April 20, 2013

Remain Nameless

I wish to remain nameless 
And live without shame… 

I once had a discussion with a former supervisor. I had received a promotion of sorts and I asked what my title was. I was told I didn’t need a title. Surprised, I asked why. He said titles don’t mean a thing. When one did a good job people recognized that and titles weren’t needed. So I asked if I could call him Head Custodian instead of Superintendent. That’s when I found out that a title did indeed mean something!

In the end I got my title. It was some long, wordy, nonsensical jargon that was created in retaliation for my comment. (Do bosses retaliate? That could be another post for sure!) Anyway, when I was asked or wrote it down it was laughable. It couldn’t fit it into my elevator speech! An explanation was always needed for clarity.

As most people do, I changed jobs. According to statistics, these days people change jobs on the average, 11 times in a lifetime. I haven’t. In fact, I wasn’t expected to ever leave the one I had. But it was time. Departure also meant losing my trumped up title.

I realized quickly the new employment was a dead end position. That’s not to say it’s a bad job or that I have no ambition. The structure dictated the rules. There was one head honcho, one number two honcho and about five regular honchos. Then there were the worker bees. I was a worker bee.

I’m still a worker bee, and I do have a title along with all the other worker bees; the same one in fact. This title is short and means about the same as the fabricated title of yore; absolutely nothing. It fails to describe what I do for the company which is what I thought was the purpose of a title. In fact, couldn’t a clear job title describe a person's expertise with greater specificity, therefore explaining that person's role more clearly? Alas, it’s not to be.

Enter new management. New leaders bring change. The structure is basically the same but suddenly there are assistant regular honchos. How does one become an assistant regular honcho one might ask? Good question. The job posting/interview process is followed but it’s quite easy to spot the recipient. And if there are two favored recipients they become co-assistant regular honchos. They get titles like Co-Assistant Honcho of Creating Tasks or Assistant Honcho of Browning the Nose. Do I sound envious? Believe me. I’m not!

Lately there’s been the novel idea that it would be useful for everyone to know everyone else’s specialty in the organization. Could that not be accomplished with job titles that actually mean something? Maybe I should make a suggestion to the Assistant Honcho of Contemplation.

You can call me anything you want.
You can call us what you want.

If you’ve seen any news about America at all you know it’s been a tough week. First the senseless bombing in Boston then the tragedy of the fertilizer plant blowing up most of the small town of West, Texas. It’s stressful, even for spectators who aren't directly involved but view helplessly, the endless pictures on social media or listen to the newscaster offering ceaseless updates on situations that aren’t improving. Even if you’re far from the location you can’t help but feel the sadness and devastation of all those affected. And I knit.

This doesn't capture the bright orange color. Montego Bay Scarf.
There’s also some good. Like Mr. Rogers says, look for the good. People are being kind and generous to one another and helping each other to get through the turbulence. It makes me wonder why it can’t always be that way, just treating people as you’d like to be treated.

Cause what's in a name, 
Oh I still remain the same...


  1. You can be the Queen Worker Bee.

  2. It is nice to be given credit for what you do and maybe the assignment of a suitable title is part of that recognition.
    Not an unreasonable thing to want, surely?