Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What's in a Name? More Than You'd Think.

We did a quick study, of sorts, at work today.

After months of suggesting that we have some generic business cards which everyone on staff can use (the kind that simply list the company name and generic email and phone number), a whole bunch of people - myself included - got business cards today.

But here's the catch: Most of the cards had titles on them that are different than the titles we've all been using in and around the office. (And, as a co-worker pointed out, different from what is on our contracts.)

Mine simply dropped the word "Coordinating" and I am listed on them as "Editor." Now, yes, the primary job I do is editing. But I also coordinate about 15 freelancers, and do about 3 hours of other tasks every day (out of the 8 hours I'm at work).

Does the change from "Coordinating Editor" to "Editor" make a huge difference? No. But is it one of those small things that simply grinds away at the back of your mind that makes you wonder about your place in the world? Yes.

On the other hand, though, a few people found out - via these cards - that their "Director" titles have now become "Manager." Yes, it's semantic. No, it doesn't change their roles in the company. But - you know - when you're talking to someone who is the "Director of Whitewashing," you probably figure they have more power to get things done than the "Whitewashing Manager." And, honestly, we're all kind of wondering why the changes happened - and what impacts they will have in our interactions with clients.

None of our jobs changed. So, yes, the roses still smell as sweet. But I'd have to disagree with Shakespeare about one name being just as good as another. And the office atmosphere this morning is definitely proof enough for me.

1 comment:

Robin said...

Weird. Did you find out if it was just because the person who ordered the cards didn't know the titles? Or relied on someone else to give them to them?
Or is it more sinister and the titles have all been changed on the contacts?