Jul 21, 2011

2 The "Title" Chase

There are times when I actually believe I'll bump into my neighbours one day, having to greet them with, "Good morning Tan Sri, Dato' Sri, Datuk Seri, Datuk, how are all of you today? Is Puan Sri, Datin Sri, Datin at home?"

"OhHh, our wives are busy with the kids, you know, my son the Datuk and my daughter, the Datin...hehehe," drawls one of them.

An oversupply we would have been proud of, if not for a few(?) bad apples. It would have meant that we have a large number of outstanding individuals contributing to society and to the progress of the nation.

While we lament over the loss of prestige in these titles and wonder whether it was accorded through merit, we blind ourselves of an issue close to our hearts and it is alarming how we're responding to it.

Aaah, it is so easy to speak about the Datuks and what-not in disdain without looking at our own backyard. 

How many of us are guilty of demanding for recognition although we haved performed only 'so-so' because we're "seniors and we deserve it" and through excuses like "we need that Manager title so that our customers will respect us"? How many business owners have promoted an employee to a managerial post just to fill a gap or because he was next in line?

And how many of us have titles that baffle like "Nail Technician" instead of manicurist? Has technicality lost it's depth in meaning and are Janitors really "Cleaning Technicians" or "Assistant VPs in the Janitorial Department"? 

The "title frenzy" is most evident in the office but no one cares to admit it because it would mean losing the opportunity to be someone "important". Monetary recognition signifies achievement in the workplace but a great job title brings a sense of self-importance. We want to be known as "important people", not outstanding ordinary citizens.

We are quick to cry for things to be accorded based on 'merit'. With Account Managers who lead files, accounts clerks who are Assistant Vice Presidents in the Finance Department (handling the VP's private bank account, I suppose), telemarketers who are Sales Executives, marketing assistants who are Business Development Consultants and so forth, I'm afraid many of us are just not ready to face the truth about ourselves.

Corporations have only themselves to blame for gasps of horror when sub par employees who are unable to live up to their title go out and try to impress the world.

Signing off,
Keyboard Maintenance Manager (I do keep it clean)


  1. Erm, you can call me Lady if you like... "Lady Lion Girl" sounds very prestigous lei.

    We used to call this guy "Tan" (his surname), Tan Sri. The moment he turned grandfather, we called him Datuk Tan Sri. He is now hoping we would call him "Tun" in front of the rest! Now, should we or should we not?! This also similar to chasing title, right??!

  2. Hahaha..yes, my Lady Lion Girl..*bow down*
    Yalor, but we have to give chance to Datuk Tan Sri lar. Humour is good for the soul, no? On his Birthday, you go and confer him the title with ribbons, cert and all ^.^


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