Re: A Quandry about Titles...

Subject: Re: A Quandry about Titles...
From: Ad absurdum per aspera <JTCHEW -at- LBL -dot- GOV>
Date: Tue, 21 Dec 1993 22:26:05 GMT

I think of myself as a "writer" whose skills and interests
happen to lie mostly in fairly technical nonfiction.

In a previous job, the company decided that there should
be a Technical Ladder alongside a Management Ladder to show
that we were all winners and we all must have priz...
excuse me; that was _Through the Looking Glass_; that we
all must have fancy titles. It gives the illusion of progress
up the ladder of success. As one-man-band tech writer and
accomplice to sedition at an insubordinate subsidiary, I
was drafted to help with these, and couldn't resist parody.
Thus did I get the title of Senior Associate Information
Developer, or something like that. (I had IBM in mind as a
model, since it was popular to solve all our problems by
identifying and aping the solutions of some company >100x
our size.) The money stayed remarkably the same throughout.

My title here is Scientific Coordinator. It means science
writer, jack-of-all-trades in communication, and bureaucratic
utility infielder. My rank is Technical Editor/Writer IV,
which is of interest to people in a cubicle somewhere who
think about how much to pay my successor if I get laid off.
Scientists usually seem to introduce me to each other as
"editor," even though that's only a small part of what I do,
because it plays off a reductive but handy stereotype that
lets 'em know, broadly, what kind of critter they caught.

Call me whatever you want; just don't call me late for dinner.

"Just another personal opinion from the People's Republic of Berkeley"
Disclaimer: Even if my employer had a position on the subject,
I probably wouldn't be the one stating it on their behalf.

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