A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
Like it or don’t, folks, titles are important. What you’re called dictates how others treat you. For example, when I worked in radio (yeah, I’m that old) there was always at least one person who occupied a desk, did the typing, answered the phone, took notes, ran errands, etc., etc., etc. She (and in those days it was usually a she) was called the executive producer. She wasn’t a secretary because secretaries were paid by the hour and got overtime, whereas executive producers were on salary and could work all the hours that God made — at no extra charge. It was a tricky/dicky thing to do, but the harsh reality was (and still is) personally and professionally, executive producer packs a lot bigger punch than secretary does. So, many young women took the pay cut and added the prestige to their social life and the title to their resume.
These days, we live in a world of degrees, diplomas and certificates, so it’s a little more difficult to call yourself something without a piece of paper to back up your claim. However, it’s not impossible. Here are just a few examples of job titles that look as though they carry some credibility but really don’t mean anything.
Nutritionist – Apparently, this is not a professional designation like dietician. Anybody can call themselves a nutritionist — even if they advocate eating cheeseburgers and fries four times a day. The truth is some nutritionists have some training, but the majority have either just read or just written a trendy food book and haven’t any real scientific knowledge about what the human body needs to keep rolling.
Life Coach – The difference between an ordinary person and a life coach is – uh – nothing. The qualifications a life coach needs are – uh – none. And the only ability essential to being a life coach is – uh — convincing you that they are smarter than you are.
English Teacher – There are many schools around the world that will hire you just because English is your native language. In most cases, these aren’t “real” schools, and the money is ridiculous low — but they will pay you. Or you can just show up in a medium-sized village somewhere in the back of beyond and start charging people for English lessons.
Preacher/Evangelist – This is one of those weird ones that only works if you’re not associated with a recognized religion. As long as you don’t claim to represent anybody but yourself, you can preach hellfire and brimstone — or eternal salvation — to anyone who cares to listen. You can even charge them for the privilege! However, once you start presiding over weddings, funerals and miracles, you’re going to draw some serious attention from local law enforcement.
Tour Guide – Unlike travel agents, tour guides don’t need any qualifications. All you need to do is point at things, pronounce the names properly and pause long enough for pictures. If you know a little history – bonus! If not, call it “Hidden History,” and make it up. After all, Marie Antoinette might very well have been a lesbian.
But my absolute favourite (and I’m thinking about doing this myself) is:
NBA Free Agent – The National Basketball Association has virtually no rules about who can play in the league. You have to be male and over 18 years old. That’s it! So, in order to become an NBA free agent, all you have to do is inform the league — in writing — that you consider yourself eligible for the draft. Bingo! You’re an NBA free agent. (Now, that would look really good on my business cards!)