Butch Asks…Do You Recognize These Job Titles?

Most of you folks know that there are many job opportunities out there today. During the pandemic, many workers quit their jobs or took early retirement…many deciding not to return to the work force.

Yes, there are plenty of jobs available. Good-sounding jobs, too! You see, many employers have adopted “job title inflation.” Companies do everything they can think of to hire people and boost their employees’ self-esteem by renaming the available jobs. For instance, a “salesman” is now called “customer service associate” or “sales counselor.” Similarly, a “store clerk” is now referred to as a “retail consultant.” Sounds better, doesn’t it?

If you want to work at a big discount store as a cashier, stock-boy…or maybe even pushing the carts back inside or cleaning the restrooms, you can be called an “corporate associate” and you can wear your “career apparel.” Of course, the easiest job is to become a greeter, now referred to as “hospitality representative.” This new trend of job title inflation affects almost every profession…such as doctors (“primary-care providers”), secretaries (“administrative assistants”), teachers (“educators”), store security guards (“loss prevention specialists”), manicurists (“nail technicians”), soda jerk (“fountain attendant”), garbage collector (“enviromental service worker”), and even illegal immigrant (“undocumented guest worker”)….just to name a few.

And not to worry, if you are fired from your job, you can just tell people that you were “transitioned out” or were just part of “an involuntary force-reduction.”

I have had many jobs throughout my 73 years here in the good old U.S.A. When I was a youngster, I mowed lawns and helped Dad on the farm (“lawn maintenance specialist” and “swine waste removal technician”). As a teenager detasseling corn for DeKalb, I must have been a “maize flower science associate.” When I was a student at Purdue, I also worked full-time at National Homes Corporation, and I enjoyed several jobs…sanding marble sinks (“associate finishing specialist”), installing windows (“deluxe fabrication associate”), and stuffing insulation into prefabricated walls (“Owens-Corning product consultant”). By the way, that last one was the worst job I ever had. Since they did not provide me with a mask, I am pretty sure I still have insulation fibers embedded in my windpipe and lungs!

Yes, I have been a teacher and police officer, but as a librarian, I have enjoyed several jobs all at once….”hospitality representative,” “book loan-out and recovery agent,” “product specialist,” “learning resource advisor,” and “chief operating officer and accounting supervisor.”

But guess what? The names of my two favorite jobs have not changed….”husband” and “father.”

-John “Butch” Dale is a retired teacher and County Sheriff. He has also been the librarian at Darlington the past 32 years, and is a well-known artist and author of local history.