Friday, 31 August 2012

Oh those fancy job titles!

I was contacted today by a Talent Acquisition Manager.

My initial reaction was "Yippee". Someone has told someone about my prowess behind the otherwise amateur microphone that is community radio broadcasting. My hours spent in my little home office (the smallest bedroom in the house that I have been relegated to) producing the hour-long "Surreal Hour" - my AOR and totally politically incorrect radio programme - was about to pay off, and I was to walk into a £200,000 a year job on late-night BBC Radio 2.

But sadly, I was mistaken. The "Talent Acquisition Manager" turned out to be a phishing recruitment consultant who had found my CV online. No national radio for me. Just the perfunctory "what am I doing" and "am I looking for a job as they might have something completely unsuitable in 2016?" scenario.

I should have sussed it, as I haven't a speech impediment, I have never been in a "boy band" where an inability to write songs (I once wrote half a dozen, what I called, "Punk Folk" songs)  and play an instrument (I can cope with basic guitar and piano) guarantees you a number one song and an instant place on a reality show judging panel, and I never say "free fings wiv everyfing onnem" when I mean "Three things with everything on them".

I then read in the morning's edition of "i" (the mini-Independent) that greedy, cash-wasting councils are back on the warpath against their favourite cash-cow, the motorist, by reducing the number of free car parking spaces in town centres, while at the same time increasing the number of "Civil Enforcement Officers".

"Civil Enforcement Officers"? Bloody 'Yellow Perils' is what they actually mean. Car ticketers, yes. Traffic wardens, yes. Little motorist dictators, yes. Scourge of the motorist, yes. "Civil Enforcement Officers". No, I don't think so. OK some of the long-standing and reasonable wardens are very civil. But the new upstarts are just cash collectors for their inefficient councils that have cut back on everything - except of course their chief executive's six-figure salary and the remainder of the senior council executives' not unhealthy emoluments.

There are plenty of other blood-curdling titles around. I appreciate I haven't many recruitment people or traffic wardens on my Christmas card list, but I'm a firm believer that regardless of the job anyone does, everyone is equal. It's just that their pay isn't equal. And no fancy title will ever address - or relieve - this inequality in pay.

Councils in particular should not be trying to disguise the lower paid - and I might add more hands on - jobs of their 'junior' members of staff. Many council staff at the sharp end - serving their council stealth tax payers - are far more efficient and sensible (and valued) at what they do than their higher salaried mandarins who laugh all the way to their fat-pensioned retirement.

Some of the other titles that have become the norm include:
Refuse and Recycling Collection Technician - Bin man
Administrative Assistant - Secretary
Custodial Engineer - Janitor
Customer Service Delivery Agent - Van driver
Environment Improvement Technician - Cleaner
Technical Horticultural Maintenance Office - Gardener
Entertainment  Admissions Officer - Bouncer
Bank Chief Executive Officer - Thieving Dishonest Untrustworthy Con Artist

Honest, hardworking people who are a value to their organisation don't need fancy titles. I am sure they would prefer a fancy salary instead.

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