What is your profession?

By Nizar al Musalmy — The mother of junior, who on full time basis, runs and takes care of my house and children does a wonderful job that deserves a big reward. Last week, when I introduced her as a ‘house wife’ she hurly scorned at me until I regretted why I called her so. She prefers to be called a ‘Domestic Engineer’. Some jobs are pretty dreadful that when we are doing them, we don’t want anyone else to know about them. Ironically, these are the kind of jobs that earn us bread and butter. People go about lying about their profession as if they get allowances for it.
My house girl does not like me calling her a house girl. She likes to be referred to as a ‘Domestic Servant’.
One media person tells me to address him as an ‘informer’ because he hates the title ‘news reporter’. Section heads call themselves ‘Team leaders.’ Team leaders introduce themselves as Managers and Managers as ‘Directors.
Secretaries prefer to be called “personal assistants” while gardeners are no longer gardeners, helpers are no more helpers and the list goes on and on.
I remember once when I went to pay my phone bill at one of the booths in town. Naturally someone who operates a phone booth is a ‘phone booth operator’. I feared calling her that. They told me they are ‘phone dealers’.
Cooks do a great job in fighting hunger. Shouldn’t they be proud of their job? Alas, they still don’t want to be called what they are. They call themselves ‘Chefs.’
Next time you visit a hospital make sure you don’t make a mistake of calling those ladies in white ‘nurses.’ They prefer to be called ‘Medical Personnel’.
If you want a VIP treatment, you might consider calling them Doctors. The foremen and mechanics have experience but that experience doesn’t promote them to be referred to as ‘Engineers’.
On their business cards, they call themselves engineers but if you contact one of them for work, he refers you to some other person and tells you he works with him in the same company.
Being a messenger would be a normal thing because you get known to people but the messengers hate being called so. They favor being addressed as ‘Office Coordinators’.
I once picked a business card that read ‘Property Master’. When I called I found the man to be a Broker (dealer). Had I been less careful, I would have thought he was a tycoon behind an estate.
Sometimes hiding your job can work for you and make you survive embarrassments. Like one waitress who looks cute and works for long hours. After work she tells her fiancé that she is a ‘Restaurant Manager’ – a strategy that might lead her to tie the knot. One driver kept his job for ten years with his records showing as Sales Engineer.
It’s up to you to decide if you want to be open about how you earn your living or you still have a preference of hiding the truth. But conjecture can never be a substitute for truth.

— nizar.nmh.musalmy@gmail.com

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