Skip to main content

New title, same old job

IT seems that what we most want these days is a fancy job title. Well, that is the main finding of a new government report chaired by Lord Paythemless (formerly militant trades union leader, Jack Gimme).

"Up-titling" is the new American word for it. In this case, "up-titling" is all about weaseling out of paying a decent wage by offering people a sop to their personal vanity. A prison warder is thereby redesignated "liberty-containment executive", a chimney sweep "heated ventilation clearance officer", and the British Prime Minister "a Pentagon spokesman".

That there is a necessity for this kind of spin on certain jobs reveals a basic division in our society between those who find self-respect in the work they do and those who have to look for it elsewhere - either by landing themselves huge pay deals or by re-naming their occupations.

Some jobs have always gone under a euphemism. As far as I know, no "lady of the night" has ever put "prostitute" on her census return and the postcards (that Iuse as notepads) in London phone boxes seem only to offer the services of models, masseuses and escorts. Still, it is good to know that you might get a cut-price rate if you offer to call the leather-clad lady of your choice a "frustration dispersion officer".

Some professions, however, refuse to go down this route. You don't get doctors asking to be called "prescription-delivery executives" or judges "punishment-assignment officers", and that is not just because they are well paid - it's actually because they enjoy being judges and doctors. Similarly, you don't get rock stars asking to be called "loud-noise facilitators" or the Royal Family "state-registered hospital openers". The job itself commands enough respect. Which is why I hope teachers will stick to asking for a decent wage and not be fobbed off with the promise of becoming "tantrum-containment officers", "fact-absorption facilitators" or "exam-pass executives".

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you