Tuesday, November 02, 2010


I listened to a guy talking to another guy today.  He was sufficiently loud for me to hear most of what he said.  The other guy pretty much nodded and said uh huh.

The guy announced that he called himself Chef So and So, so as to differentiate himself from people that cooked that had not bothered to go to culinary school.  He went on and on about his restaurants (note that plural) until I quit paying attention.

I’ve written before about labels, I think they’re a bad idea – they get in the way of people actually talking.

Titles aren’t a good idea either.  I am an “Attorney at Law.”  It says so on my business card; and, I have a license and all that.  I have never referred to myself as such.  Not even as an Attorney.  If asked, and forced to answer, I tell people I’m a lawyer.

Maybe I’m being a reverse snob; but, I’m thinking you ought to demonstrate your abilities, not announce what you think they are by labeling yourself.

I’ve always hated when a receptionist or nurse says “Doctor will see you now.”  Not Doctor Smith.  Not the doctor.  No, he or she is so important the title itself says it all. 

Of course you've heard "Chef has prepared a wonderful special tasting menu for guests tonight" or something of the sort.

An inside insight:  Not all Attorneys at Law are all that good at being lawyers.  Some people with an M.D. got C’s.  Professor (or in an academic setting Full) Professor Jones may well not live up to the hype of the title.  I've had some pretty poor, pretty expensive food from a Chef or three.  

People that insist on titles are compensating.  Keep it in mind when you are judging them.


Anonymous said...

I have a friend with an advanced degree who works for a telecommunication company setting up their tower/satellite links. When he meets people for the first time and they ask what he does for a living, he always says the same thing: "I'm a janitor."

How they treat him after that is how he decides if they're worth his time.

Big Mark 243 said...

That is a cool way of introducing yourself, Thomas. And Dave you are so right. Titles are given meaning to something we imagine a person to be, not their substance.

Have Myelin? said...

I'm a janitor! =) =) =)

Dave said...

Hey HM, thanks for stopping by.