Job ti­tles are get­ting se­ri­ously de­cep­tive

The Jakarta Post - JPlus - - Between The Lines - Nury Vit­tachi

MY 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 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 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 full­time 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.”

— Send ideas and com­ments via the au­thor’s Face­book page.

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